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What are solid-surface countertops?

Solid-surface countertops are one of the most popular kitchen countertop choices because of their simple yet stylish look, smooth feel, and low maintenance. A typical solid-surface countertop is made of thin sheets of plastic laminated onto wood or any wood by-product. Some solid-surface kitchen countertops are made with a solid, heavy-duty plastic material designed to look like other common countertop surfaces, such as granite or wood.

Advantages and disadvantages

The main advantage of a solid surface countertop is its firmness. Color patterns and shades are very bright, sharp, and visible throughout the surface. Also, despite the firm construction, they are also easy to mold, making them great for fully customized countertop orders.

Special adhesives used for plastics can easily weld two separate pieces of solid surface material together. This makes solid surface countertops cleaner to connect and eliminates the need for traditional attachments such as nails and screw, which can disfigure the countertop.

In terms of durability, solid surface countertops do not disappoint. Solid surface countertops can withstand almost any type of impact, from heavy chopping to falling pots and pans. Most solid surface countertops are also nonporous, which makes them highly resistant to stains. It also prevents the growth of bacteria, mold, and other harmful organisms.

Solid surface countertops require very little maintenance and can easily be repaired. Scratches on the surface can be buffed off, cigarette burns can be sanded away, and food stains wipe away easily. Fractures and dents can be repaired with minor reconstruction and do not require professional help.

Solid surface countertops have some drawbacks as well. Concentrated and excessive heat, such as those coming from hot pans, pots, or kettles, can permanently damage the material. They are also weak against extreme cold. Temperatures below five degree Celsius can cause solid surface countertops to crack.

Types

Solid surface countertops are made of different types of plastic. Some make use of 100% arcylic, others are 100% polyester, and some are a combination of both. Most contractors recommend solid surface countertops with high acrylic content, because acrylic is more heat-resistant than polyester. However, high-acrylic countertops can be very expensive. You can expect to pay $700 to $800 to cover a 16 square foot kitchen counter.
 
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