Solid Surface or Laminate Specification ~ It Is Not an Apples to Apples Comparison
Many companies have opinions of whether solid surfaces or laminates should be used and in what environments would either be appropriate. Below are a few facts that may help in the decision of whether to specify solid surfaces or laminate for your project.
Laminate surfaces are comprised of layers of plastic bonded to kraft paper or particle board with a wood substrate. Temperatures above 150 degrees Fahrenheit will damage laminate by discoloring or cracking. Solid surfaces are homogeneous. This means that the material is the same throughout. The most common solid surfaces are made of Polymethyl Methacrylate and Aluminum Trihydroxide. Solid surfaces with this chemical makeup can withstand temperatures up to 320 degrees Fahrenheit without discoloration or cracking.
Laminate can delaminate while solid surface cannot. Solid surfaces can be repaired easily by sanding or even filling a damaged spot with color matching adhesive and sanding. When laminate has been repaired you will see where the repair was done, creating more seams that bacteria can find its way into. Solid surfaces are nearly non-porous making them easy to clean in environments where cleanliness is paramount such as healthcare and kitchens.
Laminate can be bent on a single radius but not on a compound radius. Solid surfaces can be bent on two radius and can be formed into most any shape. Bending solid surfaces requires an experienced millwork company and specialized equipment. Compound radius thermoforming solid surfaces is only done by a handful of millwork companies and requires an expert level of experience.
Laminate is more cost effective, right? Most of the time this assessment would be correct. However, there are some laminates that are much more expensive because of the color or finish. If you take into consideration the cost of repair, maintenance and lifecycle, in most cases solid surface yields a better TCO.
At ASST, we have be fabricating healthcare solid surfaces for 24 years. We have a solid surface fabrication facility in McSherrystown, PA and a quartz fabrication facility in Corry, PA. Whatever your needs, ASST can build it to the exact specifications, in a safe manner and to the finest quality standards you expect. Contact us online or call us at 717-630-1251 firstname.lastname@example.org