Debating which material to use for your kitchen remodel and what you want for your new countertops? Granite is tough and beautiful, but Corian is easier to clean and maintain. Prices seem scattered across all kinds of materials and it’s hard to see which one would be worth the investment.
When it comes to choosing new countertops for your kitchen or bathroom, there are a lot of options to consider. Two popular choices are Corian and granite. Both are premium countertop materials that have a lot to offer, but they have their own unique characteristics and pros and cons.
If you’re deciding between Corian and granite countertops, I understand how difficult it can be to make a decision – we had the same choice paralysis when we were going through our choices too.
On one hand, granite looks amazing in any kitchen and it fits into almost any budget plan. On the other hand, Corian is known for its durability and resistance against heat, which might balance out with its more expensive price tag.
In this article, we’ll look at some of their features side-by-side so you can choose the right countertop material that fits with both your style and budget.
By the way – before we get too far along here, if you want to connect with other homeowners and builders and get more great ideas for your home to make your space the best join my free private Facebook group, Remodel Reality here.
What is Corian?
Corian is the brand name for the original solid surface countertop material, developed with the combination of resins, epoxies, natural limestone, and pigments. The manufacturing process results in a nonporous surface that has impressive stain and minor scratch resistance. Corian surfaces are also unique for their wide range of color and style options.
Recent technological advances have allowed Corian to further its resemblance to granite and marble, making it an attractive and practical choice for many homeowners who prioritize aesthetics but would prefer an easier installation than that of heavy materials like granite. Corian is lightweight compared to other traditional countertop materials like granite or quartz, meaning DIYers can leniently install it in their home settings without requiring heavy lifting or additional help. It’s also easy enough to cut if you need to customize it to fit your kitchen space perfectly.
Ultimately, with the use of modern technology, Corian allows homeowners a durable countertop material that comes with the visual appeal of its more traditionally expensive competitors but that can be easily handled on-site during installation.
Pros for Corian countertops:
- No maintenance required: Corian countertops do not require sealing or regular maintenance, other than protection from burns and scratches.
- Versatile design: Corian countertops are versatile in terms of design and can be shaped, engraved, or carved and are available in a wide variety of colors and textures.
- DIY-friendly installation: Corian countertops are lighter and more versatile than granite, making them easier for DIYers to install and cut with a circular saw, and can be installed with no visible seams by using matching seaming materials.
- Non-porous surface: Corian’s manufacturing process results in a nonporous surface that is resistant to stains and minor scratches, which means it’s easy to clean and maintain
- Variety of color options: Corian countertops are available in a wide range of colors and textures, which gives you more options to choose from when compared to granite
- Lower Cost: Corian countertops typically costs less than granite, between $40 and $150 per square foot.
- Lighter weight: Corian countertops are generally lighter than granite, making them less taxing on cabinetry and easier to handle during installation.
- Resistant to Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Corian countertops are resistant to VOCs and emit lower levels of VOCs than some other countertop materials.
Cons for Corian countertops:
- Not as heat-resistant as granite: Corian countertops are not as heat-resistant as granite and may suffer damage from high temperatures from hot pans and pots, so it’s important to use hot pads to protect your Corian counters from extreme heat.
- Less unique in comparison to natural granite: Corian countertops will not have the same unique and one-of-a-kind look that natural granite countertops have, which makes them less desirable in some cases
- Can scratch and nick: Corian surfaces can be scratched or nicked if food is cut on them without a chopping board, which may require to be refinished in certain cases.
- Not a natural product: Corian is a man-made material made of acrylic, epoxide, and polyester resins mixed with pigments and filler material derived from natural bauxite and not a natural product like granite.
- Some people may consider the costs of Corian counters to be relatively high when compared to laminate or ceramic tile countertops.
- Availability of styles and colors can be limited as Corian is a proprietary product and there are other brands of solid surface materials with different blends of resins and pigments
- Not as highly valued as granite in terms of resale value.
- Can be subject to warping, peeling and other issues caused by sunlight exposure, if placed in outdoor settings.
What is Granite?
Granite is a natural material that is quarried as polished slabs in various hues and designs. What makes granite so unique from other materials are its distinct nuances, such as its individual graining patterns, mineral specks, and luxurious feel. Not only does it look beautiful in any kitchen but it’s also undeniably durable, making it perfect for countertops or other frequently used surfaces. In terms of value, granite holds its own very well in the resale market thanks to its large selection of colors and styles available.
In addition to being a attractive addition to kitchens or bathrooms, this natural rock also has many beneficial properties – like heat-resistance – that make it a great choice for anyone looking to add an element of luxury and durability to their home. It’s low-maintenance nature rounds off what is already a great investment – one that you can look back on with pleasure years down the line.
Pros for granite countertops:
- Unique, natural look: granite countertops are a natural product, each slab has its own unique and distinct look, natural graining patterns, and mineral speckles that give it a luxurious feel.
- Durable and long-lasting: granite countertops are durable and can withstand heavy use in the kitchen, making it a good choice for countertops
- Good resale value: granite countertops have a good resale value and are considered a premium countertop material
- Variety of color options: granite countertops are available in a wide variety of colors and patterns, which gives you more options to choose from when compared to Corian
- Heat resistant: granite countertops are more heat resistant than Corian and can withstand high temperatures from hot pans and pots without any damage
- Scratch resistant: granite countertops are resistant to scratches and can last for a very long time with proper care and maintenance
- Natural product: granite is a natural product, making it eco-friendly and a good choice for those who are looking for sustainable options
- Low maintenance: granite countertops are relatively low maintenance if sealed annually to protect against stains
- Widely available: granite is a popular and widely available material, which makes it easy to find the color and style you want.
Cons for granite countertops:
- Needs regular sealing: Granite countertops need to be sealed annually to protect against staining and it must be kept clean to avoid scratches.
- Prone to chipping and cracking over time: granite countertops are more prone to chipping and cracking over time than Corian, which can result in permanent damage
- Higher maintenance costs: granite countertops require regular sealing, cleaning and care to maintain their appearance and avoid scratches, this may lead to higher maintenance costs
- Costly: granite countertops typically cost more than Corian, ranging from $50 to $200 per square foot, and availability of some rare stone and patterns can make the price even higher
- Difficult to install: Installing granite countertops can be more difficult than installing Corian and it’s recommended to hire professional for the installation process
- Weight: granite is a heavy natural rock which makes it hard to handle and may require additional support when installing on top of cabinetry.
- Not heat resistant: granite is not heat-resistant to the same degree as Corian, exposure to high heat from hot pans or pots can cause damage to the surface
- Fragility: granite is a natural product and can be fragile, some types of granite can crack or chip easily if heavy object is dropped on them.
When it comes to the cost of countertop materials, Corian and granite are two popular options but their prices vary quite a bit. Corian costs an average of $40 to $150 per square foot, whereas granite ranges from $40 to $200 per square foot. Installation costs also differ depending on the region you live in so that’s something to keep in mind when doing your budgeting.
In some cases, the actual price difference between Corian and granite is minimal – Corian countertops may range from $2,200 to $5,000 while Granite counters typically land between $2,250 to $4,500. Quartz countertops – another engineered stone option – may cost even more than either ($50 – 200 per square foot) so if you’re looking for luxury without breaking the bank then Granite is often recommended.
Ultimately it boils down to personal preference as both Corian and Granite have their own merits and will help add quality and style to any home space. Before making a decision regarding which material is best for your needs, make sure you factor in the installation costs and any additional features or accessories that may come with each option.
Cost Comparison Table: Corian vs. Granite Countertops
|$40 – $150 per sq ft
|$40 – $200 per sq ft
|$450 – $1,250 (Varies by region)*
|Typically higher than Corian, $800-$1,600 more for labor*
|Versatile, many color options, and styles. Recent technology upgrades make them intricate and similar to granite and marble
|Unique, 100% natural with a wide range of colors, subtle tones to vibrant multi-hued and detailed patterns
|Varies by supplier
|Varies by supplier
|No maintenance, just protection from burns and scratches
|Seal annually to protect against staining, and keep clean to avoid scratches
|Scratches and nicks can occur if food is cut on it without a chopping board
|More resistant to scratching and heat but prone to chipping and cracking over time
|Man-made, created with resins, epoxies, natural limestone, and pigments.
|Natural igneous stone, quarried and sold as polished slabs in different colors and styles
|Good resale value
|Good resale value, higher than Corian
Note: The costs and ranges presented here are approximate and may vary depending on supplier, location, and installation complexity.
*Labor and installation may be included in the square foot price from the vendor. Always make sure to clarify the total costs involved – any demo, removal, etc. – before you commit to a purchase or sign a contract.
Durability and Maintenance
Both Corian and granite are durable options for countertops, but they do have their own unique characteristics. Granite is more heat resistant than Corian and can withstand high temperatures from hot pans and pots without any damage. However, it’s important to use hot pads to protect your granite counters from extreme heat. While Corian is not as heat resistant as granite, it is still a durable material that is scratch resistant and easy to maintain. The main difference is that granite must be sealed annually to protect it from staining and proper care must be taken to avoid scratches. Corian, on the other hand, requires no maintenance other than protection from burns and scratches.
Design and Installation
Corian and granite both offer a wide variety of color options, but they have different aesthetic appeals. Corian is versatile in terms of design and can be shaped, engraved, or carved, and it is available in a wide variety of colors and textures. This allows for a more uniform look, and it can give your kitchen or bathroom a modern feel. On the other hand, granite is a natural product that has a unique look of natural stone. It goes well with any kitchen design, but it also comes in a wide range of light and dark colors, and mineral speckles.
Installing Corian countertops may be easier for DIYers, because they’re lighter and more versatile, and they can be cut with a circular saw and installed with no visible seams by using matching seaming materials. Installing granite countertops can be more difficult and it’s really recommended to hire professional to get the job done right. It’s also important to keep in mind that Corian counters will not have the same unique and one-of-a-kind look that natural granite counters have.
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