Acrylic countertops are getting more and more popular in kitchen and bathroom countertops. This fact is explained by various factors such as: ecological reasons, financial reasons besides the beauty and the functionality that acrylic countertops can offer.
Acrylic countertops are sometimes referred to as solid surface countertops. It is built by laying a thick piece of acrylic on a particle board or plywood layer. These countertops are featured with an integrated sink that provides a seamless appearance which make of the acrylic countertops a great choice for home owners.
In this article, we’ll discuss bunch of points about acrylic countertops, to help you make a decision on wither or not you should rely on this material as your main kitchen countertop.
What Is Acrylic?
Acrylic is a thermoplastic polymer material based on acrylic acid. It appeared in 1950 and soon began to be actively produced in the USA and Europe.
This substance resembles a seemingly colorless liquid with high purity and transparency, a pungent odor. The substance is soluble in water, chloroform, diethyl ether and ethanol. The raw materials for its production are extracted from natural gas.
The high popularity of acrylic is due to its properties: lightness, strength, wear resistance, environmental friendliness, fairly low thermal conductivity, resistance to ultraviolet radiation and temperature extremes. These properties are responsible for the widespread use of acrylic in various industries.
Acrylic sheets are considered one of the most widely used materials in forming kitchens due to its great ability to bend and shape according to designs easily. Acrylic sheet is strong and wear-resistant, besides the fact that it can can withstand sunlight for a long time and severe changes in weather conditions, which make it a perfect choice for outdoor uses.
What Are Acrylic Countertops?
Acrylic countertops are sometimes referred to as solid surface countertops. They are one of the engineered surfaces that can be used on kitchen, bathroom or even outdoor countertops. Acrylic is safe, durable, and the most important is that acrylic countertops are very cheap comparing it to other types of countertop materials.
Note that acrylic is environmentally friendly because it does not contain any toxic components, and the most important thing that distinguishes it is its ability to form, bend and pressure, not to mention that its entry into any kitchen makes it more spacious and sophisticated, so we find a large percentage of individuals who prefer it over other types of countertops.
Acrylic countertops gained some attention in 2004, but nowadays they became the to go material for kitchen countertops, and it’s expected to be the major component of kitchens around the world because of environmental purposes. As other countertop materials such as marble, granite and quartzite need to be quarried whereas acrylic can be constructed only using gas and petroleum residues.
What Are Acrylic Countertops Made Of?
Acrylic countertops are made from acrylic, polyester-based polymers, or a mix of the two. These materials are combined with a powdered filler and a variety of colors. This combination chemically cures when heated, resulting in a solid substance that can be cut and sanded to achieve the required countertop slab size.
Are Acrylic Countertops Durable?
According to our experience, acrylic countertops are one of the most durable materials to use for countertops. As you can see in the comparison table above, it outperforms marble countertops significantly, while it shares the same features with the other materials. Although acrylic countertops can be scratched easily, but they are repairable unlike the other materials, so you can remove scratches easily.
Acrylic countertops are acid-resistant, so you don’t want to worry about vinegars or citrus spills, also you can use acid-base cleaners to clean them, with no expected damages unlike the other materials.
The absence of pores on the surface of acrylic countertops make the stain-proof, so you don’t need to worry about coffee and wine spills on your countertop.
Acrylic countertops can last 15 to 20 years, that’s why you will see companies offering up to 20 years warranty for acrylic countertops.
Acrylic Countertops Prices
Acrylic countertops range in prices between 10 and 40 dollars per square feet, with 6 to 10 dollars for installation fees. This makes of acrylic countertops a great and competitive option for home owners that looks for a good quality/price ratio.
What is great for acrylic countertops installation that it will take an average of 3-6 hours to be installed instead of 1 to 3 days for other materials.
Acrylic Countertops Pros and Cons
Like other types of countertops, acrylic countertops comes with pros and cons, although the advantages of acrylic countertops worth the money and as we mentioned is a great deal with an outstanding quality/price ratio. Bellow, we mention the pros and cons of acrylic countertops:
Acrylic Countertops pros
Besides the great added value of acrylic countertops, these latters provide more advantage including:
- Cheap priced material: The price of acrylic countertops and the installation fees is very competitive making this kind of countertops a great choice for home owners. Also, acrylic countertops saves you the maintenance cost as they don’t need any sealing.
- Fast installation: The average installation time for an acrylic countertop is 3 to 6 hours ! in contrary to other materials that requires days.
- Stain proof: The absence of porosity in acrylic slabs, makes from it a high class material when it comes to stain resistance in contrary to porous stones such as granite..
- Easy to clean: Soap or dish detergent and a wet cloth is all an acrylic countertop need to be cleaned and sanitized.
- Sturdiness: Acrylic countertops resist to strong impacts and collisions, providing high durability for kitchens with high traffic.
- Easy reparation: Acrylic countertops can be easily repaired when scratched or chipped. All you need is sanding out the damage and buff the surface so it looks almost like new.
- Customable material: Acrylic countertops can be customized to suite your space and taste.
- Safe material: Acrylic is food safe and has a great hygiene rating since it is nonporous, and its seamlessness adds to that safety.
Acrylic Countertops Cons
The main downsides of acrylic countertops is the heat, as acrylic countertop can’t support a hot pan on it’s surface, and in that case sanding and buffing will be insufficient to hide a burn mark.
The second disadvantage is that acrylic countertops might be slightly sensitive to scratches, so you may consider avoiding using it as your cutting board. Although, if you scratches it, keep in mind that it can be repaired easily.
Acrylic Countertops Maintenance
To keep your acrylic countertop for long periods, you need to maintain it and care for it. In this section, we’ll walk you through some tips to maintain your acrylic countertop for long time.
How to Remove Scratches from Acrylic Countertops?
To remove scratches from acrylic countertops you will need: an acrylic polish or any plastic polish, 1200 and 800 grit sandpaper, some water to saturate the sandpaper and a cloth of cotton or microfiber. Follow the instructions bellow:
- Soak one piece of 800 grit sandpaper in water and rub it in a circular motion over the scratch. Repeat with a dry piece of 800 grit sandpaper. Rub for 3 to 5 minutes, alternating between dry and wet sandpaper.
- Then proceed to grade 1200 and repeat the process. Continue rubbing until all of the scrapes are gone.
- Finally, use a soft, dry, and clean cotton cloth to dry the area. The acrylic should now seem as though it has never been scratched! The polish should restore the sheen to your acrylic.
In case of deep scratches, you will need to sand your acrylic countertop using the 600 grit sandpaper before using the 800 grit sandpaper.
How to Polish Acrylic Countertops?
Flame polishing thin sheets of acrylic (4mm thick and less) and sanding/buffing bigger acrylic sheets may be used to restore the shiny appearance of your acrylic.