Kitchen & Bar Countertops
Durite is one of the leading companies in material design and Manufacturing of counter tops. Our experience spans over 30 years experimenting with different manufacturers of polymers and epoxies using additives for "Food Safety Environment", UV Stabilizers and Natural Pigments that are safe for food environment. During the years we gained many valuable lessons that we would like to share with you.
A kitchen or bar top is subjected to many types of environments. A white countertop would want to stay white with UV (both from natural sun light or from electrical lights emitting UV). Titanium DI-Oxide is usually used for whitening colors even in toothpaste. This is a much stable pigment under an intense UV than chemical color additives that can tint the epoxy white, but it is unstable under UV. Cost of polymers depends on how it is packaged.
Another very important feature is an Anti-Bacteria and Anti-fungal additives for food safety, Epoxy by it’s own nature is impermeable and does not allow water/moisture to penetrate where bacteria can grow. It’s important to know what type of materials are added to Epoxy and counter that could absorbs and retain water, juices and other food products creating an environment for bacteria growth. Porous materials such as Concrete Counter Tops can be prone to bacteria growth. Even though Penetrable Sealers are used to prevent porosity. Sealers have a certain short shelf-life, they must not have any carcinogens, heavy metals and other very harmful materials. Pours materials with cement base and sealers, when they come into contact with citric acid, salts, food preservatives and cleaning agents like Ammonia, Bleach and others can breakdown at the molecular level, or change it’s composition to harmful materials. In comparison the Polymer industry R&D evaluates a single material (polymer) by ASTM standards, rather than Concrete Based materials with Sealers a composition of two separate materials (concrete & sealers), creating an unknown composition, with many sealers not having an ASTM evaluations.
A Kitchen Counter or Bar Top is always subjected to Lemon/Lime Juice, Salts and Oils. It is also important to know that some materials used in countertops can stain or dissolve when they come into contact with those types of liquids.
With the popularity of the concrete look for countertops , vanity and sinks Durite was able to create Concrete Polymer that looks like concrete but functions like Polymer. None-Porous, None-Staining, No sealer needed.
Durite finish is natural without sealers. This process is known as burnishing. It is similar to polishing precious stones. By constant polishing, stones in the mixture like "Terrazzo" are heated to a degree of natural shine. This action closes the stone surface pores and eliminates the use of sealers, that can become a maintenance issue.
Overall, if materials for countertops are manufactured by Durite, the end result must be a hard surface and "Brittle" strength (+/-10 KSI) so that the top can be stiff enough to be used as a "Cantilever". Kitchen and Bar Counters requires a hard surface, created for harsh environment at molecular level.
Once the control sample is created and approved, counter and bar tops can be created by 3D casting. This is a single cast that can create seamless and monolithic counter, whereby the sink, back-splash, front apron and sides, cut outs, drilled holes and all other features can be casted in a single setting.
This technique is totally different than "Fabrication", whereby pieces have to be cutout from a slab and glued together on a miter joint. Single cast sink and counter is not glued, it is made from the same materials through and through. This technique has many advantages, their are no joints to separate under heavy loading of water/ dishes or other heavy kitchen items. The epoxy tensile material is valued at 2,000 psi strength without any reinforcement. This is very impressive.
An incredible added feature that we can achieve with manufacturing is "Fusing". This allows us to ship counter and bar tops in pieces and once at the site we can chemically join the pieces and make it as one continuous piece. This is not gluing with a joint or miter edge. "Fusing" is to bond the materials and making the two sections as one. We have created Kitchen Island Tops that are 14’ X 14’ as a single piece. Bar tops that are 180 Linear Feet as a single top, including the 3" thickness Apron at the front edge. Single piece back splash that exceeds the lengths of 10’ without any vertical joints, etc.
What ever you can envision, it can be created.