Solid Surface Countertops: Know Before You Buy
Solid surface countertops have been around for decades and are a mainstay in kitchens and bathrooms. What might have once been considered trendy is now so established that few countertop materials, except for quartz, have managed to achieve the same status.
For homeowners on a budget who want a quality countertop, solid surface is a perfect mid-range material for durability, beauty, and easy maintenance. Homeowners who want to upgrade from laminate—but who still want an affordable countertop—often gravitate to solid surface material.
What Solid Surface Is
Solid surface is a synthetic countertop material that contains both minerals and resins. It is a homogeneous, through-body material that feels smooth and silky. It can be buffed to a matte finish or up to a high gloss.
Visually, solid surface lacks the depth of natural stone or even quartz. Solid surface does resemble stone far more than laminate does.
The word solid in solid-surface reinforces the idea that this is a stable base, unlike bouncy laminates mounted on medium-density fiberboard.
Solid Surface Material
Solid surface countertops are about 33-percent binding resins and 66-percent minerals. Those minerals are a bauxite derivative, aluminum trihydrate (ATH). ATH is a kind of fine, white powder that helps solid surface maintain its smooth consistency.
Contrast this with quartz counters, which are about 10-percent resins and the rest minerals. These minerals sometimes include marble and granite industrial waste and even ground-up mirrors and glass.
Solid surface materials began with DuPont’s Corian. The idea behind its invention was to have a surface that looked reasonably like natural stone, but unlike stone, would be non-porous. When you slice granite open, you will see a wild, chaotic conglomeration of particles forming the slab. While this is beautiful, it offers multiple avenues for cracking and breaking.
Acrylic vs. Polyester Solid Surface
Polyester-based solid surface counters are less expensive than acrylic-based solid surface counters. Some brands come in both acrylic and polyester versions. Polyester solid surface counters tend to impart more vibrant colors than acrylics. Acrylics work well if you need to do any special fabrication work, like thermoforming.
But the term solid has another meaning. Dupont’s true intent was to create a surface that was the same from top to bottom, a homogeneous product. This homogeneity is key in the high-abuse environment of a kitchen. With this, there are no layers of laminates that can de-laminate.
A cross-section of solid surface countertop shows that you can keep delving deeper into it and still get the same product. This is essential if you need to repair deep chips and scratches.
Solid surface’s homogeneous nature is sometimes equated with through-body porcelain tile: a type of tile that is made of the same material throughout, from top to bottom. This type of tile is best for high-traffic areas since this quality helps to hide scratches.
Pros and Cons
- Nearly non-porous: No surface is completely non-porous, but tile, quartz, and solid surface come as close to being non-porous as any countertop material. Solid surface’s extremely low porosity keeps bacteria away, promoting a cleaner and more sanitary countertop.
- Stone-like: While solid surface material will never be confused with natural stone, it’s a close simulation due to the minerals mixed into the resins.
- Homogeneous: Unlike laminate or ceramic tile, solid surface’s material goes all the way through, from top to bottom. As a result, it visually fares better after impact than a multi-layered product like laminate.
- Easy to repair: Solid surface will scratch if you cut on it. But with an orbital sander and fine grain sandpaper, even the homeowner can sand down scratches.
- Soft: Homeowners who have solid surface countertops should be extra careful to use cutting boards, as solid surface is relatively soft and can be scratched by knives and sharp utensils.
- Heat deformation: Solid surface can hold up against boiling water’s temperature of 212 F. But some solid surfaces will begin to deform at temperatures not much higher than that (250 F). This means that hot, dry pans (such as a frying pan, which is typically hotter than hot) and wet pans (such as a pot of pasta with boiling water) should not be placed on a solid surface counter.
- DIY-difficult: While easier to work with than natural stone or quartz countertops, solid surface material still isn’t easy for most do-it-yourselfers to work with.
Solid Surface vs. Other Countertop Materials
Cooks are restless, always searching for the perfect countertop material. The stainless steel counters of restaurant kitchens are highly valued by professionals but are not cost-effective or practical in residential kitchens. Solid surface is affordable by a majority of homeowners.
Others such as wood and ceramic tile have limitations. Wood is porous, hard to clean, and can develop a slimy feel. Ceramic tile, on an individual basis, is hard and non-porous. But when installed in numbers, grouted seams make food preparation more difficult. Except for invisibly welded seams, solid surface is smooth all the way across.
Expensive and prone to cracking, even the popular granite and marble options are far from perfect. Solid surface will never experience the same through-body cracks that sometimes affect natural stone.
Laminate surfaces such as Formica are a sandwich of paper or fabric impregnated with resin, all of that glued onto particleboard. Laminate easily chips and its appearance lacks depth.
Solid Surface Maintenance
Solid surface material scratches relatively easily. But buffing out the scratches is so simple, that even homeowners can resurface it with just an orbital sander.
Fix and resurface solid surface counters by beginning with fine-grain sandpaper, such as #220, on an orbital sander. Work progressively higher to finer grains. Many fabricators like to finish by sanding with a Scotch-Brite pad.
Avoid high-speed buffing of solid surface as this can cause the surface to melt.
The Spruce / Kevin Norris
Solid Surface Countertop Installation
Solid surface countertops are mostly installed by professionals, but they can be DIY-installed on a limited basis.
After the technician measures the top of the base cabinets for a fit, the solid surface slabs are cut down to size. Sink cut-outs and range cut-outs are made with a saw or router. Then, the edges are sanded smooth.
Adjoining solid surface slabs are glued end-to-end. The top is sanded down and honed to the desired finish.
Solid surface installers will have to create a sink cut-out to accommodate the sink. Request that they turn that waste cut-out piece into a cutting board by sanding down the edges and top surface. As this is waste material, most installers will oblige.
For the most part, solid surface countertop is not very DIY-friendly. You need to be an authorized retailer to purchase many brand-name solid surface materials. Along with that, solid surface materials are difficult to fabricate without special tools and expertise.
But some online companies act as resellers of discontinued and rejected solid surface materials, so they will sell to non-authorized buyers. Plus, some simple fabrication such as cutting straight lines or creating sink cut-outs can be done by do-it-yourselfers. So, some do-it-yourselfers should be able to install solid surface on a small scale, for bar tops or kitchenettes.
Joining solid surface slabs end-to-end is tricky, and that is why professional-grade solid surface is still best left in the hands of professionals.
Want to install your own kitchen countertop? Wood countertops are relatively easy to fabricate and install. Pre-laminated laminate countertops, often in stock at home centers, are sold in pre-determined sizes that require no cutting, other than for sink or range cutouts.
Solid Surface Brands
When Dupont’s patent expired, other companies rushed in to make Corian substitutes. Along with Corian, other popular brands of solid surface countertop materials include:
- Formica Solid Surfacing
Factors to look at when selecting a new countertop should include price, durability, heat resistance, ease of cleaning, required maintenance, and aesthetics.
A solid surface countertop is easy to maintain and looks timeless. Their most significant value is they’re nearly as durable as granite, marble, or quartz.
Solid surface countertops have many advantages. They have seamless joints and are not porous, resisting stains and bacteria. They’re hard, impact-resistant, and require very little maintenance. They’re easy to clean, and scratches can easily be sanded and buffed out.
Some disadvantages of solid surface countertops are that they are not heat- or chemical-resistant, meaning they can get discolored, damaged, or scorched. It is softer than granite and can get scratched. Solid surface countertops don’t detract from the resale value of a house, but they don’t add any extra value either.
Corian Solid Surface vs. Granite: Which Is Better
Choosing a kitchen countertop is an important choice since so much money is involved and because this is a purchase that you will be looking at every day for many years. Choosing a countertop is as much about appearance as it is about function. For many homeowners, the choice narrows down to a solid surface countertop material (such as Dupont’s Corian brand) or natural granite countertops.
Click Play to Learn the Difference Between Corian and Granite
Solid surface material and granite are both premium countertop materials that will return excellent value to the homeowners for years, plus each has good resale value. Beyond that, you will find that the two countertop materials vary greatly. In fact, the only attribute that both solid surface material and granite share is that they look somewhat alike—at least from a distance.
Corian Solid Surface
Solid Surface Corian vs. Granite
Corian Solid Surface
The name Corian is the Dupont Corporation’s brand name for its flagship solid surface countertop material. Because Corian was the first of the solid surface materials marketed for use as a countertop, the name often is used to refer to all solid surface materials, including brands made by other companies. Swanstone, Formica, Wilsonart, and several other companies all make their own forms of solid surface material, and virtually all of the virtues and drawbacks of Corian also apply to those other brands.
Corian and other solid surface countertop materials are fully synthetic products that are manufactured by mixing acrylic, epoxide, and polyester resins with various pigments and a filler material derived from natural bauxite, a sedimentary stone.
The difference between various brands lies in the specific blends of resins and the pigments used. Solid surface materials heavier in acrylic resins are usually considered superior products to those that have predominantly polyester resins.
Corian and other solid surface materials can be molded into a variety of shapes, but they are most commonly sold as sheets or slabs for use in fabricating countertops and other flat surfaces. Many, but not all, Corian styles have a speckled appearance similar to some forms of natural granite.
One advantage to Corian and other solid surface materials is that pieces can be glued together with a solvent so that the seams are entirely invisible. This gives the appearance of a huge, continuous slab of unseamed countertop.
Pure granite countertops are made from slabs of natural igneous stone that are sawn from huge blocks of quarried granite. The polished slabs are sold and shipped to various fabricators, who customize countertops and other building products from the stone.
Granite countertops come in many different colors and styles, depending on where the stone was quarried. Colors can range from a nearly total black to nearly pure white, with pinks, greens, yellows, browns, and even blue tones possible.
Many types of granite are blends of different colors. Granite countertops are noted for having random graining patterns that make every countertop truly unique. These are among the most expensive countertops you can buy, and they send a strong signal of luxury.
Natural vs. Engineered Stone
The term granite is sometimes mistakenly used to refer to other stone-based counter materials such as quartz (engineered stone). These are not the same as slab granite, which is solid stone without additional materials. Slab granite typically is not associated with specific brand names, while engineered stone is often sold under brand names such as Cambria, Silestone, and Caesarstone.
Corian Solid Surface
Corian and other brands of solid surface material are typically formulated so they have a speckling that is similar to some forms of natural stone, but most styles are considerably more subtle than the dramatic veining and color variations typically found in natural granite.
This smoother, more homogenous appearance can be an advantage where you don’t want the countertops to be a primary design feature—such as when you want gorgeous cabinetry to be the main feature of a kitchen.
Solid surface materials come in many different tones. Corian, for example, is available in more than 40 different styles, ranging from pale white to deep black, with yellow, brown, reddish, pink, and green tones. Many types are fairly solid colors, but newer offerings include some with quite dramatic granite- and marble-look patterns.
For some consumers, the uniformity of pattern and color in solid surface countertops is an advantage, while for others, solid surface materials have a more manufactured, artificial look.
The Spruce / Kevin Norris
Granite countertops are typically very dramatic, with color and pattern blends that are entirely unique to each countertop. Unlike a solid surface material, every slab of granite has a one-of-a-kind appearance.
These countertops shine as designed elements, drawing attention to themselves. Colors can range from palest white to darkest black, with an amazing diversity of colors in between. Bright blue, yellow, and red granites are available if you are willing to pay a premium price to have a countertop slab fabricated.
Some homeowners prefer the look of natural granite as being decidedly better than solid surface material—at least when the materials are viewed on their own. These people love the look of natural stone, with its color variation and deep luster.
But the drama of a granite countertop is not for everyone. The mottled and often bold coloring of granite can be a bit too busy for many decorating schemes. More notably, all of that color can do an annoyingly good job of hiding crumbs and smears on the countertop surface; often a granite top looks perfectly clean when it’s anything but.
The Spruce / Kevin Norris
Best for Appearance: Granite
When it comes to appearance, it is really a matter of personal choice, but most people will find the natural beauty of granite superior to the uniform appearance of solid surface material.
Water and Heat Resistance
Corian Solid Surface
Corian and other solid surface materials have excellent resistance to moisture. Corian can be scorched by hot pans, thus requiring the use of hot pads, trivets, or cutting boards to protect it from extreme heat.
Granite, although very hard, is a surprisingly porous stone, and it requires an initial sealing and periodic follow-up applications of sealer to keep moisture and stains from penetrating. As for heat-resistance, granite tends to do a bit better than solid surface material. You can set a hot pan on it without worry, in most cases, but red-hot skillets have been known to crack a granite countertop.
Best for Water and Heat Resistance: Tie
Solid surface material wins as the most water-resistance countertop material, but granite takes the top position when it comes to tolerance for heat.
Care and Cleaning
Both materials are essentially nonporous and are considered hygienic surfaces and easy to keep clean, unlike grout lines in tile.
Corian Solid Surface
Corian and other solid surface materials are quite easy to clean with soapy water or an ammonia-based detergent solution. You should not use glass cleaners, which can leave a waxy residue. To avoid water spots, dry the countertop thoroughly. No sealers are ever needed on a countertop made from solid surface material. Do not place hot pans directly on a solid-surface countertop. Staining agents should be wiped up immediately.
A simple soapy water solution is best for cleaning a granite countertop. Avoid the use of vinegar, window cleaners, or other acidic cleaners which can etch the surface of a granite countertop over time. Most stains on granite can be removed with a baking soda paste, but regular sealing of granite surfaces is recommended.
Best for Care and Cleaning: Solid-Surface Material
Corian and other solid surface countertops are generally easier to clean than granite because a greater range of cleaning products can be used to clean Corian.
Durability and Maintenance
Corian Solid Surface
Solid surface materials such as Corian are fairly easily scratched, but minor scratches and blemishes can be easily buffed out with an abrasive pad. Solid surface materials are softer than granite and thus more difficult to crack, and the material has no vulnerability to etching from acidic materials. It can be stained, but discolorations are usually fairly easy to scrub out.
Granite is difficult to scratch or damage with knife blades. But while granite is relatively scratch-proof, it is brittle and thus can crack quite easily. Granite is susceptible to etching from acidic materials, such as lemon juice and vinegar. Granite should be sealed every couple of years to minimize the risk of staining.
Best for Durability and Maintenance: Solid Surface Material
Both materials are quite durable, but solid surface material gets the top grade since it does not react to acidic materials and does not need regular sealing.
Both granite and solid surface countertops are usually professionally fabricated and installed.
Corian Solid Surface
Corian is a more forgiving material that is fairly easy to cut with ordinary woodworking tools. Do-it-yourselfers have been known to build their own countertops, though finding a source for buying the material can be challenging. Solid surface materials are generally not available at home centers in the same way that sheets of aminate are available in-stock You will need to find a specialty building supply outlet that caters to the professional market in order to buy materials yourself.
Corian countertops are created by cutting slabs of the necessary size, then forming built-up edges and joining seams with special solvent glues that melt the material together to form virtually invisible joints. The surface is sanded and polished smooth, and cutouts for sinks and other fixtures are cut, usually with a woodworking router.
Granite countertops are so heavy and difficult to cut that this work is virtually always performed by a fabricator who takes careful measurements, shapes the countertop slabs, then returns to your home to install the countertop. Seaming can be fairly well hidden, but the joints between slabs will always be evident to the sharp eye.
Best for Installation: Solid Surface Material
Although both types of countertops are generally fabricated and installed by professionals, solid surface material is considerably easier to work with than granite.
Corian Solid Surface
The cost of solid surface countertops averages about $60 per square foot, installed. But solid surface can cost as much as $120 per square foot when fabrication is complicated or when special colors or patterns are selected. The material itself, purchased in sheet form, costs $35 and up per square foot, plus the costs for the epoxy glue to join seams.
Granite countertops are usually purchased with materials and labor as part of the same bid. The installer generally computes this by adding the cost of the materials ($40 to $100 per square foot for the granite slab), plus a labor cost of $35 to $85 per hour. In total, you can usually get a granite countertop installed for $70 to $100 per square foot, on the low end. You may pay up to $200 per square foot for unique colors and styles of granite.
Keep in mind that this price is for slab granite, not granite tile. Tile is much cheaper and offers the option of do-it-yourself installation. Tile granite, though, does mean grout lines, which most people want to avoid on a kitchen countertop.
Best for Cost: Solid Surface Material
Solid surface countertops are less expensive than granite countertops.
Corian Solid Surface
Corian and other solid surface materials are generally warranted for 10 years; but in practice, they can easily last 30 years or more. Scratches and burns—or simply the need to change styles—may eventually make you want to replace these countertops.
Granite countertops are one of the most durable of all materials, and lifespans of 50 years are not uncommon.
Best for Lifespan: Granite
Granite countertops have an even longer lifespan than solid surface materials, which are also quite durable.
Corian Solid Surface
Once regarded as a high-end, premium countertop, solid surface material has seen its reputation slip somewhat as engineered stone (quartz) countertops have emerged as the favorite second-tier countertop material after natural stone.
But Corian and other solid surface materials are still thought of as superior to the other two most popular countertop materials—laminates and ceramic tile.
Granite slab countertops are almost always viewed as a good investment when it comes to increasing the sale value of your home. But be aware that granite tile or modular granite does not have nearly as much prestige as solid slabs. And many of today’s engineered stone countertops have almost the same real estate value as granite.
How to Choose: Corian vs. Granite Countertops
As much as Corian and other solid surface countertop materials may look like granite at first glance, when you parse the two, you see that they are separate types of counters for different needs.
Why You Might Want Corian
If you want a simple, lower cost yet attractive countertop with practically no maintenance issues, Corian solid surface will be for you. Corian is the heavier, solid-feeling alternative to laminate and tile. You’ll also need to be comfortable with occasionally sanding out light scratches with fine-grit sandpaper or hiring countertop technicians to do so.
Few subsequent homebuyers will object to Corian solid surface, yet they will not hold it in the same regard as quartz, engineered stone, or granite.
Why You Might Want Granite
If you want a high-end countertop material with unique, head-turning looks, and cost is less of a concern, then granite may be the right choice for you. Slab granite will always feel heavier and more solid than Corian. It won’t scratch as easily Also, if you don’t mind the occasional maintenance duty, such as surface sealing, then granite might be the countertop for you.
Natural stone countertops such as granite still hold the top slot in terms of the most desirable countertop material, but the lower cost and great performance of solid surface Corian material make it worthy of consideration.
5 worthy options – INMYROOM
Artificial and natural stone, laminated chipboard, MDF – we talk about the most practical materials with which cooking will turn into a real pleasure
Countertop – the “workhorse” of your kitchen: on its surface
bear the maximum load. At the same time, the tabletop should remain beautiful,
fit the concept of the entire kitchen and is easy to clean from dirt. Modern
manufacturers offer various options for the execution of countertops for the kitchen. To
facilitate your choice, we learned from the chief architect of the bureau “Capital” Elena
Bulagina about the advantages and disadvantages of each material for countertops.
Elena Bulagina –
architect. Graduated with honors from the Samara State
architectural and civil engineering university. Creates interiors for residential and
public spaces in Moscow, Samara, Kaliningrad, Vladivostok, Kyiv. IN
At the moment – Leading Architect-Designer at the architectural bureau “Kapitel”
1. Artificial acrylic stone
Acrylic stone invented by DuPont scientists in
1967 and patented under the Corian brand in 1968. Its popularity is associated
with a feature of the structure – there are no micropores in it. Therefore, the stone is smaller
contaminated and eliminates the formation of bacteria and fungus. Feels warmer to the touch
Thanks to the seamless production technology, the worktop can
be of any shape and length. For minor scratches or cuts, it can be
polished with a regular grinder.
Pros: the price is lower than that of natural stone. He is resistant to
household chemicals and easy to clean. Manufacturers offer a wide range of colors – from imitation of natural stone to floral patterns. The surface can be matte or glossy.
Minuses: stone is afraid of high temperatures. If put
hot dishes on the countertop, there may be a trace. From knife cuts and
moving heavy dishes also causes scratches. Not recommended for cleaning
use abrasive detergents.
2. Artificial quartz stone
The most famous production technology is Bretonstone, it is patented
in 1983. And it is a combination of particles of quartz and resin. Externally, the stone looks like natural, but is devoid of its shortcomings.
Pros: is not afraid of high temperatures. You can safely bet
hot dishes on the countertop without fear of damaging them. She is more resistant to
abrasive cleaning materials and washing liquids. Differs in durability.
Cons : all technological
holes must be made in advance at the factory on special equipment. Refurbish
it won’t work at home. The countertop has a significant weight and the price is more
high compared to acrylic. And in the places where the quartz plates are joined, a visible seam may appear.
3. Natural stone
One of the most common and oldest materials for countertops. Depending on the structure, it has different properties. Stone with a porous structure – for example, marble, limestone, travertine – require more
careful handling. And less porous and more dense granite is more practical in
use. But its color palette is poorer than that of marble.
Onyx has interesting design characteristics – it
transmits light. Such a tabletop can be effectively illuminated.
Pros: is durable and fairly easy to care for. Resistant to
moisture, mechanical stress and high temperatures. In the kitchen he looks
always appropriate and attractive.
Cons: this countertop is expensive and heavy. Because of
the complexity of installation will require a specialist. In addition, at the first acquaintance with the stone,
forget about its uniqueness.
4. Laminated chipboard
The most economical option. Used in the production of chipboard
shavings of wood and resin. At high temperature and pressure, the chipboard is lined with plastic,
and then film. Additionally covered with a special varnish resistant to
moisture and mechanical damage.
Pros: low price, sufficient strength and a variety of colors
gamma. Differs in moisture resistance and impact resistance, is not afraid of hot dishes.
Minuses: at the junction of the tabletop to the wall, processing is required
sealant joints. Complex shapes cannot be connected without a visible seam. And with mechanical damage it will not work
5. Laminated MDF
MDF – medium density fibreboard, over
durable material when compared with chipboard. Used in production
wood fibers and binding materials – paraffin and lignin. MDF surface
lined with laminate, which is also called HPL-plastic, using technology
postforming. As a result, the laminated worktop becomes heat-resistant and resistant to damage.
Pros: it is easy to install and lighter. Can
choose a realistic imitation of natural materials, which makes it great
alternative to expensive stone. Easy to maintain and affordable.
Disadvantages: must be filled with a water-repellent sealant when assembling – otherwise water may cause deformation. Deep cuts can also cause warping due to water getting into the MDF structure. Hot dishes can damage the top layer, and when cutting food, use a kitchen board. It is better not to use abrasive agents, active
alkaline and acidic compounds so that stains do not appear on the surface of the laminate.
What is the best material for kitchen worktops?
Listen to the advice of professionals, evaluate your budget and choose the perfect solution for your home.
Over the past few years, the number of options for decorating kitchen worktops has grown exponentially – now it’s a real possibility to find a material that will fit your design requirements, lifestyle and budget. But how do you figure out what is really right for you? We asked leading designers to share their experience and preferences. Save your ideas.
The video listed the main recommendations from the pros!
Vlada Masorina: “At the moment, quartz is the best option for me in many respects”
“Recently, I have taken a liking to making countertops and aprons out of quartz. At the moment, quartz is the best option for me in many ways. To begin with, quartz is a very durable and wear-resistant material, which is important for this zone. The second plus is a wide variety of textures and the ability to choose a pattern that is as similar as possible to natural stone. Moreover, I am not a supporter of using natural stone for kitchen countertops: it can absorb coloring matter.
A fragment of the kitchen. Project author: Vlada Masorina. Style: Julia Chebotar. Photo: Dina Alexandrova.
It is now fashionable to make worktops with a thickness of no more than 2 cm – this solution is elegant and light. This implies another advantage of quartz (now over acrylic) – this is the ability to make the minimum thickness. And if you also make an apron from this material, then you can do without docking sides around the perimeter, which looks more aesthetically pleasing and integral. The photo shows a countertop and an apron made of the same type of quartz: the craftsmen selected the pattern so that it smoothly transitions from a horizontal surface to a vertical one.
Quartz is not afraid of detergents and is unpretentious in care, so it will last for many years in its original form. There is only one nuance in working with quartz – we need good installers!”
Daria Pushkina: “For projects, I most often choose between acrylic “stone”, quartz agglomerate and dekton”
“The countertop in the kitchen is the most exploited and exposed part of the interior, so it’s definitely not worth saving on it. If the budget is limited, it is better to provide facades with simpler and more budget fittings (but from a reliable manufacturer), and choose the highest quality countertop.
It is impossible to unequivocally answer the question: what is the best material for the countertop: when choosing, we always rely on the budget, and on the operating conditions, and on the stylistic solution of the interior.
For projects, I often choose between acrylic “stone”, quartz agglomerate and dekton. Unlike natural stone and wood, these artificially created materials do not require special care.
The most budgetary of these three is acrylic “stone”. It has its advantages: seamlessness, the possibility of using an integrated sink – a very convenient option for cleaning, hygiene – the material is not porous and does not absorb liquids and oils.
A fragment of the kitchen. Project author: Daria Pushkina. Style: Julia Chebotar. Photo: Mikhail Stepanov.
The main disadvantages of acrylic are: it is easily scratched and pricked (however, it is also easily restored), it does not withstand very high temperatures, and acrylic is not so good at imitating natural stone. If the project has an acrylic countertop, I choose lighter shades where the inevitable scratches will be the least noticeable. There are a lot of manufacturers of acrylic stone, and I advise you to choose not from the cheapest, but from those that have proven themselves on the market.
If the budget allows, I recommend that my clients prefer quartz agglomerate to acrylic. It is much stronger and more resistant to mechanical damage, and also does not absorb any liquids. This material has a wide variety of patterns, and the imitation of natural stone is very believable, and there is also a choice of three textures: glossy, matte and rough. The disadvantages of quartz stone include joints. I do not consider this a big drawback, since they are completely invisible. And the quartz agglomerate does not withstand very high temperatures: that is, if you put a hot frying pan on the countertop, a stain will remain.
And finally, the dekton. It costs a little more than quartz agglomerate, but it has great advantages: it cannot be scratched and it is absolutely resistant to very high temperatures. Decton also offers a large selection of shades and different types of textures. The table top made of this material can be very thin and can be mounted flush with the facades, which looks so attractive in interiors of modern style.”
Elzhbeta Chegarova: “In granite, you can make and process a hole for mounting a sink from below – the best option for a kitchen”
“If you do not take into account individual criteria (any kitchen has them), but to talk about the best material for countertops in general, then my choice is granite. I love this material very much: natural stone looks expensive, lasts forever: unlike marble, granite is not afraid of either thermal loads or exposure to acidic and coloring substances (wine, coffee).
Contrary to popular belief, the color palette of granite is extensive (except for white shades): from sand and brown colors to red and even blue, and gray and black slabs have no equal! I really like surfaces with “antique” treatment, in this case the stone is not polished to a mirror gloss, but acquires a noble, tactilely pleasant, matte effect.
Unlike many popular wooden countertops, granite can be drilled and machined to mount a sink from below – the best option for a kitchen. Here we must remember that granite is easy to clean and is not affected by fungi and microorganisms.
There are also disadvantages. Firstly, the high cost, especially rare stone patterns, although there are quite budget options in the granite family – if you wish, you can find inexpensive slabs. Secondly, granite slabs have length restrictions, and the delivery of the product to the apartment must be planned carefully, taking into account their weight and fragility during transportation. And the last thing is the connecting seams, which, however, are practically invisible with proper installation.
Kira Stefan: “For my projects I mostly use agglomerate or acrylic”
“All materials are interesting in their own way: each has its pluses and minuses – there is no one ideal. And the choice very much depends on the budget of the project and aesthetic, visual and conceptual tasks.
For my projects I mostly use agglomerate or acrylic. The advantage of acrylic is obvious: you can make a one-piece cast shell. There is also a large palette of colors and very beautiful imitations of marble and even wood. Acrylic does not require special care and is repairable: even severe scratches can be removed. Perhaps, of the minuses, I can name only a rather complicated installation and instability to acids.
Kitchen interior. Project author: Kira Stefan.
Agglomerate is good because it is very durable, not afraid of liquids and has high heat resistance. But if the sink is solid, then cutting a hole with rounded corners or a round shape in the countertop will not work. And the agglomerate is not amenable to restoration.
I recently tried a new material – stainless steel: a good material for modern solutions. But not cheap and requires maintenance.
Anna Makaykina: “Quartzite or quartz agglomerate is ideal for modern requirements”
“Today, the main reasonable trend is the desire for environmental friendliness and safety of the material and, of course, beauty. Under these modern requirements, quartzite or quartz agglomerate is ideal. The latter is a very durable material, which consists of 90% natural minerals, so it is almost impossible to damage the countertop from it. You can even cut food without fear of leaving scratches. Material resistant
in temperature fluctuations, it’s not scary to put a hot frying pan on it: there will be no consequences. Thanks to this property, it is easily used in summer kitchens and terraces.
Appearance perfectly imitates natural stone of expensive breeds – onyx, marble, agate. This allows you to create a respectable interior even with a small budget.
When creating a countertop, no MDF or chipboard substrate is needed, respectively, the thickness of the countertop can be set according to the project, both narrow and wide, which cannot but please the designer.
Of the minuses, I also note that this material is not adaptive: it is impossible to avoid visible joints of the plates in the corner connection. Also, because of this property, you cannot create a bent product, a round radius, or a streamlined protrusion. And it will always be cold to the touch, even at high temperatures. And in case of damage, although it is practically impossible, it cannot be partially restored.