Solid Surface Countertops

Does anyone have any experience installing kitchen countertops? I found a company that sells "solid surface kits" via the web but don't know if I should tackle this kind of a do it yourself project myself. It seems like a doable DIY project plus I will save close to 50% doing it my self. That's alot of money. I have been quoted $5000 for the project from an installer but I can get everything I need including shipping costs for almost half that amount from this company.
thanks ahead of time d
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rider850r wrote:

Of course. labor is usually calculated to be same to 2x cost of materials. Looks like you were being offered a good deal on the install.
If you really want to do it, buy a book on it from bookstore or library. Youll only 'save' if you have lots of free time to burn.
--
Thank you,



"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor
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I had no name solid surface with an integral sink installed. ABSOLUTELY hated the stuff. Could not keep it clean, sink stained easily. Fortunately simple green removed the stains.
This is not a DYI project, IMO. You need at least one helper. The stuff is heavy and if the walls are not perfect you will need to modify the counter top. I assume you have all the diamond bits, blades, and sanders that you will need. My tops went in and out constantly for the first day.
If you have a corner/seam your in for a real challenge. My tops were set in 3 pieces and field glued together then sanded and polished.
Did I mention that it streaked and it was impossible to keep clean...
Tile is a lot easier to handle for a DIY.
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says...

I have done two houses, both fairly complex with lots of intricate gluing required. I used Corian. Dupont used to send out construction guides, check with their web site and contact them to see if they still do.
Tools needed are ordinary carbide saw blades and router bits. There are lots of perils involved. One miscut can ruin an epensive sheet. Gluing is especially complex. You will be gluing the edges to double them up in most cases, since the sheets are only 1/2" thick. The glue is very expensive and one $12 tube only glues about 4-5 feet of glue line.
You have to mix the glue for 60 seconds, and it has a total working life of about 3 minutes, much less in warm weather. It is extremely slippery until it sets, so when you clamp the two pieces they just slide around. You have to make a set of clamping guides to hold each piece precisely in place so it can't move while you clamp it, but still be able to lift each one up to apply the glue. To minimize cost, you want to glue as much as you can with each tube, so you are often trying to glue 3 or 4 slippery pieces at once.
Gluing the main pieces of countertop to each other requires temporary pieces to be glued on the top of each piece near the joint, so you will have a place to put the clamps. When the joint is set you need to remove the temporary pieces and sand and polish where they were removed. All this is covered in the construction guides.
Like I said, I did it with no prior experience. If you are a very careful worker, used to making fixtures both to cut each piece and hold it for gluing, you should be OK.
Dennis
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On Wed, 15 Feb 2006 12:00:58 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@spam.invalid (rider850r) wrote:

Guy in Texas? I've been thinking about that too. The problem I have is that he prices everything in use of full sheets and I go over a couple of feet requiring the purchase of the next higher kit. Cuts down the savings to about 65-70% of installed turnkey.
Would be interested to hear from anyone who has used him before. He has one nice reference with pics on his web site, but I'd feel more comfortable with some additional happy customers.
Frank
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Frank Boettcher wrote:

What is the web site??
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On 15 Feb 2006 11:10:43 EST, Mark and Kim Smith

http://www.solid-surface-kits.com/website/default.aspx
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Frank Boettcher wrote:

I looked at these guys and thought I'd give them a try. I used their web pages to request a few samples (5).
The page took my request stating that the samples would arrive shortly.
I waited 4 weeks. Then I sent them an email asking about the samples. I got a response a day later saying the samples were on their way.
I waited another 4 weeks. Then I sent them another email saying that I was no longer interested in doing business with them since it was obvious that they could not be trusted.
A few days later, I got a pile of samples (including ONE of the ones I originally requested).
Well, having worked with contractors in the past who are long on promises and short on results, I'd give these guys an "enter at your own risk" sort of rating.
Gary
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rider850r wrote:

Over the web? You'd better see and test this material yourself in person. You may be appalled at the plasticky appearance of the material that looked so sharp on a doctored picture on a website. In addition, you need to get a sample to see how scratch, stain & heat resistant the stuff is.
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We had Corian from Dupont installed and it was great. But friends had a lousy installer and it cracked. I would find someone good and let them do it.

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We have Corian too and like it a lot. Easy to clean, lots of patterns available. I especially like the Corian sink seamlessly attached to the counter. It's a different color, but no seam.
My contractor installed it.
Cooking Thanksgiving dinner in a microwave, the heat build up caused the Corian to crack. The Corian people recommended that you not rest the microwave directly on the surface.
The Corian company was a pleasure, they sent someone out to repair the crack at no charge. The repair is 100% invisible. They told me that they only let a contractor install the material if he's gone thru their training course.
For something like this, I'd shell out the extra bucks and go with Corian and have a pro do the work.
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There web page reminds me of Home Depot weekend classes. With 30 minutes of class you can tile a kitchen. They always make it sound so easy " If you have a pencil and a tape you can do it". One thing I know for sure the minute the truck drops it off at your house, The warranty is loaded on the truck headed back to the shop. Sit down I figure the tools you might buy/need. Blades,Bits. clamps ect. Then misalanious supplies. Then see what you really save. One thing you can't buy or save on is experience.
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In article <_JEIf.65222$gS.38671

Big snip by me to get to my point, DIYer ability.
It depends on the skills/experience of the DIYer and the complexity of the project.
On the web site, Fred's kitchen looks simple. Fred's project was all straight runs, each run appears to be less than one sheet long, no 'L' tops, no 'U' tops, no angle tops. If the walls are straight, Fred's kitchen is easily doable if a DIYer can measure, template and order accurately. In other words, Fred's kitchen has no on-site seams, no on- site trimming, no on-site cuts.
The question is could Fred or some other DIYer accurately measure/template a kitchen with Ls, Us, angles, bowed walls, unlevel floors and adjust for less than perfect site conditions? .... Who can tell by reading a news group article?
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