Do I Have Quartz and Corian Countertops?

Quartz and Corian are two popular countertop materials that many homeowners have in their kitchens and bathrooms. Here is a guide on how to identify if you have quartz or Corian countertops installed in your home.


Kitchen and bathroom countertops are important elements that can dramatically affect the look and functionality of these important rooms. With many options on the market, homeowners often go with quartz or Corian for their durability, aesthetic appeal, and ease of maintenance. However, without proper documentation it can be difficult to discern whether your existing countertops are made of quartz or Corian. This article will arm you with the knowledge to confidently determine if you have quartz or Corian countertops.

Distinguishing Features of Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are engineered stone made from roughly 90% ground natural quartz combined with polymers and pigments. Here are some telltale signs you have quartz:

  • Appearance – Quartz has an elegant, stone-like look, often with visible flecks of quartz crystals. Colors are uniform.
  • Hardness – Quartz rates 7 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it extremely scratch resistant.
  • Seams – Countertops are fabricated in slabs, so there will be seams where two pieces meet. These are tightly fitted but visible.
  • Feel – Quartz feels cool and smooth to the touch. The surface should be non-porous.
  • Maintenance – Quartz requires very little maintenance. Simply clean with soap and water.

If your countertops match this description, you most likely have quartz. Popular quartz brands include Silestone, Caesarstone, Cambria, and Viatera.

Distinguishing Features of Corian Countertops

Corian is a solid surface material made from acrylic resin and natural minerals. Here are some signs you have Corian:

  • Appearance – Corian comes in a wide range of solid, matte colors. Patterns run throughout the material.
  • Hardness – Corian is softer than quartz, rating 3-4 on the Mohs scale. It can get minor scratches over time.
  • Seams – Seams can be tightly bonded to appear almost seamless. Seams are less visible than quartz.
  • Feel – Corian feels smooth and matte. The material can be molded into various shapes.
  • Maintenance – Corian requires more maintenance than quartz. Use soapy water but avoid harsh cleaners which can damage the acrylic surface.

If these traits match your countertops, there is a good chance you have Corian. Corian is a Dupont product, although there are other acrylic solid surface brands.

Other Distinguishing Tips

Here are some other quick ways to discern if you have quartz or Corian:

  • Check paperwork or receipts from your kitchen/bathroom remodel for the specific product name. This can provide definitive proof.
  • Look underneath – The underside of a quartz countertop will be rough, while Corian will appear smooth.
  • Do a simple scratch test – Quartz is highly scratch resistant, while Corian can show minor marks.
  • Heat resistance – Quartz hold up extremely well, while excessive heat can damage Corian surfaces.

Questions and Answers

Here are some common questions homeowners have about identifying their countertops:

Can you tell just by looking?

Sometimes just by visual examination. But quartz and Corian come in many patterns and colors, so looks alone may not provide a definite answer.

Does a magnet stick to either one?

No, neither quartz nor Corian contain iron so a magnet will not adhere to the surface.

Can you cut on both types of countertops?

Both quartz and Corian can be used as cutting surfaces. However, with regular use over time, Corian is more prone to knife marks and cuts than super hard quartz.

How thick are the countertops?

Quartz slabs are usually 1.2 to 2 cm thick. Corian can be customized but is often 1 cm thick. Thickness can vary if installed over an existing surface.

Can you repair damage to either material?

Minor damage can be sanded and buffed out of Corian due to its softer acrylic composition. Quartz is harder to repair, but a professional may be able to sand out some marks.

How much does each material cost?

Quartz starts around $80 per square foot installed. Corian runs $70-150 per square foot installed. Costs vary based on factors like color and edge treatments.


Determining whether your countertops are made of quartz or Corian is an easy process once you know the distinguishing traits of each material. Side-by-side comparisons reveal quartz as harder and more stone-like, while solid surface Corian can mimic patterns and be molded into custom shapes. Minor scratches, the use of magnets, and checking paperwork can also reveal which material you have. Being certain what your existing countertops are made of will help inform any decisions about replacing or repairing them in the future.

5 Key Differences Between Quartz and Corian Countertops

When selecting countertops for your kitchen or bathroom, two of the most popular materials are quartz and Corian. Both offer durability and a wide range of colors and patterns to match any décor. Here are 5 key differences between quartz and Corian to consider when choosing between the two:

1. Composition

  • Quartz countertops are engineered stone made from roughly 90% crushed quartz combined with resins and pigments.
  • In contrast, Corian consists of acrylic resin and natural minerals making it a solid surface material.

2. Hardness

  • With a rating of 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, quartz is significantly harder and more scratch resistant than Corian.
  • Softer Corian rates between 3-4 on the Mohs scale, making it susceptible to cuts and scratches over time.

3. Appearance

  • The look of quartz mimics natural stone with visible flecks of quartz crystals throughout.
  • Corian has a smooth, matte appearance and comes in solid, uniform colors. Patterns run throughout the material.

4. Seams

  • Quartz countertops feature tightly fitted seams that are often quite visible.
  • Corian seams can be bonded together for a smoother, more seamless look.

5. Maintenance

  • Quartz requires very little maintenance, just gentle cleaning with soap and water.
  • Corian needs more routine maintenance. Avoid abrasive cleaners that can damage the acrylic resin surface.

Understanding these key differences will help homeowners select the right countertop to meet their functional needs and aesthetic preferences. Consult with an experienced kitchen and bath designer for more guidance.

Pros and Cons of Quartz vs. Corian Countertops

If you’re trying to determine whether to install quartz or Corian countertops, considering the pros and cons of each material can help guide your decision:

Pros of Quartz

  • Extremely durable and scratch resistant
  • Requires minimal maintenance
  • Heat and stain resistant
  • Non-porous – does not need to be sealed
  • Available in wide range of colors and patterns
  • Mimics high-end natural stone appearance

Cons of Quartz

  • More expensive than Corian
  • Seams are more visible
  • Needs periodic resealing of seams
  • Not easily repairable if damaged
  • Limited custom shapes and designs

Pros of Corian

  • Softer, smoother feel than quartz
  • Can be molded into custom shapes
  • Seamless look when properly bonded
  • Repairable if damaged
  • Available in many colors/patterns
  • Less expensive than quartz

Cons of Corian

  • Prone to cuts, scratches, and marks
  • Requires more maintenance
  • Can be damaged by hot pans
  • Needs frequent sealing to prevent stains
  • Not as durable and heat-resistant as quartz
  • Acrylic composition can be damaged by chemicals

Weighing the pros and cons will depend on your priorities such as budget, aesthetics, and functionality. Consult with a kitchen designer for help choosing the best countertop for your needs.

Maintaining and Caring for Quartz vs. Corian Countertops

Proper care and maintenance is important for any countertop material to keep it looking like new. Here is a comparison of maintenance requirements for quartz vs. Corian:

Cleaning Quartz Countertops

  • For routine cleaning, wipe down with mild soap and water.
  • About once a week, clean with a quartz-specific cleaner or clear vinegar and water.
  • Avoid abrasive cleaners and scouring pads which can dull the surface.
  • Reseal seams and cracks every 1-2 years with a specialty quartz sealer.
  • Immediately wipe up spills to prevent stains, especially from oils, acids, and dyes.
  • Have deep scratches professionally repaired – do not try to polish quartz yourself.

Cleaning Corian Countertops

  • Use a soft sponge or microfiber cloth with warm soapy water for regular cleaning.
  • For a deeper clean, use a Scotch-Brite pad to gently scrub the entire surface.
  • Clean up spills quickly to prevent stubborn stains. Avoid abrasive cleansers.
  • Disinfect occasionally with diluted bleach – 1 part bleach to 20 parts water.
  • Reseal with an acrylic sealer every 3-6 months to prevent staining.
  • Use a polishing compound and buffing pad to remove minor scratches and cuts.

Key Differences

  • Quartz requires less frequent cleaning and sealing than softer Corian.
  • Corian can be refinished to remove damage but quartz will need professional repair.
  • Disinfecting bleaches can damage quartz but are okay occasionally on Corian.
  • Do not use vinegar, lemon juice, or acidic cleaners on Corian surfaces.

Following the manufacturer’s care instructions is key for both materials to maintain their beauty and functionality.

How to Tell if You Need to Replace Your Quartz or Corian Countertops

Quartz and Corian countertops are designed to last many years with proper care. But at some point, replacement may be necessary. Here are signs it may be time to replace your quartz or Corian countertops:

Signs to Replace Quartz Countertops

  • Deep scratches, cracks, or pits that cannot be buffed out
  • Noticeable stains that are impossible to remove
  • Chunks of quartz missing if surface is deeply damaged
  • Multiple failed attempts to reseal countertop seams
  • Visible damage from heat or scorch marks
  • Significantly warped or detached countertop
  • Obvious damage around sink cutout or appliance areas

Signs to Replace Corian Countertops

  • Deep cuts and gouges that expose the subsurface below acrylic
  • Cracks or chips that span the countertop seams
  • Severe damage from hot pans melting the acrylic
  • Multiple stubborn stains that cannot be removed after deep cleaning
  • Repeated damage and scratching in high use areas like near the sink
  • Debonding issues where countertop is detaching from substrate
  • Flaking or blistering of the solid surface layer

When to Replace

  • If damage impacts functionality and everyday use
  • When countertops have obvious flaws that affect aesthetics
  • If you are remodeling kitchen or bathroom and want a fresh update
  • To switch to a different countertop material like granite or laminate

While quartz and Corian are repairable, extensive damage means replacement is likely the better option. Consult a countertop specialist.

Cost Comparison: Quartz vs. Corian Countertops

Understanding cost differences is important when deciding between quartz and Corian countertops. Here is an overview of price factors:

Quartz Countertops

  • Base Material Cost – $40 – $120 per sq. ft.
  • Fabrication & Install – $35 – $75 per sq. ft.
  • Total Installed Cost – $80 – $200 per sq. ft.
  • Higher-end stones, exotic colors, and premium brands sit at the higher end of price range.
  • Edge treatments, thickness, and cutouts also impact overall quartz price.

Corian Countertops

  • Base Material Cost – $40 – $100 per sq. ft.
  • Fabrication & Install – $30 – $70 per sq. ft.
  • Total Installed Cost – $70 – $150 per sq. ft.
  • Special patterns and colors are more expensive.
  • Costs vary based on thickness and degree of customization.

Price Differences

  • Quartz is generally more expensive than Corian before installation.
  • However, Corian requires more customization labor which can diminish cost difference.
  • Both offer clear budget and high-end options catering to different budgets.
  • Quartz has seen greater price inflation recently than Corian.

Consult with installers to get accurate estimates. Proper installation is key to get full value from either material.

Which is Better – Quartz or Corian Countertops?

Choosing between quartz and Corian countertops depends on your priorities:

Reasons to Prefer Quartz

  • Extreme durability and scratch resistance
  • Requires less maintenance than Corian
  • Resists heat, stains, and wear better than Corian
  • Non-porous so no sealing needed
  • Mimics high-end stone aesthetics

Reasons to Prefer Corian

  • Softer feel and smoother look
  • Seamless appearance when properly installed
  • Can be repaired, sanded, and renewed
  • Moldable into custom designs and shapes
  • Slightly lower material cost than quartz

Key Considerations

Budget – Corian is generally cheaper, but quartz price has dropped. Get multiple quotes.

Use – Quartz holds up better in high traffic areas like kitchens. Corian works well for bathrooms.

Style – Quartz natural stone patterns vs. Corian solid colors and integrated sinks.

Maintenance – Quartz needs less maintenance than Corian over time.

Consult with an experienced kitchen designer who can help match the right material to your space, lifestyle and budget. Make an informed choice based on your needs.


  • Quartz and Corian offer homeowners two excellent countertop choices that each bring unique qualities.
  • Understanding key differences in composition, hardness, appearance, maintenance, and cost allows for an informed decision.
  • Simple inspection along with magnet tests, scratch tests, and reviewing paperwork can help determine if existing countertops are quartz or Corian.
  • Both materials can last many years with proper care and resealing, but may eventually need replacement if badly damaged.
  • For those remodeling, weigh carefully whether quartz or Corian better matches your kitchen or bath style, usage patterns, and budget.
  • Hire professional countertop installers to get the best results from either quartz or Corian. Beautiful countertops can enhance your home for decades to come.