Here is a quick summary of some helpful on-line articles on solid surface countertops.
Solid Surface Countertops: What's the Difference by Dena Amoruso on RealtyTimes.com [LINK]
This helpful article is a beginner's introduction to the world of solid surface countertops. In the article, Ms. Amoruso provides a working definition for solid surface countertops, as well as reviews on each available type of solid surface countertops. She defines solid surfacing as those without individual tiles [e]mbedded in grout‚. She then proceeds to recount the comments of Mr. David Lundquist, a prominent business owner and builder.
Lundquist reviews several kinds of solid surface countertops. On Formica, he says that it is valued because it is cheap and has a wide range of colors and designs. However, he also goes on to say that the surface is prone to scratching, denting and scorching. On granite slabs, Lundquist likes their durability and natural individuality. However, this individuality may also be the product's drawback. Some people get upset that their granite countertop does not look exactly like the sample that they saw. Also, there is the cost to consider: according to the article, a 16 square foot slab will cost between $700 and $800.
Countertops: Your Options by Kitchens.com [LINK]
This article is a compare-and-contrast article among all the available countertop surfaces. In it, Kitchens.com reviews each surface, citing its pros and cons. After each section, it suggests several maintenance tips for the surfacing material.¬ In the section on solid surfacing, the article likes that solid surfacing is easy to repair if dented or scratched. The article also notes the flexibility of solid surfacing, as well as its ability to form an integral sink. However, the article also notes that the surface tends to crack if hot pans or dishes are placed on it. The article also suggests the use of a cutting board, because solid surfaces scratch easily. Kitchens.com recommends the use of solid surfacing for irregularly shaped fixtures, saying that the flexibility of the surfacing material is maximized when used on these surfaces.
Care and Maintenance by AvoniteSurfaces.com PDF [LINK]
Once a solid surface countertop has been installed, this article may be the owner's best friend. It was written by one of the most trusted names in the solid surfacing industry, so it ought to know what it is talking about. For matte-finished solid surfaces, Avonite recommends a simple scrub with a nonabrasive sponge, soap and cold water. Scratches on these can be removed with 240 grit sand paper. For glossy solid surfaces, buffing it with a polishing compound ought to keep the finish spotless.
The article closes with some tips on what to do, and what not to do, on a solid surface countertop. According to the article, solid surfacing should never be stepped on, and hot items should be kept away from it. Using a trivet or a heating pad underneath a solid surface countertop will prevent it from cracking under heat.