WHAT DOES IT DO?
The heart of solid surface is not what it is, or how it's made. It really is about the performance properties that all solid surface shares:
1. It is homogeneous. In most cases, the color or pattern must be consistent
throughout every part of the product. This separates it from products like gel-coated cultured
marble, or laminated products such as plywood or plastic laminate. It also makes it a little
bit like wood, but without knots or grain. The exceptions to this are products that attempt
to capture a marblesque feel, such as Hudson's Mystera product.
2. It is machinable. This might be what gives solid surface much of its magic. It is immediately tied into the ancient tradition of woodworking, cabinetry and joinery, which remains fresh and vital as ever.
3. It is hard. Spec data here is a bit unclear, depending on the particular makeup. Suffice it to say it is harder than wood, but not as hard as steel.
4. It is nonporous. Speaking chemically and technically, nothing is 100 percent nonporous, but solid surface is very close. It is unaffected by water and changes in humidity.
5. It is stain- and chemical-resistant. Most household staining agents and chemicals, and even some industrial chemicals, will not damage it.
6. It is fire-resistant. Most solid surfaces are fire-resistant or fire-retardant.
7. It endures. This is reflected by multiyear consumer warranties. Solid surface, unless damaged by abuse or manufacturing defect, should remain unchanged for a very long time. We don't really know how long — it is only 40 years old.
8. It is esthetically pleasing. It has beauty, the look and feel of a decorative surface made to be seen.