Laminate:Although postforming laminate can bend at a 5/8" radius, 3/4" provides a safer bend, with vertical grade material used for smaller radius needs (low activity only). Once the radius get larger than 1 1/2", there is a strong tendency to steal focus from the overall top. This increases with each larger radius.
Solid Surface:The increasing acceptance of miter fold fabrication by the solid surface manufacturers allows for a much cheaper and stronger way to create a drop skirt. Cheaper and stronger? That's new. It is recommended to add a glue block or to double up on the material behind the apron for added impact resistance in the adhesive bond.
Applications: These tops are ideal for vanities with no cabinetry underneath. The ADA guidelines are adapted naturally into the flow of the front edge for top and bottom heights above finished floor.
In upper/lower counter applications, the thicker edge on the face of a long top helps eliminate the tendency of the front edge to get lost with the length. Upper tops can 'flow' down to the deck in an attractive 'tiered' effect.
Description: Laminate: Heated laminate "rolls over" edge to drop down the face of the countertop for either strength or masking of bowls, framing, etc. behind.
Solid Surface: Material is usually stood on edge and glued flush to the front, it is then milled and finish sanded to shape (see note above).
Variations: "no drip" edge is possible, but more expensive to fabricate.
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