Solid Surfaces: MYTHS & REMEDIES

Solid surface is known for its lustrous appearance and apparently seamless finish. Over a period of time, however, there are some glitches that have been found in various solid surfaces applications.

Solid surface is known for its lustrous appearance and apparently seamless finish. Over a period of time, however, there are some glitches that have been found in various solid surfaces applications. SURFACES REPORTER spoke to many architects & designers and has come up with the issues that crop up after application. Nehal Shal, Country Head (India), Neonnex Products Ltd. & Daniel Jang, HI-MACS Country Head offer solutions

Solid Surfaces absorbs water and hence not suitable for moisture prone areas specially bathrooms.

Jang: It is only a misconception that “Acrylic Solid surfaces” absorb moisture. Through the various tests done to access moisture absorption of acrylic solid surfaces, it is an established fact that moisture absorption in acrylic solid surfaces is within range of 0.01-0.04%. In comparison with natural stone (moisture absorption in range of 1-6%), acrylic solid surface is practically water-proof and in no way allows any significant moisture absorption.

Shah: However, still if there are issues with the moisture, then the base material and poor fabrication is responsible. In moisture prone area, selection of base material is equally important as well as the thickness of solid surface material. After application, edge sealing with proper material and right methods are important.

In moisture prone area, selection of base material is equally important as well as the thickness of solid surface material. After application, edge sealing with proper material and right methods are important. Nehal Shal, Country Head (India), Neonnex Products Ltd

Solid Surfaces, particularly white, gets stained easily & prone to scratches. Thus it is difficult to maintain. 

Shah: Acrylic Solid surface specially white and white shades do not get stains from most of the materials. We conduct chemical testing for more than 30 different chemicals from 5 minutes to 60 minutes over the surface. Also, the third party testing laboratory gives very much clear report for ‘No Chemical Stain’ over the surface. We also conducted testing for exposure of house hold chemicals & regularly utilized natural products on solid surface where we found almost negligible amount of stain over the surface. Jang: For repairing deep cuts and scratches, professional service is required. Unlike natural stone or glass where scratches cannot be removed, solid surface can be easily repaired at very low cost & less downtime.

Solid Surfaces loses its shine after some time, usually within two-three years and need buffing.

Shah: Every product gets edged after some time. As a natural process, acrylic Solid Surface also loses little shine after 3 - 4 years. The RA value of acrylic solid surface will go down by 8-10% after 4 years of usage. This decreasing value is on higher side while I compare RA value of other surfacing material with acrylic solid surface. Second point is that one can get original finish by spending small amount after 4 years of usage. Comparing to cost of replacement of other surfacing material, Acrylic Solid surface’s buffing will prove to be cheaper against all the surfacing material available in the market.

Jang: Since any kind of polish or any other shining agent cannot be used on acrylic solid surfaces, shine is achieved by using sanding paper of various grades. It is true that high-gloss finish is difficult to maintain for long time and might require rebuffing after some time period, as a matter-of-fact, this holds true for any other surfacing material. Most of the manufacturers recommend matte-finish for low maintenance work areas.

It is true that high-gloss finish is difficult to maintain for long time and might require rebuffing after some time period, as a matter-of-fact, this holds true for any other surfacing material. Most of the manufacturers recommend matte-finish for low maintenance work areas. Daniel Jang, HI-MACS Country Head, LG Hausys India Pvt. Ltd

Indian kitchen is full of heat. So the feasibility of using solid surface worktop is an issue.

Jang: Heat is an essential element in all the kitchens worldwide and acrylic solid surface has evolved to take care of all the requirements of a traditional as well as modern kitchen environment. Acrylic solid surface is an ideal material to be used in Indian kitchens. Only thing that is required to get hassle free experience of acrylic solid surface is little bit of planning and detailing at early design stage. One should keep in mind that there is adequate provision of air-circulation around heat generating elements like hobs and built-in microwaves. Some additional accessories like silicone hot pads, common kitchen trivets and metal roller mats definitely enhance life of acrylic solid surface and help keep your kitchen counter top trouble free.

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