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Acrylic Countertops

By HHI Staff

Solid, acrylic countertops, such as Corian and others, come in a number of colors and visual textures.

 

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The specific, patented formulations of these products seem to have only a slight odor, perhaps because they are so hard and dense. One very positive feature is that, if you get the solid 3/4"-thick type, in many installations it won’t require a plywood or particleboard substrate (base material) for support. This eliminates formaldehyde glue and softwood terpene problems associated with these man-made wood products. However, because the typical thickness is 1/2", the options available to you in a 3/4" thickness could be limited to a few standard colors, although you might be able to special order other colors.

On the plus side, acrylic countertops are relatively stain-resistant and, even if they acquire some minor discolorations or scratches, these can often be sanded out. Of course, this must be done very carefully. (Remember to follow manufacturer’s guidelines.) Sinks often come as one piece with the countertop, removing the need for caulking and simplifying cleaning.

Some products come in two forms: a solid material or a laminated version with a thin attractive top layer over an underlying man-made wood layer. While the laminated types are less expensive, they could pose more of an intolerance problem. However, if the mineral/polymer material completely encases the man-made material, much of the formaldehyde and softwood terpene odors coming from the core material should be sealed in. (Note: Edges and seams may leave the man-made wood slightly exposed in some installations.) Different manufacturers use different formulations, so if sensitive individuals can’t tolerate one particular brand, they may be able to tolerate another.

 

From Creating a Healthy Household: The Ultimate Guide For Healthier, Safer, Less-Toxic Living. © 2000 by Lynn Marie Bower. 

 

 

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Acrylic Countertops:  Created on February 9th, 2007.  Last Modified on February 28th, 2011

 

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