Countertops made of natural stone for the kitchen and bathroom are an enduring trend in home fashion. In fact, some homebuyers even regard it as a deal-breaker if the countertops are not made from granite, quartz, or a similar material. Nevertheless, there are also some significant disadvantages to countertops made from natural stone. For homeowners who want the look of natural stone without the hassles it can involve, there are solid surface countertops available.
Solid Surface Construction
Though stone-like in appearance, the solid surface countertop is a manmade material. Polyester resins, acrylic, or epoxy are combined with aluminum trihydrate. Pigments are added as well.
In addition to countertops, solid surface has applications for wall coverings as well. When ordering a solid surface countertop for your kitchen or bathroom, the sinks can be made from the same material, resulting in a perfectly integrated look.
Solid Surface Advantages
A solid surface gives you many more options than natural stone, particularly when it comes to color. Because pigments are added to the solid surface material, you can customize your countertop in just about any color you want.
Another major advantage of solid surface countertops over natural stone is that a solid surface can be crafted into custom shapes. This eliminates any seams in the material.
Natural stone is a porous material. This means that water and other liquids can permeate the crevices in the countertops, providing a place for bacteria or mold to grow. This can result in staining that is difficult to remove. Because solid surface material is nonporous, water and micro-organisms can not penetrate it. As a result, a solid surface countertop requires less maintenance.
Compared to the estimated price range of $40 to $250 per square foot for natural stone, solid surface countertops are a real bargain at $35 to $55 per square foot. A solid surface arguably represents a better value as well, as they tend to be more durable than natural stone countertops and are likely to last longer as a result.