All you need to know about Solid Surface Materials

 

If you want a super-contemporary look made of durable, nearly non-porous material, easy to maintain and so stylish, look no further. Solid surface materials can be whatever you imagine it can be, and all that with a small budget. Because its characteristics offer interior designers great opportunities, and freedom in creation, almost everything imaginable is possible to create.

Great for bathrooms, kitchens, and other spaces in your home.

Solid surface, bathtubssinks, and counter tops are available in many, many colors and patterns. They are easy to work with, seamless in appearance, comfortable to the touch, and renewable. It has so many advantages. The versatility of a solid surface can be used to create many things.

You don't need a big budget to make your bathroom or kitchen look more expensive than it is. It only takes a little imagination to design a perfect worktop or design your dream bathroom in which you will add the perfect finishing touch with just only one change…

Variegated or veined patterns, goldish one or wood grain patterns?

If you are going for the look, and not so much the "status" countertops and sinks  made of solid surface material is perfect for you. Did you know that there are solid surface materials on the market that look identical to marble? There are also brands that offer translucent colors (ideal for backlighting  dramatic effect).You can choose between smooth solid color surfaces or you can pick one of many combinations of colors and indescribably beautiful patterns.

 

All your design aspirations can be realized. Shape it, color it, and find the perfect place for your solid surface item. These artificial, new generation materials are like chameleons; they have the potential to become whatever you want.

For example, this beautiful shower benches are made of Solid Surface, and no matter what shape or color they have, they will always look brand new and will never lose its true form.

What does solid surface mean?

Solid surface is the industry term for a type of heavy polymer-laden materials like Corian. The term Solid surface (literally translated as massive, compact surface), is made of acrylic resin combined with filler, acrylic chips and of course color pigments. Solid Surface is very stable with no shrinkage, cracks or raised grain.

 

The history of Solid Surface materials began in the 1960s, when scientists and experts from various fields still competed for innovation. The official beginning of the history of Solid Surface material is considered to be October 8, 1968, when a patent (Donald Slocum , DuPont chemist) was issued for a new material under the name Corian.

These materials are best known for their use as kitchen countertops, bathroom accessories or reception desks. But their applications can go way beyond that. Over time, the application has expanded, so that today, 40 years after its creation, it has become an indispensable material in the manufacture of furniture and interior design.

How do interior designers and contractors use solid surface?

  • Textured walls (multidimensional walls, curved and textured, nature inspired…). It is also possible to create 3D-textured effects and CNC pattern cutting and dramatic lighting effects on them.
  • Vanity Top and sink - appear seamless for looks and hygiene, prevent the growth of bacteria and germs, so you can feel good and safe in your little spa oasis.
  • Shower walls are another amazing use for solid surfaces, shower walls can be installed so that seams are virtually invisible, it’s such a modern and clean design.
  • Solid surface materials can form bathtubs and shower pans. We suggest you go for elegant matte surfaces. The solid surface has a warm touch and feel to it. You may ask yourself, will it be too slippery? Solid Surface material can be lightly textured, making it a safe and comfortable.
  • A solid surface bed frame gives your bedroom a very high aesthetic value, it's comfortable, practical, and comes in a variety of styles.
  • Solid surface Shower Chairs - chairs made of solid surface can last very long and will not require a lot of maintenance. Have essentially no place for germs and other pathogens to hide and can be wiped or sprayed with harsh bactericides without concern for damage. It's ideal for the hospitality industry, for hotels, and much more.
  • The use of solid surfaces for the exterior cladding of buildings is a smart choice for panelized facade systems. It is one of the easiest materials to maintain because of flexibility, durability, arge, sleek vertical surfaces with inconspicuous seams (exterior facade at the world famous Seeko’o Hotel in Bordeaux, France, the gigantic Congress Centre and Apartment tower in Abidjan on the Ivory Coast).

What is solid surface made of?

Corian is made of about 33-percent acrylic resin and about 66-percent natural minerals. If you were to cut solid surface slabs, you would find a stable base. Mimic the look of stone, it looks like ”a bit man-made and a bit natural at the same time“.

Solid surface material consists: variable amount of acrylic or polyester resins, variable amount of natural minerals, the most common ingredient is aluminum trihydrate, fine white powder, a bauxite derivative, gives the counters a smooth consistency, and variable amount of colored pigments (in the case of colored versions).

Why solid surface is in high demand?

  • Solid surface is an environmentally friendly material because it’s 100% recyclable.
  • It’s easy to repair! Cutting stuff on solid surface materials is not recommended, but the good news is that the surface can be easily sanded.
  • It’s easily renewable even after many years of usage. It doesn’t need a gel-coat so minor scratches can be sanded away or scrubbed with a pad.
  • Resins in the mix ensure non-porosity. It’s impervious to liquids and harsh chemicals which eliminates swelling  and shrinking .
  • Have invisible seams - when mistakes are made, the material can be glued back together, solid surface material is homogeneous, goes all the way through, from top to bottom. After gluing with special two-component adhesives in appropriate colors, and processing, the joints are not visible, so you have possibilities of creating different shapes.
  • The solid surface is non-toxic (does not emit volatile substances)
  • Warm and silky to the touch, it is hygienic and antibacterial. It is no coincidence that it is often used in a hospital environment or commercial bathrooms and gyms, hospices, hotels, restaurants, banks, post offices and retirement homes.
  • Price depending on the style and color of the material selected. We can say that solid surfaces are moderately expensive.
  • Solid surface materials do not cause allergies in humans and animals.

How to spot high quality solid surface?

There are two types of solid surfaces: acrylic and polyester.

The polyester versions are less expensive, and aren't as high quality as the acrylic countertops. The surface hardness of the material is higher, but possibilities of bending as well as application in many areas are significantly limited.

SSV materials with acrylic binder belong to the group of the highest quality materials of this type. Acrylic resins have exceptional flexibility, acrylic provides high resistance to UV (material doesn’t lose color when exposed to sunlight), so it can be used for window sills in both indoor and outdoor use .

Why Solid Touch sinks and shower benches are considered high-quality solid surface items?

Solid Touch by agmHomeStore®  is an exquisite bathroom collection made of modify acrylic solid surface. Its products adopt MMA as the main material which makes it be of superior stability and high mechanical strength.

Compared with other items in the market, it has high light transmittance and high safety performance. Additionally, the product is made of UPR which has the advantages of heat resistance, high bending strength, and chemical corrosion resistance.

Having gone through several different quality processes, the products are proved to stay stable even if there are vinegar, coffee, liquor, and other liquid on it. Being repairable and renewable, it still looks brand new even after 10 years of use.

Having been treated with skilled surface polishing technology, Solid Touch has a smoother and softer surface with no porous or splicing trace. This also results in the product's easy cleaning and maintenance.

What do you think is better than a solid surface? Let's take a look...

  • Laminate are in fact plastic-coated synthetics, it is made by bonding the laminate sheets to a particleboard core available in many styles. Laminate surfaces are especially popular in retro designs. Good side is that they are very inexpensive countertop options. But on the other side, surfaces can be easily scratched and chipped.
  • You may save money without sacrificing style with one simple solution: ceramic tiles. Durable and easy to clean, they are less expensive than quartz, or solid-surface countertops and offer many design options. Ceramic is immune to heat damage from hot pans, but tiles are brittle and may crack under impact. And bad news is that the grout lines can stain and they are so difficult to clean.
  • Do you like a classic and traditional appearance? Stark white or black with bold veining of gray or black is your favorite pattern? We have one word for you: Marble. This beautiful stone, elegant and so classy, has that timeless charm. It’s ideal for kitchen and bathroom countertops. However, marble is expensive, it can be scratched and repairs are not easy. Also the bad side is that it’s porous and easily etched with acidic solutions.
  • The “quartz” countertop material is actually an engineered stone product (contains approximately 93 percent quartz and other minerals). This beautiful nonporous surface that resists both scratching and staining are pretty expensive. Quartz is 10 percent resin (solid surface is 33 percent acrylic resin) and it has a higher resistance to heat than solid surface.
  • Granite is strong and durable, almost impervious to heat but because of that it’s a very expensive material. Bad thing about granite is it can easily crack and it is porous.
  • If you want deep, rich color and antique, historic look to a kitchen choose soapstone. Because of the raw look it looks amazing in the kitchen and even bathrooms. It is almost stain resistant and fairly impervious to heat. But it may be darker over time...
  • Stainless steel counters of restaurant kitchens have that contemporary and industrial look. Good thing about it is: heat resistance and durability. Bad side: it’s noisy and can be easily scratched.
  • Wood is porous and over time can develop a slimy feel. Wooden countertops have a beautiful warm look, but they are not very practical because it can be damaged by water and stains over time. Wood is subject to cracking if not maintained, but on the other side reclaimed wood has excellent heat resistance.

How to maintain solid surface materials?

 

Solid surface materials don't require special maintenance and are very easy to clean. It’s best to wipe it down using soapy, warm water. Microfiber cloths are ideal for that job, just dry with absorbent sponges or microfiber cloths, using a degreaser. Acid drain cleaners shouldn’t be used, and do not use window cleaners also, they tend to leave a waxy residue.

Do not use aggressive products like acetone because it destroys various materials of the latest generation, including hard surfaces. Damage to the surface will likely occur if acetone is allowed to dry on the surface.

Descaling agents can be used on solid surfaces and small amounts of CLR or vinegar (for hard water stains). Also you can use diluted bleach (for food stains). Rub as small an area as possible that will include the stain.

If somebody somehow wrote on your solid surface with a permanent marker, or perhaps spilled nail polish on it, what would you do? There is a simple solution, mild abrasive mentioned above with a wet paper towel. About polish, the best way to handle that problem is to scrape it off with a piece of plastic, or your fingernail.

If somebody spills harsh chemicals on the surface, they should be wiped up immediately with lots of soapy, warm water.

And for the and it’s good to know…

It's easy to handle with solid surface materials in DIY projects. Materials can be cut by ordinary power saws and routers, you just need a little skill. From the rest of the material you have left when you make your kitchen or bathroom countertop, you can make quality pieces of furniture or kitchen, for example cute little coffee tables, or you can create accessories such as coating boards...

 


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