With so many brands of Solid Surface available, how do you know which one to choose for your project?
Solid Surface, the sleek, sexy, younger relation to other more well established materials such as stone, marble and granite, offers a more modern, contemporary, alternative solution.
Sometimes misunderstood, this material can enhance projects in so many ways!
To start with, let me give you a very brief idea of what Solid Surface actually is.
The material itself is produced when a by-product of aluminium mining known as ATH, is combined with acrylic (or polyester depending on the brand). These are then cured, with pigment and crunchies (crushed up Solid Surface) added, to create a hard as stone, beautiful, hard wearing, surface material.
So, how do you choose the right Solid Surface for your project?
Solid Surfacing is an industry in its own right, with a wide range of manufacturers offering a variety of products.
The main brands that are well known are Corian, Hi Macs, Staron, Hanex and Avonite. But there are others, each with its own unique palette of colours.
I have produced an article that you can read here, which gives you the details on all the brands we currently work with (to download a free e –book of the brands, just send me a message.)
How do the brands differ?
They are produced by different companies, each with their own spectrum of colours, (with sinks and bathroom sinks to complement) and pricing structure.
Chemically all are more or less the same. All are absolutely fantastic products that we are pleased and proud to work with.
As Solid Surface is man-made, it is produced in sheets of material. This material can then be cut, heated and formed into any number of shapes and sizes.
There are a huge number of colours available, with enough choice to satisfy most designs.
How do you choose the right Brand for your project?
Picking a product for your project is a personal choice, therefore, we can only advise and offer information, we cannot choose. It can be daunting, we understand that, as the choice is so vast.
How we assist is to evaluate our customers need based upon a list of their requirements, this is the same be the project commercial for an office, restaurant, hospital etc, as if it is for a domestic residential kitchen/bathroom.
A typical “shopping” list of requirements often includes:
This can be a personal choice, architects’ specification, matching something already in existence, as an alternative to another product such as stone. We can offer assistance with this if required.
Cost is often a driving force, after colour this can be the deciding factor when a project is progressing.
Projects often have tight deadlines, so if there is a long lead time for a product it can mean that the client/ architect etc has to review what they require. Some products can take longer, for example, as they are made to order. Others there may be a stock holding issue, or the stock is delayed for some reasons. Most Solid Surface distributors in the UK hold pretty good stocks of their colour palette, like anything it is best to check if lead times are tight. We can also assist in offering alternatives should the chosen colour not be available for any reason.
There are many projects where the recycled content of a product, or its carbon footprint are factors in the choice. Most of the materials have achieved Greenguard Status.
In this new world we all inhabit, the need for products to offer the highest level of hygienic and ease of cleanliness is huge. All the products we offer are incredibly hygienic and especially ideal for areas of health such as hospitals/ health centres and dentists. This is because they are so easy to clean, compatible with most household cleaners and most importantly non-porous. Nasties cannot grow and multiply on these materials.
This coupled with the integration of sinks made from the same material, makes it even more desirable.- LGA certs for Corian and Hi Macs, NSF certs for other materials.
This can be important depending on where the material is to be utilised, all the materials are fire rated, to different levels dependent on material and colour.
Ability to curve and shape
This can be where Solid Surface comes into its own, as it has the unique ability to be able to thermo-form, using high levels of heat, to create unusual shapes and sizes.
All Solid Surface brands in the UK offer a warranty of at least ten years, as long as the items are fabricated by an authorised, trained fabricator of Solid Surface.
Fabrication is a Craft
Much like woodworking and joinery, Solid Surface fabrication is a skilled craft. When making the important choice of which Solid Surface material to choose, it is important to also consider the calibre of the company you are contemplating using.
The wrong decision at this point on material, colour and supplier can prove very costly and inconvenient, if a poor job is the end result.
One way to avoid potential problems is to check with the material suppliers which fabricators are recommended based upon their quality.
Remember, it is not all about price, this is an expensive investment, so cutting corners really can devalue the outcome you are aiming for.
After all, you wouldn’t just trust just anyone to work on your car so why should your counter surfaces be any different?
It can be frustrating for us, when, after years of fabricating and investment, both in training the fabricators we employ to be the skilled craftsman they are, as well as in the best machinery and tooling , others think it is as simple as just sticking pieces together, devaluing the skill and experience that we offer.
Why work with BSF?
To begin with, as a family run business, established for over 20 years, we totally care about each and every customer and project we are privileged to be involved with.
There are a lot of people who may say the same as us, 22 years of trading with many repeat customers is our testament that what we say is true and what we promise we can deliver.https://www.linkedin.com/embeds/publishingEmbed.html?articleId=8476709019989682429
We provide peace of mind.
Our brand is our family name, our reputation, and we strive to maintain the highest quality customer service, with great lead times, competitive pricing, experience, expertise and attention to detail.
Work with a company that you can trust, that offers:
– Full CAD/CAM Capabilities and Laser templating service
– Free material samples- just click here , we are more than happy to assist.
– Quality Network Industrial Partner of Corian
Quality Club Member of LG Hi Macs
– Impartial advice on our wide product offering-Corian, Hi Macs, Staron, Hanex, Avonite, Tristone, Mirostone, Durasein, Mistral, download our free e-book here.
– Three Dimensional Thermoforming
– Accreditations : ISO9001-2015 / SMAS / Constructionline Gold/ Acclaim/ Builders Profile
Choosing to work with us is only the first step, we will guide and advise, offer assistance, free samples and will spend the time helping to ensure that you are completely at ease and comfortable with the decision you have taken.
If you would like to know more; send us a message or email, call us on 01277 263603, we are always happy to chat, offer advice, send samples or just put the world to rights.
Nicola Barden is the Managing Director of her family business, BSF Solid Surfaces Ltd, offering high end, bespoke counter surfaces from Solid Surface, a high end man made stone, for both commercial and residential projects, website www.bsfsolidsurfaces.com
She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a call on 01277 263603 if you want to chat about anything, or nothing in particular.
In her spare time she can be found with her husband, son, two cats and crazy dog. They enjoy going to the zoo, the park, the rides and anything that allows their energetic son to expend his endless amounts of energy!