Avonite Countertop Price Guide
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Solid-surface countertops made from acrylic were first produced in the United States in the 1960s as an alternative to Formica or natural stone surfaces and have proven to be popular alternatives to granite or marble. The following are the average costs associated with an installed Avonite countertop.
$40 to $140 per square foot for the installed materials
Incorporation of a sink or thicker materials will add to the average project cost
Additional costs might be incurred for the inclusion of custom edging
Benefits of Avonite Countertops
Avonite countertops are non-porous, so they will not support the growth of bacteria. This makes them ideal for kitchens where food preparation requires a hygienic work surface. The manufacturing process gives Avonite counters a rich depth of color that makes them visually appealing. The vast assortment of available colors and patterns ensures they will fit into any design concept a homeowner, architect or designer might have in mind.
Design and fabrication options give Avonite an advantage over other materials. Sheets can be shaped to accommodate specific design layouts using a thermoforming process to bend the product. Sinks and backsplashes can be integrated into the manufacturing process to form a seamless surface that cannot be achieved with other countertop materials.
The Avonite’s Chromatix program now allows buyers to create customized colors in the Avonite Studio Collection. The manufacturer creates an Avonite surface from a color sample provided by the consumer.
Avonite Product Lines
Avonite countertops are offered in three product lines. The Studio Collection is the company’s top-of-the-line polyester-based product offering a wider selection of colors and patterns than its other product lines. The Foundations is a 100% acrylic product that is now available in some colors that previously were only available in the more expensive Studio Collection.
A new Avonite product is the Symphony Collection. The Symphony Collection is an acrylic-based product similar to the Foundations line, but it offers more color choices and patterns from which designers and consumers may choose.
Factors Influencing Costs
The average cost of an Avonite countertop can vary from one part of the country to another. There might also be seasonal price fluctuations, such as spring and summer, when busy contractors charge more for their services than the slower times of the year (when they lower prices to attract customers). Prices might be lower in the late fall and early winter months than at other times of the year.
The cost of materials will also be affected by the particular Avonite product selected for a project. The Studio Collection is more expensive than the Foundations line of Avonite product. The price differential is due to the way in which each product is manufactured.
The Foundations line is produced from acrylics using a fully automated, continuous casting process that manufactures large sheets of Avonite in bulk using a machine that is the size of a football field. The Studio Collection employs a costly, manual process in which polyester and resin combine to create individual pan-casted sheets. Pan casting allows for greater flexibility in the design of each sheet, and it produces deeper, richer colors than are achievable with bulk production.
Manufacturing Process, Materials and Finishes
Solid-surface countertops are man-made using a chemical process that combines plastic resins such as acrylic or polyester with mineral fillers. The result is a nonporous surface that is resistant to the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew.
Countertops can be produced in three finishes: matte, satin and gloss. Matte finishes are sanded to achieve a dull, flat finish with little or no sheen to it. Further sanding with finer abrasive materials produces a satin finish that displays a low to medium luster. Gloss finishes can be achieved through additional polishing.
The manufacturing process used to produce Avonite surfaces results in colors and patterns that run completely through the product from top to bottom. Gloss and satin finishes that loss their luster after extended periods of use can be restored by sanding and buffing the affected area. The company recommends homeowners should have restoration services performed by a professional certified in Avonite fabrication.
Solid-surface countertops offer consumers and designers an alternative to other materials such as natural stone, quartz and Formica surfaces, but they might not be for everyone or every use. Before choosing Avonite solid-surface countertops, homeowners and designers should take into consideration how the countertops will be used on a daily basis.
Disadvantages of Avonite Countertops
Solid-surface materials are extremely durable, but they can be damaged. A hot pot placed directly on the countertop instead of on a trivet or other heat-resistant surface could cause the material to expand and crack. Cutting directly on the countertop instead of using a cutting board could mar the surface, and anything that is harder than the countertop has the potential for leaving scratches if it is rubbed across it.
If the countertop is to be exposed to chemicals such as glues or solvents, care should be taken in making the choice between acrylic or polyester resins. For example, polyester resin is more resistant to solvents such as nail polish removers and paint thinners than are acrylic resins. Products from the polyester-based Avonite Studio Collection would be a better choice under those circumstances than a product from the Foundations line or Symphony Collection that are made from polyester resin.
As attractive as Avonite surfaces might be, they are manufactured from acrylic or polyester resins that give them a plastic appearance. This might be a concern for purchasers wanting the same natural appearance of granite or marble.
Fabricating and installing Avonite is not a do-it-yourself project. The handling and fabrication of Avonite products require skills and tools that are beyond the capabilities of the average do-it-yourself enthusiast. Improperly carried sheets of Avonite can easily crack, and achieving a seamless appearance when joining sheets requires special skills and bonding materials.
Solid-surface countertops from Avonite are covered by a 10-year manufacturer’s limited warranty. The warranty does not cover damage resulting from improper installation of the product.
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Last updated on Oct 20, 2014