"In this particular situation, we were facing two hurdles. One was removing a section of the decking 1/2" wide and 1/4" deep to provide for our inlay across the entire countertop. Second was the building of the triple waterfall edge," he says.
Offering that "the biggest challenge in fabrication is mastering the glue lines and making sure that all of the seams are tight," he notes that he and his crew chose to do "old-fashioned hand sanding" to accommodate this need.
Further describing the triple waterfall edge, he adds: "We determined that the edge alone added uniqueness to what was once a basic solid surface counter."
Having selected LG HI-MACS for the counters, he adds that this project somewhat distills the myth of high aesthetics leading to high maintenance.
"Most of the time, the customer stays standard and does not get fancy," he offers.
But, should a client elect for an upgrade, Borden knows exactly what he or she will request: "The biggest upgrade that people do in solid surface is high backsplashes. The customer always has the option to have outlets and switchplates to match the color of the countertops. Therefore, the fancy splashes that we do tend to be in granite countertops, for example, with a crackle wave or chiseled edge.
"Fabricators definitely make their money on the fancy edges, but only select customers will pay for these upgrades," he believes.
Being a custom fabricator, Borden notes that there is not so much an overall trend in fabrication, rather more of a constant.
"The maintenance-free materials are considered to be the Cadillac of countertops, such as heat-, water- and scratch-resistant surfaces. This is usually found in granite and quartz surfaces, while solid surface has the advantage of being 100 percent repairable," he adds.
Backsplash Features Diamond Etching
"The clients wanted a Corian sink fit into a stone quartz top and a Corian backsplash fit on a diamond pattern to make it look like tiles," explains Penn.
"[The way we fabricated it], it was all one piece with no grout lines. It needed to be a seamless look," he quickly adds.
Furthermore, Penn notes that the clients picked out all the counters and wood flooring which complement the browns, blacks and beiges found throughout the home as well as a Zodiaq counter with a lighter color for additional accent.
"The countertops are Zodiaq Alpha Brown with Corian Mojave, complemented by tile routered backsplashes in Corian and a Corian 873 Glacier White sink," he says. "The tops feature a 1-1/4" eased edge [for added detailing]," he further notes.
Penn continues: "The smaller particulate on the countertop is in the Sierra group of Corian. They really kept it simple and didn't want to overpower the edge. It was a simple round over."
But, according to Penn, the most unique element of the space is the diamond etching that was worked into the backsplash a suggestion made by the clients that Penn liked so much that he now displays similar pieces in his showroom.
To that end, Penn notes that his company has even built a new facility and bought C&C automated equipment to keep up with the different trends and applications that spark his interest.