Solid surface is a common term applied to a small range of materials, characterized by a distinctive look and feel, that can have different chemical compositions or thicknesses yet share many functional similarities.

Solid surface materials are manufactured from polymeric materials. Granules may also be added to enhance the color effects. Solid surface materials are non-porous and homogeneous, with the same composition throughout the thickness of the solid surface material. They are capable of being repaired, renewed to the original finish and fabricated into continuous surfaces with inconspicuous seams.

Applications

Solid surface materials have many applications. Some applications are harsher than others while others rely on different attributes of solid surface materials to provide the performance benefit needed for the application. Some of the more common applications are

Bathware

The important properties for the Bathware applications such as bathroom and kitchen sinks, vanity tops, showers, tubs, spas, and surrounds are:

  Sample Shower Bases
  • water resistance
  • thermal shock
  • impact resistance
  • home chemical resistance
  • stain resistance
  • flexural strength
  • color stability
  • hardness
  • wear resistance
  • bacterial / fungal resistance
  • flexural modulus
  • thermal expansion
kensington stratford warwick
  Kensington Stratford Warwick

Flexural strength is especially important in bathtubs and spas because of the amount of stress placed on the bottom by people standing in them and on the sides by water. It is also important in kitchen sinks because of stress put on the sink by the garbage disposal. Stain resistance is very important in kitchen sink applications because of the high profile a stain would have in a kitchen sink and because of the wide range of acidic or staining foods that are put in the sink like pasta sauce, tea and cooking oil. Heat resistance and thermal shock are properties that are important to kitchen sinks, bathroom vanity tops, bathtubs and spas because of the temperature extremes that these parts can experience during their lifetime.

Countertops

Flat surfaces and cook top areas in commercial, residential, industrial, and medical areas.

The important properties for countertop applications are:

  • comparestain resistance
  • wear resistance
  • impact resistance
  • heat resistance
  • hardness
  • flexural strength
  • thermal expansion
  • color stability
  • water resistance
  • home chemical resistance
  • bacterial / fungal resistance

For medical application countertops, all of the same properties are important with greater emphasis paid to the bacterial / fungal resistance of the material and the performance of the material with respect to non‑household chemicals that may be present in specific medical areas. 

Miscellaneous Applications

  • Window Sills
    • require all of the properties of countertop applications with the addition of uv light stability and with a special emphasis placed on color stability and water resistance because this application is highly impacted by these performance properties. Knowing the thermal expansion properties so the part can be sized correctly is also critical.
  • Floor tiles and stair treads
    • have similar important properties to countertop application with several key exceptions. Heat resistance and flexural modulus are not nearly as important as wear and impact resistance and thermal expansion. Impact and wear resistance are important in a high traffic application with the potential for items being dropped on the surface. Thermal expansion is very important because of the need for proper, long term fit of the tiles. Furniture and workstations are similar to countertop applications although not as demanding in some ways. Color stability, hardness, impact resistance, wear resistance, stain resistance, flexural strength, thermal expansion and water resistance are still important but chemical resistance, heat resistance, flexural modulus and bacterial - fungal resistance are not quite as important. This is primarily due to the decreased amount of use these applications see compared to other countertop applications.
  • Wall cladding and partitions
    • the important properties to evaluate are flexural strength, impact resistance, color stability and thermal expansion. Flexural strength and impact
      Resistance are important because walls are easily bumped or leaned against. It is important to understand thermal expansion to ensure proper fit and finish of the wall.
  • Interior architectural facades
    • thermal expansion, flexural strength, color stability, impact resistance, stain resistance, hardness and wear resistance are the more important attributes to evaluate to ensure that the façade retains its original, appearance, shape and color for as long as possible.
  • Exterior architectural and lighting fixtures
    • color stability and uv weathering stability are the most important features followed closely by thermal expansion, heat resistance, impact resistance, flexural modulus, water resistance, hardness and flexural strength.solid surface has features that make it unique from other materials