Allen Roth Solid Surface Countertop Review

 

allen-roth-solid-surface-reviewOver the summer we decided to put our tax return towards a 10 yr dream…new kitchen countertops!!!! We wanted to cut down a stepped up bar top, that was absolutely useless, and make it a counter height peninsula. Much work went into that process but that is a story for another day. There is still much to be done like the subway tile back splash as you can see in the following pics. When I was making my decision I couldn’t find any information on these counters. I love to read reviews, I won’t buy something if I can’t read a review and yet I never write them. I am changing that with this post. I hope that it helps someone making this same decision.

We still needed to be frugal as we didn’t have enough of the green stuff to make an extravagant choice. While marble or another light colored stone was my first choice, there were reasons why that wouldn’t work….

First, they were out of our budget. Secondly we had an unusual design with a corner sink which did not offer enough support to hold the weight of stone. It also made DIY butcher block or concrete complicated and impractical. I started to hunt for a marble knock off or faux marble in our price range. During our search we were told that because of our layout we would have upwards of 5 seams that would be very obvious even with quartz, so solid surface was our best choice.

Here’s the pros with solid surface:

  • almost invisible seams
  • can be made in any size or configuration
  • more cost effective in our case
  • non porous, which makes it anti-bacterial
  • decent stain resistance
  • can be repaired
  • matte finish

Here are the cons:

  • not heat resistant, must use a hot pad
  • shows surface scratches in certain lights
  • they are sanded at time of install or repair resulting in an awful mess all over your whole house…yes I’m still bitter!!

Next step, price and pattern comparisons. I loved Corian in Rain Cloud but I did not love $70 a sq ft.  Lowe’s came out on top. Their prices were far better than Home Depot and other specialty shops we visited.

We decided on Allen Roth Solid Surface, manufactured by Sage Surfaces, because they had the pattern and price that I wanted. Lowe’s was having a 20% off sale which put us in the price range we were hoping for in the low $40’s per sq ft. I wanted a marble look but couldn’t find one. I was going to settle for Chalk white or Mendenhall. I went back a couple days later to look around and I spotted a board behind the desk and there it was, a marble looking sample called Tularosa. It was more expensive and I had to pick it from a 4in sample but I love it. People ask me what it is with a  confused look because it feels soft and warm to the touch but looks like stone. Here is a detail pic.

allen-roth-solid-surface-reviewWe went with a stainless steel low divide sink. I wanted single vessel and the bread winner wanted to be able to stack the dishes on one side….so we compromised with low divide so that I could still wash my larger items. Our last sink was stainless steel and I liked it because it is resilient, you can really abuse it and it’s not expected to be perfect. I also went with undermount and I am thrilled with that. Clean up is so easy and it looks so streamlined.

allen-roth-solid-surface-review allen-roth-solid-surface-review177 We went with eased edge and I think that is what makes it look more like real stone. I’m really pleased with it.

I will now tell you what I don’t like.

The inside corners are rounded. I asked for squared but they said that it is a warranty issue because they could crack if not rounded. I was disappointed, but it doesn’t bother me as much now.

allen-roth-solid-surface-review

The other thing that I was very unhappy with and would make me hesitate to do solid surface again was the sanding they do in place. I am telling you that you have been warned. It was like a dust bomb exploded in my entire house. I had to have help to clean it up. The Lowe’s in our area uses a third party installer and this is where our trouble was. They left areas that still needed sanding. So they had to come back and we had to do the whole dust bomb explosion… clean for the rest of my life game again. There was also an area that didn’t fit correctly and had to be reinstalled. It is something to keep in mind, make sure it is right the first time and be prepared for dust.

The other draw back is that you can’t set hot things on the counters. That’s why I keep this slate board right next to my stove. I set spoons and pan lids on it while I’m cooking. It works out perfectly.

allen-roth-solid-surface-reviewIn conclusion I am happy with my choice and it has turned my kitchen into the heart of my home. Lowe’s was pleasant to work with, they were attentive and friendly. I do hope that our Lowe’s will use a different installer in the future. It was still a good experience.allen-roth-solid-surface-countertop-review

This is not a sponsored post and I am not receiving any compensation (although I wish that I was, just sayin!) This is my own experience and opinions.

 

 

12 thoughts on “Allen Roth Solid Surface Countertop Review

  1. Here’s my input on the Allen and Roth counter-tops. We chose the Mendanhall for the colors it it. It matched our white cabinets very well. We chose this color over granite and quarts primarily for the color. The sales person told us it was 3 CM thick which was wrong. It’s 1/2 inch. I knew it was a composite material, and at Home Depot, a comparison chart listed composites as being heat, stain and scratch resistant. I made the assumption that this material, being a composite, met that criteria. I made a wrong assumption. Allen and Roth composites are not heat, stain and scratch resistant. In fact, we learned after installation that this material is cut, shaped and sanded with wood cutting tools. Granate and quartz must be cut and formed with diamond tools. This material, although it looks really beautiful, it scratches very easily. Anything harder than wood or plastic, will scratch this surface. Your china, or porcelain plates, pots, pans, cups…all will scratch the surface. We got several slabs from the installer that were cut from the sink and stove cut-outs that I made into “cutting boards”. With felt or rubber feet, I put these on each side of the sink and cook top so I have something to place pots and plates on. We use decorative hot pads under anything that sits on the counter, like candy dishes or plants/flowers. We use place mats on the table. I don’t let anything hard contact this surface. You’ve got to treat it like a polished coffee table, because it’s made of the same material the coffee table finish is made from. If I had realized this I would have paid the extra and gone with quartz. Do your research. Take a sample, and rub it against the bottom of a coffee cup or porcelain dish and see if it leaves scratches.

    1. I would have to agree with you. If we had the budget and a different configuration, one that wasn’t so complicated with the corner sink I would have used Quartz. These are a nice in between and affordable. So all in all I am happy with our choice.

  2. Those are the two that I was choosing between as well. Mendanhall is beautiful as well! The seams are noticeable with Tularosa but they don’t bother me. I will send you a picture. I wanted a more resilient sink so I went with stainless steel. The integrated sink scratches easily as it is made of the same material as the counters. They do scratch easily, but we haven’t had any large scratches just surface ones that can be buffed out with a scrubber pad. I have a slate board by the stove to set hot things on while I’m cooking.

  3. I am also trying to decide if solid surface countertops is worth investing. I am in the middle of choosing Mendenhall ($43 sqft) or Tularosa ($58 sqft). I am also on a budget and I am wondering if Tularosa is worth the extra cost. I love the pattern but the Lowes installers noted that one of the reasons this color was taken off was the fact that Tularosa’s pattern is so sporadic they are unable to match the pattern and therefore the seams are visible. Did you experience this? Also, one of the reasons I liked solid surface was the flawlessness of the white sink integration. Is there a reason you went with the other option? I also read the countertops are easily scratched. Have you experienced that? What do you do to prevent from any hot pan hitting the surface? I am just wondering on a daily basis what I need to do to prevent an accident from happening. Hope to her from you soon.

  4. Jess this is EXACTLY what I needed. I’ve been online window shopping for counter tops and can’t figure what to do! We’re still in saving mode but I was so concerned I’d never find something in our budget that I really like, until now! Your choices are so tasteful, I really love the way it turned out and this review is thorough. Much appreciated!! I’m pinning for future reference 🙂

  5. Thanks for the detailed review Jessica. I’m the same way about reading reviews before I make up my mind about anything! But it really looks amazing so mission accomplished. I know that clean up must still be giving you nightmares!

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