The Advantages of Solid Surface Countertops

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for Direct from the Designers™

With so many materials available for countertops, it can be overwhelming to make a decision. Costs vary up front, of course, but surfaces also require different amounts of time and money in maintenance over the years—best take this into account before making your selection! Many aspiring homeowners haven’t even heard of solid surface, so here’s a quick introduction to help you see why it makes a great all-around countertop choice.

Wilsonart Beige Travertine

Beige Travertine has a light base with warm and cool veining, so it’s perfect if you want an adaptable, balanced countertop. Not quite the neutral you want? There are more where this came from!

Wide Possibilities

Solid surface is a manmade material that, when first introduced in the 1960s, was marketed as a cutting-edge replacement for natural stone. Composed of a mix of powdered minerals and binding resins, it offers plenty of natural colors, but also the ability to augment them to designers’ tastes. You’ll find tons of options ranging from light to dark, warm to cool, solid to translucent, matte to high gloss, muted to glittery and reflective, and plain to embellished with flecks of particulates and/or veining. No matter your style, something will catch your eye.

Of course, as a manufactured product, new colors come out regularly; solid surface isn’t limited by what’s found in quarries, even if it often draws inspiration from natural resources. Whether you want a classic countertop look or something that makes a statement, you have the opportunity to design your kitchen or bathroom exactly how you want. Or perhaps you’re looking beyond the counter? Solid surface can also be installed vertically for backsplashes, so try a complementary pair. How about a sink? Check out the vast array of sinks available in a handful of colors each, if you want to dress up more of your space with this super adaptable material. Solid surface gives you a lot to think about, and the chance to coordinate seamlessly!

Wilsonart Silver Smoke

With flowy movement and a cool gray tone, Silver Smoke makes a gorgeous complement to a crisp, clean kitchen. It pairs well with white here, but it would also stand out beautifully with dark cabinetry.

Real-World Durability

Countertops take a beating, and you probably have your fair share of experience with damaged surfaces. Cracks, scratches, burns, chips, and stains are all par for the course, but you can minimize the risk by being careful and using proper protective measures—like hot pads and cutting boards—when necessary. Stuff still happens, though, and it’s a good idea to invest in a material that doesn’t need to be babied and that you can count on in a pinch.

Solid surface rises to the challenge where others fail. Nonporous by nature, it doesn’t absorb liquids and won’t be damaged by water. Spills and splashes are so common in kitchens and bathrooms that it’s crazy to consider high-maintenance countertops that require resealing every year—or more often, depending on use—to repel liquid. Similarly, sudden impacts can sneak up on you—usually from dropping a heavy pot—and cause cracks. The high flexural strength of solid surface gives it impact resistance that withstands such mishaps better. Don’t forget that countertops are supposed to be work surfaces, and that they should work for you.

Wilsonart Shower Wall

Spa time feels effortless in the Naturally House which features a seamless shower niche in a travertine-inspired solid surface design.

Unique Renewability

Despite its practical strengths, solid surface isn’t completely immune to damage, but thanks to another nifty quality, you don’t have to stress! Scratches and marring from very high temperatures affect only the surface and can be removed by sanding and renewing the countertop. Whatever pattern you choose, it’s present through the full thickness of the slab, so there’s no harm done if you choose to refresh it.

Are you suddenly looking for the perfect solid surface countertops to complete your home? Check out the Wilsonart® Solid Surface Design Library and start planning! They have dozens of designs to suit every style and application. It’s easy to get started with their Visualizer, which lets you test out different products and edge profiles with the wall, cabinet, and flooring colors you have in mind. When you’re ready, or if you need more assistance, find a local dealer to help make your vision a reality!

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