Material Advancements

“Put some mustard on it!” Taken literally, that’s what our material development team says when ready to test a new formula. On the surface, the science of solid surface is direct; it is composed of granular rock mineral and resin. Dig deeper, and you will discover that it is a composite that can be engineered to enhance the material properties of what the Earth naturally gives.

Our colors and patterns are pure art, but we are constantly playing with the underlying science to optimize resistance to scratching, cracking, dulling, fading, build-up, and staining. The workability of the material is evaluated for installation, maintenance, and repair.

Something as simple as shrinking the granule size can brighten a formula, but depth is sacrificed. Likewise, too much resin can make a surface appear plastic, but too little can make it susceptible to cracking.

Baths by Shay is unique for a small business, because we have a research and development team that is constantly innovating new formulas.

3D Molds from CNC

Our chosen production technique is molding versus fabrication of sheets, because it keeps our patters unbroken and prevents charging our customers for waste. For countertops in particular, we block out sink penetrations giving us experience dealing with shrinkage as the material cures. Being able to predict shrinkage has allowed us to progress our molding into the third dimension.

Baths by Shay has in-house CAD/CAM expertise and CNC equipment, which taken in conjunction with our material knowledge allows us to create arbitrarily shaped 3D molds. Adding our oversized molding tables allows us to create simple profiles up to 7.5 feet x 11.5 feet. We are expanding into modern integral sinks, tabletops, and mixed media furniture.

Creatively called the #oNe, the below pictured vanity is our first foray into 3D profiles. Our prototype (not 3D molded) showed some splashing on the drain lip, and we are currently modifying it into the #oNe.1 to take the slope all the way back to the faucet curb.

Flanges and structural braces are molded into our tabletops to handle multiple support mechanisms: cap existing furniture, restaurant style pedestals, and individual legs. Our standard tops measure 2 inches larger than typical furniture specification to allow capping, but we can also manufacture true form. In addition we can create monolithic pieces without surface seams up to 7.5 feet x 11.5 feet. Standard sizes include:

  • Circular: 26, 32, 38, 44, and 50 inches diameter.
  • Square: 26, 32, 38, 44, and 50 inches length and width.
  • Rectangular: 26 x 32, 26 x 38, 32 x 50 inches.

We were feeling playful when we designed the #fOur console, whose main purpose is to experiment with solid surface box joints and hardware. Like the #oNe, this is still experimental. Our model predicts that the proposed backside joint works well on the underside of a horizontal board but is unsightly on the top, where a through-hole direct into the vertical works better.