• 1 Things to pay attention to when choosing countertop
    • 1 Manufacture of artificial stone and products made from it
    • 2 Countertop installation
  • 2 Conclusion

All the time manufacturers and designers work on improving efficient and economical solutions for kitchen interior. One of the most popular novelties is the artificial stone countertop with inset sink.

When this product only started winning the market, only well-off people could afford it. However, gradual technology development allowed this product to become affordable and now it is one of the most popular choices among the customers.

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Artificial stone in the interior

The first thing you notice is that such a countertop looks fabulous and that makes it a true decoration of the kitchen. But is this the only advantage of it?

Things to pay attention to when choosing countertop

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On the picture you see corner countertop after finish dressing

There are following advantages of artificial stone countertop:

  1. Durability and long life period. Material used for countertops manufacture is very resistant to mechanical impacts. Besides, it is easy to clean the surface if it gets dirty with any cleaning agent. Its surface is resistant to UV rays so it does not fade or grow yellow for a long time.
  2. Aesthetic attractiveness. As we have already said, surface of the artificial stone looks fabulous, so it will be an excellent solution for decoration of interior for both modern and classical kitchen styles. Artificial stone in exterior hardly differs from marble or granite so the countertop you will buy will look quite expensive.
  3. Big assortment of products.

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Variety of colours

In any supply shop products from acrylic stone are represented in variety of colours.

Moreover, you may choose countertop configuration to let it imitate some or other natural material.

  1. Products manufactured from acrylic stone are not environment friendly to microorganism activity, which means the number of bacteria on your countertop will be minimal.
  2. Easy to repair. Stone countertops have no finish coating so the scratches on the surface can be dressed. Optimal result in this case is guaranteed by restauration of artificial stone.
  3. Seamless connection of countertop and kitchen sink or washbasin, which protects construction from water getting inside.
  4. Sink inset into such type of countertop in comparison with its metal counterparts is more friendly to dishware. If a dish falls into the sink and hits artificial stone it is more likely to remain in one piece in comparison to its impact with cast-iron or stainless steel sink.
  5. Simplicity of installation of a product with standard configuration that enables DIY installation.

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Countertop assembled by the expert worker

Disadvantages to pay attention to:

  1. High price. Despite technology development cost of products made from acrylic stone is much higher than prices for chipboard or laminboard countertops.
  2. Heavy weight of the countertop makes it reliable and noiseproof but limits types of base units it can be mounted on. So better buy such a countertop for durable and reliable furniture not for cheap chipboard kitchen suites.
  3. Hot pans are better not to be put on acrylic stone countertop. However, this drawback can be compensated by buying inexpensive hot pads.

Manufacture of artificial stone and products made from it

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External differences from natural stone are nearly none

‘Artificial’ doesn’t mean easy to manufacture.

Bright example of this statement is acrylic stone, manufacture of which is a complicated, labour-intensive and multistage process.

  1. On the first stage resin and a number of other components in appropriate proportions are fed into vacuum mixer and are mixed there until they become homogenous.

Note: During the manufacture process of artificial stone and countertops made from it, it is necessary to maintain the same level of humidity and air temperature in production shop, otherwise countertop subproducts might deform.

  1. On the next stage casting of subproduct with necessary dimensions takes place. Mixture from vacuum mixer is cast into moulds by automated measuring machine.
  2. After the mixture is cast into moulds they are beginning to dry. To acquire necessary degree of humidity, sheets of subproduct are directed via conveyor to drying ovens where they dry and finally harden receiving optimum durability attributes.
  3. After the subproducts have dried, they go through calibration and sorting process. Sheets that passed quality control are sent to primary dressing.
  4. Further sheets of artificial stone in different colour acquire final typical sizes, for instance 3660*760*12 mm. At the same time parameters of the edge and wall rim are defined as well as bevel edges and radiuses are measured.
  5. On the next stage countertop skirting and sides are cut, locations of the future gluing of countertops with sink are marked.

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Variety of edges

  1. Further the suproduct is processed by automated milling equipment.
  2. On the next stage thermal moulding takes place – it means heat treatment at the time of which edges are rounded in in marked places.
  3. Prepared countertop and sink are glued into one piece with two-pack glue and then the ready product is corrected in accordance with given typical sizes.
  4. On the final stage the final dressing of the ready product tales place.

Countertop assembly

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Preparation to gluing the sink

There are ready-to-install products adapted to standard kitchen suites, in which case you can do the installation yourself. However, if the sink and adjoining furniture are not aligned but located at a certain angle things get much complicated.

In this case there is no use buying standard product because you will not be able to install it yourself. You will have to place an order for the certain sizes in companies manufacturing products from acrylic stone. In order to fulfil the order such companies send an expert who takes measurements. After that, they bring ready parts of the countertop, fit them on spot and glue together until the desired configuration is achieved.

Then the specialists clean and even seams at the places of gluing. After that the product dries for several hours forming nearly monolith surface. When the seams dry completely, final dressing and seam cleaning is done.

After all these manipulations the countertop is nearly ready for use, the only thing you need is to fix the construction on kitchen base units, drill holes in the sink for drainage and install necessary sanitary ware.