Subtops Under Solid Surface Countertops
From the original questioner:
Thank you for your help. I guess I need to know also if we need to build up. We build a euro box with only a 1/8" reveal at the top. Is most Corian a slab material or does it have a lipped self edge?
From contributor L:
Contributor K, this is not a challenge, but a sincere question. I thought that I'd seen Corian used in bath/shower installations. How do those survive?
From contributor K:
You can machine it to whatever configuration you wish. I am not familiar with the edge treatment to which you refer.
Most shower/tub surrounds are 1/4" material applied to drywall or other backer. The expansion is covered with expansion joints. (A silicone batten joint.) Hot pot pressed against the wall is a rare occasion!
From contributor B:
Avonite *used* to insist on substrate strips, but have backed off in the past year. I put 1 1/2" wide strips of 1/2" MDF in front, back and middle under 1/2" SS with 1.5' built up edge, mostly just for preferred overhang. Lately I'm selling 3/4" Mystera a lot - no substrate, no build-ups - just cut, route and polish. Most shops around here aren't using substrate at all on any SS products.
From contributor U:
I would have the surface supplier supply his own substrate and take care of his top finished. I make cabinets and do SS and would not want a sub top in place. I have power seams under the tops where required and the sub top would just get in the way, plus I will allow for my own edge treatment, not try and meet something someone else set up.
From contributor J:
Contributor K is correct. Your best course is to furnish your cabinets and install them level. Let the countertop installer worry about everything else above your cabinets. When I install 1/2" thick solid surface countertops on kitchen cabinets that are about 34-1/2" high, I use two layers of 1/2" thick plywood strips cut 2" wide, which are concealed by the 1-1/2" thick front edge of the countertop. I leave off the second layer of plywood in the area of any deck seams, and instead bond a second layer of solid surface material as a reinforcement below the seam. The result is a stable but open support structure that dissipates excess heat far better than a solid subtop. Finish countertop height ends up at the industry standard of 36". Face frame cabinets that are a little higher may require just one layer of 1/2" plywood strips, but the principle is the same.
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