Corian vs Minerva Countertops – What’s The Difference & Which Is Best?
Corian & Minerva are two brands of synthetic countertops that look and feel very similar. However, they have some key differences when it comes to their compositions and properties.
In this post, I’ll explain what Corian and Minerva are as well as compare their features and benefits so you can decide which one is best for you.
Let’s get into it!
What Is Corian?
Corian is a man-made solid surface manufactured by DuPont in America. It is often used to produce worktops. Acrylic, polymers, and a variety of aggregates create a surface that is durable and attractive.
It is usually only sold to countertop fabricators and custom worktop companies. This means that you will need to hire a contractor to install a Corian countertop.
You can find Corian in finishes that mimic the look of marble and other natural stone. They also produce sheets that feature a flecked appearance, much like vintage laminates produced in the 70s. The colour runs through the entire depth of the surface, so you won’t notice any minor surface scratches.
The product is made in thicknesses of 6, 12, and 19 mm. If you want a chunky edge for your worktop, shaped strips are attached to the front of the top to create the illusion of a thicker surface.
You can order a kitchen sink made out of Corian to perfectly match the worktop. However, these sinks are prone to cracking when subjected to sudden temperature changes and may require the addition of a stainless steel sink bottom to them. Especially if you intend to install a boiling water tap.
A unique property of Corian worktop is that it can be shaped and curved when subjected to extremely high temperatures. You can order custom finishes such as soft waterfall edges or curved splashbacks seemingly made out of a single moulded sheet.
A new line recently launched is Corian Quartz, which uses a higher content of stone aggregate and a unique printing process to produce countertops that look and function like real stone. Older Corian is often associated with solid surface worktops produced in solid colours.
Advantages Of Corian:
- A Solid surface material that mimics the look of real marble at a lower price
- Seamless joints – Joins are nearly invisible using epoxy and an easy polishing process
- Able to be moulded in unique shapes for custom kitchen projects
- New Corian Quartz can be mistaken for real granite
- Can be repaired using sandpaper or simple epoxy fillers
Disadvantages Of Corian:
- Not available for DIY installation
- Only sold wholesale to worktop fabricators and installers
- Thinner sheets require adding extra material to create edges
- Can be pricier than other acrylic surfaces
Does Corian Scratch Easily?
Corian will scratch if you use it as a cutting board. However, surface scratches can be buffed out using a power sander or even a sanding block.
Does Corian Stain Easily?
While Corian is non-porous, it will absorb some stains. Wipe up spills immediately to prevent damage. If you do end up with a stain, use a mild abrasive cleanser to lift the stain.
Can You Put A Hot Pan On Corian?
Corian will not crack if you place a warm pan on the surface and is heat resistant to a point.
However, it may crack due to thermal shock. This may occur if the work surface is very cold and then a searing hot pan from the cooktop is put on it.
The other heat resistant consideration with Corian is that hot pans can leave scorch marks where high temperatures react with the resin in the countertop.
Hot pads and trivets will protect the worktop.
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What Is Minerva?
Minerva is a solid-surface acrylic worktop material produced by Smyler Technology in the United Kingdom. Like Corian, it can be found as a solid colour or produced with aggregates to create a stone-like appearance.
The big difference between the two products is that Minerva worktops are manufactured in standard slab sizes and sold to homeowners at your local home improvement store. Produced in 25mm thick sheets, you do not need extra pieces to fabricate edges. You can use standard power tools to cut it to fit your cabinets and install it with the help of a friend.
You can also order a Minerva countertop from your kitchen contractor or manufacturer. It can be custom cut at a fabrication shop and installed by a professional if you prefer.
Since it is made in England, you are likely to get a better price on it here in the UK. There are no import fees or shipping costs to drive up the price.
Cleaning requires a daily wipe with soapy water and a soft cloth. Use an abrasive cleanser to take up any light stains. Remove scratches with a plastic scrubby or sandpaper.
Advantages Of Minerva:
- Made in the UK
- Affordable acrylic worktop option
- Available for DIY projects
- Can be cut and installed using your standard tools
- Looks and performs much like natural stone
Disadvantages Of Minerva:
- Only sold in large standard slabs–which are difficult to handle
- Need to cut sheets down to create upstands
- Will scratch or crack if abused
Does Minerva Scratch Easily?
Yes, it will mark up if you drag a cast iron pot or knife over its surface. At the same time, you can restore its original shine using a sanding block.
Does Minerva Stain Easily?
While its non-porous surface means that no stain will sink into the material, it can discolour when reacting with certain foods. An abrasive cleaner removes most stains. For severe stains, you can sand it out.
Can You Put A Hot Pan On Minerva?
Just like Corian, Minerva can crack when subjected to temperature shock. The use of trivets and hot pads will protect your worktop.
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Corian vs Minerva
The materials, fabrication and installation costs for an average Corian kitchen worktop of about five square metres will cost about £3,500 – £5,000.
A kitchen countertop finished out in Minerva lowers your cost to an average of £2,000 for a similar-sized amount of countertop.
Both Corian and Minerva are sold in a wide range of colours and finishes. You can find solid colours that run from cool white to bright blue and dark grey.
Look for fun flecks that help to hide scratches in neutral base colours. Do you dream of a marble countertop? Both products offer options that look just like stone with a natural non-repeating pattern.
Slab Sizes / Thicknesses
Corian is sold to professionals in thicknesses of 6, 12, and 19mm. Standard colours are produced in sheets 12mm X 760mm x 3658mm long. Shorter lengths are also offered to help limit the amount of waste produced when fitting together multiple pieces.
Buy a sheet of Minerva Worksurfaces at your local home supply store. They are produced in 25mm thick slabs that measure 600mm x 3050mm or 600mm x 1500mm.
Corian comes with a 10-year warranty that can be transferred to the next homeowner or tenant.
Minerva also offers a 10-year material warranty. Since it is sold to the public, you will have to show that your installation was correct in order to collect on a claim.
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There you have it! Everything you need to know when comparing Corian and Minerva.
While the two worktop types are very similar, if you’re looking for a more DIY and budget-friendly option then Minerva is the one for you. If you want to create a custom shaped and curved countertop then Corian is your best option.
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Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for around 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.