Solid Surface Countertops (Design Guide | Pros & Cons)

Here’s our guide to solid surface countertop design, including kitchen and bathroom ideas, costs, materials, colors, top brands, pros and cons.

Solid surfaces are an excellent choice of worktops for different areas of the house, especially in the bathroom and kitchen.

Solid surface countertops are an inexpensive way to get beautiful countertops, with a wide variety of colors and patterns to choose from.

There are different types of solid surface countertops, each with their own advantages and disadvantages that can be addressed, the options can be found below.

What is a fixed countertop?

Solid surface is the most commonly used material for worktops. The solid surface is a non-porous material that is ideal for worktops near water or where liquids may be spilled.

Solid surface countertops are known for their visual qualities compared to natural materials. It is a material known for its durable and easily repairable properties.

Solid material of worktops

The material making up the solid surface is composed of different elements, namely 33 % binders and 66 % minerals or fillers.

Some of these materials are : Aluminium oxide trihydrate (ATH) or bauxite derivative as filler, resins and pigments based on acrylic or polyester. Other elements can be added to give the hard surface a different aesthetic.

Types of hard surface indicators

There are different methods to make different types of hard surfaces. These types of hard surfaces have slightly different qualities, properties and prices.

Solid surface acrylic base

Acrylic rigid foam is a lower quality, shinier, but more durable form of rigid foam.  The seams of acrylic plastic are practically invisible and also very unlikely to the user.

The solid acrylic surface can be bent into tighter angles and curves, which is good for countertops with sinks.

Although acrylic tends to have less vibrant colors, it is less susceptible to UV rays and fading than the polyester surfaces listed below. Acrylic is a new product that most manufacturers now want to offer.

Solid polyester-based surfaces

Polyester solid surface is the cheapest of the options, but is considered an inferior product.

The solid polyester surface guarantees high gloss and vivid colours. Polyester tends to be a little more fragile in manufacture and may have seams that come loose.

Surface meter for hard surfaces Advantages and disadvantages

Solid surfaces are a great choice for countertops, and the professionals really show it, the most important ones being the following.

Non-porous : The solid surface material is highly resistant to water, stains and bacteria, resulting in an extremely hygienic surface. The hard surface is a good material for countertops in bathrooms and kitchens because it is not porous.

In the long run: Due to the homogeneity of the hard surface, the materials flow through the part. This results in a long service life, as changes or wear over time are not visible as the material is continuous.

Easy to repair: Cracked solid surface worktops can be repaired with one of the do-it-yourself kits on the market. Repairing small hairline cracks can be as simple as using stuff you already have around the house. You can also call a professional to have your countertop repaired.

Unfortunately, despite all these advantages, hard surfaces also have some disadvantages.  Some of these drawbacks include the following.

Tangible damage: The hard surface is quite weak and soft, so it can get scratches and scuffs if you are not careful. Use cutting boards and other protective equipment to prevent damage. If you have a damaged surface, this is a relatively simple repair.

Not heat resistant: When placing objects on a hard surface, make sure they are not hot. Extreme heat can warp solid countertops, and while most damage is easily repaired, molten solid surface does not fall into this category.

Colours of carbide counterparts

The solid surface material is available in a wide range of colours and patterns.

Shades of wood: The solid wood-look surface is available in different colour shades, depending on the manufacturer.

Solid: Solid colours exist in all colours of the spectrum. Each manufacturer has its own offering, but most products can be adapted to taste.

The Stone Age: With a hard surface, you can make it look like marble, quartz, granite, slate, etc. The textures and appearance are not exactly the same, but it is an exact copy for half the price.

Models: There are many different models depending on the manufacturer, some are speckled, striped, marbled, etc.

Solid surface washstand costs

Solid surface countertops are one of the best ways to save money while maintaining aesthetic quality. In general, the best things are expensive, but solid surfaces are less expensive than natural stone, but have similar properties, including strength and durability.

Hard surfaces cost about $52 to $120 per square foot. There are certain factors that can make the price go up or down.

Size can be an important factor in the price of a solid surface countertop. The more materials required, the higher the price and the higher the installation costs.

Larger sizes may require more seams and more edges, which can increase the overall cost. Another factor may be the location and any other form of modification that may be part of the design.

Solid surface countertops fall in the middle in terms of aesthetics and price, which is a very common decision when it comes to weighing the pros and cons of a higher finish versus a lower finish.

Solid Surface is a great compromise that offers everything you need for your countertops at once.

Kitchen worktops from solid surface material

Using solid surface countertops in the kitchen is a good thing, especially when it comes to sinks. An acrylic-based solid surface worktop offers the right shape, with non-porous and durable properties.

A lot of water spills often occur in the kitchen, making these features extremely important. Be careful when placing hot pots and pans on a hard surface, as the surface may burn, which is not easily repairable.

Small scratches and scuffs can be repaired, making this hard surface a good choice for use in areas such as the kitchen.

Solid surfaces for bathroom worktops

Solid surface countertops installed in bathrooms throughout the house are good, both in terms of functionality and price.

As mentioned earlier, the acrylic-based solid surface countertop offers an ideal shape for the sink location. Just like in the kitchen, bathrooms are exposed to large amounts of water and spilled liquids and solids, so a non-porous quality is important here too.

The bathroom has a large use area, making the durability and ease of repair features extremely useful.

Fixed surface marks

The hard surface occurs in many places and in many different qualities. They can be purchased directly from the manufacturer or from local do-it-yourself and design shops.

Some of the best and most common brands are listed below. This is just a small list that only hints at what is available.

Solid surface in Corian : Corian is often the first brand you think of when you think of solid surfaces. It was indeed one of the first companies to produce solid surfaces. Corian is made of natural materials mixed with acrylic.

Wilsonart’s hard surface: Wilsonart is generally known for its plastic laminates, but has also released hard surfaces in conjunction with its plastic laminates. Wilsonart uses an acrylic base for its solid surface countertops. Wilsonart creates a beautiful surface that mimics both wood and stone materials.

The formula is Solid Surface: Formica is another brand that started out as a plastic laminate and got a hard surface.  Formica also uses an acrylic base for its solid surface countertops.

For cleaning hard worktop elements

Cleaning a hard surface is relatively easy, in most cases it is sufficient to wipe the worktop with hot soapy water. This type of cleaning can be done daily.

Although the solid surface is a non-porous material, a film can form if water is left on it for too long, giving it a finished look and allowing spills to be cleaned up.

For thorough cleaning, ammonia-based cleaners or special cleaning agents for countertops can be used. This can help remove film or deposits that may build up over time.

Use circular motions when cleaning your countertops, this is best for daily cleaning, just do it with a washcloth, it doesn’t have to be harder than that.

Dark solid surface worktops tend to require more frequent cleaning than light solid surface worktops. Sink drains need to be cleaned more thoroughly every few weeks, which may require the use of bleach.

For another related article, check out our gallery of cultured marble countertops here.

frequently asked questions

Is a hard surface a good countertop?

The solid surface is the ideal material for mid-range worktops. Buyers who are not interested in laminate but are still looking for a cheap countertop often choose a material with a solid surface. It is one of the few materials for countertops that a homeowner can only work on with an orbital sander.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of corian countertops?

Solid surfaces (Corian, etc.) Advantages : Durable and smooth surface, can seamlessly integrate sinks and splashes, easy to sand to remove stains or scratches, many colors and pattern options, can mimic other materials such as concrete and marble. Delays: Can be easily damaged by heat, scratches and dents easily, can stain.

What are the best solid surface worktops?

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