Solid-Surface Countertops 101
Advantages of Solid Surface
Solid-surface countertops are a popular choice with homeowners. They are made from a plastic type material and are available in a wide range of colors and patterns to fit any decor. The durable, nonporous surface resists heat, stains, mold, and bacteria.
Solid-surface countertops come in several thicknesses ranging from 1/4 to 3/4 inch. Individual sections can be glued together on site to form a seamless surface with no visible joints. Because the color penetrates all the way through the material, a variety of edge profiles can be routed into the surface. Much of the fabrication of solid-surface countertops occurs in the shop before arriving at the job site. This allows much of the delicate work to be completed under controlled shop conditions and reduces installation time.
When installing solid-surface countertops, a strip of plywood may need to be added to the top of the base cabinets in order to raise the cabinet height and accommodate a thicker edge.
The sections of countertop are delivered slightly wider and longer than needed so they can be scribed for an exact fit on irregular walls or out-of-square corners.
A power planer is used to remove material when adjusting the fit of the countertop against a wall.
Cutouts in solid-surface countertops can be made with a jigsaw.
Once they have been trimmed and checked for fit, rough edges are sanded and buffed to a smooth finish.
When everything is ready, an adhesive is applied to the cabinets.
The countertops are then carefully lowered into place and the adhesive allowed to dry.
Long sections of countertop are joined together using a special adhesive.
After the adhesive has been applied, the pieces are clamped together until dry.
Once the adhesive has cured, the clamps are removed, and the joints sanded smooth using a belt sander.
Any remaining rough spots are buffed smooth.
Once the countertop installers have worked their magic, it's hard to tell where the two pieces were joined together.