You may have heard of the Swanstone product line because there are a few distributors that may have some samples and we install quite of bit of this in bathrooms. This product is commonly known as a Solid Surface material just like Corian, Hanex etc… and is a top quality product for both kitchen and bathroom renovations. All types of solid surface materials are also used in commercial work like hospitals where the need for mold and mildew proof products are a must… it’s not only that, the product has to stand the test of time, as well.
Over the years I have talked about Swanstone a lot on my site and other internet forums… Seems like I’m the go-to guy because I receive (aside from paying customers) tons of emails and calls from around the United States and Canada for product support whether it’d be a fellow contractor or a homeowner trying to install this product correctly – or question some of my various tips on installation. Let me tell you something though… If I charged $10.00 per hour for every hour I spent on the phone and replying to emails about Swanstone, I would never have to work again………………………. so your welcome folks and Swan Corp, too. All that said, I won’t ever turn down a tip via paypal.
It has recently come to my attention that quite a few companies that regularly sell acrylic products are referring to it as “Solid Surface” as the acrylic material is a solid piece from front to back… top to bottom or however you’d like to say it. I’d just like to say that it is not. Acrylic is not as thick, not as durable and definitely will not last nearly as long as Swan or Corian. For the most part an acrylic bath wall surround, tub or shower base will only have a top coat of acrylic that makes up for 1/3 of the total thickness. Provided its a thinner wall surround like 3/16″ then the top coat will be 1/16″ and the rest of the material is a cheaper plastic backing and usually a different color like grey or bone.
Just like Swanstone, if you scratch or scuff acrylic then it can be repaired by sanding and buffing the surface to bring the shine back. HOWEVER, if you get a deep scratch in an acrylic product that digs down into the backing – you are 100% screwed. There is no way to repair that without replacing the whole surround etc… because to sand the area out would take you down to the backing which would show much larger than the initial scratch or gouge itself. Then you will have a large ring of whatever color up against a finished white or bisque.
Even the small things like this, I feel, are things that you need to know before you sink a few thousand dollars into your bathroom project. There’s a difference between these products and that’s not only limited to cost but quality which is always the reason why you spend your hard earned money to get an improvement to your home. Whether I’ve answered all your questions or not, feel free to drop me a line if you’re in need of a professional Swanstone installation for your bathroom!