Australia’s Bold Ban: Reckoning with Engineered Stone’s Health Risks and the Global Shift to Safer Surfaces

In the evolving landscape of home aesthetics, engineered stone, often referred to as quartz, countertops have emerged as a coveted choice for their durability and diverse designs. However, beneath their surface beauty lies a grave health hazard for workers involved in their manufacture, predominantly due to exposure to silica dust when fabrication takes place in a “dry” shop environment . This issue has raised significant health concerns, leading to severe conditions like silicosis, a relentless and untreatable lung disease that has been afflicting workers who handle the cutting, grinding, and polishing of these surfaces.

NPR’s investigative reports have shed light on the dire situation, highlighting the story of individuals like Jose Martinez, whose lives have been drastically altered by the development of silicosis due to prolonged exposure to silica dust in the workplace. The stark reality of these health risks has prompted a critical reevaluation of industry practices and the materials used in countertop manufacturing.

In response to the growing concerns over the health implications of silica dust exposure, Australia has taken a pioneering step by banning engineered stone, recognizing the unparalleled risks posed by the material’s high silica content. The ban originally scheduled to take effect July 1, has now been amended to be in place effective December 31, 2024 to allow for the industry to transition away from Engineered stone.  This landmark decision underscores the urgency of addressing the health hazards associated with engineered stone and the need for safer alternatives.

Amidst these developments, acrylic solid surface materials, such as those offered by brands like Corian and LX Hausys, have emerged as a viable and safer alternative. Unlike engineered stone, these materials are crafted from a blend of acrylic polymer and natural minerals, significantly reducing the risk of silica dust exposure during their manufacturing and fabrication processes. The lower silica content in these materials presents a compelling option for both the industry and consumers, aligning aesthetic preferences with ethical manufacturing practices that prioritize worker safety.

The industry’s adaptation to these challenges, including companies like Caesarstone exploring alternative products to maintain their presence in markets like Australia, highlights the viability of safer materials in the global marketplace. This shift not only reflects a commitment to worker safety but also opens a dialogue about the role of consumers in advocating for ethical and sustainable production practices.

The narratives and investigations into the health risks associated with engineered stone countertops serve as a potent call to action for regulators, employers, and consumers. By prioritizing safety and health in the countertop manufacturing industry, there is a hopeful vision for a future where home aesthetics do not come at the cost of human lives. For a detailed exploration of this critical issue, NPR’s coverage offers comprehensive insights into the personal and industry-wide repercussions of silica exposure, emphasizing the need for immediate and concerted action to safeguard the well-being of workers in the industry.

Unveiling Nature’s Palette: The 2024 Corian® Color Collection


Corian® Design has recently announced its 2024 North American color collection for Corian® Solid Surface, showcasing an impressive array of designs and options. This launch not only reflects the brand’s dedication to innovation but also its commitment to sustainability, with many new aesthetics incorporating recycled materials. The collection spans across five distinct themes, each inspired by elements of nature and designed to meet a variety of design needs in both commercial and residential settings.

The “Artista Collection” draws inspiration from natural tranquility, offering soothing colors that evoke the serenity of herbs and mists. It’s notable for its calming and fluid aesthetics in neutral tones, making it an ideal choice for spaces aiming to create a peaceful ambiance. Meanwhile, the “Geologic Collection” pays homage to the timeless elegance of stone, combining the iconic aesthetics of marble and Calacatta with the high performance and durability of Corian® Solid Surface.

For those seeking the warmth and classic appeal of wood without compromising on durability, the “Nuwoods Collection” presents woodgrain-inspired designs that are both beautiful and functional. This collection brings the essence of the forest into indoor spaces, providing a perfect blend of nature and performance. The “Terrazzos Collection” reimagines the beauty of Italian mosaics, offering designs that suit both classic and modern interiors while maintaining a low environmental impact thanks to its recycled content.

Lastly, the “Terrains Collection” invites exploration and inspiration, with designs that capture the awe-inspiring beauty of landscapes. From serene country paths to stones glistening in light, this collection is a testament to the breathtaking variety of nature’s palette.

Corian® Design’s 2024 color launch is not just about aesthetic innovation; it’s a statement of the brand’s ongoing commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainable design practices. By integrating recycled materials and obtaining certifications from SCS Global Services, Corian® demonstrates its dedication to reducing its environmental footprint while continuing to offer high-quality, versatile, and beautiful solutions for interior design and architecture.

For interior designers, architects, and homeowners alike, this new collection from Corian® opens up a world of possibilities for creating spaces that are not only visually stunning but also sustainable and in harmony with nature. Whether it’s through the subtle infusion of nature-inspired elements or bold statements with intricate patterns and colors, Corian® Solid Surface’s offerings provide the tools needed to transform any space into a bespoke masterpiece that reflects the beauty and essence of the natural world.

For more information about the 2024 Corian® color collection and to explore these new designs, visit the official Corian® website.

[Read the full press release here](https://www.dupont.com/news/corian-design-unveils-the-essence-of-natures-creativity-with-the-2024-color-launch-of-corian-solid-surface.html)

LG Hausys Announces Company Name Change: LX Hausys

LG Hausys, known as an innovative manufacturer of building and decorative materials, announced that it has changed its name to LX Hausys, Ltd. from July 1, 2021.

LG Hausys Announces Company Name Change: LX Hausys

The company name change is part of the process of incorporating LG Hausys, LG International, Silicon Works, and LG MMA into the LX Group, which was established by Koo Bon-joon, the younger brother of the late Chairman Koo Bon-moo, in May. The companies will now use the LX brand.

The new name is a result of the company’s position within the recently established LX Holdings Corp. The holding company is a globally diversified organization, a spin-off from the LG Group, the South Korean multinational conglomerate best known for its advanced consumer electronics and myriad other products designed to link innovation to a better life.

This change will enable the company to continue to invest in the European market while retaining its link to the innovative spirit for which LG is known. The name change will not affect customer or business operations. The company’s distinct product portfolio will remain in place. This includes its well-known brands for the architectural and design sector HI-MACS® and Viatera®.

In conjunction with the announcement, LX Hausys unveiled a new company logo. The logo consists of a red square symbol that is a re-imagination of the parent company’s heritage.

The curved, white line signifies the Lucky Linked Wave, which symbolizes the flowing link to a sustainable future. Next to the red square symbol are the letters L, which stands for “Link” and X, which stands for “the infinite possibilities for a sustainable future.”

Health-Promoting Surfaces: 8 reasons why Solid Surface is the Ideal Choice

Solid surface has been around for more than 50 years now and is increasingly becoming the choice for healthcare, restaurant and hospitality applications because of its hygienic properties.

What is 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.

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 many 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 hard wood, 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.

Read more about this great product below or by downloading an insightful article in either the full version or brief version. Permission is given to freely disseminate these articles. 

8 Features of Solid Surface

1) Hygenic & Health Promoting Properties

Solid surface prevents microbial growth, not supporting the growth of bacteria, mold or other fungus, which makes it highly suitable for healthcare settings like hospitals, doctors’ offices, hospices and retirement homes. This also makes it desirable for commercial kitchens and bathrooms, which commonly come in contact with germs, and it goes without saying that these qualities are also great for household kitchens and baths.

With at least a basic understanding of the material, its properties, fabrication techniques and popular uses, it begins to be easily seen why solid surface is highly suitable and growing in usage for healthcare, commercial kitchens and other places that can be potentially risky in terms of prevention of exposure to harmful, illness causing agents and must be able to stand up against heavy use.

2) Non Porous

Can be safely cleaned with a bleach solution, to kill viruses, per the CDC guidelines. It does not need to be sealed and repels waters and most substances, such as wine, grease, hair dye, blood, “permanent” markers, and other damaging materials.

3) Easy Maintenance

It is renewable and repairable. Minor stains and scratches can be removed relatively easily with the use of a wet Scotchbrite® pad. Deeper scratches can be removed using an orbital sander. Breaks and cracks can be repaired to look brand new.

4) Seamless

Can be joined nearly invisibly allowing long stretches of material to appear as one piece with no cracks, crevices or seam visibility. Integral sinks, coved backsplashes, and seamless wall contours, prevent the harboring of bacteria and make cleaning much easier.

5) Colors and Patterns

Comes in thousands of color and pattern options. Often made to look like granite, quartz, solid colors, wood grains, veined stones, translucent colors and many others. Many manufacturers also create custom colors for particular applications or to match logos, etc.

6) Thermoformable

Can be heated and thermoformed into curved and molded shapes. This feature provides the versatility and creative flexibility to to build countoured walls and casework, custom sinks, intricate furniture, lighting, and many other products left only to the imagination of the creator.

7) GREENGUARD™ and NSF/ANSI Standard 51 Certification

Many brands carry these certifications:

GREENGUARD™ Certification which means it is low chemical emitting and has been tested for hundreds of VOCs which can be considered harmful by UL and does not contribute to poor indoor air quality.

NSF/ANSI Standard 51 certification means it has been tested and is safe for food contact for all types of food. This is considered a safe product for use in commercial or residential kitchens.

8) Versatility of Solid Surface

Horizontal Applications include Countertops, Healthcare, Retail

Vertical Applications: Wall-cladding, Shower Walls, Casework & Partitions

Other Applications: Textured Surfaces, Furniture, Cabinetry

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Introducing Custom Vanity Top Designer

Design a Corian® custom solid surface vanity top with dual sinks.

Design a Corian® custom solid surface vanity top with dual sinks.

SolidSurface.com is known for carrying the top brands of solid surface sheet material. What you may not know is that we also have a virtual Custom Vanity Top Designer tool that makes it easy for you to virtually see your vanity top design come to life as you move through the steps. Design your own custom Corian® Solid Surface or HI-MACS® Solid Surface vanity top and have it shipped in as little as 15 business days.

For fabricators, this can be a real time-saver, especially if you have a project that requires multiple vanity tops. For the DIY’er, you can now virtually see as you create what your vanity top will look like.

Let us show you just how simple it is, as we walk you through the steps of designing and ordering your own gorgeous custom solid surface vanity top. Short video clips are included here to further assist you along the way. Choose your material color from the premium lines of either Corian® or HI-MACS®, decide the length, width, number of sinks or sink holes, and edge options, and you can see exactly how it will look. You can also save your design to your account or share it to get another opinion.

Navigation from the SolidSurface.com Homepage

You can find the Custom Vanity Top Designer on the top menu bar of any of the SolidSurface.com pages.  Mouse over, or click on, “Custom Vanity Tops” at the top to open the program. (When you Continue reading

Customer Spotlight: Cat Eye Countertops with Jerry Michaels and Jim Glinski

Backlit solid surface kitchen countertop using Light Tape® in Cat Eye from STUDIO Collection®

Beautifully backlit solid surface kitchen countertop using Light Tape®, Cat Eye from STUDIO Collection®

Using Cat Eye from the STUDIO Collection® and Light Tape®, Jerry Michaels (the idea man) and Jim Glinski (craftsman and author) create an incredibly unique solid surface kitchen countertop.

Here at SolidSurface.com we enjoy getting to know our customers. It’s always interesting to learn their background, hear their ideas for the solid surface sheet material they purchase, and then see their projects come to life. We had an opportunity to talk with one such customer, Jerry Michaels, and his craftsman, Jim Glinski, about their DIY project and how it turned out.

The Backlit Countertop

Jerry Michaels first came to us with an interesting project in mind for his kitchen remodel. He discovered a product online called Vitrazzo, which is a countertop product made of recycled glass. He found pictures of their product done with backlighting and knew he just had to have a countertop like that. What he also discovered was that the cost was way too expensive. He then set out exploring what other materials Continue reading

Solid Surface Countertops for Cabinetmakers

Wood cabinets with solid surface countertops in a recreational vehicle.

Wood cabinets with solid surface countertops in a recreational vehicle.

Countertops made of solid surface material (i.e., Corian® or HI-MACS®) are an excellent choice and an easy addition to the cabinetmaker’s specialty line.  Cabinetmakers are already extremely skilled and detail-oriented in their ability to create cabinetry for any room type using a variety of materials. Yet many may not realize just how easy it is to add a solid surface countertop to a newly constructed cabinet. Doing this adds value to their products, and service to customers, not to mention extra income for the business. Why outsource that extra step, when one already has the skills and tools necessary to easily complete the project?

For those cabinetmakers already offering granite, quartz or other types of stone countertops, consider giving customers another, and possibly more cost effective, choice in countertop material.

Cabinetmakers Already Have the Tools and Skills Needed

Almost all cabinet shops already have the tools necessary to complete a large percentage of all types of solid surface material fabrication projects. Those tools include: Continue reading

Augmented Reality Countertops Become a Reality with the New “Spaces by Design” App from Corian® Design

Opening screen of the Spaces by Design App from Corian® A/R

The Spaces by Design App from Corian® A/R

Visualize new Corian® Design solid surface colors across entire countertops in your own home using augmented reality (AR*) technology with the Spaces by Design App from Corian® A/R — so go ahead Make Your Space™.

Corian® Design just announced the new Spaces by Design App from Corian® A/R. Rather than using actual small-sized solid surface samples, it is a wonderfully quick and easy way to see how your  kitchen countertops and other surfaces will look in reality with any of the available Corian® Design solid surface or quartz colors. Using an Apple device, the Spaces by Design App provides you with a real-time, interactive experience for resurfacing your existing countertops with Corian® colors. You can even add in a virtual island to match your augmented reality countertops. Whether in your kitchen, bath, laundry, or anywhere you need new surfacing, the Spaces by Design App is a very handy tool.

Small Samples — Problem Solved with the Spaces by Design App

In addition to providing visuals of how your countertop may look, the Spaces by Design App helps solve two long-standing problems customers struggle with.

The first is trying to visualize, and get the proper perspective on, a 2” x 2” or 4” x 4” solid surface sample on a countertop in a large room. For instance, when you place that small sample on a countertop and step back several feet, the small Continue reading

M.R. Walls — Designer Walls Using Corian® Solid Surface by Artist Mario Romano

Inspired by nature, Mario Romano designs life into his incredible wall panel creations using Corian® Solid Surface, blurring the distinct lines between movement and texture.

"MOUNTAIN" custom solid surface wall by artist and designer Mario Romano (M.R. Walls).

“MOUNTAIN” custom solid surface wall by artist and designer Mario Romano (M.R. Walls).

There are many creative things that can be done with versatile Corian® Solid Surface, yet Mario Romano (aka M.R. Walls) has literally taken it to the next level with his wall panels, also commonly referred to as wall cladding. He lives at the “intersection of art and technology,” when it comes to his carved wall panel creations. His breathtaking designs are awe-inspiring, to say the least.

Corian® Design Partners with Mario Romano

Finding a new aesthetic in texture and nature, Corian® Design has partnered with Mario Romano to ensure that solid surface is not just for countertops. With a little modern CNC innovation, M.R. Walls are an architect’s and interior designer’s dream come true. With endless possibilities, one is only limited by his or her imagination. These luxurious, high-end artistic creations bring new meaning to solid surface wall cladding.

"BLOOM" back-lit custom wall designed with Corian® solid surface by M.R. Walls

“BLOOM” back-lit custom wall designed with Corian® solid surface by M.R. Walls

Solid Surface Wall Panels are Low Maintenance

Until recently, solid surface had taken a back seat to the likes of other natural and engineered products, yet its capabilities have been clearly understated and undervalued. The benefits of using Corian® Solid Surface for designer wall panels are numerous. The material is low maintenance, meaning no painting, Continue reading

Manufacturers of Hanex® and Wilsonart® Solid Surface Unite in Joint Facility

American Surfacing Materials, LLC, is the new solid surface manufacturing facility borne out of the joint venture between Wilsonart Engineered Surfaces and Hyundai L&C USA. Officials of the two companies gathered together, along with local government officials, for the grand opening ceremony on Thursday, May 16.

Jung Seok Yoo, left, chief executive officer of Hyundai L&C USA, shakes hands with Wilsonart chief executive officer Tim O’Brien at the new American Surfacing Materials manufacturing plant in Temple.

Jung Seok Yoo, left, chief executive officer of Hyundai L&C USA, shakes hands with Wilsonart chief executive officer Tim O’Brien at the new American Surfacing Materials manufacturing plant in Temple. Courtesy photo

With the demand for solid surface expanding within the United States, Canada and South America, the joint venture between Hyundai L&C USA and Wilsonart Engineered Surfaces, entered into back in 2017, made sense. Each of them is now able to expand production lines, launch new products and Continue reading