In choosing a solid countertop for your kitchen, you have two options: natural or synthetic. The two most common countertops that are natural are marble and granite. Among the synthetic countertops that are available in the market, your options are Corian and Quartz. So, which is better — Corian or Quartz?
To help you with your decision, let’s look at some of the basic features of both structures and weigh up their advantages and disadvantages. This will allow you to compare them and select the best option for you.
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What are Corian countertops?
Corian is a brand name owned by the parent company DuPont. Corian has been marketed by DuPont since the 1970s. Nowadays, however, any synthetic (not naturally occurring in nature) solid surface countertop is generically referred to as Corian. Think Kleenex for tissues or Hoover for vacuum cleaners – the brand has become the product name.
Corian countertops are made of roughly one third part resin and a large part minerals. Their construction makes them non-porous – a great feature for kitchens.
The unique thing about Corian is that, because it is a synthetic product, its shape and colours can be easily customized. Natural countertops like marble and granite only have limited choices, as they are determined by nature.
Corian, on the other hand, has a lot more colours and patterns to choose from. Therefore, these countertops look natural, like marble or granite, but are available in more than 100 variants.
On top of the variety of colours available, Corian countertops can be moulded into almost any shape. You can create sweeping curves and even have your sink all moulded into one seamless slab.
The joint lines that connect the individual pieces can be filled and rubbed down. This creates an invisible joint and the appearance that the countertop is one continuous slab.
However, because they are synthetic, Corian countertops don’t possess the natural characteristics which make marble and granite pleasing and durable. There is an earthy charm about natural countertops that just can’t be recreated in the lab.
Here are the four most common and popular solid surface countertops, after Corian:
- Wilsonart. These countertops are generally called laminate countertops. They are made of 100% acrylic and polyester resins, combined with added pigments for colour and style.
- Staron. This solid surface countertop is a product of Samsung. They also have translucent countertops with metallic specks. Recently, Samsung Staron launched its eco-friendly recycled solid surface countertop series. This is a great option for designing a green kitchen.
- Swanstone. These acrylic-based countertops are infused with mineral fillers, creating a unique blend of solid surface countertops.
- Formica. A solid surface countertop that also blends pure acrylic with filler minerals to produce a hard and dense, easy to clean surface.
Pros and Cons of Corian:
Advantages of Corian:
- Over 100 colour variants to choose from.
- Non-porous. No need for sealing.
- Easy to clean and maintain.
- Easy to repair.
- Joints are invisible.
- Mould into almost any shape.
Disadvantages of Corian:
- Easily scratched and dented because of the softer surface.
- Burns easily.
- Easily reacts to chemicals and discolours.
What are Quartz countertops?
Quartz is a naturally occurring crystalline mineral that is primarily made of silicon and oxygen. It is also one of the hardest and most abundant minerals on the planet. This gives quartz countertops their unique properties.
Quartz countertops are a solid surface product. They are manufactured from a large proportion (more than 90%) of quartz minerals combined with resin and adhesives. The combination of these materials is formed into slabs that are eventually cut into countertops. Coarsely ground quartz produces designs with larger specks. While finely ground quartz creates a smoother speckled finish.
Quartz countertops possess the unique quality of having both a hard and scratch-free surface, like granite, and a uniform colour pattern, like Corian. As quartz countertops are synthetic, they are non-porous and have a manufactured sheen that is easily renewed by polishing.
Here are four of the most common brands of Quartz:
- Breton or Bretonstone. This is made from a high concentration of quartz crystals, up to 94%. It is made using a process that results in a solid slab that looks very much like natural stone. Breton holds the original patent in quartz countertops.
- Caesarstone. This was the first and most popular brand of quartz countertop in the US, next to Bretonstone.
- Silestone. Silestone is one of the more recognizable brands of quartz countertops in the US. It is an Italian company and is known for its distinctive countertop designs.
- Cambria. Opening in 2000, Cambria is one of the late starters in the solid countertop business. Their natural-looking countertops and smoothly polished designs make them a name in the countertop business
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Pros and Cons of Quartz countertops:
Advantages of Quartz
- Hard and durable. Quartz will last you a lifetime.
- Non-porous. Does not require sealing and resealing.
- Stain-resistant and scratch-proof.
- Easy to clean.
- Large selection of colours available.
Disadvantages of Quartz
- More expensive than Corian.
- Sensitive to strong chemicals.
- Damaged by high temperatures.
Corian and Quartz countertops are both great options for your new kitchen. By weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of each type, you can find the best choice for you.
In deciding which of the two types of countertops to use in your kitchen, it is also important to know what you expect from your countertop.
- How durable do you need your countertop to be?
- What is the best colour and style that will match the design of your kitchen?
Using the facts and features of Corian and Quartz countertops and the answers to these questions, your choice should become clear.
If you’re looking for a more durable countertop, then Quartz will be the way to go. If you want to achieve a more modern, seamless look to your kitchen, then Corian is a great option.