Yankee ingenuity isn’t confined to New England, and you can find it in abundance at Swan Corporation, the midwestern manufacturer of Swanstone solid surface materials. “Everybody says they’re different, and we aren’t different from other people in that way,” chuckles Jonathan Fore, the company’s Director of Marketing. “But there are some major differences between what we do and everyone else in our industry.”
That’s a bold claim, but Fore has some solid evidence to back it up. While other surface materials – countertops and the like – are a poured or cast product, Swanstone is the only line of compression molded solid surface materials. The product is produced at extreme heat and pressure, which produces some interesting benefits.
On the design side, it helps insure that its decorative aggregate is evenly dispersed throughout the material, which opens the door to options such as one-piece aggregate solid surface double bowl sinks. “We can actually mold any shape we want as long as we have a die for it – and our kitchen sinks can actually match the countertops,” said Fore. “Our lavatory bowls can match the vanity tops.”
Compression molding also leads to greater chemical resistance, heat resistance, and increased strength for the fiberglass reinforced product line. For instance, while acetone will dissolve the typical polymer, it does not damage Swanstone. The product is molded at 300° so it is ready for hot cookware in the kitchen. And because it’s fiberglass reinforced, the product can boast extreme impact resistance, even with much reduced thickness. “I always say that fiberglass is to solid surface what rebar is to concrete,” says Fore. “It makes it just incredibly strong.”
Manufactured via a low-VOC process, Swanstone is Greenguard Certified for Children & Schools. As a result, its shower walls, counters, and other materials are often speced for health care facilities, college dorms, and military housing. The company recently upped their green component with a new color palette called the Our Planet Collection. It’s made with a soy resin blend and includes fine particle post-consumer recycled glass. At present, it’s only offered in 4 colors, but it has opened the door to designers, who are also noticing the other green products in the company’s line.
“Everything we sell is made in Centralia, IL, except the granite kitchen sinks,” said Fore. “We are very centrally located, and anything within 500 miles of Centralia qualifies for LEED proximity to point of origin credits.”
www.theswancorp.com • 800-325-7008