Cost of Acrylic Countertop
Acrylic countertops are also referred to as solid surface countertops and are sold under many brand names. Each brand is a proprietary and often patented product with unique characteristics. These types of countertops rose in popularity in the 1950s and 1960s but lapsed in the 1990s and 2000s as luxury materials like marble rose to the top. Today, acrylic countertops are gaining a new foothold as the latest technology has allowed manufacturers to create a wide range of colors, patterns and textures that can mimic more expensive materials.
- Minimum: $11.97 per finished square foot of acrylic countertops
- Maximum: $22.74 per finished square foot of acrylic countertops
In addition to the cost of the primary material used to make the acrylic countertop, homeowners beginning this renovation project will have some additional expenses. Supplies such as backing board, adhesives and fasteners add an average of $3.10 per finished square foot of acrylic countertop. The average hourly cost for installing an acrylic countertop is $42.50. If the homeowner wants to have a sink installed, this will add to the project and installation fees. A backsplash is not included with the countertop. Installing a matching backsplash will also add to the cost of the project. Creation of an acrylic countertop with complicated contours or more than two seams increases the installation costs and time required to complete the project.
There are many different sub-types of acrylic countertops that homeowners can select from when doing a kitchen or bathroom remodeling project. Acrylic countertops are created from a proprietary blend of resins, plastics, epoxies and embedded additions such as glass. The primary sub-types of acrylic countertops include:
Solid Resin: This is the most common type of acrylic countertop. The solid surface is created from acrylic resin with added pigment. It is widely used as a kitchen countertop as well as in the bathroom.
Back-Lit Resin: This type of acrylic countertop has LED lights embedded into the resin. This allows the homeowner to have light when working on the countertop doing detailed work such as mincing vegetables.
Embedded Acrylic Countertops: Recycled glass or reclaimed ceramic or porcelain tiles are crushed and added into the resin. Different manufacturers add different percentages of the embedded materials. A pigment may be added to the resin to add color to the surface.
Mineralized Acrylics: Manufacturers add minerals such as crushed quartz to the resin. The finished product resembles natural stone but has the durability and non-porous nature of acrylic.
Granite Blends: This is a mixture of 95% granite and 5% resin. The resin adds durability and makes the surface easier for homeowners to maintain. Installation of this type of countertop is easier than for solid granite slabs.
In addition to the different sub-types of acrylic countertops, there are three different finish styles that can be applied to the product before it is installed into a home. Not all finish types are available on all products, although some manufacturers do allow custom orders. The three types of finishing styles for acrylic countertops include:
Matte: This type of finish is ideal for backlit acrylic countertops and those with a high percentage of mineral content. Fingerprints and water stains easily show up on a matte surface.
Semi-Gloss: This is the most popular finish for acrylic countertops. It highlights any embedded materials and reflects some light into the environment for enhanced visual appeal.
Gloss: Glossy acrylic countertops highlight the pigmentation of the surface. This finish is also used for acrylics with embedded tile.
Popular brands and manufacturers of acrylic countertops include DuPont Corian, Aristech Acrylics, Soapstone, Avonite, Formica Solid Surfacing, Cerata, Florenata, Wilsonart Gibraltar, Swanstone, Centura, Lippert Corp., Meganite, Staron, Askilan and HI-MACS by LG Hausys. Each of these companies has a variety of styles and color ranges. Most companies work with specific contractors for installation services and will only warranty the product if it is installed by a licensed contractor.
Advantages of Acrylic Countertops
Acrylic countertops are non-porous and therefore hygienic when it comes to preventing the spread of germs in the kitchen. They also repel moisture and mold. Because acrylic countertops are strong, homeowners can feel free to place heavy appliances like a microwave on the surface. Seamless installation allows for easier cleaning of the surface of the counter. Acrylic countertops can be created in any shape without a premium for curved contours. Sinks can be integrated seamlessly into an acrylic countertop for a sleek and modern finished look. Acrylic countertops resist stains, and spills are easy to clean with just a cloth, soap and water.
This type of countertop meets the GreenGuard Indoor Air Quality certification. Acrylics are available in a wide range of colors and patterns to coordinate with the flooring and cabinetry of the kitchen or bathroom. There have been some innovations in the production of acrylic countertops that allow recycled plastics and resins to be used to create the solid surface. Although the range of products in this category is still limited, it is a growing field of research and likely to expand into more offerings in the future.
Disadvantages of Acrylic Countertops
While there are many reasons to use acrylic countertops in the renovation of a kitchen or bathroom, there are some drawbacks to this material. Most acrylic countertops have a high environmental impact. The majority of acrylic countertops are made from non-renewable resources and a great amount of energy is required for their production. The surface of acrylic countertops is vulnerable to damage from heat, and most manufacturers recommend that homeowners use a trivet or hot pad between a pot and the counter. Acrylic countertops are also susceptible to dents and scratches. Homeowners are advised not to cut and prepare food directly on the surface of the countertop; a cutting board should be used when chopping and slicing foods. For a man-made product, acrylic countertops are relatively expensive and cost nearly as much as luxury materials such as granite.
Last updated on May 4, 2016
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