For a bathroom or kitchen project, there are several factors to consider when it comes to selecting materials for countertops or showers. After evaluating elements surrounding budget, installation, design, durability, and long-term benefits, architects often reach the conclusion that solid surface solutions will meet the needs and expectations of most projects.
But, not all solid surface is the same. So what’s the difference? Let’s take a look.
Before diving into the specifics of how some solid surface materials are different than others, let’s review some of the highlighted benefits that solid surface provides as a reminder of the high quality that is inherent with this material.
- Safety – Due to the material’s non-porousness, solid surface is mold and mildew resistant, helping to keep end-users safe.
- Durability – Solid surface is tough and resilient and can withstand heat, mold, and dropped items without causing damage.
- Longevity – The material is built to last for a lifetime and beyond.
- Virtually maintenance-free – Regular re-grouting and sealing schedules are not required with solid surface. The product is naturally resilient.
- Easy to keep clean – Only soap and warm water are required to keep solid surface countertops and showers clean.
- Customizable – Solid surface can be made into just about any size and shape for truly custom shower bases and countertops
- Beautiful – The material is available in a plethora of colors and textures that can mimic the appearances of granite, marble, and stone.
Okay, so we can all agree that solid surface countertops and solid surface showers are awesome, so let’s take a look at why Meridian Solid Surface is superior to other manufacturers’ products. To be brief, Tower uses a post-curing process to fully bake the product, making an incredibly strong and safe product for end-users. We call this “oven baking.”
Most solid surface starts off as a material from a specialty mineral company, which has refined a natural mineral that is dug up from the earth. That material is then mixed with a polymer resin and blended under a vacuum to remove all air. Next, a hardening catalyst is injected to turn the liquid to a solid, while also adding mineral filler for material substance.
Here’s where we switch it up and do things differently. Because the chemical reaction taking place at this point happens more quickly when heat is added, we put our solid surface products into an oven and bake them. As a result of this baking process, the product is 100% cured before leaving our plant.
Why is this important?
Most manufacturers let the product finish the curing process after it’s out of their hands. This can take up to 90 days to complete, so there’s a chance the product can be in a store, or even fully installed before the process is even finished!
Applying heat to the product creates a stronger polymer bond and therefore stronger performance. Our solid surface is at its strongest state upon delivery, not 30, 60, or 90 days after we sell it.
Although there is extra time and expense involved with incorporating this process, we do it anyway. Why? Because we’ve made a commitment to provide you with a superior product, and we do what we say we’re going to do.
How We Almost Broke the Machine
Recently, we had a load test done on one of our solid surface shower bases. The test proved that our base could withstand a strength test of at least 78,000 pounds! We may never know exactly how much weight our shower bases can withstand because the test was limited by the fear of breaking the machine itself! Testing at 78,000 pounds is quite an accomplishment, as the industry standard is only to ensure your shower base can handle up to 1,000 pounds.
Overall, solid surface showers and countertops provide a tough, yet beautiful, top-notch product that can enhance any bathroom or kitchen project. Contact us and ask how to take your solid surface quality one step further to a superior level of strength, safety, and security.