Design Confidently, Live Comfortably
The lowest-maintenance luxury counter, a manufactured solid surface is great for kitchens that get a lot of use -- and for homeowners who don't want a lot of fuss. Solid-surface counters are made by blending acrylic polymers and stone-derived materials, which are then poured into molds to create sheets about half an inch thick.
Deep edges give solid-surface counters the illusion of being even thicker, but there's nothing illusory about their strength. They hold up incredibly well to abrasive cleaners, and even white counters are virtually impossible to stain. The color won't fade, even in direct sunlight, and because the pattern runs through the entire depth, scratches can be sanded out.
As strong as they are, solid-surface counters have a beneficial soft spot: You can plunk a plate down and it won't break -- you can't say that about stone. Integrated solid-surface sinks can be flush mounted (meaning there is no "lip" between the counter and the sink), which makes cleanup easy.
Just as Formica became synonymous with laminates, so has Corian come to mean solid surface. Corian was invented by DuPont in 1966; today, other companies also make solid-surface counters in dozens of colors. Many offer a 10-year warranty that includes all incidental labor (like a plumber), should a counter need to be removed.
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A variety of colors and patterns, custom shapes and edges, and finishes like matte, satin, and high gloss make solid-surface countertops a great choice for most kitchens.