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Official Name for Vanity Top


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Does anyone know the official name of those swirly plastic vanity tops that were popular in the 60, 70s, 80s, and 90s? They predate Corian and the other composites and were cast out of some kind of plastic, about 3/4" thick, and made to resemble . . . well, nothing in the natural world. The early ones had gold flecks in them to make them seem, um (what's the word?) sadly, embarrassingly, fancy?

I was taken to task the other day, not so much for describing one as a "boojie plastic vanity top," as for not knowing the official name of the thing.

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Does anyone know the official name of those swirly plastic vanity tops that were popular in the 60, 70s, 80s, and 90s? They predate Corian...

Actually, Dupont's Corian was the first solid surface material - from the mid 60s I think.

What came out in the early 70s that you describe was made from polyester resin with pulverized stone and stone chips. It's popular name at the time was synthetic marble, but I don't think most products looked anything like marble.

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Does anyone know the official name of those swirly plastic vanity tops that were popular in the 60, 70s, 80s, and 90s? They predate Corian and the other composites and were cast out of some kind of plastic, about 3/4" thick, and made to resemble . . . well, nothing in the natural world. The early ones had gold flecks in them to make them seem, um (what's the word?) sadly, embarrassingly, fancy?

I was taken to task the other day, not so much for describing one as a "boojie plastic vanity top," as for not knowing the official name of the thing.

Around here they have always been called cultured marble. I recall reading the the manufacturer's association was changing the name. Maybe we are supposed to call it cast polymer:

International Cast Polymer Alliance (ICPA)

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You mean like this?

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tn_201453174328_004.jpg

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Marc

Sort of. The stuff in your picture looks like a solid surface material. The thing I'm thinking of is all cast in a single piece, including the backsplash and it's never quite as subdued as the one in your picture. It also has a tendency to develop cracking around the drain flange.

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Does anyone know the official name of those swirly plastic vanity tops that were popular in the 60, 70s, 80s, and 90s? They predate Corian...

Actually, Dupont's Corian was the first solid surface material - from the mid 60s I think.

What came out in the early 70s that you describe was made from polyester resin with pulverized stone and stone chips. It's popular name at the time was synthetic marble, but I don't think most products looked anything like marble.

I had no idea that Corian was that old. I certainly never heard of it before the '70s.

The stuff I'm thinking of was definitely around in the 60s, but it's more plastic-ey than Corian.

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The coloring goes only about an eighth of an inch deep. The substrate is translucent. CT and lav are one piece.

Both our baths use the same material for surrounds and lav/CT. Common in the late 70's, early 80's around here.

Marc

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Sounds exactly like cultured marble. It was stone dust and plastic resins mixed together and poured into a mold. Early stuff had gold glitter in it... presumably to complement the sparkly silver glitter in the textured ceilings coming into vogue then. Since there was only a thin clear gel coat on the top surface, thermal shock caused it to crack around the drain when hit with a lot of hot water quickly. Usually, one side of the vanity looks worse; that's the man's side where hot water used while shaving caused it to crack.

You mean like this?

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tn_201453174328_004.jpg

19.01 KB

Marc

Sort of. The stuff in your picture looks like a solid surface material. The thing I'm thinking of is all cast in a single piece, including the backsplash and it's never quite as subdued as the one in your picture. It also has a tendency to develop cracking around the drain flange.

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I don't see why you couldn't just call it solid surface...

It's definitely not solid surface; it's not a homogeneous mix like Corian. There is a clear gel coat (like you see with fiberglass boats) sprayed onto the mold surface and then the semi-liquid "marble" material is poured into the mold and stirred with a stick to give it some appearance of graining. A catalytic reaction causes it to harden, just like fiberglass. And the backsplash was integral as was the bowl. Various bowl designs were available including a really cheesy (in my opinion) shell design with scalloped edges. The side splashes were separate.

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I don't see why you couldn't just call it solid surface...

It's definitely not solid surface; it's not a homogeneous mix like Corian.

Hmm. The few that I have had the displeasure of handling have seemed like solid surface to me, but they're probably not as old as what Jim is talking about (60s... I'm thinking more 80s and up). They're some sort of cast resin... bowl, backsplash, and all. I've had to cut a few to fit around stuff. They typically have flecks or streaks mixed in.

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We still have similar on the c/t's in our bathrooms (1982 era home).

I replaced tub in master bath a couple of years ago. Extremely heavy. My sledge hammer had a chore in resizing the tub to manageable pieces to take to the trash.

Ours has a design fleck of some nature in it. Ugly.

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