Solid-Surface Countertops 101

Solid-surface countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners. Better Homes and Gardens contributing editor Danny Lipford explains how to install one in your home.

Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.

Everything In This Slideshow

  • 1 of 15

    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.

  • 2 of 15

    Countertop Choices

    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.

  • 3 of 15

    Shim Countertops

    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.

  • 4 of 15

    Scribe Countertops

    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.

  • 5 of 15

    Fit Countertops

    A power planer is used to remove material when adjusting the fit of the countertop against a wall.

  • 6 of 15

    Cut Countertops

    Cutouts in solid-surface countertops can be made with a jigsaw.

  • 7 of 15

    Sand Edges

    Once they have been trimmed and checked for fit, rough edges are sanded and buffed to a smooth finish.

  • 8 of 15

    Apply Adhesive

    When everything is ready, an adhesive is applied to the cabinets.

  • 9 of 15

    Attach Countertops

    The countertops are then carefully lowered into place and the adhesive allowed to dry.

  • 10 of 15

    Join Countertops

    Long sections of countertop are joined together using a special adhesive.

  • 11 of 15

    Clamp Countertops

    After the adhesive has been applied, the pieces are clamped together until dry.

  • 12 of 15

    Sand Seams

    Once the adhesive has cured, the clamps are removed, and the joints sanded smooth using a belt sander.

  • 13 of 15

    Smooth Seams

    Any remaining rough spots are buffed smooth.

  • 14 of 15

    Finished Countertops

    Once the countertop installers have worked their magic, it's hard to tell where the two pieces were joined together.

  • Next Slideshow Granite Countertop Ideas

    Granite Countertop Ideas

    Discover the different types, edges, and applications of granite countertops, and get ideas on how to use granite in your own kitchen.
    Begin Slideshow »

Loading... Please wait...

Add My Photo close