Posted on: 14 March 2016Share
When you walk through several homes looking for just the right home to buy, you may see several different kinds of countertops in the kitchens and in the bathrooms. At first glance, most of these countertops may all look like the same material, just different colors or patterns. However, countertops can be made of granite, marble, polyurethane-covered plywood, and even Corian, a substance that is solid and made of a mixture of acrylic and aluminum. As you continue your tours of homes available for purchase, here is how you can spot the characteristics of good acrylic/aluminum polymer countertops versus other materials.
Engraved versus Engravable
With acrylic/aluminum polymer countertops, you can engrave whatever you want on them, and then buff or sand it back out if you do not like it. While you certainly could engrave granite countertops, the effect is akin to engraving tombstones and the engraving on granite is nearly impossible to remove without destroying the countertop. Additionally, because granite is one of the most expensive countertop materials, the thought of engraving it or seeing it engraved or scratched tends to make some people cringe. You can still get the look of granite but with none of the cringe-worthy looks and sensations when you install acrylic/aluminum polymer countertops.
Non-Porous and Stain-Resistant
Marble is notorious for its inability to resist stains. If you spill a glass of red wine on a marble countertop, you need to work quickly to soak it up and clean it up or you will have quite the purpley-red stain there indefinitely. Now if you spill the same glass of red wine on the acrylic/aluminum polymer counter, you could almost leave the wine spill there for hours and the countertop would still wipe clean with no stains. The best and highest quality of this type of acrylic countertop material is non-porous and stain-resistant. If you see countertops with stains on them as you tour homes for sale, you may want to steer clear because almost nothing will remove the stains from those counters except a complete removal and replacement of the countertop itself.
Heat Resistance and Flammability
Acrylic laminate over plywood is one of the cheapest materials a builder can use to construct countertops. It is also one of the most flammable and does not resist heat very well. Even with the use of hot pads, a pan or cookie sheet set on top of the hot pads on this counter surface will quickly transfer the heat to the counter and make it hot to the touch.
While the acrylic/aluminum polymer surface may still collect a little heat in the same manner, it is not nearly as hot, nor will the countertop melt, burn or ignite unless the pan or baking sheet is hotter than 212 degrees and left directly on the counter for several minutes after coming straight out of or off of the stove. You should still use a trivet or hot pads, but you can be a little less anxious about this countertop material burning and bursting into flames than the plywood and laminate.
For more information about Corian countertops, contact a local retailer.