What You Need to Know About Solid Surface Bathroom Countertops

If you're in the midst of a bathroom reno or are considering one down the road, you're likely exploring all of your countertop options. Have you heard about solid surface? This option might be — in the words of Goldilocks — just right! The material is midrange, durable with the semblance of natural stone, but without the upkeep that it requires. It's been around for more than 50 years and, due to the variety of colors and patterns available, it works well with a range of design styles, from traditional to modern. Read on to learn about the wonderful world of solid surface bathroom countertops.

What Are Solid Surface Bathroom Countertops?

Solid surface materials are synthetic and comprised of man-made ingredients such as acrylic or polyester resins, along with mineral fillers, marble dust, and other pigments. As the name suggests, solid surface is completely solid and lacks the porous composition that renders natural stone — like marble, granite, and limestone — vulnerable to stains and bacteria. They're an ideal material to consider for high-splash areas like the kitchen and bathroom ... because spills happen. Solid surface bathroom countertops don't need to be professionally sealed, ever, and can be cleaned daily with a just a damp microfiber cloth.

And since they are manufactured, they're available in a wide range of colors from neutral to cobalt, as well as textures and patterns, many of which look remarkably like wood, stone, and glass, without the steep price tag and associated upkeep. Like linoleum, the color and pattern in solid surfaces runs all the way through from top to bottom, so dents and scratches are less noticeable and can be buffed out.

Solid surface countertops are becoming increasingly popular for use in residential spaces because they can be customized for virtually any space, in any shape, color, and dimension. If you love an integrated sink half as much as we do, solid surface is the ideal material to make this dream a reality. They're also anti-microbial, making them appealing for commercial use in high-traffic, germ-prone spaces like hospitals and gyms (also for residential bathrooms and kitchens).

The most familiar name brand associated with solid surface is probably Corian® (owned by DuPont), which actually invented the material more then 50 years ago and actively produces new colorways and designs today. Wilsonart, Avonite, and Formica are competitive brands also manufacturing solid surface countertops.

At $50 to $125-per-square-foot, solid surface countertops aren't cheap, but they're definitely more affordable than engineered or natural stone alternatives.

Maintenance

Solid surface bathroom countertops require little day-to-day maintenance and can be cleaned with just a damp microfiber cloth, some soap, and an ammonia-based cleaner to wipe up spills. They do scratch easily, so you'll want to be careful with your razors. If scratches do occur, not to worry: they can be buffed out. Keep in mind that dark colors show scratches and wear and tear more easily than lighter colors. And while they're heat resistant, a trivet or oven mitt should always be used under hot hair styling utensils.

Pros

One of the biggest pluses for solid surface countertops is that they're as non-porous as any material can be, so stains and germs can't penetrate them. Plus, they're easy to keep clean and heat resistant (but not heatproof). They're more affordable than natural and engineered stone, while still resembling them. They're available in a variety of colors, textures, patterns, and can even be custom colored and sized if you want something that isn't readily available.

Cons

Solid surfaces are prone to scratches and should never be cut on directly. They're not heatproof, and although they resemble natural stone, they lack the same depth as the real thing.

Play the role of supporting cast.

A modern bathroom by City Home Collective is bursting with drama thanks to book-matched marble wall panels, patterned floor tile, and a dark wood vanity topped with a simple white solid surface countertop. Elegant wall sconces and a freestanding tub add just the right amount of curves to an otherwise rectilinear design.

Embrace neutrals.

solid surface bathroom countertop with floating wood vanity and large frameless mirror
credit: Corian

Who wouldn't want to start their day in a soothing, contemporary retreat like this one decked out in Corian®? Solid surface bathroom countertops in a taupe hue create a monochromatic bathroom escape when paired with a floating wood vanity in the same color palette. An oversize mirror and a pair of wall sconces ensure plenty of light is reflected, and that's always a plus.

A white countertop always works.

A bright white bathroom is always a "Do" here at Hunker. Webber + Studio pairs a white solid surface bathroom countertop with a wood vanity cabinet for a look that's clean and modern, with plenty of warmth. Oversize windows add loads of natural light, while a freestanding tub completes the spa-like oasis.


Jaclyn Schatzow

Jaclyn Schatzow

Jaclyn Schatzow is a freelance writer living in Santa Monica, CA