Solid surface worktops buying guide
So, you’ve decided to buy new solid surface worktops only to be confronted with more options and variations than you know what to do with. It can be a confusing decision process but thankfully this handy guide will tell you all you need to know about the options available to you and what they and what the differences in style mean for you. By the time you’re finished you’ll be able to make your purchase with confidence.
What brands do we stock and why are they important?
There are three main types of solid surface worktops we supply: quartz, acrylic and granite. These three types we provide are from some of the best and most reputable brands in the industry and you can find out more about each, and the options they supply, below:
- Apollo: The Apollo brand has been a major player in the industry over the last 15 years, manufacturing granite, quartz and acrylic worktops in a range of styles. They pride themselves on the quality of their craftsmanship and their innovative range and always strive to provide affordable, luxury surfaces. All of their products are supported by their manufacturing 10 year limited warranty.
For further information, please see our Apollo granite worktop buying guide.
- Apollo: Apollo also manufacture quartz worktops.
- M-stone: M-stone is a brand of the Bushboard group, a global leader in the manufacturing of worktops since the 1930s. They’re passionate about providing innovative products from an ethical environment
- Silestone: Cosentino is the brand behind the Silestone range, and this family-owned brand delivers luxury quartz worktops with a reasonable price tag. Always striving to deliver quality and elegance, Cosentino is a brand synonymous with style.
- Zodiaq: Zodiaq are produced by the DuPont group, a company that has a rich history spanning over 200 years. Their long history has seen them become innovators and global leaders in the field.
Top tip: Find out what the differences are when choosing between granite and quartz worktops.
- Apollo Magna: Another Apollo range focused on acrylic.
- Apollo Slab Tech: The second Apollo acrylic range.
- Corian: Corian is the acrylic range of the prestigious DuPont Company; as refined and excellent as all their ranges.
- Encore: Bushboard is the company that manufactures Encore products and delivers the quality you’d expect. For further information, please see our Encore acrylic worktops buying guide.
- Mistral: Since the early 90s Karonia have been producing solid surface worktops and Mistral is one of their finest brands, an innovative and quality range of work surfaces. For further information, please see our Mistral acrylic worktops buying guide.
- Earthstone: Earthstone acrylic worktops are made by WilsonArt. For over 60 years WilsonArt have been producing solid surface worktops and consider themselves experts in the field, and rightly so. For further information, please see our Earthstone worktops buying guide.
Textures & Aesthetics
What are the aesthetic properties of solid surface worktops?
Acrylic worktops are typified by their resemblance to natural stone as well as their versatile and resilient nature. They are made from mineral filled polyacrylate/polyester resins, meaning they are durable and can be worked with seamless joints. They also have the benefit of being resistant to most stains, impacts and bacteria, and any damage can be easily repaired. Many people favour acrylic as it has all the appeal of natural stone but without the often hefty price tag. You have to see and feel them to believe just how stunning they can be. Our acrylic worktops are only available in a standard solid surface finish, which helps to accentuate their contemporary look.
Granite is a material that is currently very sought after in the world of worktops. Many contemporary designs feature it as it’s such a centrepiece in the kitchen. It’s a gorgeous material for kitchen worktops and the natural formations of it means that the swirls and colouring in each will be slightly unique. Whether you’re going for a rustic look or something more modern, granite always works well.
We currently offer three different finishes on our granite worktops: Flamed, Honed and Rustica, each with its own unique character. Honed has a matte-like finish to it, whilst Rustica has a bit more depth of texture.
Top tip: Find out how to choose the perfect granite worktop for your kitchen.
We offer quartz worktops in a variety of finishes, including solid surface, as well as Polished and Suede, which are equivalent to a gloss or matt finish. It’s a really great material to work with as it has all the natural appeal of granite, but with its quartz blend of 93% quartz and 7% polymer resin it has a more consistent colouring. It also has a wider colour palette available and its semi-porous surface means it is water, stain and bacteria resistant.
What sizes are available with our solid surface worktops?
One of the benefits of ordering with us is that many of our worktops can be made to order. Once you’ve decided on your surface material, all you need to do is provide us with your design plan and measurements and our experts will give you an accurate quote based on factors such as hob cutouts, sink cutouts, edge type and join areas. This means you can be sure that you won’t have to worry about join areas appearing in unwanted places or having left of materials once you’re finished. Once we’ve provided the quote we also offer templating and installation services if required. This made-to-measure service is only provided on the following brands:
- Apollo Granite
- Apollo Quartz
- Silestone Quartz
- Zodiaq Quartz
- Apollo Slabtech acrylic
For our other worktops, the following sizes are available:
- Earthstone acrylic worktops are available in lengths of 1.8m and 3m, 650mm widths and have a thickness of 34mm.
- Apollo Magna acrylic worktops can be chosen in lengths of 1.5m, 1.8m, 3m and 3.05m. For width they are 600mm wide and are either 34mm or 41mm thick.
- Encore acrylic worktops have lengths of 2m, 3m, 3.6m and 4.1m. 600mm and 650mm widths are available and they are either 27mm or 44mm thick.
- Mistral acrylic worktops are available in lengths of 2m and 3.01m, 625mm widths and are 25mm thick.
- M-Stone quartz worktops have options of 1.5m, 2.1m and 3.05m lengths, 650mm widths, and are 25mm thick.
One of the current design trends is for ultra-slim work surfaces to create elegant and discreet lines for a subtle look in neutral colours. To accommodate for this style choice, we have ultra-slim solid surface worktops available in the following brands:
- Apollo Granite
- Apollo Quartz
- Apollo Slab Tech
- Silestone Quartz
- Zodiaq Quartz
There are 7 granite colours available in an ultra-slimline 15mm thickness, so you can really be on-trend with your choices. The colours available to choose from are:
- Spice Black
- Tan Brown
- Sa Bon Accord
- Nero Absoluto
- Blue Pearl
- Emerald Pearl
- Star Galaxy
What accessories can you get with your solid surface worktop?
Depending on your choice of work surface, there will be different options available to you. Here are some of the key ones to consider:
Splashbacks, Upstands and Breakfast Bars are all really popular right now. Not only can you continue the style and texture of your worktops onto these, but you can also make a strong design statement. For example, one particular trend this year is to use neutral and understated colours on your work surfaces and then use a splashback to add a bright colour and create a really vibrant environment. We’ve also found that customers are loving breakfast bars at the moment, and no wonder. A breakfast bar can transform the look and feel of your kitchen, making it more than just a place where food is prepared. Customers feel that it creates a more social aspect to the kitchen and really
make it the centre point of the family home, where people can congregate.
Apollo, Corian and Zodiaq also offer a wide choice of edge details, meaning that you can further personalise the look of your finished work surfaces. There are two main styles that are available, with a variety of options for each. Essentially you have to choose between straight lines and curves. For example, Double Bevel and Birds Beak styles favour straight lines for clear cut designs, whilst Milano, Full Bullnose, Single Pencil and Double Pencil all have more curvaceous finishes for sweeping edges.
For something that has slightly more of a flourish, edges such as Venetian, Imperial and Single Ovolo use both straight edges and curves in a tiered design. The same is true of the return end selection available: Part/Full Return, Double Notch, Triple Notch, and Internal Splay are all more angular designs, while on the other hand Double Radius, Single Radius and Curved are rounded.
For cutouts and drainer grooves, the choices are more of an aesthetic nature and will come down to your preference. For cutouts you can choose between Unpolished, Polished, Square Polished, Recessed Hob and Belfast. For drainer grooves it’s either Recessed or 5 Groove.
What colours are available in Solid Surface?
Your colour choice will determine the atmosphere and ambience of your kitchen, so it’s best to give some considered thought to it. To give you some direction, we’ve listed some of the current favourites for both designers and customers:
You can see two clear palettes here, and these are reflective of two of the main trends. The first is for neutral colours inspired by nature; whites and greys are particularly popular as they help to create a clean and airy feel to your kitchen. Browns and blacks are also popular for those looking for stone and wood effects. The other trend is for bright and bold colours to give a really contemporary look with either gloss or matte textures. A combination of both also works, with subtler colours on worktops lit up by a splash of colour on a splashback.
What are the benefits of choosing a solid surface worktop?
By now you should be able to see that a solid surface worktop is a smart choice for your kitchen. What’s more, you’ll be buying from industry-leading brands that are true experts. With so much customisation available, in surfaces, colours and accessories, you can create your dream kitchen without worry. Your new solid surface worktop will be practical, hygienic and easy to clean as well as potentially adding genuine value and desirability to your home. Whatever choices you make you can rest assured that a solid surface worktop will totally transform your kitchen.
Shop solid surface worktops
Whether you’ve already made your decision, or you simply want to explore our range further, solid surface worktops from HCSupplies are some of the most price competitive around, so why not start shopping today?