Why Solid Surface?


tell world solid surface countertop

Are you faced with choosing material for your project or furniture? It can be exciting, but can also be difficult with all of the different choices available. Man-made solid surface materials and natural stone such as granite are the most popular choices in premium countertop materials for furnitures. They both offer an upscale look and superior performance, but which one should you choose? Hopefully this overview will help you decide what is right for you.

Product Consistency:

Solid surface
The process which solid surface is manufactured ensures consistency, which makes it very good for matching colors not only at the time of installation, but also in the future when new needs arise in the home.

Granite
Composition and pattern can vary from slab to slab and the quality of the granite is equally diverse – varying in hardness, stain resistance, and strength. Also beware of granite that been coated or dyed. These additives can cause problems later. These issues can cause future color/pattern-matching problems.

Design:

Solid Surface
Solid surface can be routed, shaped and thermoformed, so it allows for more complex design options.

Granite
Granite is very hard and heavy so it offers less design flexibility. Any design flaws should be noted prior to installation so they can be avoided.

Sinks:

Solid Surface
Solid surface sinks are chemically-bonded to the countertop creating a smooth, one-piece look from countertop to sink. There are no grout lines, lips or recesses to collect bacteria and mold.

Granite
Sink installation requires a visible seam between the sink and countertop. Edges, seams and recesses are prone to moisture penetration, mold, mildew and bacteria growth without proper and routine sealing.

Seams:

Solid Surface
Consistency of pattern and color, plus chemical bonding to fuse solid surface pieces provide very inconspicuous seams. Seams are solid, flush to the surface and moisture resistant. There is no grout to clean, and liquids cannot penetrate the surface.

Granite
Granite slabs vary in thickness and appearance. This results in visible and sometimes uneven seams at corners and backsplash areas. The random, inconsistent appearance of granite further accentuates the seams where separate granite surfaces are combined. The seams are not chemically bonded, so they can become stained and dirty with time unless they are properly and routinely sealed.

Edges:

Solid Surface
Edges are formed by fusing two pieces of material together. With solid surface, color and design matching between pieces is typically very good, if not exact, since the manufacturing process ensures a consistent look and quality. Seams are smooth and very inconspicuous.Since it can be shaped and routed, edge options are nearly limitless.

Granite
With granite, no two pieces will be alike, resulting in visible seams made more obvious when patterns and colors are inconsistent. Because of the natural potential for chipping and flaking, special edge designs are limited.

Stain Resistance:

Solid Surface
Since it is nonporous, stains will not seep into the surface. Surface stains are easily wiped away with soap and water or buffed away for good.

Granite
All granite is porous. This is why it stains so easily and must be properly and routinely sealed. Be sure that your sealer is non-toxic and safe for use on food preparation surfaces.

Mold & Bacteria Resistance:

Solid Surface
Solid Surface products meet FDA* standards for food contact, ASTM International standards (G-21 and G-22) for fungal and bacterial resistance and have NSF International approval in Class 51 for both “Splash Zone” and “Food Zone” areas. Of course, good hygiene is always recommended with the use of any product.
*Food and Drug Administration, National Sanitation Foundation, American Society for Testing and Materials

Granite
Granite has small surface crevices so it’s harder to keep them free of mildew and bacteria. Proper sealing and maintenance can protect against these conditions – as long as the sealant remains intact. Even so, granite surfaces do not currently meet FDA and NSF standards for food preparation areas. Nor do they meet ASTM standards (G-21 and G-22) for fungal and bacterial resistance.

Heat Resistance:

Solid Surface
Minor heat damage usually can be buffed away by the homeowner. More severe heat damage can be inconspicuously repaired by your certified installer. Trivets are recommended by solid surface manufacturers to protect countertops against exposure to extreme heat.You should refer to your warranty regarding coverage for any repairs.

Granite
Granite is very heat resistant; however, the sealant used on the surface is not. Trivets also are generally recommended by the stone industry.

Care and Maintenance:

Solid Surface
Solid surface does not require sealing or special cleaning products. Soap and water will wipe away most stains. Minor scratches and burns can be buffed away by the homeowner without impacting the look or finish. More serious damage usually can be inconspicuously repaired by your certified installer. You should refer to your warranty regarding coverage for any repairs.

Surfaces with a gloss or semi-gloss finish may require more maintenance than a matte or satin finish – scratches may be more apparent and require a more detailed buffing technique. Darker colors also may require more maintenance.

Granite
Most experts agree that a granite countertop should be resealed every one to two years. In addition, weekly application of a stone polish may be recommended as well as specialized cleaning products and methods. Ask your installer what products they recommend for your particular stone and their frequency of use. When considering the cost of a granite countertop, these items should be included.
Though granite is very scratch resistant, a cutting board is recommended to avoid scratching the sealant. When chips and scratches do occur, they are very difficult to remove. Repairs are usually visible, and serious damage may require full replacement of the countertop.

Warranty:

Solid Surface
Solid Surface is accompanied by a 10+ year, transferable warranty.

Granite
Granite products are generally not warrantied unless a warranty is provided by the installer. Because each slab is unique, there is no way to predict its performance over time. The product may include internal fissures, natural cracks and impurities which may or may not affect its performance. Homeowners must discuss warranty options with each installer to determine what, if anything, is covered. There is no standard in place or recourse if the installer goes out of business.

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