Corian is a well-known brand of solid surface countertop material made by DuPont. Corian kitchen countertops are popular choices for many homeowners due to their durability, aesthetics, and customization options. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything you need to know about Corian countertops for kitchens.
What is Corian?
Corian is a solid surface material created by DuPont in 1967. It’s composed of natural minerals and acrylic polymer. Corian is a non-porous surface resistant to stains, heat, scratches and impacts. It can be fabricated seamlessly with inconspicuous joints, allowing Corian to be installed as a continuous surface for a streamlined look.
Corian gained popularity in the 1970s and has been used in over 100,000 homes and commercial spaces. While the brand name Corian refers specifically to DuPont’s product, “corian” has become a generic term for this type of solid surface material.
Benefits of Corian Kitchen Countertops
Corian offers many benefits that make it a popular choice among homeowners, interior designers and architects for kitchen countertops:
- Aesthetically pleasing: Corian comes in over 100 colors and patterns that run throughout the material. This allows for visually attractive, customizable countertops. Subtle veining and speckles give Corian a granite-like look without the high cost.
- Seamless installation: Sheets of Corian can be bonded together with inconspicuous seams to create a continuous appearance. This gives a smooth, streamlined look not possible with materials like natural stone or tile.
- Heat and stain resistant: Corian is non-porous so it resists staining from spills like wine, coffee and juice. It can also withstand heat up to 212°F, making it safe to place hot pots and pans directly on the surface.
- Durable and repairable: Corian is highly durable and resists scratches, dings and impacts that can damage other surfaces. If damage does occur, Corian can often be sanded and refinished due to the non-porous surface.
- Customizable: Corian can be cut and shaped in virtually any way, allowing for customized edging, inlays, drain grooves, backsplashes and more. This flexibility allows for one-of-a-kind designs.
- Hygienic: The nonporous surface inhibits bacterial growth, making Corian a hygienic choice for kitchen countertops. With proper cleaning, Corian does not require sealing or polishing to maintain the smooth finish.
Corian Colors and Patterns
One of the biggest appeals of Corian solid surfaces is the vast array of colors and patterns available. Here are some of the most popular choices for kitchen countertops:
Corian offers over 100 solid colors in various hues such as warm neutrals, cool grays, rich greens and deep blues. Popular neutral solids include Cameo White, Bisque, Linen and Glacier White. bold colorful choices like Deep Night Sky, Electric Blue and Lava Rock are also available. Solids lend themselves well to contemporary minimalist kitchen designs.
For extra visual interest, Corian patterns feature subtle veining and Speckles to emulate looks like granite and marble. Some popular patterns are Aurora, Blue Pebble, Mont Blanc and Eramosa. Patterns work well in traditional kitchen designs.
Metallic Corian choices like Gold Mine, Silver Shimmer and Bronzite impart a glamorous look. The metals are dispersed throughout the material for an intriguing shimmer. Metallics pairs nicely with glass tile backsplashes and stainless steel appliances.
A unique benefit of Corian is the ability to customize the edges in various profiles. Edge treatments can completely change the look of the countertop. Here are some common Corian edge profiles:
- Squared edge: This simple flat edge has a minimalist look. The right-angled profile works well in modern and contemporary kitchens.
- Beveled edge: A flat beveled edge is angled down slightly for a softly rounded transition from counter to edge. It has a softer, more traditional appearance than a squared edge.
- Ogee edge: This decorative curved profile has an S-shaped silhouette. Ogee is a standard edge treatment that adds ornamental interest.
- Dupont edge: Similar to ogee, the DuPont edge has a rounded waterfall profile on top that cascades down to a curved bottom. It provides maximum decorative detail.
- Shark nose: This rounded over edge takes its name from the curved profile resembling a shark’s nose. It has a soft look perfect for islands and bar areas needing a safety-conscious edge.
- Bullnose: The bullnose edge features a completely rounded over profile. This was once the most common Corian edge and remains popular for its straightforward, uncomplicated shape.
Corian vs. Quartz Countertops
Quartz has surged in popularity alongside Corian as a leading solid surface material. Many buyers find themselves trying to decide between Corian and quartz. Here’s how the two compare:
- Appearance: Corian offers over 100 colors and patterns. Quartz also comes in a wide range of colors and realistic patterns mimicking granite and other natural stone. Quartz often appears more “stone-like” than solid Corian colors.
- Durability: Both materials are highly durable and resistant to scratches, heat and stains. However, quartz is slightly harder and more resistant to heavy impacts.
- Maintenance: Quartz requires very little maintenance other than cleaning. Non-porous Corian also requires minimal care, but some colors need periodic resealing.
- Cost: Quartz is generally more expensive than Corian, with an average installed price of $75-$100 per square foot compared to $50-$80 for Corian.
- Customization: Corian can be fabricated into virtually any shape and edge detail. The malleability of quartz is slightly more limited.
- Sustainability: Corian contains some recycled content. Quartz is not as eco-friendly but emits very low VOCs. Ultimately, Corian may have a slight edge in sustainability.
Pros & Cons of Corian Kitchen Countertops
Here is a summary of the key benefits that make Corian a leading choice among solid surface brands:
- Wide range of colors and patterns
- Completely customizable edges and shapes
- Resistant to heat, stains, scratches and impacts
- Nonporous for easy cleaning and hygienic surface
- Can be repaired, resurfaced and renewed
- Seamless appearance for streamlined look
- Made in the USA by DuPont
- Higher cost than materials like laminate
- Needs occasional resealing depending on color
- Can be damaged by strong chemicals
- Not as “natural-looking” as stone
- Limited number of suppliers compared to quartz
Cost of Corian Countertops
Corian is considered an upper-mid priced material for kitchen countertops. Here are some averages for installed Corian prices:
- Basic solid colors and single-tone patterns: $50-$70 per sq. ft. installed
- Multi-colored/veined patterns: $70-$90 per sq. ft. installed
- Metallic colors: $80-$100 per sq. ft. installed
- Intricate edge profiles and custom shapes: $90-$120 per sq. ft. installed
The total cost of a Corian countertop installation depends on several factors:
- Color and pattern: As shown above, rare colors and complex patterns cost more than basic solids.
- Edge treatments: Elaborate edge profiles like ogee, dupont and bullnose add cost over simple beveled or squared.
- Thickness: Standard thickness is 1/2”, but 3/4” or 1 1/4” thick Corian increases cost.
- Fabrication/installation: Intricate cutouts, seams, inlays and custom shapes will increase fabrication and installation time and price.
- Region: Material and labor costs vary across the country. Prices are generally highest in the Northeast and West Coast.
Expect to invest $3,000-$5,000 on average for a full Corian countertop installation in a medium-sized kitchen. Luxury kitchens with premium materials can be $10,000+.
Corian vs. Other Countertop Materials
How does Corian compare to popular countertop materials in terms of cost, durability and maintenance?
| Material | Cost | Durability | Maintenance |
| Laminate | $20-$50 per sq.ft. | Low | Easy |
| Tile | $10-$50 per sq.ft. | Medium | High |
| Wood | $50-$100 per sq.ft.| Low | High |
| Stainless Steel | $75-$200 per sq.ft.| High | Medium |
| Concrete | $100-$250 per sq.ft. | Medium | Medium |
| Quartz | $75-$125 per sq.ft. | High | Low |
| Granite | $80-$150 per sq.ft. | High | Medium |
| Marble | $70-$250 per sq.ft. | Low | High |
| Soapstone | $70-$100 per sq.ft. | Medium | Medium |
| Corian | $50-$120 per sq.ft. | Medium | Low |
Among engineered stone countertops, Corian is competitively priced with quartz surfaces. Durability is similar, with quartz rated slightly higher. Maintenance is low for both, with Corian requiring occasional resealing.
Compared to natural stone like granite, marble and soapstone, Corian is the lower cost option. Natural stones boast unique veining, though some colors stain easily and require frequent sealing. Overall, Corian offers the best combination of easy care, durability and reasonable cost.
How to Clean & Care for Corian Countertops
Caring for Corian countertops is simple compared to many other materials. Here are tips for cleaning and maintenance:
- For everyday cleaning, use soap and water or mild cleaners like glass cleaner. Avoid harsh chemicals and bleach that can damage seams or dull colors.
- Disinfect surface periodically with dilute bleach solution (1 part bleach to 10 parts water).
- Avoid exposing Corian to strong chemicals like paint removers, oven cleaners, etc. If contact occurs, flush with water immediately.
- Hot pots and pans are fine, but use trivets to avoid excessive heat exposure in one area.
- Reseal every 1-3 years with a penetrating sealer to prevent staining, depending on use and color.
- Scratches, cracks and other damage can often be repaired by a professional fabricator. Resanding and refinishing restores like-new condition.
- Prevent bacteria growth by using cutting boards and not leaving spills sitting. Always thoroughly dry surfaces.
With proper care, Corian countertops will maintain their good looks for many years in the busiest kitchens. The minimal maintenance requirements are a major selling point.
Corian Kitchen Countertop Ideas
Here are some striking kitchen designs using Corian countertops:
Two-Tone Corian Island
Using a lighter perimeter countertop color like Cameo White or Bisque and pairing it with a bold island color like Deep Blue or Cinnabar creates visual interest. Edge the island in an ogee or dupont profile for added elegance.
Corian Countertop Backsplash
Fabricating the countertop to extend 4-6 inches up the wall creates a sleek, seamless backsplash. This looks contemporary and eliminates crumbs and spills falling behind counters.
Corian Kitchen Sink
Corian can be fabricated into an undermount kitchen sink for a smooth, contemporary look. The material makes a hygienic, easy-to-clean sink resistant to stains and scratches.
Corian Shelves and Support Columns
Use sheets of Corian to create floating shelves that match countertops. Box out walls with Corian to create unique support columns or a minimalist look.
Metallic Corian Island
A metallic finish like silver, gold or bronze makes a glamorous statement on an island or bar countertop. Pair with glass mosaic tile and modern pendant lighting.
Corian Countertop Inlays
Inlay a contrasting Corian color or geometric tiles into sections of the countertop. This customized look adds ornamental flair.
FAQs about Corian Kitchen Countertops
Is Corian a good material for kitchen countertops?
Yes, Corian is an excellent kitchen countertop material. The seamless appearance, stain resistance, durability and customization make Corian a top choice. The wide range of colors and patterns fits both traditional and contemporary kitchen designs.
How long do Corian countertops last?
When properly cared for, Corian countertops can last 25 years or longer. Many Corian surfaces from the 1980s are still going strong. The durability and nonporous finish stand up well to heavy use. With minor resurfacing when needed, Corian countertops can provide decades of service.
Is Corian cheaper than quartz?
Generally yes, Corian is 10-20% cheaper than most quartz countertops. The average installed price is $50-$80 per square foot compared to $75-$100 for quartz. Durability is comparable, so Corian provides similar performance for less cost in most cases.
Is Corian outdated?
While widely used from the 70s to 90s, some view Corian as dated. However, advanced manufacturing and a vast range of updated colors keep Corian feeling fresh and current. Stylish patterns mimicking natural stone paired with contemporary designs make Corian a timeless choice.
Can you cut on a Corian countertop?
Yes, you can cut directly on a Corian countertop without damage. The solid nonporous surface resists scratches, cuts and nicks. Using cutting boards is still recommended to keep the pristine finish looking its best. Avoid cutting anything hot that could burn or scar the surface.
Can you put a hot pot on Corian?
Corian can withstand heat up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is fine to place hot pots, pans and other cookware directly on the surface. Using trivets is still a good idea to prevent localized extreme heat from damaging the solid acrylic-polyester blend over time.
Is Corian toxic?
No, Corian is a non-toxic material made from natural minerals, acrylic polymers and pigments. Corian meets food contact surface standards to ensure it’s safe for direct food preparation when properly cleaned. There are no harmful chemicals released from Corian countertops.
With dense durability, seamless fabrication and design flexibility, Corian remains a leading choice for kitchen countertops. The brand offers a diverse palette of colors, patterns and edge profiles to suit any design aesthetic. Performance is on par with premium materials like quartz, but with more customization and a lower price point. For beautiful, functional and easy-care kitchen countertops, Corian is a solid surface sure to please.