FABRICATION and INSTALLATION GUIDE Forward CENTURA® has prepared this fabrication and installation manual for use by persons having professional skills. CENTURA® intends for it to be used by fabricators and installers of their product. Techniques utilized are based on the latest technology of tools and with consultation of professionals in the solid surface industry. Our hope is these techniques will improve your efficiency in fabricating CENTURA® and its related products. The procedures described and shown are appropriate for the applications described, however, no warranty, expressed or implied, is intended or given. Use of tools and products, outside CENTURA’s, should be done so by adhering to guidelines established by those manufacturers. It is the users responsibility to handle all product, tools and related materials in a safe manner. In addition, the user is urged to become familiar with all Local, State and Federal health and safety regulations. Table of Contents PRODUCT INFORMATION SAFETY FABRICATION TOOLS SHOP FABRICATION B. Introducing CENTURA® Solid Surface Technical Data C. Competitive Differences A. B. Safety Equipment Material Handling C. Material Safety Data Sheets A. Saws and Blades B. Routers and Bits C. Sanders and Abrasives D. Clamps and Hand Tools A. Planning B. Selecting Materials C. Square Sheet D. Seaming and Bowl Setting E. Edge Build-up F. Profiling Edges G. Cutouts H. Finishing A. Table of Contents INSTALLATION A. B. C. D. E. F. Cabinet Preparation Final Fitting Cutout Preparation Field Seams Splashes Inspection ADVANCED A. B. C. D. F. G. Liquid Repairs Liquid Inlays Coved Backslashes CENTURA® Flex Accent Trims Shower Pans Company History CENTURA® Solid Surface is produced of the highest quality materials consisting of polyester resin, aluminum trihydrate (ATH) and other specially formulated compounds. The specific formulation provides CENTURA® with unique properties, such as a Class “A” fire rating, chemical resistance, stain resistance, durable hardness and ease of machining. The CENTURA® product was originally introduced in 1988 after a great deal of consultation with chemists and fabricators. This process ensured that the product performed to the strictest standards and guidelines. A goal was set to provide the most fabricator friendly solid surface available. This rigorous undertaking resulted in the efficient and workable product you will be using from this day forward. CENTURA® provides sheet materials in 31 standard colors, 100’s of custom and rendered colors, the highest sheet efficiency possible to minimize off-fall and backs its product by a twelve year warranty. Sheet material is only the beginning to a full line of extraordinary products. CENTURA® offers: liquid inlay kits, liquid repair kits, liquid cove kits, a full line of bowls, accent trims, tubs, showers and ITB’s (Integral tops with bowls). No matter what your needs or applications, CENTURA® has the right product at the right price! CENTURA® ’s ability to offer a twelve year warranty, the best warranty in the business, is due in part to the rigorous testing the product undergoes. Couple that with the best fabricators in the business, the combination is unbeatable. Technical Data Test Test Value Test Method Colorfastness Pass ANSI Z124.3-1986 Wearability Pass ANSI Z124.3-1986 Cleanability Pass ANSI Z124.3-1986 Cigarette Burn Resistance Pass ANSI Z124.3-1986 Chemical Resistance Pass ANSI Z124.3-1986 Stain Resistance Barcol Hardness Flexural Strength, PSI Flexural Modulus,PSI x 10 Dart Impact, 2lb. Dart Fire Rating 24 60-62 8250 1.41 No Fracture Class A, Class 1 ANSI 5.2.1 Barcol Impresser ASTM D-790 ASTM D-790 30” Drop ASTM E-84 The samples showed no significant change in color after 200 hours of exposure. After completion of 10,000 scrub cycles, no wear-through was observed. The average absolute loss of white light reflectance after application and removal of standard dirt with liquid detergent was 0.0%. No additional cleaning was necessary. Upon application of a lighted cigarette to the sample surface, no significant surface distortion was observed. The average thickness of surface removed to eliminate the stain was 0.001”. Competitive Differences CENTURA® has some very specific competitive differences that will provide an advantage in most marketplaces. The specific differences and the list of those differences are as follows: Feature Competitive Advantage Sheet Size CENTURA® offers more sheet sizes than any other manufacturer. Sheets come in 32” and 36” wide in lengths of 48”, 60”, 72”, 96”, 120”, and 144”; and thickness' of 1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2” and 3/4”. Custom Sheet Colors and Sizes CENTURA® provides 31 standard colors, but offers custom and rendered colors for a two sheet minimum. No other manufacturer custom colors sheets without a major investment. CENTURA® , also, offers custom sheet sizes to enhance the extensive sizes already offered. Repairability Most solid surfaces can be repaired, but none do it so easy. CENTURA® offers a liquid repair kit lot matched to the sheets they produce. This repair method ensures that repairs go unnoticed. Competitive Differences Feature Competitive Advantage Liquid Inlays Inlays via other manufacturers are cumbersome, time consuming and inflexible. CENTURA® ’s resin based liquid inlays puts the creative back into countertops. No matter what the design or the color Centura is the simplest inlay ever. Liquid Coving CENTURA® . Liquid coving is offered by The kit is a caulk consistency liquid, a coved seam can be produced either vertical or horizontal. Just tool it into place, let it cure and finish to match the top. Can it get any easier than that? CENTURA® Flex CENTURA® has the only sheet that can conform to any radius surface without ovens. A flexible solid surface formulation gives the material enough flexibility to bend radii to 6” without fracture. Read about CENTURA® ’s other extraordinary products in the product binder. Safety Equipment Safety is an important issue and concern for CENTURA® . We want each fabricator to have the best experience possible working with our product and being injury free is our highest priority. Having the following equipment along with an OSHA approved first aid kit, is the first step to a successful shop. Safety glasses are the most important tool. Protect your eyes at all times from chips and flying fragments. CENTURA® sheets are heavy and awkward to handle. Safety shoes are recommended. Leather gloves can protect your hands from cuts and provide better gripping of CENTURA® sheets. Use ear protection, if noise from routing, cutting and sanding CENTURA® is beyond recommended levels. Nuisance dust is generated during fabrication of CENTURA® . Use ventilation and dust collection methods. Workers should use an approved nuisance dust mask. Material Routers Handling and Bits Using routers with appropriate bits, guides and templates makes it one of the most versatile tools in the shop. Routers produce smooth cuts requiring less finishing and improves quality and productivity. CENTURA® does its ship product in a best to produce and manner easy to CENTURA® sheet material is delivered to the fabricator on a skid accommodating from one to ten sheets. The material is banded to the skid and can be handled by forklift with extended forks. It is recommended that forks be at least ten feet long. Use only routers for making cutouts. MSDS ( Material Safety Data Sheets) are provided upon ® To move CENTURA by a Professional grade routers are hand,for grasp the sheet edges must fabrication. The router and carry the sheet vertically should be a minimum of 2 hp, t o shank p r e v eand n t an s a goperating ging. 1/2” ® CENTURA sheets weigh speed between 10,000 and approximately 120 lb. per 28,000 RPM. 1/2” x 32” x 120”, so take care to prevent back injury. Router bits are made for various fabrication applications. Straight cuts, edge treatments and bowl tapers are all a function of the right bit. Bits need to be carbide tipped and must be kept sharp. Sanders Saws and Blades Abrasives A great CENTURA® top is one with a great finish. The customer judges both the fabricator and CENTURA® on what they see and feel, so the finish is extremely important. Accomplishing a great finish requires the proper sanding equipment and abrasives, along with a technique that comes through experience. CENTURA® comes in Belt sanders are the work sheet form and to make horse of fabrication finishing. countertops the sheets The belt sander is used Stationary table or typically to saws, removeeither a lot of vertical a mustliquid in the materialpanel for are seams, fabrication process. Stationary inlays, liquid repairs or saws should be 5 hp or more, scribing. accommodate a 10” to 12” Vibratingand and have randoma orbital speed will have to be cut. The bladed sanders are used in the fine between 3000-4000 RPM. saw and blade has a finishing process. Electric and significant roll in the air actuated both have their applications. orbital inhave Circular sawsMost are useful shop an operating speedThe of 10,000 and out of shop. circular OPM. should be 2 1/4 hp, saw accommodate a blade of 6 1/2” to 7 1/4” and speed of Abrasives are have ever achanging 5000-6000 in the solidRPM. surface industry. Most fabricators use micron or 3M Trizact to obtain the best finish. Consult with your Blades a b r a s i should v e s pbee ccarbide i a l i s t tipped to of triple chip grind for the best determine the best product for performance. The to blade should the finish you want obtain. have a positive rake 0 to 12 degrees, a pitch ofby12 to 15orand Abrasives are most commonly determined grade mineral size and some, like have at least 60 teeth per 10” 3M Trizact, by even a different standard. The chart below gives some basic grit and diameter. The key is to keep micron comparisons. your blades sharp to produce the smoothest Micron U.S. Gritcut. Micron U.S. Grit 100.......................................................150 40 ........................................................ 280 80.........................................................180 30 ........................................................ 400 60.........................................................220 15 ........................................................ 600 Routers and Bits Using routers with appropriate bits, guides and templates makes it one of the most versatile tools in the shop. Routers produce smooth cuts requiring less finishing and improves quality and productivity. Use only routers for making cutouts. Professional grade routers are a must for fabrication. The router should be a minimum of 2 hp, 1/2” shank and an operating speed between 10,000 and 28,000 RPM. Router bits are made for various fabrication applications. Straight cuts, edge treatments and bowl tapers are all a function of the right bit. Bits need to be carbide tipped and must be kept sharp. Sanders and Abrasives A great CENTURA® top is one with a great finish. The customer judges both the fabricator and CENTURA® on what they see and feel, so the finish is extremely important. Accomplishing a great finish requires the proper sanding equipment and abrasives, along with a technique that comes through experience. Belt sanders are the work horse of fabrication finishing. The belt sander is used typically to remove a lot of material for seams, liquid inlays, liquid repairs or scribing. Vibrating and random orbital sanders are used in the fine finishing process. Electric and air actuated both have their applications. Most orbital have an operating speed of 10,000 OPM. Abrasives are ever changing in the solid surface industry. Most fabricators use micron or 3M Trizact to obtain the best finish. Consult with your abrasive specialist to determine the best product for the finish you want to obtain. Abrasives are most commonly determined by grade or mineral size and some, like 3M Trizact, by even a different standard. The chart below gives some basic grit and micron comparisons. Micron U.S. Grit 100.......................................................150 80.........................................................180 60.........................................................220 Micron U.S. Grit 40 ........................................................ 280 30 ........................................................ 400 15 ........................................................ 600 Clamps and Hand Tools Clamps and hand tools play a vital part in the fabrication of CENTURA® . Clamps are necessary in the seaming process to apply the right amount of pressure until the bonding adhesive has time to cure and to maintain the parts in the proper position. The various types of hand clamps along with other hand tools will be needed to produce quality CENTURA® countertops. Spring clamps are the most used clamps for edge build ups. Clamps come in various sizes and styles. Each clamp has its place in the fabrication of solid surface. Be sure that you have adequate supply of sizes and styles for the many application that will be faced in the fabricating of CENTURA® sheets. Vacuum cups used in the glazing industry with a turnbuckle attached is great for field seams. Straight edges, corner templates, scrapers and chisels are also utilized in the fabricating of solid surface. Straight edges and templates are used for cutting sheets and producing inside and outside corners. The scrapers and chisels are used to scrape excess adhesive from seamed areas. Planning Planning can and will be the most important part of the fabrication process. It begins by working from blue prints to develop an estimate for the the job. This estimate will take into consideration material, fabrication and installation cost. This estimate will supply the resource information needed to generate a proposal for the customer. This estimate will be sufficient to calculate the order quantities for sheets and seam kits. Keep in mind CENTURA® delivers product within two weeks from receipt of order, so you can use this estimate to place the order prior to final measuring and templating. The next step is to go to the job. It is recommended to make allot of notes regarding the job. Take note to door sizes, access to the site and will there be need to send additional labor to get the countertop inside. The jobsite visit should occur after the cabinets are installed. A template can be made of the installed cabinets using 1 1/4” strips of luan hot melt glued together. It is extremely important to label the template for centerlines of bowls, cooktop cutouts, finished edges and splashes. Mark your template for any special instructions for the fabrication process, i.e. overhangs, faucet drills or other considerations. The jobsite notes along with the template are the most important tools a fabricator has, so do not short yourself on time or documentation. Selecting Materials CENTURA® produces a highly durable and machinable product. For the best results, CENTURA® recommends the following procedure in storage and selection of materials to save time, inconvenience and money. CENTURA® should be stored in flat or vertical position. The recommended storage temperature is 65°F. If material has been stored in a cooler area, let material acclimate to the fabricating shop temperature before cutting. The normal working range for the material is 70°F + 15°F. CENTURA® offers sheets in 1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2”, and 3/4” thick material by 32” wide by 48”, 60”, 72”, 96”, 120” and 144” in length. A 36” wide sheet in the same thickness by 96”, 120” and 144” in length, are also available. All materials are produced to order, therefore, all sheets are lot matched. Normal delivery time for CENTURA® is two weeks from receipt of order. CENTURA® Core-Lite offers only one sheet size. The composite sheet is 27” x 144”. Backsplash and edge build up material is order separately, either by the sheet or by the strip. Backsplash strips come 3/8” x 4” x 144” and edge build up strips come 1/2” x 1 1/4” x 144”. Sheets are easily handled by two people or one person with the aid of some type of transport device. CENTURA® has formulated its solid surface not to be brittle and can be machined and handled with ease. Square Sheet Once you select CENTURA® 1/2” sheet material or Core-Lite, the next step is to square the sheet. This can be done by setting your table saw or panel saw to make a horizontal cut the full length of the material. The saw should be set to make a minimal strip, but be sure it touches the sheet the full length. The ends are cut using a panel saw or a router and straight edge. When using a panel saw, flip the sheet over putting the true side down and then cut the end. The saw will make a square cut to the true edge. Make a pencil arrow toward the true side designating the square side and end. If you use a router, take a square, mark a pencil line, measure back the proper distance from your line for the guide of your router, clamp your straight edge in place and cut your sheet using a double fluted router bit. Note: A sharp router bit should always be used. Next set your saw to cut edge build-up strips. These strips are typically 1 1/4” to 1 1/2” wide by the full length of the sheet and across the end. Two strips are necessary to build an 1 1/2” edge or, if you choose to do a drop edge, one strip is all that's needed. When cutting CENTURA® sheets use these basic rules: 1) Always use a sharp blade. A dull blade chips the material creating stress points. 2) Keep the blade at its lowest possible level. 3) Experiment with a scrap of material to determine the proper feed speed for the material you are cutting. Be sure to cut enough build-up strips for the job. Most fabricators rip the strips from each sheet of material and not all from one sheet, since all sheets need to be squared. Additional lengths can be used for build-up of inside and outside corners. Seam Kits & Cartridges CENTURA® seaming process is accomplished in two ways. CENTURA has always promoted the use of its two part matching Seam 1 Kit as the best way to achieve an inconspicuous seam. Seaming technology over the years have improved and CENTURA® has added a Seam Cartridge to its seaming process. Not recognized for its matching color, it does allow for increased speed of the seaming process over the two part kit. If a totally inconspicuous seam is wanted and needed, CENTURA recommends its Seam 1 Kit as the only true alternative. CENTURA® Seam 1 Kit comes with matching resin and catalyst. The kit set time can be adjusted to temperature and humidity by increasing or decreasing the the amount of catalyst. It is recommended that a seam kit be tested at different mixtures to get a feel for the setting time. Normal set time with for the kit is 180 - 240 minutes and produces between 20 - 25 lineal feet of seam. One hundred percent (100%) cure takes 24 hours. The CENTURA® Seam Cartridge is the same as most solid surface joint adhesive on the market today. Made from methelacrylate, it is used for its speedy set time. The normal set time is 30 minutes to handle and 60 minutes to start the finishing process. When using the cartridge it is imperative that one mixing tip of material be squeezed off to make sure proper mixing of the adhesive and catalyst occurs, and that the color is consistent. The cartridge produces approximately 50 lineal feet of seam. Note: Additional information for the seam kits are available in the product literature or in the kit instructions. After reading the instructions on the use of the seam kit selected, take the build-up strips, bowl or sheet material and clean them thoroughly with a clean white cloth and denatured alcohol. Apply the adhesive to the material as directed. Set the build-up strip, the bowl or position the sheets in place and clamp. The following pages will address the procedures for each type of seam. Edge Build Up Seaming takes place in a number of fabrication steps; building up edges, seaming two sheets together to make a countertop and seaming a bowl to the countertop. All three of these applications will be discussed in this section The edge build up strips are typically 1 1/4” to 1 1/2” wide. These strips are seamed to the edge in one single drop or by stacking two pieces together. Each edge type seams basically the same, except the drop edge requires the seam material to be applied to the 1/2” side of the material rather than the broad side of a stacked edge. Core-Lite normally use a single drop edge and to do the edge build up the core needs to be routed away prior to the fabrication steps below. When using Seam 1 Kit , clean the surfaces with a clean white cloth and denatured alcohol, then the seam material is buttered onto the receiving sheet the same width as the strip and applied to the strip. The first strip is put into place, adhesive to adhesive then clamped every 3 - 4”. Be sure the build up strip extends past the edge of the sheet slightly. It can be measured by taking the mixing stick (tongue depressor) sliding it from the sheet edge to the strip. If the mixing stick barely hangs up on the strip, it is correctly positioned. Once the first strip has set for 10 - 30 minutes, the second edge can be applied. This is done by removing the clamps laying them flat behind the first build up strip. Place the second strip on the clamps. Butter the strips with the Seam Kit 1, the second strip first, then the first. Applying the kit in this sequence will keep you from getting seam material on your clothes or your hands. Finish the build up by placing the second strip on the first clamping every 3 - 4”. The second strip should be even with the first and the first should be verified that it protrudes slightly from the sheet. The seam cartridge is handled in much the same way. The strips or the sheet receives the seam material from cartridge instead of being hand applied. The strips, seam material and clamping occurs in the same manner, however, your length of time between the application of the first strip and the second is much shorter. As a matter of fact, you can apply the second strip as soon as you have placed, clamped and verified the first strip’s position. Start at the opposite end from where you ended and repeat the strip, seam and clamping process. Be sure that you apply an adequate amount of seam material to each piece. Outside corners should be overlapped with a small triangular wedge behind the build Edge Build Up Cont. up. This small wedge provides additional support to the edge, when a radius is applied. Inside corners should be done by overlapping a 2” x 4” piece of solid surface, one each direction to form an L. This type build up will allow for the 1 1/2” inside radius necessary for a proper inside corner. Core-Lite inside and outside corners should be fabricated in the exact same way as Centura 1/2” material. Core-Lite allows a single drop edge as part of its fabrication and since a radius is required, you will need to stack 2 - 2” x 2” block of material made of 1/2” or 3 pieces of 3/8” material. This build up will give enough meat to rout the radius profile. Once the seam material has jelled, take a sharp chisel and scrape the excess seam material from the front and back edges of the strips. This step will allow for a smooth operation of a router clean up bit along the edge and provide adequate are for your substrate strips. Before flipping the top, it is time to add the substrate to the structure of the top. It is CENTURA®’s recommendation to use a stable, moisture resistant material. Substrate strips should be cut 1 1/2” wide and be adhered the length of the top. Be sure to allow 1/8” between all substrate for expansion. Substrate strips should be glued, using a construction grade adhesive (PL100/ Liquid Nails) or silicone. Substrate strips should be set on all perimeter edges of the top and front to back next to heavy items such as sinks and range cutouts. We have found that an additional substrate strip should be added 12 - 13” from the front of the top running lengthwise as the others. Overhangs more than 8” need to have additional support. If you are uncertain about the type and style of the support, call CENTURA® for approval. Note: CENTURA® does not allow the use of particle board as a substrate material. Core-Lite is an exception to this rule due to the plastic core that is adhered to sheet. This core acts as a buffer between the sheet and the substrate, therefore a lesser grade of substrate can be used. The clean up of seam adhesive is accomplished by using a 1 1/4” double fluted router bit with a top bearing. The top bearing will ride on the edge of the sheet removing the excess adhesive and uniform the edge in one pass. Once that is done the edge should be sanded to the desire finish and a profile applied. Seaming Sheets Seaming sheets is the first step in building a countertop. Check your layout for the job, select your sheet size based on the layout and check each sheet for color consistency, visual defects and lot match. Lot match can be verified by locating the lot numbers on each sheet, make sure the numbers correspond to each sheet that will be seamed together. The fabricator is responsible for visual inspection of the sheet and the lot number verification. Seaming the sheets together is not a complicated process, but does require patience and desire to produce the best quality countertop. Your sheets do not come from the factory with a square edge, therefore, check all sheets and perform the squaring process as discussed previously. Your layout should help you determine your proper positioning for seams. Never place seams within 3” of an inside corner or within 2” for Core-Lite, a cutout for a bowl or range. Also, check to see if there is a dishwasher within 6” of the seam and, if so, offset the seam accordingly. The diagram shows you the placement of your seam from an inside corner. Since you have determined your seam location, mark your sheets and rough cut them to size with a circular saw leaving them about a 1/4” oversized, because you will finish cut the sheets with a router and the router will give you a smooth seamable cut. If you are using a high quality panel saw, you can cut the sheets to size, because they will provide a smooth and accurate surface for seaming. Your countertop cutout should allow for an inside radius of 1 1/2”. Once you have cutout your countertop then you are ready to seam the sheet material together. The next step is to position your sheets face up on a flat level table with the two edges to be seamed together approximately 1/4” apart. Take your router with a 1/2” double fluted bit and cut both sheets at same time. This is known as mirror cutting. Clean the prepared mirror cut with denatured alcohol or if a lot number is visible, sand it off to remove it from the seam area. Dirty, contaminated seams are visible seams. Once you have prepared the seams, using the Seam 1 Kit or the cartridge, put seam material on both edges, push the two edges together forcing excess seam material ooze out, clamp the seam together using the most appropriate clamp for the job (see clamps in the tool section). Be sure the two sheets are level with each other by using a straight edge. Do not over tighten the clamp, as it will force too much seam material from the Seaming Sheets Cont. starving it of adhesive. Allow adequate time for the sheets to bond together based on the seaming system used. When using the seam cartridges, CENTURA® requires a solid surface seam support on the back of the seam. The support should run from front to back approximately 3” wide and be beveled on each side. When seaming Core-Lite or using a Seam 1 Kit, a seam support is not required. The core along with the substrate on CoreLite provides the necessary support and when using the Seam 1 Kit, the bonding process eliminates the need for a support. If you as the fabricator choose to use a support for assurance, it does not affect the seam adversely and is acceptable by Centura. The final step in the seam process is removing the excess dried seam material, then flip the sheet over to set the bowl and apply the edge build up strips. This can be accomplished by a router on “skis” or using a belt sander. Whichever system you choose, be sure not to gouge or put excessive marks in the sheet that will make the final finishing of the countertop harder. When flipping the sheet, be careful in handling as it may be awkward and heavy. Bowl Setting CENTURA® provides all types of molded shape products to meet your customer’s needs. The properly selected bowl, integrally mounted, will provide your customer with years of useful life and beauty. CENTURA®’s bowls are available in a wide array of sizes, shapes and colors. Choose the best bowl for your project from our product binder under kitchen and lavatory The bowl setting process over the years has changed dramatically. Some of the changes has come from tooling technology and others have come from basic product improvement. Whatever the reason, bowls are easy to install and should be installed in every job. Solid surface bowls are primarily the bowl of choice in the industry. CENTURA® has chose to make the bowl setting process as simple as possible. The following steps will walk you through the bowl setting process. First refer to your job template and layout for all pertinent measurements and positioning for the bowls. Layout the location on the reverse side of the sheet noting the center line position for the bowl. Take the bowl from the carton. Verify the style and color based on your order. Locate the centerline arrows or marks placed on the bowl. Do not assume the bowl flanges are square and do not do your layout from them. Place your bowl centerline marks on your centerline as determined by your layout. Once you have positioned the bowl, hot melt some positioning blocks around the flange of the bowl. When preparing Core-Lite for a bowl, the core needs to be routed from the flange area and should not be more than 1/8” outside the bowl flange.Use 4 - 8 blocks based on your assessment of the bowl size and shape. Core-Lite does not require positioning blocks, as the core verifies the bowl position. Remove the bowl and mark dimensions of the inside of the bowl on the sheet. On Core-Lite, the inside bowl radius should be marked prior to removing the core. Come inside those marks 1/2” or use a bowl template, and remove the excess material with a router. This will make the final router cutout easier. Clean all seam areas, on the bowl and sheet, with denatured alcohol. Be sure all pencil marks are removed. Place the seam adhesive within the area of the inside bowl dimensions and the outside of the flange. Put the adhesive on the sheet and the bowl. Reposition the bowl inside the blocks or the core and place a weight of 10 lb. on the bowl. Do not bar clamp the bowl, the weight is sufficient enough to create a proper seam. Core-Lite does not need additional material support by adding a piece of 1/2” material under the bowl flange. It does require that a bead of seam adhesive be squeezed into the gap of the Bowl Setting Cont. The final step is to turn the top over, but not until the edge build up and substrate is complete, and then using a bowl router bit and the bowl as a guide, rout the excess sheet material from the bowl opening. This will create a taper into the bowl and give it a finished look. There are other bowls used in solid surface countertops. They mount differently and require different set ups from a solid surface bowl. We will try to give you the fabrication techniques for drop-in bowls and undermount bowls, not of solid surface. Drop in bowls are simple to install and require the same fabrication technique as any type of cutout into solid surface. Instead of duplicating the process, see the cutout section in this fabrication manual for the techniques used in preparing cutout for drop in items. Undermount bowls of various materials are sometimes used in solid surface countertops. The following procedures, not that dissimilar to solid surface bowls, will be discussed. These procedures are not the final authority, but will give the basics for this type of installation. The layout and positioning of the bowl would be similar to that of solid surface. Most manufacturers can and do supply templates showing the cutout area for the bowl to be mounted. It is our opinion that any undermount bowl needs to be mounted at the time of countertop installation. The countertop can be prepared to receive the bowl, however, the cutout and weight of a bowl makes the top more venerable to fracture. Your cutout should be located and routed using a template. Once your countertop has been installed the final removal of the sheet material can be done. Also, your clean up and sanding, if necessary, should be completed prior mounting the bowl. Position the bowl by using a mechanical device. If you are uncertain about the style and type of support bracket to use, contact CENTURA®for approval. Once the bowl is positioned and before the brackets are tightened use a high quality silicone adhesive to seal the bowl to the sheet. CENTURA® recommends an industrial grade silicone, i.e. Axiom. Tool the silicone as needed to form an adequate seal between the bowl and the sheet. Fabrication Tip: Tip outs in the sink base require the bowl to be moved back 1/2”. Profiling Edges CENTURA® believes that the added value of having a solid surface countertop is the ability for the countertop to be customized. The customization can occur in a number of ways, from basic layout and design to unique details such as inlays and edge profiles. This section deals with the developing and machining edge profiles for the customization of CENTURA® countertops Edge profiles are a unique way to customize a countertop. It can be a design that identifies you as a unique and extraordinary fabricator. Edge profiles are as diverse as the tooling that is available. In many cases, the fabricator takes the simple approach and in others they develop special tooling and special names for the designs they come up with. You can tell from the commentary that edge profiles are accomplished by a router bit. Most are done by hand and some done by CNC. The key is for you as a fabricator to select the styles that you want to offer as standard. Keep in mind, the more detail you have the harder it is to finish. Prior to profiling the countertop edge inside and outside corners need to have a radius machined. The inside corners need a radius no less than 1 1/2” and outside corners need a radius no less than 1”. It is recommended that you develop a set of templates with different radii for different applications. To machine an edge profile on a countertop requires a router, a bit of choice, a straight edge and clamps. The straight edge is used as a guide to keep the router at the proper distance from the edge. This straight edge is clamped to the countertop and with the router in hand is guided in a smooth fashion to profile the edge. Once the edge has been routed, then finishing can take place. Edge details can also be added via accent trims (see product binder or the appropriate section in this manual for details). Bowl Setting Cont. The final step is to turn the top over, but not until the edge build up and substrate is complete, and then using a bowl router bit and the bowl as a guide, rout the excess sheet material from the bowl opening. This will create a taper into the bowl and give it a finished look. There are other bowls used in solid surface countertops. They mount differently and require different set ups from a solid surface bowl. We will try to give you the fabrication techniques for drop-in bowls and undermount bowls, not of solid surface. Drop in bowls are simple to install and require the same fabrication technique as any type of cutout into solid surface. Instead of duplicating the process, see the cutout section in this fabrication manual for the techniques used in preparing cutout for drop in items. Undermount bowls of various materials are sometimes used in solid surface countertops. The following procedures, not that dissimilar to solid surface bowls, will be discussed. These procedures are not the final authority, but will give the basics for this type of installation. The layout and positioning of the bowl would be similar to that of solid surface. Most manufacturers can and do supply templates showing the cutout area for the bowl to be mounted. It is our opinion that any undermount bowl needs to be mounted at the time of countertop installation. The countertop can be prepared to receive the bowl, however, the cutout and weight of a bowl makes the top more venerable to fracture. Your cutout should be located and routed using a template. Once your countertop has been installed the final removal of the sheet material can be done. Also, your clean up and sanding, if necessary, should be completed prior mounting the bowl. Position the bowl by using a mechanical device. If you are uncertain about the style and type of support bracket to use, contact CENTURA®for approval. Once the bowl is positioned and before the brackets are tightened use a high quality silicone adhesive to seal the bowl to the sheet. CENTURA® recommends an industrial grade silicone, i.e. Axiom. Tool the silicone as needed to form an adequate seal between the bowl and the sheet. Fabrication Tip: Tip outs in the sink base require the bowl to be moved back 1/2”. Profiling Edges CENTURA® believes that the added value of having a solid surface countertop is the ability for the countertop to be customized. The customization can occur in a number of ways, from basic layout and design to unique details such as inlays and edge profiles. This section deals with the developing and machining edge profiles for the customization of CENTURA® countertops Edge profiles are a unique way to customize a countertop. It can be a design that identifies you as a unique and extraordinary fabricator. Edge profiles are as diverse as the tooling that is available. In many cases, the fabricator takes the simple approach and in others they develop special tooling and special names for the designs they come up with. You can tell from the commentary that edge profiles are accomplished by a router bit. Most are done by hand and some done by CNC. The key is for you as a fabricator to select the styles that you want to offer as standard. Keep in mind, the more detail you have the harder it is to finish. Prior to profiling the countertop edge inside and outside corners need to have a radius machined. The inside corners need a radius no less than 1 1/2” and outside corners need a radius no less than 1”. It is recommended that you develop a set of templates with different radii for different applications. To machine an edge profile on a countertop requires a router, a bit of choice, a straight edge and clamps. The straight edge is used as a guide to keep the router at the proper distance from the edge. This straight edge is clamped to the countertop and with the router in hand is guided in a smooth fashion to profile the edge. Once the edge has been routed, then finishing can take place. Edge details can also be added via accent trims (see product binder or the appropriate section in this manual for details). Installation Cont. planer or router. The machined top should be again dry fit to make sure of a good true set. CENTURA® suggests that you do not silicone the top until all cutouts are verified for size. This will make it easier to machine , if adjustments need to be made. Cutout Preparation: Cutouts for drop-in bowls and cooktops are common. Installation is the time that the cutouts are verified and prepared for the appliance. The first step is to finish cutting the opening for such items. A router is typically the tool of choice. Once the opening has been made, CENTURA® recommends you dry fit all appliances. Be sure that the cooktop cutout has adequate spacing for the heat reflective tape. Machined and verified, now silicone the top in place, install reflective tape and set all appliances. Field Seams: Occasionally the size of the top dictates that a field seam is to be made. As we previously stated, an installer my have to deal with the same fabrication issues as the shop. This is one of those cases. Field seams are accomplished exactly as they would be in the shop. A flat level surface is required, therefore, you must be prepared. Follow the steps as stated in this manual for field seams. CENTURA®recommends, when time is not a concern, to use Seam 1 Kit. Seam 1 Kit is matched to the sheet material, which makes the seaming process more forgiving. Either process can work, but be sure to follow each step. Shortcuts mean call backs. Splashes: There are two types of splashes on a countertop. A backsplash, which runs the length of the top, normally 4” high and a side splash, which runs front to back on the top, normally 4” high. These splashes are mounted using a quality industrial grade silicone, i.e. Axiom. The silicone is used as an adhesive to glue the splash to the wall and as a sealant between the top and the splash. Axiom makes translucent tinted silicone to blend to sheets. Installation Cont. Inspection: The final step in the fabrication and installation phase is the inspection. It is important to quality check your job before someone else does. This should include general appearance of the installed top, conducting a general warranty inspection looking for any places that could lead to a potential claim, prepare the warranty card that will be mailed to CENTURA® and be sure to leave the premises as they were when you arrived or better, if possible. A good adage to live by is, “ It doesn’t take any longer to do a job right, than to do it over.” Truer words were never spoken and can be a saving grace in the fabrication and installation of CENTURA® countertops. Advanced Fabrication Advanced fabrication does not imply that the training and discussions that have previously taken place are beginner, but this section deals with product and applications that are an advancement over other solid surface companies. This section will cover CENTURA®’s unique products such as: Liquid Repairs, Liquid Inlays, Vertical Seam and Cove, CENTURA® Flex, Accent Trims and Shower Pans. CENTURA® recommends that all of the unique liquid products that they sell be tried by the fabricator, before selling to a customer. Therefore, CENTURA will be happy to send a kit at no charge for you to test on your own, so a proficiency with the product can be obtained. Liquid Repair: CENTURA® is the only solid surface company that offers a liquid repair system. Each CENTURA®sheet is labeled many times with the CENTURA® lot number and a liquid repair kit can be produced to match that sheet. It doesn’t matter, if CENTURA® produced one of its 31 standard colors or one of the hundreds of custom or rendered colors they make, a repair kit can be provided. The fabrication process is very simple and the first step is to determine what has created the crack or defect in the first place. Once the source of the stress has been found, the crack is stopped by drilling a hole at its end. A dremmel, router or roto zip tool is used to machine the crack. CENTURA® cautions you to be sure to follow the crack completely, even if it angles or travels through the front edge or under the back splash. In some cases the top or splash may need to be removed. An improperly treated crack is one that will reoccur. Crack preparation is the most important task and the most time consuming. Don’t try to shortcut the process. Dam the back side of the crack to hold the repair material. If you cannot get to the back side, prepare the crack into a V shape leaving a barely visible amount of sheet material to hold repair material. The next step is to prepare the mixture. Please follow the directions completely. Once the mixture is prepared, pour the material into the machined area, release surface air bubbles by using a pointed tooth pick, allow to cure and machine as you would a seam. Caution needs to be taken not to overheat the area in the sanding process. This could cause the material to shrink creating a divot after the sanded area cools. CENTURA® Liquid Repair is a one of a kind product, which reduces the time and cost associated with making field repairs. Advanced Fabrication Cont. Liquid Inlays: Liquid Inlays are very similar to doing a liquid repair. The difference is that a trough is prepared in the sheet material approximately 1/8” deep. This trough can be in any design or detail one can imagine. The inlay colors are vast and can be made with and without particulate, just like a repair kit. Design away and make inlays part of your profit center. Liquid inlays make the fabrication easier than the traditional cut and fit method. The preparation of the design can be done with a hand router, CNC, sand blasting or laser etching. The complexity of the design is entirely up to you and your customer. CENTURA® recommends that a dam should be created approximately 1/4” outside the design, to allow the liquid inlay to overflow and overfill. This can be done using masking tape or modeling clay. Once the design is prepared, mix the liquid inlay per the instructions provided with the kit. Pour the mixture into the design, help release surface air bubbles by running a toothpick in the design, allow to cure and machine as you would a seam. The same caution needs to be exercised in the machining process, as you would do with a repair kit. CENTURA® recommends that the liquid inlays be done the last thing of the day allowing it to cure overnight and be machined the next morning. By doing this, it will put inlay profits back into your shop without affecting production. Coved Backsplashes: Coved backsplashes are accomplished in two ways. The traditional build up and rout method or using the Vertical Seam and Cove Kit. The traditional method is taught as part of our fabrication seminars, however, it requires a specially designed router. CENTURA® produces a liquid seam product,of a caulk consistency that can be done by a hand tool and sand method. The Vertical Seam and Cove Kit is, for all practical purposes, a thickened repair kit. This material comes to match the sheet material and should be ordered when the sheet material is ordered. The fabrication of the splashes can be done at the shop or in the field, but keep in mind Advanced Fabrication Cont. it does require a lot of sanding. CENTURA® has found a very useful tool for the finish process and it is called a cove scraper by Monument Tools. This scraper is the same diameter as the cove being created. It has a cutting head and a long screw driver type handle. This scraper smoothes the roughness from the tooled cove material and makes the sanding process easier. If you do not use the scraper, happy sanding. Cove sanders are also available from a number of manufacturers and can ease the sanding process. Follow the instructions sent with the kit and try it before you sell it. CENTURA® Flex: Fabrication sometimes requires products to be bent into a shape. Polyester resin is not the most conducive to thermoforming, therefore, CENTURA® has produce a flexible material. Most applications are for tops needing radii or vertical surfaces needing to be clad with solid surface. The flexible material can bend to form radii by applying minimal heat, such as a blow dryer or hot water. The material machines like the regular sheet material and is very stable when applied to a solid sheet or surface. This makes CENTURA® flex ideal for vertical radius applications. Accent Trims: CENTURA® has produced a series of Accent Trims for counter edges, backsplashes or shower wall applications. The trims come in 6’ lengths, unless otherwise noted on the price sheet. These trims can add a look of customization without the hassle in fabrication. Each trim is molded and has a repetitive pattern. This pattern makes it possible to cut and seam it together. The trims can be hard seamed or siliconed to any surface. The fabrication technique for the trim is cutting and seaming. The only challenge in fabrication is clamping and with most of the trims they can be hot glued to the surface until the adhesive dries. Shower Pans: CENTURA® shower pans come molded and prefabricated. Your product binder discusses the necessary measurements for the order process. CENTURA® will provide installation instructions with each pan. Please be sure to follow those instructions Technical Bulletins Technical Bulletins will be sent to you from time to time. These bulletins will be sent to you on a yellow sheet to attract your attention. The technical bulletins are changes in fabrication technique, which need to be implemented immediately into day to day fabrication. These technical bulletins will be dated and will supersede all previous fabrication guidelines or bulletins. Note: Not implementing the new fabrication procedure will void all warranties on counter tops fabricated after the issuance date of the technical bulletin! Warranty Bulletins Warranty Bulletins may be sent to you from time to time. These bulletins will be sent to you on a orange sheet to attract your attention. The warranty bulletins are an alert to the potential of warranty claims that could occur due to new information received from other fabricators. These warranty bulletins will be dated and will typically be accompanied by a technical bulletin. As an example, a warranty bulletin may be issued to alert you to a recurring claim status of an particular fabrication issue. A warranty may be accompanied by a course of action that is separate from a technical bulletin. Also, a bulletin may establish a procedure for handling a warranty claim issue and affix a reimbursable amount to that procedure. Core-Lite Fabrication Summary Core-Lite has some specific fabrication steps that will be summarized for ease of access, even though it is incorporated with the the total fabrication and installation guide. Storing Core-Lite Core-Lite should be stored flat in the fabrication shop. Be sure that the sheets, backsplash and build up strips have had time to acclimate to the fabrication temperatures to eliminate fabrication problems. Care should be taken in handling the Core-Lite sheets to avoid stress cracks. Sheets should be carried on its side edge and if a fork lift is used, place a call sheet of plywood or other solid material under the sheet for support. Square Sheets Manufacturing works diligently to manufacture square sheets, but as with all companies it is good practice to square the sheets prior to fabrication. Take note that the squaring process maintains adequate core over the entire sheet of solid surface. Seaming The seaming process of Core-Lite is really no different than seaming 1/2” solid surface.with the exception that the seam can be 2” out of any corner and CoreLite does not require a seam support behind the deck seam. Mirror cutting is not required, when a high quality table saw or panel saw is used with tolerances within thousands of an inch. This can be verified by dry fitting the sheets to see if they marry together adequately. Otherwise, mirror cutting is recommended to get tight seams. When mirror cutting is necessary, please be sure that the two pieces marry together unobstructed. The core sometimes interferes with the seam. It can be trimmed with a utility knife. It is recommended to use a fluted up-spiral router bit (see figure B-1) to minimize the fray from the core and to evacuate the core pieces out the top in the mirror cutting process. Once the deck seam has been prepared, clean with denatured alcohol and place the pieces on a flat table approximately 1/8” apart. Use the seam cartridge and squeeze an adequate amount of adhesive between the two pieces allowing enough adhesive to drift down into the core area. Be sure to squeeze one pull of seam adhesive into a container to insure the product is properly mixed and the tinted color is consistant. It is extremely important that enough adhesive gets into the core as this allows for the elimination of a seam 1/2 HP router or larger. It is also, recommended that an increased router sole plate be created or purchased from the distributor. The sole plate is a necessary safety requirement and it gives greater stability and smoother operation when removing the core. The size of the sole plate needs to be a minimum of one additional diameter of the router sole plate. For example, if a common sole plate is 6”, the new sole plate needs to be a minimum of 12 “ offset to one side(See Figure B-4). B-1 Prepare and adhere the stacked edge as you would a standard stacked edge inclusive of inside and outside corner blocks. Bowl Mounting B-2 B-3 Bowls are quickly and easily mounted to CoreLite. Position the bowl by using the center line marks on the bowl flange. Mark the exterior of the flange with a pencil and remove the bowl. Using a router with a 1 1/4 - 1 1/2” double or triple flute bit, set the router depth to remove the core and skim the solid surface sheet. Rout the core prior to applying any edge build up to simplify the process. Use a scrap piece of material to set the depth. If a template is being used, make the appropriate adjustments for depth and collars. Remove the core by following the template or line. Be sure enough core is removed to the interior of the bowl to set the bowl in place. Inspect the core edge to make sure it will not interfere with setting the bowl. Set the bowl dry to verify position and that there is no core interference. Once that has been done, clean the bowl flange and sheet with denatured alcohol, dispense the adhesive and set the bowl. With Core-Lite no positioning blocks are necessary as the core keeps the bowl in position. After the bowl has been set place a 10# weight on the bowl until dry. Also, run a bead of adhesive between the bowl flange and the core for additional support (see Figure C). Use a standard bowl routing bit from the top side to finish the job. Range and Bowl Cut-Outs Range cut-outs are prepared the same way as for 1/2” material. It does not require support blocks, because of the core. It does require three strips of heat resistant aluminum tape hanging down at least 2” and feathered at the bottom to dissipate heat. all cut areas should be smooth and eased, as with 1/2” material. A piece of substrate on each side of the range will provide the additional support for drop-in ranges. Slide-in ranges with ovens need to be totally self supporting. support. An inadequate amount of adhesive will make the seam susceptible to fracture during handling or could create a failure after installation. Seams are not a warranted function and need to be appropriately done to eliminate potential problems. Excess adhesive can be removed after it has cured by using a sander B-4 or a router on skis. Caution should be taken when using a belt sander not to dish the surface by over sanding. Edge Build Up Core-Lite has two edge build up options for fabrication. One is a drop edge of a single piece of 1/2” x 1 1/4” piece adhered to the deck and two is a standard stacked edge. A drop edge is prepared first by removing the core from the counter top deck. This process is done by working from a sheet face down position or core up. When removing the core, use a 1/2” rabbeting bit (i.e. Velapec RT-88W, see figure B-2) on a 2 1/2 HP router at a speed of 15-18,000 RPM. Be sure to set the router depth to skim the solid surface sheet and enough depth to insure all the core adhesive is removed. Use a scrap piece of material to set up your router before proceeding to the countertop. If there are any frayed pieces of core remaining use a utility knife to remove. Once the core has been removed, prepare the edge strip and sheet by cleaning with denatured alcohol. The rabbeting bit should allow enough clearance to seam the strip to the top. The core will act as a positioning strip and make the clamping process easier. Squeeze adhesive onto the counter top, position your strip and clamp it together. Be sure to place clamps no more than 2” apart. Squeeze a bead of adhesive, once the strip has been positioned, between the strip and the core (See Figure B). This will give additional support to the strip for durability. Inside and outside corners will require a corner block made of strip material for a stacked edge. Make the block large enough to create a minimum 1” radius. A drop edge can be a minimal 1/4” outside radius and a 1”inside radius. Stacked edges are done in the same fashion as a drop edge or standard 1/2” material stacked edge except a special designed one pass rabbet bit has been designed to remove the core. The bit was developed by Velapec to our specifications and are available through your distributor (see figure B-3). The bit has an operating range of no more than 12,000 RPM and should be used on a 3 Bowl cut-outs do not require the heat resistant tape, but it does need to be supported, smoothed and eased. Finishing Finishing the top is done identically to 1/2” material in every way. The finish level is determined by you and your customer. A matte finished can be achieved by sanding first with 100 micron paper, stepping next to a 60 micron paper and finishing with a white or gray 3M Scotch-Brite® pad. Higher levels can be achieved by adding additional steps of sanding. Refer to the standard fabrication and installation guide for additional finish choices. Overhangs Overhangs for peninsulas and islands can be done with a full piece of substrate. This is made possible, because of the core providing a buffer between the wood and the solid surface. Centura allows up to an 8” overhang without support of a corbel even with a solid substrate. Anything over 8” requires support. Installation Installation of Core-Lite is conducted the same as for 1/2”. The benefit is that the top is 1/2 the weight, which makes it possible to make larger sections of tops in the shop, hopefully, eliminating the amount of field seams.