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November 20, 2017

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Solid Surface Countertops 

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solid surface countertopsKitchen remodeling projects are including solid surface countertops on an increasing basis.  This is because there are so many features that can contribute to this investment in your home.  For example, some of the most common selling features of solid surface countertops include the fact that they are nonporous, low maintenance, and easy to repair.  

They’re manufactured by pouring acrylic, pieces of stone, resin, and other types of chemicals into a mold in order to form counter sheets that can be customized to suit any kitchen’s shape and style.  Therefore, many people see solid surface countertops as a wonderful substitute to natural stone and wood surfaces.  That said, solid surface  countertops are no exception to the rule that states that every type of counter material has its down sides.  Have a look at both the benefits and the drawbacks of solid surface countertops before you make your final decision.

The benefits of solid surface countertops

The following are some of the more positive elements of solid surface countertops as a part of your kitchen:

  • Nonporous – solid surface countertops are made in a single piece, including the backsplash.  It is also possible to join them with the sink to eliminate gaps.  This means that seams and spaces that occur with other materials will not be present, dramatically reducing the possibility of mold, mildew, and bacterial growth.
  • Durability – the strong, seamless nature of solid surface countertops gives it a consistency throughout the sheet.  This means that there won’t be any cracks or chips that can start further damage.  This material is also more impact resistant than many other kinds of counters.
  • Scratch and scrape resistance and repair – not only are solid surface countertops resistant to scratching and scraping, but they can also be easily removed when they do happen.  Some lighter scuffs can be buffed out by hand.  Something a little bit deeper can be removed with a gentle sanding. This is a rare feature in counter materials.
  • Ease of cleaning and maintenance – stains quickly and easily wipe away.  Cleaning is simple with soapy water or a very mildly abrasive household cleaner.  No additional treatments or sealing are ever required.
  • Design versatility – Due to the way that solid surface countertops are manufactured, they can offer a tremendous number of colors and patterns, as well as edge styles that can suit your taste and style.  There are even options that mimic different types of wood and stone such as granite. The method of manufacture enables it to be created to suit and fit into any space and is easily customized.

The drawbacks of solid surface countertops

With all of those benefits, it’s easy to feel that solid surface countertops are virtually perfect.  While they are great for many kitchens, it is still important to recognize that there are some drawbacks, as well.

  • Heat and gouge damage – deep scratches and high heats can cause serious damage to solid surface countertops that cannot be sanded or buffed away.  In fact, too much heat can not only scorch and discolor the surface but, in more extreme circumstances, it can crack the sheet as it is first touched.
  • Strong chemical damage – only mild chemical cleansers should be used on solid surface countertops.  More powerful chemicals such as paint removers, nail polish removers, lacquer thinners, and oven cleaners can cause irreparable damage to the counters.
  • Higher price - solid surface countertops can be costly, and the installation must be performed by a professional in almost every circumstance, to insure the best results as well as the durability of the piece.  That said, professional installation of solid surface countertops usually ensures a good long-term warranty.  The price of installation of solid surface countertops can start at anywhere from $50 to $200 per square foot of the sheet.

Solid surface countertops can be a terrific kitchen remodeling improvement to suit your décor and to give yourself a practical food preparation workspace.  As you consider this option, don’t forget to keep both the benefits and the drawbacks in mind.

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