what are corian countertops

What is Corian Countertop and What it’s Made of?

In Building Materials, Kitchen by Jamie

In the world of countertops, there are a plethora of options to choose from including granite, marble, and gemstone however, these options can be quite costly. There is one type of countertop option that made affordable and aesthetic countertop materials accessible. The brand, Corian, invented in 1967, created solid-surface countertops that have become a fantastic customizable countertop option in many homes.

Corian countertops are solid-surface countertops made of acrylic polymer mixes resulting in visually appealing and affordable countertop options. These countertops contain a consistent composition all the way through, making them the same inside and out as opposed to having various layers.

Corian countertops offer versatility, customizability, and come in an array of colors. While they are more affordable than stone or mineral countertops, Corian countertops can even be made to look like stone or wood with similar textures and colors.

What Are Corian Countertops Made of?

Corian countertops are made of acrylic polymer blends that include binding resins, minerals, stones, glass, dyes, and other fillers that give it texture. These countertops come in a wide variety of colors and the composition is highly pliable at 325 degrees Fahrenheit, making them customizable in shape and giving them a seamless solid-surface finish.

What Are the Differences Between Corian and Quartz Countertops?

If you are in the market for new countertops, you may be wondering what the difference is between Corian countertops and more conventional materials like quartz. Surprisingly, quartz and Corian countertops boast similar strengths but there are still a few differences.

Corian countertops are made of manmade acrylic polymer blends that sometimes include dyes, stones, and other fillers to customize their appearance. Quartz countertops also contain manmade materials but in lesser quantities, made up of over 90% loose quartz, which is the same mineral as quartzite, sourced from the Earth. The remainder consists of resins, dyes, and other materials to achieve the desired finish.

Quartz is considered to have a more luxurious ambiance than Corian. It is not uncommon to find quartz surfaces and sculptures in luxury homes. Quartz is durable, resistant to staining, mold, bacterial growth, and has high heat resistance.

Corian countertops are also non-porous, making them stain and bacteria-resistant. Corian countertops however, can be scratched although any scuffs or scratches can be buffed out. While Corian countertops have high heat resistance, they are only able to withstand temperatures up to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot pots and pans should be placed on Corian surfaces with trivets.

While quartz countertops will not fade or change color over time, Corian countertops can sometimes fade slightly based on exposure to light and heat, though this change is gradual over a long period.

In the manufacturing process, Corian countertop joints are made with color-matched adhesive which is then sanded and polished to give it a near seamless finish. Quartz countertops on the other hand will have visible seams where joined.

Quartz weighs about 1 or 2 pounds more than Corian surfaces adding to its substance however their overall cost is relatively similar. Lastly, in terms of eco-friendliness, Corian is made of toxic chemical substances (that are non-toxic once finished), whereas quartz consists of an abundant mineral found in the Earth.

Deciding between Corian and quartz countertops mainly comes down to appearance and long-term durability. Both are great options that do not require sealing or special care instructions. Corian countertops offer a large variety of customizable aesthetics while quartz countertops provide a regal appeal

The Pros and Cons of Corian Countertops

Corian countertops offer many advantages with few downsides however, it can be helpful to know these details when deciding if it is the best countertop choice for you.

The Pros of Corian Countertops

1. A solid-surface design.

Corian countertops are made of non-porous materials, making them stain-resistant, easy to clean, and protecting against mold and bacterial growth. This also means that, unlike other countertop surfaces, Corian does not need to be sealed once finished.

2. The seams are nearly invisible.

During the manufacturing process, the joints of Corian countertops are made with a color-matched adhesive then pressed firmly together so any excess adhesive can be sanded and polished away, revealing a virtually seamless finish that cannot be achieved by natural stone countertops.

3. Can be molded into any shape or design.

Corian countertops become highly pliable at 265 degrees Fahrenheit making them customizable to the desired area of placement and can be combined with other surfaces like wood or glass for a dynamic effect. Corian can also be made into sinks and surfaces not limited to the kitchen.

Along with the shapes themselves, Corian countertops can integrate drain-boards, phone charging capabilities, and surface illumination adding to its functionality and visual appeal.

4. Cheaper than other countertop options.

Natural stone and mineral countertops can come at a hefty price. Corian countertops tend to be more affordable but can vary based on the customizations required.

5. Wide variety of color and pattern options.

Corian countertops are customizable to suit the mood and décor of any room with over 100 color and pattern options available.

The Cons of Corian Countertops

1. Lower heat tolerance.

Compared to stone and mineral countertops, Corian countertops have a heat tolerance of about 212 degrees Fahrenheit, making them damageable by high heat. It is recommended to use trivets when placing hot cookware on Corian surfaces.

2. Not scratch-resistant.

Because the acrylic polymer material is softer than stone surfaces at a molecular level, Corian countertops can be scratched and scuffed. The good news is that it is very easy to buff out scratches from Corian surfaces.

3. Potential discoloration over time.

The non-porous surface makes Corian countertops quite durable however with time (over decades) Corian surfaces can fade after exposure to sunlight and various temperatures. Corian countertops can also discolor if exposed to certain chemicals and cleaners.

4. Less added home value.

Because Corian countertops are easily made and readily accessible they tend to cost less than stone or mineral countertops however, this also reflects in the resale value which could be lower as well.

5. Less environmentally friendly.

The acrylic polymer composition of Corian countertops is carcinogenic to the environment making them less sustainable than natural stone and mineral countertops which are sourced from the Earth.

Where Can You Buy Corian Countertops?

Corian countertops can be purchased wherever there is a DuPont retailer including (but not limited to):

What Colors do Corian Countertops Come in?

Corian countertops come in over 100 color and pattern options. When Corian countertops were first released, they were limited to a few neutral color options but with the addition of dyes and keeping up with modern décor designs, there are now many options to match.

From solid colors like yellow, blue, and pink, to sand or glass mottled effects, the options seem endless. Corian can also fabricate counters that look like granite, quartz, and marble to give a high-end feel for a fraction of the price.

You can also customize the color options you want for your Corian countertops though this can slightly increase the price.

How Do You Clean Corian Countertops?

With these care instructions, Corian countertops are easy to keep clean. Because the surface is non-porous it is not easily stained making cleanup an easy task. You should be careful to avoid overly harsh cleaners as they can discolor the Corian surface.

According to Corian, countertops can be cleaned with warm soapy water, ammonia-based household cleaners, or specific countertop cleaners. While it can be tempting to use a window cleaner to enhance the shine, it will have the opposite effect. Window cleaners can leave a waxy layer on Corian surfaces which dull their appearance.

To avoid hard-water staining on Corian countertops, it is best to wipe up any water spills or droplets immediately. When wiping or scrubbing a Corian countertop, you should use a non-abrasive scrubbing pad or microfiber cloth to avoid scratching the surface.

It should be noted that the color of your Corian countertop can reveal or disguise hard watermarks and other discolorations. Dark and solid colors tend to reveal more surface marks while lighter colors and patterns will hide them.

Are Corian Countertops Out of Style?

While some home designers believe Corian countertops are outdated and better replaced by options like granite and quartz, others still see their vast popularity. Corian countertops were only available in select colors in the past which became too commonplace and boring however with the release of over 100 color and pattern options, Corian remains versatile, customizable, and easily matched to any home design.

Final Thoughts

Corian brand countertops made customizable and versatile countertops accessible. They are durable, come in a large array of colors, are often more cost-effective than stone countertops, and Corian continues to develop compositions that are more scratch-resistant showing its nature to adapt and evolve with home design tastes.

About the Author

Jamie

Jamie is the Founder of My Home Dwelling. He is a homeowner and enjoys sharing his homeowner tips with others. He has real estate experience working as a new home construction Realtor. Jamie has worked on numerous residential construction sites helping with interior and exterior renovations. He loves refinishing furniture, DIY home projects, and sharing his knowledge online.