I finish up all the joints, corners, and edges with an
orbital sander, then apply rubbing compound to all surfaces and
polish by hand or with an electric buffer (Figure 6).
6. All Swanstone seams and edges are sanded with an
orbital sander. Finally, the surface is polished with a rubbing
The rubbing compound removes surface grit and little nicks
that may have happened during fabrication.
Installation on the job site is easy. Before setting the top
on the base cabinets, I apply a bead of clear silicone caulk to
carcase edges, then set the top.
Some countertops are too big for me to fabricate in a single
piece. For those installations, I’ll fabricate separate
pieces, creating a lap seam where the two pieces butt together
7. Field splices are necessary for large counters that
can’t be moved to the site in one piece. The substrate is
cut 1/16 inch short to ensure a tight joint in the solid
8. Backsplash material comes with a recess for
3/8-inch plywood. The splash can also be cut in half
for a shorter profile.
I then cut and fit the splashes, and glue them to the wall
with panel adhesive. A color-matched caulking finishes the seam
between the top and backsplash.
doesn’t have the name recognition of the full-thickness
solid-surfacing materials like Corian, it also doesn’t
cost as much. The price of Swanstone falls somewhere in between
the price of laminate and full-thickness solid-surface
materials. For example, I sell a 13-foot countertop with
integral sink for $1,400, installed, or a little over $100 per
Working with Swanstone enables me to offer a solid-surface
material that is heat-resistant and difficult to chip at an
affordable price. I can close sales that would have been lost
to the higher-priced solid-surface products.
Swanstone will soon introduce a factory prefabricated
countertop with built-in front edge that will retail for $49
per linear foot, suitable for straight runs and L-shaped or
U-shaped installations. The installer mounts a separate
backsplash to the wall and glues on end caps. With this
product, customers will be able to have a solid-surface
countertop for little more than the price of a custom laminate
Bob Cremone owns Vantage Tops in Woburn, Mass.