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March 29, 2020

Your Formica Solid Surface Countertops Questions, Answered 


formica solid surface countertopsBefore you can truly understand if Formica solid surface countertops are the ideal choice for your kitchen, it is advisable that you learn about the material as well as its formation, application and installation.  This will allow you to compare it to other materials and discover if you were indeed correct with your inclination toward Formica solid surface countertops, or if you would be better off with something else.  The following are the answers to a number of basic questions that will get you off on the right foot toward making an informed decision.

What are Formica solid surface countertops?

Formica solid surface countertops are not the same as  Formica laminate.  A solid surface sheet is essentially a form of highly durable plastic.  That said, this isn’t the same plastic that you have around the house as food containers or for the casing of electronics.  This is plastic of a much stronger nature.  It is a mixture of polymer resins, acrylic, and filler material such as mineral particles.  Combined, they produced a beautiful, practical, workable, and repairable material that is extremely attractive as a kitchen counter. 

As a countertop, it is quite unique in that there are no visible seams or joints when the installation has been properly completed.  This not only means that the final product is quite appealing, but it also reduces the risk of the growth of bacterial, mold, and mildew within those tiny lines.  Similarly the backsplash and sink can also be joined with Formica solid surface countertops with no discernable seams or edges.

Can you install Formica solid surface countertops yourself?

Though the laminate countertops from Formica may be relatively do-it-yourselfer friendly, Formica solid surface countertops require a professional installation – especially if you’re hoping to keep the warranty valid and to ensure that your counter will last for many years to come.  Both the fabrication and the installation of Formica solid surface countertops require special training, tools, and skills, as it involves cutting and routing, as well as the bonding of the different segments so that the final product will be strong, secure, and beautiful.

The professional installer will also know to acclimate Formica solid surface countertops to the room before the installation takes place.  This allows the material to expand or contract within the environment of your kitchen before it is installed, to minimize the chance of this occurring once it has been set into place.

Who can install Formica solid surface countertops?

To make sure that you are choosing a contractor who will know about the various installation issues that can arise with Formica solid surface countertops, look for one who is a member of the International Solid Surface Fabricators Association (ISSFA).  These companies will generally support their products and their installations with a warranty in order to maintain a strong reputation.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt to check references, too.

These specialized installers will know about problems that are specific to the installation of Formica solid surface countertops and how to prevent them to ensure that they never occur in your home improvement project.  These include what is known as “stress risers”.  Since Formica solid surface countertops are brittle, it means that any little nicks or sharp corners could worsen standard countertop stresses.  As these stresses concentrate into a single area, they could cause the sheet to break.  Among specially trained fabricators and installers, this is common knowledge and is a problem that will be taken into account during your installation.

When it all comes down to it, Formica solid surface countertops are a high quality kitchen work surface.  By knowing about the material before you buy, and by choosing the right people to put it into place, you will be investing in a remodeling element that will bring beauty, practicality, and enjoyment to your kitchen for many years to come.

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