Featured Articles, Material Trends

Third-Gen Builder Says Solid Surface Countertops Are Making a Comeback

After 50 years of new home construction and renovation, Welling Construction, Inc. has seen just about everything when it comes to kitchen and bathroom trends. Although some trends are gone forever (think avocado green kitchens and carpeted bathrooms), there is one that is making a welcome comeback.

“When we first started in the early ’70s, laminate was the trend in bathroom vanities and kitchen countertops,” said Sean Welling, third-generation owner of Welling Construction, Inc. In the ’90s, that trend shifted to solid surface, which reigned in popularity until the early 2000s when granite became the countertop material of choice. Today, said Sean, that trend is shifting back to solid surface. “We are once again seeing a majority of our clients choose solid surfaces for their kitchen and bathroom projects.”

Solid Surface Countertops Keep Up with Current Trends
Why the comeback? Sean believes it comes down to options. “In the ’90s, if you had a solid surface countertop, you were limited to standard patterns,” he said. “Today, there are a lot more options, including natural colors that look really sharp.”

Brian Smith, director of sales and owner at L.E. Smith, says those options are continually increasing. “There is a strong range of colors and patterns to choose from,” he said. “Neutral colors that mimic natural stone are the most popular, but Wilsonart continues to come out with new options that are matching current trends in colors and styles.”

Like many other manufacturers, Wilsonart recently introduced new solid surface designs that look like marble and other natural stones, and Sean says it is unlike anything he has ever seen. “I have already had a client order one of the designs that were just released,” he added. “As long as they continue creating new colors that match current trends, I am sure solid surface will continue to be popular.”

An Economically Advantageous Choice
In addition to offering a wide variety of colors and styles, solid surface bathroom vanities and kitchen countertops offer an upgrade from laminate without the sticker shock that accompanies quartz or granite options. “A lot of our clients don’t want to spend the money on quartz or granite countertops,” said Sean. “When they see the options available in solid surface, they can easily imagine it in their spa-style bathroom or upgraded kitchen. There is also a sense of relief when they realize that they can also fit it in their budget.”

LE Smith Wilsonart Solid Surface Kitchen Countertop

The Benefits of Solid Surface

  • Price point: Perfectly priced between laminate and quartz, solid surface is a great option to fit any budget.
  • Limitless design: Ranging from trendy to natural and everything in between, solid surface comes in a wide range of colors and design options.
  • Low maintenance: Nonporous properties mean that solid surface countertops never need to be sealed, they won’t stain, and they’re easy to clean.
  • Antimicrobial: Solid surface will not support the growth of bacteria, which makes it invaluable in health care settings like hospitals, doctor’s offices, gyms, hospices and retirement homes—not to mention kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Seamless appearance: Seams are sealed so tightly, they are almost invisible, which allows for clean lines and no place for bacteria to grow.
  • Durable: Although difficult to damage, solid surface can be easily repaired.

It’s clear that solid surface has its advantages, and homeowners are pleasantly surprised to find this material has all the functionality they need along with a wide variety of design choices.

If you are interested in learning more about L.E. Smith’s residential solid surface program visit www.lesmith.com. To see the new collections by Wilsonart visit www.wilsonart.com/solid-surfaces.

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