Synthetic surfaces are a man-made plastic material that gives countertops an ultra modern, clean look and feel. It comes in many colours and designs, including some natural stone look-alikes.
However, synthetic surfaces are plastic, and not nearly as durable as natural stones. It is prone to scratching and vulnerable to damage from heat.
Synthetic surface countertops are seamless, the sink can be integrated, edges can be built to look thicker, and backsplashes are moulded with the surface.
Synthetic Surfaces are also repairable. Most damage, including severe impact, heat or chemical damage, can usually be repaired on site to restore the original, smooth, hygienic solid surface integrity. However, repairing the surface will be expensive.
How are Synthetic Surfaces Made
Synthetic surfaces are an advanced composite of aluminium-tri-hydrate, pigments and acrylic resins developed as a practical solid surface material for residential and commercial applications.
Supplied in sheets and shapes, it can be fabricated with conventional woodworking tools into virtually
Corian is composed of ATH and Acrylic Resins. Corian countertops are imported into South Africa from a company called Dupont and available in a range of colours and textures.
To view available Corian colours, please see: Synthetic Colours Gallery.
Surinno is composed of ATH and Polyester modified Acrylic Resin. Surinno countertops are manufactured in South Africa and available in a range of colours and textures.
To view available Surinno colours, please see: Synthetic Colours Gallery.
|Heat Resistance||Stain Resistance||Chemical Resistance||Hygiene Rating|
We recommend that you take care of your countertops. For more information, see our care and maintenance tips.
To prevent heat damage, don’t place hot pots directly on the surface
To prevent scratching, use cutting boards and avoid scraping heavy object across the top. To prevent staining, clean up spills as soon as possible.
If you intend using chemicals on the surface, we recommend that you confirm with your fabricator that the surface type is resistant to the chemicals.
|Synthetic Surface Scratch Resistances|
Synthetic surfaces, being plastic, has a low scratch resistance. You will not be able to cut or chop on the surface at all, and will have to use a chopping board instead.
If the surface is damaged it can be repaired and re-polished. However, consider the cost implication before relying on this.
Tip: Dark synthetic surfaces colours will show scratches, dust and ordinary wear and tear more readily than the lighter colours. We recommend that dark colours are not used in applications where the surface is exposed to heavy use and contact.
|Synthetic Surfaces Heat|
Synthetic surfaces, being plastic, also has a low heat resistance. You will not be able to place hot pots directly on the surface or in the sink. Such heat will damage, warp, melt, crack, or discolour the surface!
Also, if you install a built in synthetic surface sink you should not pour boiling liquids into it without turning on the cold tap first.
|Synthetic Surfaces Stain|
Synthetic surface countertops have a very high resistance to staining because the surface is non-porous.
Accidental spills of strong chemicals, such as paint removers/thinners, acetone based cleaners, stove/drain cleaners can damage the surface. If these come in contact with the surface, quickly wash off with water to avoid damage.
|Synthetic Surfaces Resistance to Weathering|
Synthetic surfaces are not recommended for exterior use.
Temperature changes with direct sunlight cause expansion and contraction which cause warping and delimitation on seams.
|Synthetic Surfaces Cleanliness & Hygiene|
Synthetic surfaces are non-porous material and resists growth of mold, mildew and bacteria. This makes it perfectly suited for kitchen areas where food is prepared.
However, synthetic surfaces have a low scratch resistance, and if scratched, this will compromise the hygiene of the surface, allowing the surface to harbour dirt and or moisture.
Periodic re-polishing will need to be done to ensure the surfaces ongoing hygiene and cleanability. However, consider the cost implication before relying on this.
Synthetic surfaces are an inert, non-toxic, hypoallergenic material.
Synthetic surfaces has a man-made synthetic plastic look and feel. The colour and pattern of the surface is highly uniform, every inch of the surface is basically the same.
If a consistent uniform surface patterns is what you are looking for you can also consider Engineered Stone, which is man-made, but composed mainly of natural stone, and much more durable than Synthetic surfaces.
Colours & Patterns
Synthetic surfaces are available in a variety of modern-looking colours and surface patterns. Each manufacturer has their own range of available colours and patterns. Since the durability qualities between the various brands are roughly equal, choosing the right brand comes down to which brand provides the colour and pattern you are looking for.
Our online colour gallery showcases a combination of all brands and available colours in South Africa.
After you have made a list of your favourite colours the next step will be to visit the show rooms to see examples of the plastic slabs in person. This will help narrow down your list of options. We recommend that you also view examples in existing applications. Synthetic countertops are somewhat new to the market and are in the same price range as the more expensive natural stones, you need to be sure that you’ll be happy with the end result.
Synthetic surfaces have their own unique modern look – quite unlike any natural stone. If you are interested in a natural stone look then synthetic surfaces are not an option for you.
Seeing the examples in person is a critical step in the process and will ensure that you make the right choice for your project.
Surface & Touch
Synthetic surfaces has a room temperature plastic feel.
Synthetic Surfaces Pricing
Synthetic surfaces are priced on the same range as some of the most expensive natural stones. Expect to pay between R2800 and R3500 per m2, depending on the colour and complexity of the installation.
As mentioned above, Synthetic surfaces can be repaired if damaged. Keep in mind, the cost to repair depends on the severity of the damage. This can be very expensive.
Synthetic Surfaces in Application
Synthetic surface kitchen countertops
Synthetic surfaces give a kitchen a modern plastic look.
The countertops are seamless, and a selection of integrated sinks and backsplashes are available, making the surface easy to clean. The non-porous surface also makes it highly stain resistant.
Unfortunately, due to the material being composed of plastic it can scratch very easily and can be damaged by heat.
The following limitations needs to be considered:
We do not recommend installing synthetic surfaces in your kitchen. Granite and engineered stone are far superior for use in the kitchen.
Synthetic surfaces are better suited for use in the bathroom.
To read more about the different kitchen countertops, go to Kitchen Countertops page.