Kitchen Remodeling – Solid Surface Countertops

by J on September 20, 2009

Countertops are crucial to the overall look and feel of your kitchen. Selecting just the right one can be a daunting task. In this blog, we’ll take a look at solid surface countertops to see if they may be the right choice for your kitchen.

Solid surface countertops are a synthetic blend of natural minerals and plastics, although other materials like wood can be used. Acrylic is a favored ingredient in this type of countertop, because it is extremely hard and holds up to kitchen tasks. The product is offered in several grade levels, which is determined by the size of the mineral particles they are comprised of. Some solid surface countertops, the ones with a higher mineral content, are designed to look like stone countertops. The higher the mineral content, the more like granite they look—and the more expensive they are. Solid color styles do not look like stone, and are therefore less expensive.

About the only downside to these countertops is that you can’t set a hot pot or dish on them, because it can damage and discolor the counter. Just be sure to use a trivet to protect the countertops. On the other hand, solid surface countertops offer many benefits for kitchen use and décor. First of all, because they are made of plastic, you almost can’t stain them. Mothers and messy cooks alike will appreciate this characteristic. They also absorb impact well, so they are tough to crack. They never need to be sealed and are resistant to mold, mildew, fungus and bacteria. They also hold up against acids, alkalis and water.

If you’re not convinced yet, another great feature is that if you get minor scratches or heat damage, you can buff them out with abrasive cleansers , very fine sand paper or a 3M Scotch- Brite™ pad. Word of warning: Before you try this at home, be sure to contact your kitchen design expert for instructions. Each different solid surface countertop has a specific repair method. Often times, the manufacturer will have repair kits available.

Finally, for your artistic bent, solid surface countertops provide a truly seamless look; many manufacturers even make the proverbial kitchen sink, so your whole countertop flows effortlessly from beginning to end. They can be molded to any shape, which leaves edging options wide open, and the endless array of colors—solids and stone imitations—can match or drive your color scheme.

DuPont™Corian®, Wilsonart, LG HI-MACS, Formica®, Avonite and Swanstone are all popular manufacturers for solid surface countertops. Prices fall into the $90 to $150 sq. ft. installed range and usually include a 10-year warranty.

Still undecided about your countertop choice for your kitchen remodeling project? A visit to your local kitchen design expert should put your mind at ease and answer any questions you may have. You’ll soon be enjoying the beauty and functionality of your new countertop.

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