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Marble and Tiles Fitting

Solid surface is a man-made material usually composed of marble dust, bauxite, acrylic or polyester resins and pigments. It is most frequently used for seamless counter top installations.

Availability

Solid surface is available in hundreds of colours and visual textures, ranging from solid colours to marbled  granite effect or wood grain. Cultured marble, cultured granite, and cultured onyx describe solid surfaces coloured to resemble natural stone. Dozens of multinational companies manufacture solid surface sheet goods and sinks for the world market; and hundreds of smaller, regional manufacturers produce for local markets.

Although solid surface faces competition from natural stone and quartz surfacing, the material is popular in Asia, particularly in residential new construction. An emerging market for solid surface is in commercial and industrial settings, where its non-porous characteristics, combined with durability, renew-ability and form-ability make it the material of choice for many designers and architects. Also appealing, is the wide range of colours and textures, as well as the ability to custom-colour the material for large projects. Hospitals, in particular, employ large amounts of solid surface for sinks, showers, nursing stations and wall cladding, because its seamless properties eliminate gaps and crevices that harbour harmful bacteria.

Manufacture

Solid surface is manufactured by mixing acrylic or polyester resin with powdered bauxite filler and pigments. The material chemically cures and is heated to 60°C or more. Cured material is then cut in sheets or shapes and sanded on one or both sides depending the brand used. Sometimes the material is brought to 160°C and cooled, to improve its heat resistance.

Acrylic-modified polyester solid surface can be mixed one sheet at a time using different formulations, effects and appearances. Acrylic-modified polyester solid surface can be injected into moulds to produce various solid decorative design figures.

Since first being introduced by Dupont in 1964 under the name of Corrigan, other manufacturers have also introduced their brands as well. Other brands include COMA Solid Surface, Aconite, Magnetite, Wilson art, Visioner, Formica, Mastery, radon, Swan stone and others.[1]

Solid-surface manufacturing companies may be members of the trade organizations American Composites Manufacturers Association and ICPA (International Cast Polymer Association).[2] These organizations identify the product under the "brand" of Master Cast Engineered Composites.

Fabrication

A surface fabricator shapes and installs functional and decorative surfaces, usually in buildings. Surface fabrication, as a distinct professional enterprise, usually involves complex tasks of surface shaping. A leading case is counter top fabrication.

Materials

For interior spaces, surfaces include solid coverings or decking for floors or walls, and counter tops for kitchens, bathrooms, and workspaces. Natural surfaces are composed of naturally occurring materials like wood, stone, mineral, clay, gum and resin. Synthetic surfaces contain, in addition to any natural materials, man-made substances such as metal alloys or polymers. Solid surfaces are synthetic surfaces manufactured from polymeric materials.

Tools

Tools of surface fabrication include routers, drills, templates, clamps, ovens, suction cup grips, and table saws. Larger surface fabricators may also use CNC routers. For all but the simplest jobs, surface fabrication usually takes place in the workshop, after which the finished product is assembled and installed at the work site. Installation of multi-part surfaces, such as "L" and "U" shaped counter tops, often involves complex work with specialized tools, to create a seamless result.

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