In residential settings, solid surface can be used as kitchen countertops, bathroom vanity tops, and shower and tub surrounds. Countertop fabricators typically join solid surface sheets into desired shapes using a two-part adhesive, after which the cured joint is machined flat. Solid surface is a popular choice in Europe, and is selected more than any other material worldwide. It is a non-porous, low-maintenance material popular for countertops. It can mimic the appearance of granite, marble, stone, and other naturally occurring materials, and if installed by a trained craftsperson, has near invisible joints. Manufactured in sheet form for fabrication into finished countertops, solid surface can also be cast into a variety of shapes, including sinks and shower pans. Sheet goods can also be heated and bent into three-dimensional shapes using a process called thermoforming, making this a versatile product.
A major appeal of solid surface is its impermeability. Solid surface sinks can be joined to the countertop surface with no gaps, eliminating areas for water to collect and bacteria to grow. Integral backsplashes can also be created to seamlessly follow the contours of the wall minimizing gaps.
Should the material become scratched or broken, solid surface can often be repaired quickly by a certified solid surface repair company or trained fabricator. Cracked sinks can also be replaced and because the surface is solid throughout, a countertop that has undergone years of wear and tear can be refinished. The installed product is available in a variety of finishes, ranging from matte to high-gloss, although most manufacturers recommend a matte or satin finish for ease of maintenance.