Solid Surfaces & the Cost of Ownership

It’s an unfortunate truth, but we live in a throwaway society. Do you remember the good ol’ days when you could buy something that actually lasted? Of course, items lasted longer back then because they were built by people who cared, and they weren’t manufactured to fail. Items purchased actually had value, and the value of ownership outweighed the up front cost.

Well, believe it or not, there are still some products made to last and companies who care. We can proudly and humbly say that here at Tower Industries, we are one of those companies. Our solid surfaces are made to last, not fail. Quality is the utmost priority for every solid surface solution we install.

But at what cost? No, we aren’t Home Depot or Lowe’s. Our products might have a higher initial cost than products sold in some of those big box stores, but there’s an associated value to go along with that cost. The cost of ownership is much, much lower because, well, you won’t be required to replace a solid surface product every five or ten years. Let’s step back for a moment and answer a few questions about solid surfaces.

What is a solid surface?

A solid surface is a hard synthetic material (either an acrylic resin or polyester-acrylic blend) that contains natural fillers, primarily used in your kitchens and bathrooms, for items such as horizontal countertops,vertical wall applications, service counters, tubs, shower bases and shower walls, etc. This solid surface is extremely durable, built to last, easy to clean and a breeze to maintain. Our solid surface shower floors, sinks and other cast shapes are completely seamless, which means you don’t have to worry about gaps, joints or grout.

Why choose solid surface?

Solid surface components are extraordinarily versatile surface materials that offer a ton of benefits in both performance and aesthetics with incredible application and design flexibility. This is great for homeowners and building specifiers, as this allows for design based not on specifications but on customization.

Solid surface components are extremely far reaching. Normally, the largest market for solid surface is kitchen & bathroom countertops. The design flexibility, color and texture options and performance attributes of solid surface are driving more and more builders, architects, designers and homeowners to choose solid surface. Why? Because it just make sense to own something you wanted instead of a prefabricated piece of fiberglass or other material.

How easy is my Meridian Solid Surface to keep clean & sanitary?

It’s probably the easiest surface to clean and maintain. It’s 100% non-porous and, amazingly, you can even clean spray paint off your solid surface (there’s a reason we chose spray paint as an example here, but we’ll address this in a future article). You can use any cleaning solution or even a high pressure washer to return your solid surface back to its brand new look.

Can I stain my solid surface shower base or counter?

No, you can’t! Because of its non-porous qualities, stains are not able to penetrate the material. Remember my spray paint example above? The same applies to coffee, soaps, or anything you could possibly imagine. What it is, it will not affect your solid surface. For superficial staining a household scrubby pad and mild cleaner will do the trick.

How long does a solid surface last?

Because of its synthetic nature, theoretically it can last a lifetime. But whose lifetime? That’s not as easy of a question. The truth is, you’ll likely decide to replace a solid surface countertop or shower for aesthetic reasons before the old surface wears out.

Can solid surface be used in commercial applications?

Absolutely! It is used in many commercial applications due to its durability, look, and antibacterial qualities. It is used for reception counters, desks, tray slides, rest rooms, etc. As a matter of fact, some of our top customers might be schools you or your children have attended. Our solid surface shower bases can be found in dormitories at Ohio State University and the University of Florida, just to name a few.

Are solid surface products heat resistant?

Yes. While very high and direct heat will damage most solid surface products, solid surface materials do not burn or combust. Therefore, if your counter is damaged by excessive heat, in most cases the damage can be repaired. We have never had a heat issue with our solid surface shower bases.

Is solid surface better than granite?

Solid surface and granite are both mid to high-end countertop materials. Typically, individuals interested in a specific “look” that is only available in a natural stone will not necessarily be happy with a compromise. However, solid surface materials offer numerous advantages to natural stone in terms of quality, design, care and maintenance, and cost.

Can I use solid surfaces on my walls?

Tub and shower surrounds that are installed with solid surface panels have become increasingly popular. There is a tremendous color selection to choose from. The material is non-porous and ultra sanitary as well as really easy to maintain. There are no grout lines to clean, and our bases are one solid component. What does that all mean? In a nutshell: simple to clean and maintain for the next hundred years.

After reading about the numerous benefits of a solid surface solution, we think you’ll agree that there is tremendous value in solid surfaces. You don’t have to be a member of the throwaway society, you know. Oh, and if you choose a solid surface solution over your neighborhood big box store, you’ll be saving money in the long run, so you can go ahead and book that trip to the Bahamas you’ve been dreaming about. Have a pina colada or two.

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