If you're planning a kitchen renovation, you'll likely include your countertop as part of the project. Renovating your countertop is an exciting prospect, as it is usually the most eye-catching aspect of a home kitchen.
Many planners will choose to simply change to one of a few common options for this upgrade, such as granite. They likely aren't aware of one of the best options available: an epoxy countertop.
The case for choosing epoxy for your countertop
Epoxy resin is a versatile substance generally used as a protective coating, often for visually attractive materials that are inherently too weak or flawed for countertop purposes on their own. It can also be used on things like granite, quartz, etc. to greatly increase their lifespan.
Epoxy is innately transparent, like glass, and can be colored or speckled using pigments to change its opacity and hue as desired. That glasslike appearance allows it to showcase the material directly beneath, providing a more interesting range of viable options for your countertop material.
Epoxy countertops are frequently used in high-traffic commercial settings like bars and restaurants. This makes them a good choice for home use as well, because you'll know your countertop can stand up to typical wear and tear with ease. They're also easier to clean and less expensive to repair or maintain in general than mineral or stone-based materials like quartz, granite, and marble.
More specifically, what is epoxy?
Epoxy is the cured form of epoxy resin. It's a sleek plastic polymer that has the appearance of glass without the fragility. Epoxy resin typically arrives in two liquid components: the resin itself and a hardener. When these two components are mixed together thoroughly, the resin will start to cure, hardening through a series of chemical reactions. At the beginning of this process, it's still very liquid like, though slightly viscous. In that state it can be poured onto a material or into a casting mold.
For countertops and similar projects, a common variant called table top epoxy is used. When poured on a material, it will self-level, spreading neatly as far as it can until it settles into a layer of about 1/8 of an inch thick. Whichever material it has been poured onto is called a substrate.
From there it will bond with that substrate and continue to cure until gradually it has become strong and durable. This cured form can withstand tremendous impact, has high scratch resistance, and is incredibly smooth, preventing liquid and moisture from permeating its surface. This is in contrast to granite and similar materials, which can absorb liquids like juice or coffee.
The epoxy thus seals and protects the substrate, allowing you to choose something less conventional, such as wood, without having to worry about long-term damage that can arise from things like humidity, general wear, or accidental impacts (e.g., a dropped heavy object).
Are epoxy countertops difficult to craft?
While epoxy initially has its share of challenges, it's nothing that most contractors will find unfamiliar or difficult to work with. Once it has hardened, there's very little upkeep, so most of the focus is on preparing the room for the pouring step and keeping an eye on it occasionally as it cures.
Many people choose to handle epoxy projects themselves, avoiding the cost of contractors entirely. For a countertop project, this isn't recommended unless you already have experience with similar ventures.
How expensive are epoxy countertop projects?
An epoxy countertop project won't typically be more expensive than similar endeavors with granite, marble, etc.
The cost of epoxy itself is relatively low by comparison, so the real determination is in what material you choose to use as your substrate. Wood, for instance, is available in numerous different varieties, and rare wood can be very pricy. Most quality wood, however, isn't nearly so much.
We've found that most of our customers have spent less than originally expected upon finishing their projects.
Is each table top epoxy brand the same?
There are many brands of epoxy available these days. At this point, unfortunately, it's difficult to know which of those are from trustworthy makers who are willing to use only quality components for their mixtures, without any toxic additives or other cost-cutting measures that weaken the result.
We can't tell you which of those other brands are safe to use, but here at UltraClear Epoxy, we offer our own high-quality brand of table top epoxy, ideal for countertops and similar constructs. If you buy from us, you can expect your epoxy finish to be free of toxic materials, including VOCs (volatile organic compounds), a common concern.
Want help planning? Have questions? Contact us!
At UltraClear Epoxy, we pride ourselves on providing quality customer service. If you have questions about epoxy countertops or would like advice in planning an epoxy project, you can contact us via email or phone here, or chat directly online with one of our experts by clicking the help button at the bottom right of your screen.