If you’re seriously considering solid surface countertops in your home, you’ve probably heard that there are two different types of resins used to create solid surfacing: acrylic-based and polyester-based. To understand the difference between acrylic resin and polyester resin solid surface countertops, it’s important to understand the chemical composition of solid surface.
There are two main ingredients in a solid surface product: a “binder” and a “filler”. The “binder” in solid surfacing is a resin that is either acrylic- or polyester-based. While both types of resin produce solid surfacing that is durable and beautiful, there are a few noticeable differences between the two types of resin.
Main Differences Between Acrylic- and Polyester-Based Resin
First and foremost, acrylic countertops are thermoformable, meaning they can be shaped (using heat) into virtually any shape you want. This is one of the most attractive features of acrylic-based solid surface because it gives you the option of creating sinks, desks, sculptures, and more, out of a material that simulates natural stone.
Acrylic resin countertops are also easier to handle because they do not chip or break during the fabrication process like polyester resin countertops.
Another appealing feature of acrylic countertops is their strong, unidentifiable seams. If you are creating a surface or installation with multiple pieces of solid surface, each piece can be joined without noticeable seams. You won’t even know there is more than one piece of solid surface in your home or commercial space.
Acrylic resin countertops also have a Class 1 Fire Rating making them extremely safe.
While there are many pros to acrylic-based resin, there are a few cons worth mentioning. First, acrylic is susceptible to damage from harsh chemicals like oven cleaner and nail polish remover. Be sure to wipe down your acrylic resin countertops immediately if a strong chemical is spilled on your surface. Second, acrylic resin countertops have less visual depth than polyester-based resin countertops.
Polyester-based resin countertops are available in unique colors that are unattainable with acrylic.
Polyester is also resistant to chemicals that acrylics are not resistant to like nail polish remover. While these are two appealing factors of polyester-based resin solid surface countertops, there are also several drawbacks to consider.
Polyester resin solid surfacing cannot be thermoformed because it is more brittle than acrylic-based resin. Thermoforming polyester solid surfacing will threaten the structural integrity of the material, and it will often break during the thermoforming process.
Polyester countertops are also more difficult to manufacture than acrylic countertops because they are more susceptible to chipping and breaking. As much as 80% of solid surface manufacturers have moved away from polyester-based solid surfacing because of its difficulty in production.
While producing polyester countertops is more difficult than producing acrylic countertops, polyester countertops are just about as durable once they are installed in your home or commercial space. The difficulty lies in creating your surface and transporting it to your home or business. Once your polyester countertops are successfully installed, they will be as scratch-, dent-, and heat-resistant as their acrylic-based counterparts.
Finally, polyester-based countertops are not all Class 1 Fire Rated, making some options more flammable than others.
Why Choose Acrylic Resin Countertops?
With acrylic countertops, you will have more opportunities to be creative. Polyester countertops cannot be thermoformed into interesting designs because they will break. Acrylic, on the other hand, can be bent and shaped without sacrificing its structural integrity.
Acrylic is the best option for homeowners and business owners who are looking to add creative touches to their homes with solid surfacing. Some examples of creative fabrications include set-in sinks, shower floors and surrounds, curved desks, retail displays, and restaurant counters.
Acrylic resin countertops can be joined so that the seams are virtually undetectable. The pieces fit together neater than a puzzle, and you’ll never know there is more than one piece of solid surface in your design.
Polyester-based solid surface, on the other hand, is a bit more difficult to match up at the seams making them a more crude option for countertops. A specialist can join the seams perfectly, but it is not always a guarantee.
More than 80% of solid surface manufacturers choose acrylic resin over polyester resin because its superior fabrication qualities. While polyester-based resin has its place, acrylic-based resin is best for use in solid surfacing.
How Much Do Acrylic Resin Countertops Cost?
According to Home Advisor, the average solid surface countertops cost about $3,200, but they typically range from $1,900 to $4,500. This breaks down to about $52 to $120 per square foot. However, the cost will depend on the edge styles, color, patterns, and the manufacturer.
Hanex Solid Surfaces is available in more than 80 colors and patterns and is made exclusively with acrylic resin ensuring you have the best material for your home or commercial space.
Hanex Solid Surfaces is engineered to have breakthrough stain-, impact-, and heat-resistant properties. In addition to durability, our brand of acrylic resin countertops is easy to care for. A quick wipe down with a damp cloth restores its fresh-from-the-factory shine, and our product maintains its original beauty for years.
Our solid surfacing is environmentally-friendly as it is renewable and repairable. Deep scratches, cracks, and chips can be repaired by a certified solid surface repair technician giving your acrylic countertops a lifetime of use.
All of our acrylic resin countertops are safe. They are tested and certified by the National Sanitation Foundation for Food Safety and Food Contact under the NSF 51 Certification, and they are both GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified and GREENGUARD Certified for Children & Schools.