The great countertop debate pt. 2

If you’ve been following along, yesterday we kicked off our discussion of the various countertop surfaces we’re considering for our kitchen. In part 1 we shared our ultimate love for quartz. Today we’ll be taking a closer look at Corian.

Again for the newbies, Corian itself is not a type of material. It’s actually just the most popular brand of solid surface countertops made by DuPont. It’s manufactured by blending acrylic polymers and stone-derived materials into a mix which is then poured into molds. This method allows for integrated sinks, which no other material offers.

Some of the other pros include:

  1. A wide variety of colour & pattern choices
    Again because it’s a manufactured material, the color and pattern options are extensive. Also because you’re not necessarily trying to mimic the look of a natural material, you can experiment with vibrant hues
  2. Virtually maintenance free
    There’s no sealing or special cleaning required
  3. Seamless installation
    Because of the nature of the manufacturing process, it can me moulded into large solid sheets which means there are no seams or cracks to trap dirt & debris

Now, while Corian does have some unique qualities, it does also have some pretty significant pit falls:

  1. Non-heat resistant
    Placing hot pots & pans on your countertops is never really that awesome an idea – no matter what material you have, however Corian countertops do not withstand heat at all. Because of their acrylic base, they will essentially melt if pots and pans that are too hot are placed directly on the surface.
  2. Susceptible to scratches & dents
    Solid surface countertops have a softer surface than natural stone – one of the benefits of this is that (for butterfingers like me) the occasional slip of the hand won’t always result in broken dishes. The flip side of that is the countertops are easily scratched and can even dent in extreme circumstances
  3. Stain resistant (kinda – but not really..)
    So you’re probably thinking stain resistant should be up in the pros right?! I thought so too. The problem is, from everything I’ve read and heard from those who’ve had first hand experience with Corian, it actually stains quite easily. The reason it’s thought to be stain resistant is that, for the most part, any stains or blemishes that it takes on can usually be buffed out fairly simply. So I guess you could say it’s resistant to permanent stains – but only if you’re willing to expend a little elbow grease to buff them out.
  4. Repairability
    Here’s yet another one that seems like it should be a pro – and the ability to sand or buff out any scratches and stains can certainly be beneficial. It’s also somewhat overrated though in the sense that after sanding, if you’re not careful you can be left with a depression that may be visible and noticable to the touch. Eek!

I don’t know about you, but the laundry list of cons kinda seem to outweigh the pros on this one…Kes loves to cook and he’s fantastic at it, but (God love him) he makes a terrible mess – not to mention that with a 4 year old spills are inevitable. I’m definitely worried about the staining aspect…

Do any of you have experience with Corian? Do you love it or are you regretting your choice? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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