Introducing the New SolidSurface.com Experience

Check it out!  SolidSurface.com launched a new website! One of the primary goals of the new site was to enhance the overall experience for visitors searching for solid surface sheet material and related products. To further our goal of an improved customer experience, we’re also very excited to announce our new interactive custom bathroom vanity top configurator. The look and feel of the new website might be different, yet it boasts all the same great products.  Explore the many new features to enrich your shopping and educational experience!  

Since there is so much to explore, we thought it would be helpful to highlight some of the most important, time-saving enhancements, such as:

  • The new experience of sheet material;
  • Intelligent material recommendations;
  • A visual custom vanity top design tool;
  • Smart search capabilities; and
  • Advanced account tools for business customers – coming soon.

There is something for everyone on this site, whether you are a DIY homeowner, a designer, or professional contractor or remodeler.

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The Shift–From Old to Renewable With Corian® Solid Surface Exterior Wall Cladding

Fitting in isn’t always easy and poses a significant challenge when trying to literally strike a balance between historic buildings and new construction. Axel Schoenert Architectes (ASA) architectural studio has accomplished that using Corian® Exteriors solid surface customized panels in its renovation of the “Shift,” a Parisian office compound housing co-working spaces.

The project involved three buildings in the heart of the Saint-Lazare railway station district at 54 rue de Londres in Paris, France. The challenge of the undertaking was to transform three buildings from the 1930’s, the 1840’s and the 19th century to provide balanced symmetry and identity in the urban setting while at the same time providing sustainability.

Dynamic District Location

Ideally positioned in the heart of the dynamic district of the Saint-Lazare railway station, the office complex has been entirely restyled and renovated to make it modern, innovative and functional, while importantly respecting its urban environment and its history.

The Shift building in Paris, France, featuring a facade made of Corian® Exteriors panels based on Corian® Solid Surface in Glacier White colour; photo courtesy of Axel Schoenert Architectes, all rights reserved.
The Shift building in Paris, France, featuring a facade made of Corian® Exteriors panels based on Corian® Solid Surface in Glacier White colour; photo courtesy of Axel Schoenert Architectes, all rights reserved.

A Balanced Approach

ASA studio used a different approach for each of the three buildings that led to the creation of one new construction and a major renovation and restructuration of two historic buildings.

The main challenge was to give the spaces a balanced symmetry, that was fragmented due to a succession of different architectural and historical sequences, and to provide a strong overall identity, especially for the façade on rue de Londres.

By creating a sculpted 3D appearance, ASA studio wanted to add value and give new life to the imposing façade on rue de Londres. The idea was to use a geometric patterned cladding resembling an Origami, the Japanese art of folding paper.

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How to Clean and Refinish Corian® and Other Brands of Solid Surface Countertops

Corian® Sonora - matte finish

Image 1: Corian® Sonora in a matte finish

With the holidays right around the corner, you’re probably thinking about cleaning and getting the house in order before all the guests arrive. Two questions that come up quite often at this time of year are:

  • What is the best way to clean and refinish my Corian® [solid surface] countertop?
  • How can I remove stains from my solid surface countertop?

Whether you have Corian®, Avonite Surfaces®, LG HI-MACS®, Staron®, Mystera®, or any other type of solid surface countertop, the basics are the same since they are all made of acrylic-based resin material and fillers (except Aristech®’s STUDIO Collection® which is a more translucent resin).

Consider the Finish and the Color

Consideration of color is important when it comes to the use patterns and the way stains and blemishes are approached because darker colors show use more than lighter colors.

Before using any type of cleaner or performing any repairs on your solid surface countertop, consider the degree of shine on the finish and the color of the solid surface. The degree of shine on the solid surface finish is achieved by using increasingly finer grits of sanding abrasives. For a glossy shine, after using the fine abrasives, polishing with a buffing pad and polishing compound is the final step of the process. We mention this to assure you that what we discuss below is in keeping with the way the finish was originally applied to your countertops.

Examples of Shine

Examples of shine can be seen in the images of this article. Image 1 is done in a flat/matte finish where none of the objects on the countertop have a reflection. Image 2 has a satin finish denoted by the “not so distinct” reflection cast by the objects on the countertop. Image 3 presents a semi-gloss finish with a moderately distinct reflection. Image 4 shows a gloss finish where the reflections of the objects are distinct.

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8 Things to Consider for a Custom Corian® Vanity Top

Corian® Vanity TopOrdering a custom Corian® vanity top on SolidSurface.com® can be a very rewarding experience, particularly when you have an understanding of a few important things to consider.  As the centerpiece of a bathroom, the vanity top, along with its vanity cabinet, must not only look stunning, but also:

  • Feel good to the touch with warmth and smoothness;
  • Be usable, forgiving and renewable (when needed);
  • Resist absorption of, or marring by, liquids;
  • Appear seamless for looks and hygiene; and
  • Prevent the growth of bacteria and germs.

Solid surface, commonly known as the brand Corian®, fits this description “like a glove.” Competitive products such as granite, quartz, laminate, cultured marble and tile have some of the above-mentioned characteristics, Continue reading

Fabricator Spotlight: Creatacor – Fabricating the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall with Avonite® Solid Surface

Full Display of The Wall That Heals by Creatacor (2018)

Full Display of The Wall That Heals by Creatacor (2018)

Featured Project: The Wall That Heals – Vietnam Veterans Memorial Replica – a Look Behind the Scenes

After nearly 10 years, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) knew it was time to replace the Vietnam Veterans Memorial mobile exhibit of the replica wall, The Wall That Heals. They sent out a request for proposal (RFP) to contractors they thought might be able to handle the project. Creatacor, a full turnkey exhibit display house based in Clifton Park, New York, having completed several smaller projects previously for the VVMF, jumped at the chance to submit their bid and was selected to build the new Wall. Their build included a unique mobile design using Avonite® Eclipse solid surface. The selection process was completed at the end of December of 2017, leaving Creatacor only 7-8 weeks to complete this exciting project.

Creatacor Team for The Wall That Heals

The Creatacor Team

Creatacor, which employs between 50-55 people just 20 minutes north of Albany, New York, is known by many in the display industry for its state-of-the-art custom fabrication techniques. These techniques have resulted in unforgettable exhibits and inline displays in corporate and retail environments, in interactive kiosks and sets for both television and stage. In essence, Creatacor believes in using the talents of their creative, problem-solving team to come up with just the right solution for every unique situation.

Laying the Groundwork for Teamwork

Creatacor received the RFP early in December and immediately began sourcing the materials for a sturdy frame, for the walls and for the actual engraving in anticipation of the possibility of being awarded the contract. Once Creatacor was awarded the project, everyone lit on fire! Dave West was selected as Project Manager, laying Continue reading

Corian® Solid Surface for DIYers

Oh the Things We Can Do!

For all you DIYers out there whose springtime juices are flowing, here are some things you probably didn’t know you could do with acrylic solid surface material such as Corian®, Avonite®, LG Hi-Macs® and many other brands. Simple woodworking tools are all you need to get started.

What is Corian® (a/k/a Solid Surface)?

Solid surface is a manufactured material most commonly used for seamless countertop installations. It is frequently referred to as Corian®, a product developed by DuPont™ in 1964.

Corian solid surface bathroom vanity tops look like marble.

It can be readily cut, routed and sanded like wood and formed into countertops, shower walls, external cladding for buildings, signage, and furniture where non-porosity and infrequent maintenance are highly valued.  These are just a few of the man applications.

Solid surface is made of acrylic resin, polyester resin or a combination of the two that is then combined with filler, color pigments, and acrylic chips. This composition is most frequently extruded or poured as ½” thick sheets that are 30” x 144” and are the same color throughout their thickness.

In addition to being workable like hardwood, it can be heated and thermoformed into curved and molded shapes. It can also be printed on, using dye-sublimation techniques that deposit the ink just below the surface so the image becomes permanent.

What can be done with it?

Thermoform It

Thermoforming (the process of heating and shaping synthetic material) is an increasingly popular way to utilize solid surface to create 3D curves and rounded shapes. This is a realm Continue reading

$ave Money Using Overstock, Remnant and Discontinued Solid Surface

One of many walls of solid surface remnants in the SolidSurface.com warehouse

One of many walls of solid surface remnants in the SolidSurface.com warehouse

How often do you find yourself rummaging through your solid surface remnant inventory for a color the right size for a job that may not require a full sheet? Have you considered using discontinued or overstock material for a job where you can influence the material to be specified? Below are a few resources on where to find some of this budget-friendly material and potentially save quite a bit of money for yourself and/or your customers.

To help illustrate an example of how one might save, let’s say you bought enough sheets of DuPont Corian® Tumbleweed for a new project. The specs changed midstream and you were just 30” short of material to finish the job. Your choices would be to purchase another full sheet, at roughly $700, or find a smaller sheet online for approximately $300 (including shipping)–that would be a savings of $400.

Save on Small and Large Projects

Other ways to save using overstock, remnant and discontinued material might include:

  • Those projects where you need just another few feet of material to finish the job; or
  • Smaller, limited-budget projects, i.e., when the customer wants a 4’ vanity top, your pricing can be more competitive by purchasing a partial sheet, rather than having to include the full sheet cost in your quote; or
  • Large jobs where a color category is specified, but not a specific color, and you can select from overstock, seconds or discontinued colors that are heavily discounted.

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4 Countertop Colors to Coordinate With Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year, Ultra Violet

Pantone's Color of the Year - Ultra Violet

Pantone’s Color of the Year – Ultra Violet

The 2018 Pantone color of the year has been revealed, and it is light years away from the 2017 earthy greenery color selection. Instead of focusing on a color representative of things that grow, this year’s color, Ultra Violet, brings to mind the night sky filled with dreams and brilliant stars. Designers are excited about this new jewel-toned color, not typically used in decorating. Perhaps this is what you have been waiting for–permission to move those beautiful purple tones from quiet meditation spots and gathering places into the rest of your home décor.  To help you with that, SolidSurface.com offers some ideas for coordinating that luscious purple with countertop colors for your kitchen or bathroom vanity.

Coordination Concerns

Since not everyone has an eye for decorating or a degree in interior design, you may feel an immediate sense of overwhelm, wondering how in the world you might be able to incorporate this beautiful bold color into your home. Our expertise in kitchen and bath design, coupled with years of experience, might just help you achieve the look you want while using Pantone’s color of the year.

Whites

Redecorating a bathroom is a great way to make a memorable impression.  And this year, you can decorate with Ultra Violet. Some may choose to install a stunning shower wall using Ultra Violet glazed tiles and shiny new Continue reading

New DIY Countertop Source – A Great Option for DIY Warriors

Custom Corian Sink

Taking customization to the extreme, this delightful sink is a fantastic example of the versatile nature of solid surface. After this sink was cut to the unique shape it was then thermoformed into a sink bowl. (photo courtesy Dupont Corian)

SolidSurface.com is changing the game for DIY enthusiasts who love to roll up their sleeves and work on a new renovation project. When projects are done well, they bring complete satisfaction and often come with significant cost savings. Replacing countertops in a home as part of a renovation project is one step that yields a large amount of appeal to the home without taking up too much time or energy. DIY enthusiasts know just how satisfying it is to get home improvement work accomplished. Those who love the process of renovation, and are always thinking of the next project, should take time to look at some simple projects and learn why the versatility of solid surface material, such as Dupont™ Corian® should be on the top of the reno list.

Why Solid Surface Is a Great Choice

The term “solid surface,” most commonly known as the brand Corian®, is used to describe a man-made building material that combines resin and pigment with a powder made of aluminum trihydrate (ATH). One might picture ATH as the cement that makes up a large portion of the material. These fairly simple ingredients come together to make a product that has a great many selling points, including: Continue reading

Positioning Solid Surface Countertops for Construction Boom

Construction boom

Construction boom

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor reported the number of construction jobs in the country grew by 30,000 in December of 2017. With construction trends and spending on the rise, companies that supply the materials customers demand are uniquely poised to thrive in 2018. With a positive outlook and a boom in construction expected, buyers want to know that companies are prepared to handle the increased demand for versatile solid surface materials such as Corian®. Here’s a look at the current financial picture.

The Economic Situation

The job growth statistic in December is particularly notable considering it is not a time of year when one expects to see a lot of construction. The fact that jobs grew substantially – and across many sectors – bodes well for the level of construction in the coming year. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that construction spending was Continue reading