Tuscan solid surface worktops are made up of a laminated chipboard core with a 6mm solid surface outer layer. As is the case with all solid surface worktops, the worktops manufactured by Tuscan have both strengths and weaknesses. Let’s examine some of their characteristics in more detail.
Tuscan solid surface worktops come in just four colours – Artic Snow, African Dust, Ebony Sand and Graphite Sand. This is small choice compared to some other solid surface worktops. Corian worktops, for example, can be fabricated in over 100 different shades and patterns. However, I think all of the Tuscan worktop colours would probably work well in most kitchen design schemes.
Tuscan worktops can be fitted with inconspicuous joints (as is the case with all solid surface worktops), and matching upstands and splashbacks can be incorporated.
Providing they are fitted correctly by an experienced installer (see below), Tuscan solid work surfaces can look fantastic.
Durability and Functionality
Tuscan solid surfaces are non-porous. This means that dirt, grime and bacteria can’t penetrate the surface of the worktop. As a result the worktop’s chipboard core will not be a breeding ground for germs unless the surface is severely damaged, or the joins between sections of worktop have not been properly fixed. Tuscan worktops are easy to keep clean and are very hygienic.
Although they are relatively heat resistant, Tuscan suggests that you follow these common sense guidelines when using your solid surface worktop:
Do not allow your Tuscan work surface to come into any contact with oven cleaners, paint remover, paint brush cleaners, drain cleaners or any similar products.
Do not chop directly onto the work surface. Always use a separate chopping board for this purpose, just as you should with any work surface to prevent scratching.
While offering heat resistant properties, we recommend you protect your Tuscan work surface with protective pads, stainless steel trivets or hob bars. Never place hot ovenware, pots or pans directly onto the surface.
Even if you follow this advice to the letter, your solid surface kitchen worktop is likely to become scratched and marked with everyday use (this is true of all solid surface worktops and not just those made by Tuscan). Luckily, most minor scratches can be polished away and more serious marks can often be repaired by a kitchen installer.
Some solid surface worktops are more vulnerable than others. If you opt to have your Tuscan work surfaces polished to a high gloss finish, you are going to spend more time cleaning and maintaining them than you would if you had gone for a matt or semi-matt finish. Although I haven’t heard any direct complaints about them, using my knowledge of other solid surfaces, I would suggest that the Arctic Snow Tuscan worktop will be harder to maintain than the African Dust or Graphite Sand options. (Some of the other solid surface manufacturers explicitly state that their pure white worktops are not suitable for heavy traffic situations.)
A quality installation is the key to getting your solid surface worktop to look good and last a long time. As a result, unless you have had considerable experience in fitting kitchen worktops, it’s probably a good idea to bring in a professional kitchen fitter. This way you can ensure that the joints are seamless and the worktop core is not going to be exposed to bacteria and water. The expense will be worth it in the long run.