2. Quartz- and Acrylic-Based: Engineered Stone and "Solid Surface" Countertops made of engineered stone are composed of 93% quartz particles. Engineered stone offers a wider range of colors than granite and has a nonporous surface that resists scratches. Engineered stone is not as popular as granite and is often confused for granite but the regular consistency of the patterning gives it away as being man-made. In fact, engineered stone has all the benefits of granite but is easier to maintain, without the annual sealing required by natural stone. It is more expensive than granite or stone. Engineered stone brands include Silestone, DuPont Zodiaq, LG Viatera and Cambria Quartz.
The initial type of bamboo countertops are actually a form of laminate. To create this eco-friendly product, manufacturers start by making cross-brand laminates that they call multilam. Small strips of bamboo are then glued together to produce the planks. Once all of the separate planks are assembled, they are all glued together with a formaldehyde-free, non-toxic adhesive. Once the countertops are delivered to the jobsite and installed, they will most likely need to to have a finish sealer applied. Use a low VOC sealer to keep your countertops eco-friendly, and as green as you can. Bamboo Countertops Constructed From End Grain: End-Grain bamboo is an alternative method of manufacturing countertops. The end grain bamboo is glued together just like the planks. But, rather than creating planks of long bamboo, the manufacturers of end-grain bamboo countertops create them from rectangular pieces of bamboo. Theyre glued together much like the planks and a finish sealer is added. What is the Cost of Bamboo Countertops? The cost of bamboo is relatively inexpensive when compared to that of granite or solid surface countertops.
Similar to the quartz-based engineered stone countertops are the seamless, manufactured acrylic-based ones that are called "Solid Surface" counters. While they also offer a wide assortment of colors, patterns and finishes, they dont have the natural look of stone. They do resist stains, moisture, sunlight and heat, and inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria. However, they are vulnerable to hot pans and stains which can damage the surface. Solid Surface countertops are custom-made and their acrylic material can be formed to include an integrated sink with seamless installation. Brands of Solid Surface countertops include Avonite, Corian, and Swanstone.
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