Corian vs Silestone – What’s The Difference And Which Is Best?
With so many different options available, deciding on a kitchen worktop can be a bit overwhelming. If you’ve been researching and visiting kitchen showrooms, two options you’ve likely heard come up are Corian and Silestone.
Like many, you may be asking yourself, ‘what’s the difference between Corian and Silestone and is one better than the other?’
Corian and Silestone are the brand names of two different types of kitchen worktop material. Corian is categorised as a reconstituted solid surface material (sometimes called an acrylic composite) while Silestone is an engineered stone.
In this post, I’ll explain what each type of worktop is, its pros and cons and compare them to each other. Giving you all the knowledge you need to know if they are the right choice for you and your kitchen.
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What Is Corian?
Corian is a brand name owned by the parent company DuPont and has been marketed by them since the 1970s.
Corian countertops are made of roughly one-third resin with the rest of the majority comprising of minerals. Their construction makes them non-porous. Which is ideal for kitchen worktops.
What’s great about Corian is that, because it is a synthetic product, its shape and colours can be easily customized. Natural countertops like marble and granite have limited colour choices, as they are determined by nature.
Corian, on the other hand, has a lot more colours and patterns to choose from. Corian countertops can mimic natural materials, like marble or granite, as well as many other colours and patterns. Currently, Corian is available in around 100 finishes.
On top of the variety of colours available, and probably its biggest selling point. 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.
Advantages Of Corian
- Around 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.
- Can burn easily.
- Can react to chemicals and discolours.
What Is Silestone?
Silestone is a surfacing material manufactured and sold by the Cosentino Group. It’s primarily used for kitchen worktops but it’s also suitable for floors, sinks, shower trays and cladding and is available in a variety of colours and styles.
Occasionally people refer to Silestone and quartz interchangeably, but in fact, Silestone is a manufactured product of 94% quartz bonded with resins and adhesives.
The combination makes for a durable, non-porous, low-maintenance surface. It resists scratching and doesn’t require sealing. For cleaning and maintenance, all you need to do is wipe it with a non-abrasive cloth.
While extremely sturdy and long-lasting, Silestone is not immune to damage.
It will withstand many shocks, but you still should take care not to drop heavy objects on it. It is not completely heat-proof and the surface can be harmed if hot pots and pans are set on it. There have been some reports of cloudy blotches over time, which may be caused by heat or abrasive cleansers.
Advantages Of Silestone
- Because Silestone is non-porous, it doesn’t absorb liquid and is resistant to stains.
- Can withstand impacts better than most other solid surfaces, even sturdy materials such as granite.
- It enhances the natural strength of quartz to prevent scratches.
- It resists acid due to the natural hardness and non-porosity of the modified quartz.
- Silestone is offered in a variety of colours and styles and will maintain its sturdy beauty for decades.
Disadvantages Of Silestone
- Not fully heat resistant.
- Typically costs more than Corian.
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Corian vs Silestone
Now you know what the products are as well as their pros and cons, let’s look how they compare with each other over some of the main worktop considerations.
As you might expect for a premium solid surface product, the price for both Silestone and Corian is on the high side compared with timber or laminate worktops.
Prices vary for different thicknesses and different finishes within each product and professional installation is required for both. There is overlap between the two from low cost to high. However, on average, Silestone tends to be a little more expensive than Corian.
Including installation, Corian countertops start at roughly £300 per square meter and go up to £500 sqm. Silestone also starts at roughly £300 per square meter but can extend well beyond £1000 sqm for special finishes. Remember, prices vary significantly depending on the finish choice and how much fabrication is needed (cut-outs, edge profile etc..).
Both products are renowned for their durability. They are designed to last for decades. Both will maintain their colour and pattern as well as their functional capabilities.
Corian is very durable and easy to maintain. It is a non-porous material that is stain, heat, and UV resistant so its colour will not fade over time.
However, although Corian is a strong material, direct heat and sharp objects should be avoided as they could cause damage. Corian has the disadvantage of being easy to scratch, and a hot pan could leave a burn mark on the worktop. The counter to these disadvantages is that you can repair Corian and buff out any imperfections easily yourself.
Silestone countertops are also non-porous and highly resistant to stains, scratches, UV and heat.
However, similarly to Corian, you should not place hot pans straight from the hob or oven onto Silestone. The rapid temperature change can cause ‘thermal shock’ and may crack the work surface. Also, because Silestone countertops include a small amount of resin, this can scorch and leave a burn mark/ring on the counter surface.
Therefore, you should always use a board or trivet to protect the countertop, whether you have Corian or Silestone.
Silestone is offered in around 50 colours and patterns, with more choices being introduced all the time.
They are mostly variations of white, black and grey with plain colours, marble-look veining, pebbled and granulated patterns.
Corian comes in around 100 different colours and patterns ranging from solid single colours to granite, marble and concrete effects.
Slab Sizes Available
Silestone has a standard size of 306 x 140 cm and a jumbo format of 325 x 159 cm.
Silestone slab thicknesses are 1.2, 2 and 3 cm.
Corian: All colours in the standard colour palette are available in 12mm thick slabs that are 760 mm x 3658 mm. Select colours may be available in 19mm thick slabs with the same slab size. You can also get 6mm thick slabs that are 2490 mm x 760 mm.
However, as Corian can be joined together seamlessly, the slab sizes are often redundant when it comes to kitchen worktops.
Silestone worktops offer a 25-year warranty from Cosentino.
This covers the manufactured product only and is invalidated if the product is improperly installed. Some installers will offer an installation warranty separate from this. You must register the product within six months to put this warranty in force.
Corian worktops come with the protection of a 10-year Limited Installed Warranty, backed by DuPont.
The worktop has to have been fabricated and installed by a Corian Quality Network Partner fabricator in order to qualify for the warranty.
There you have it! The pros, cons and comparisons between Corian and Silestone.
If you’re looking for a more durable countertop, then Silestone will be the way to go. If you want to achieve a more modern, curved seamless look in your kitchen, then Corian is the choice for you.
Corian and Silestone worktops are both great options for any new kitchen. However, when deciding between these two options it’s important to think about what you want from your kitchen 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?
- Do you require any particular size or shape?
Using the facts and features of Corian and Silestone countertops and the answers to these questions, your choice should become clear.
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Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 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.