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Choosing a surface type for your new kitchen countertop is something that, for many of us, could be lifelong decision. What are the different types of surface materials available? How do they differ? Which surface type would suit your needs? Solid Surface Solid surface countertops are made from synthetic materials, usually out of acrylic or polyester. From a practical point-of-view, solid surface materials make a lot of sense and are popular choice for new homes especially in Asia. These surfaces are synthesized specifically to address major concerns regarding durability, hygiene and design in mind. Solid surfaces are a great alternative to natural stone and typically come in acrylic and polyester. Non-porous Pores are tiny openings over a surface which can be conducive spots for bacteria and other microorganisms to grow. Being non-porous means that solid surfaces are easier to keep clean and hygienic. The absence of pores also do not trap stains and is easy to clean with soap, water and cloth. Versatile in design Solid surfaces can be sanded and shaped into a wide variety of designs. Solid surfaces can be cut and joined in various configurations, which is a designer’s dream. Can be built in different orientations; horizontally or vertically. Durability More durable to impacts compared to natural stone due to its flexibility. Its softer surface is susceptible to cuts from knives. Granite stone is more resistant to heat and chemicals than marble. Ease of repair Light scratching and surface damage can be fixed with fillers. Entire portions can be cut out and replaced with new parts, and its uniform look (unlike irregular features of natural stone) makes it easy to blend in the replacement parts. Cost Expensive and comparable to natural stone. Aesthetics Many regard solid surfaces as lacking in the looks department compared to natural stone. Natural Stone Natural stone are heavy, slabs of rock cut and fashioned from large blocks from stone quarries. Natural stone is regarded for its beauty and have traditionally been used to build solid and long-lasting countertops. Notable examples of natural stone include marble and granite. Images of the Parthenon come to mind when we think of marble works and its association with grandeur. Porous Natural stone contains small pores that, if not treated with sealant, are a hygiene hazard as it traps bacteria and dirt. It is easy to clean when properly treated with sealant. Sealant needs to be reapplied every few years, or sooner as needed. Less versatile Solid blocks of stone are, as it is, set in stone. Seams will be very noticeable where two pieces of stone come together. Durability While very hard, natural stone is inflexible and brittle making it vulnerable to impacts and massive temperature fluctuations. Its hard surface, however, makes it very resistant to cuts and scratching from knives. Ease of repair Again, set in stone, natural stone is nearly impossible to repair. Depending on the severity of the damage, entire pieces may need to be replaced. The harder the stone is, the more difficult it is to repair. Cost Expensive. More so if repairs are ever needed. Aesthetics Widely regarded for its beauty. Aside from its patterns, cool look and glow, each slab of natural stone is unique and no two pieces are ever alike. Quartz Stone Not to be confused with its naturally occurring relative, quartz in countertop design are fabricated, yet retaining some of the aesthetics and durability that we associate with natural stone, with a few minor differences. Quartz stone shares many similarities to natural stone. For one, it boasts a hardness of 7 on the Mohs Hardness scale (granite is 6-7, depending on its minerology) making it very resistant to cuts or scratching with sharp metal implements. In fact it might dull your knives instead! Quartz has a melting point of 1670°C (granite is 1215 – 1260°C) and is non-porous. Quartz does discolour when exposed to sunlight. However, with darker colours, quartz stone can be put together in such a way that the seams are minimally visible. After reading this article, YOU should know WHICH COUNTERTOP MATERIAL IS FOR YOU!
Hi, I need to replace my bathroom wash basin, which is currently partially set into my vanity top. I have some questions about the replacement, can someone please help me here? Qn 1) Is it possible to remove the existing wash basin without replacing the vanity top? Or would I need to replace both the wash basin and the vanity top, or even the cabinet altogether? Qn 2) I've heard that it is also possible to use a floor standing cabinet to replace my wall-mount cabinet, but as the height from my floor to the bottom of the mirror is 83cm, I'm told that I would need to use silicon to glue the wash basin to my mirror. Does anyone know what kind of side effect this might have. Is the installation more expensive than normal and why? Qn 3) If I need replace the vanity top, does anyone has any recommendation on where I can find replacement for the entire cabinet plus a new top-mount basin? I have tried Hoe Kee but it doesn't seem to have many top-mount cabinets (in fact I only see 1). Qn 4) If it is possible to only replace the vanity top and I can buy a new top-mount basin, must the vanity top be custom-made by a contractor or something? Any one know the price for this? Any help is greatly appreciated!!