Solid-Surface Kitchen Countertop

An alternative to stone, this manufactured material is a versatile and elegant option.
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By: Kim Hildenbrand

Stylish, nonporous and easy to maintain, solid surface countertops are a great choice for busy kitchens. The durable surface resists heat and rarely stains—and if marking occurs, it can be buffed out. Their resistance to mold and mildew make solid surface counters popular for food prep spots. Choose from a variety of colors and patterns. As the name implies, the surface is not coated but contains color all the way through.

With its seamless appearance, solid surface countertops are always an attractive option. Today's designs take style to the next level by mimicking materials such as granite, quartz, concrete and glass. The surface is also going glam with new reflective metallic colors imbued with gold or silver chips.

What Is It? Solid surfacing is an acrylic-based manufactured product composed of minerals, resins and pigments.

Solid-Surface Kitchen Countertops

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Durable, Low-Maintenance Surface

Nonporous solid-surface countertops are durable and easy to maintain, with no sealing required. This stylish surface, a brand new color, is a blend of green and brown, with gold metallic sparkles. Shown: Basil. Photo courtesy of DuPont Corian®

Luxurious and Versatile

A versatile choice, solid surfaces — crafted from acrylic resins and natural materials — can be bent and shaped during fabrication. A range of color and pattern choices makes it easy to get a custom look. Shown: Shasta. Photo courtesy of Hanex Solid Surfaces

Seamlessly Integrated Sink

Solid surface countertops are ideal for integrated sinks and backsplashes and custom designs such as drain boards and inlays. The surface is nonporous and seams are waterproof. Photo courtesy of Wilsonart International

Eco-Friendly Construction

This stylish countertop is a pioneer: the first branded solid surfacing material to contain post-consumer recycled content. The surface is available in six earth tones. Shown: e Series Solid Surfacing, Natural. Photo courtesy of Formica Corporation

All-Purpose Surface

Hardworking, durable, and easy to clean, solid surface countertops are a good choice for any area of the kitchen, from baking centers to eating areas. Photo courtesy of LG Hausys America, Inc.

Considerations When Choosing Solid-Surface Countertops

Thickness and Edges. Solid surface is a half-inch thick. The edge can be shaped and routed into virtually limitless options.

Eco-Friendly Options. Solid surface countertops that contain 15 percent recycled content are now available. Made from both reclaimed solid surfacing (pre-consumer) and Styrofoam cups and packaging (post-consumer), the surface is something we can all feel good about.

Maintenance. Wipe the countertop with a soft cloth and warm water daily. Mild household cleansers are suitable.

Pros. Durable. Heat and water resistant. Won't stain. Inhibits stains, mold, mildew and bacteria. Looks consistent. Minor imperfections can be sanded out. Comes in a range of color and patterns. No underlay required. Seamless installation. No sealing required.

Cons. Sharp knives and hot pans can damage the surface. Fewer color options than laminate. Can be pricey.

Price. $35 to $100 per square foot, installed

The Bottom Line. With a cost somewhere between stone and laminate, solid surface brings good looks and performance to any kitchen. It's ideal for any area in the room, from baking areas to prep islands.

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