Delorie Countertops & Doors opened in Pompano Beach, FL in 1999. Since then we have continued to grow into one of the premier countertop fabricators and cabinet door, component and cabinetry distributors in Southeast Florida.
Solid Surface Countertops
In the 50 years since their invention, solid surface countertops have become one of the most popular materials in kitchens and bathrooms worldwide. Once a trendy but niche option, solid surface acrylic has achieved popularity beyond even the granite, it was created to mimic. It’s not hard to see why; solid surface acrylic marries the gorgeous colors and natural stone patterns with the affordability and ease of installation of other acrylics. As a result, solid surface countertops are the perfect mid-range option for the savvy homeowner, less expensive than stone but much more attractive than basic laminate.
The origins of solid surface countertops date back to the mid-1960s at DuPont. The initial idea was to create a countertop surface with all the advantages of stone – the colors, patterns, and toughness – but with one significant improvement: it would be nonporous. The chaotic particles that make a stone so beautiful also make it easy to crack, weakening the material. The porousness of natural stone countertops also makes them vulnerable to water damage and allows bacteria to sneak into the holes in the surface, creating an unhygienic and sometimes even dangerous cooking environment.
Solid surface countertops were also designed to avoid some of the weaknesses of other artificial countertop materials, like laminate. Laminate materials are made of synthetic sheets on top of particleboard, making them easier to damage. On the other hand, solid surface countertops are the same down, providing a much sturdier base. It also means they’re much easier to repair. The fact that laminate designs are only on the top layer of the surface means that laminate countertops are impossible to repair if scratched or chipped. On the other hand, solid surface countertops can be easily ground or sanded down past the chips and scratches while still maintaining the same appearance.
What Are Solid Surface Countertops Made Of?
Unlike laminate, which is made by combining separate layers of acrylic and wood, solid surface countertops are created in a single material that can be shaped and molded to fit any area. Aluminum trihydrate (ATH) is mixed with various binding resins and pigments; then heat is applied to bind the whole thing together chemically. The result is a single, nonporous material that can be cut, sanded, and molded into any shape your kitchen or bathroom requires. While most solid surface countertops are created to look like granite or other stones, there’s quite a bit of variety in the styles available today. You can get concrete surface countertops that look like stone, sleek solid white, or anything in between.
Comparing Solid Surface Countertops to Other Materials
As a savvy consumer, you should always make a point of comparing your options to make sure you’re getting the best possible solution for you. Here are a few advantages that solid surface countertops have over some of their most common competitors:
Stainless steel countertops are trendy among professional chefs because they’re easy to clean and challenging to damage, holding up under even the roughest meal prep. The sleek, reflective appearance of stainless steel also attracts many consumers looking for a modern or industrial look. However, the cost is the primary barrier when it comes to stainless steel. Steel is costly, and the difficulty of installing it means that it often comes with higher labor costs as well. Solid surface countertops, on the other hand, are easily affordable for any consumer.
Ceramic tile is another popular option for countertops. Like solid surface materials, ceramic is durable and nonporous, making it easy to clean. However, the grouted seams between each tile can make cooking difficult and tends to collect bacteria. Solid surface countertops are entirely seamless. Ceramic is also more likely to crack through and can’t be repaired by sanding as solid surface countertops can.
Granite and marble are both beautiful, stylish options for a kitchen or bathroom countertop. However, the cost of materials for real stone will be significantly higher than solid surface countertops. Durability is also a concern for granite and marble, as the stone is vulnerable to through-body cracks that render the countertop unusable and unfixable. Solid surface countertops don’t share these vulnerabilities, and any cracks or chips that do appear can be easily repaired.
No countertop surface will be 100% perfect, and each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a quick summation of the pros and cons of opting for a solid surface countertop:
Nonporous: While no surfaces are 100% nonporous, solid surface countertops are as close as you can get to a completely sealed-off cooking space. That means a cleaner and more sanitary countertop, with nowhere for bacteria to hide. Nonporous surfaces are also much more resistant to water damage, which means no mold is growing inside the countertop.
Fully Solid: As the name suggests, solid surface countertops are completely solid from top to bottom. This is an advantage over laminate and ceramic tile, which have base layers made of wood or other materials. That means solid surface countertops tend to fare better after any damage.
Easy to Repair: Like any material, solid surface countertops can be scratched or chipped by knives or other kitchen implements. However, any damage to the counter’s surface can easily be sanded away with an orbital sander, which means you won’t even have to call somebody to repair it.
Easily Scratched: This is less of a big issue since scratches are pretty simple to repair, but solid surface countertops are relatively soft and can be easily scratched with a knife. Anyone with a solid surface countertop should be sure to use a cutting board while chopping food.
Heat Damage: Solid surface countertops can be deformed or damaged by temperatures above 250 degrees Fahrenheit, which means pots and pans right off the stove should be placed on a heat-resistant pad or another surface.
Give Us a Call
If you’re interested in adding a solid surface countertop to your kitchen or have more questions, please give us a call at (954) 970-7661 or stop by our locations in Pompano Beach or Vero Beach. At Delorie Countertops & Doors, we have over 20 years of experience remodeling kitchens and bathrooms, and we’re eager to bring that experience to work for you. So the kitchen or bathroom of your dreams is only a call away!