Is Corian or Quartz Countertop Cheaper?

When it comes to choosing a countertop for your kitchen or bathroom, two popular options are Corian and quartz. Both offer durability and style, but which one is more affordable? Here is a detailed comparison of Corian vs. quartz countertops on cost.

What is Corian?

Corian is a solid surface material made from acrylic resin and natural minerals. It was first introduced by DuPont in 1967 and continues to be a leading brand of solid surface today. Some key features of Corian:

  • Non-porous, seamless appearance
  • Resistant to stains, heat, and scratches
  • Can be repaired if damaged
  • Available in a wide range of colors/patterns
  • Backed by 10 year limited warranty

Corian requires fabricating and installation by a trained Corian technician. The average installed cost of a Corian countertop is $40-$100 per square foot.

What is Quartz?

Quartz countertops are made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. It creates a hard, non-porous surface. Some benefits of quartz:

  • Extremely durable and scratch resistant
  • Easy maintenance
  • Resists stains, burns, and cracks
  • Available in wide range of colors and styles
  • Backed by 10-15 year warranties from major brands

Quartz counters don’t require specialized installers. The installed cost averages $80-$120 per square foot.

Corian vs. Quartz Cost Comparison

On average, quartz countertops tend to cost more than Corian solid surfaces. Here is a detailed cost breakdown:

  • Material Cost – Quartz slabs run $50-$100 per sq.ft. Corian sheets cost $20-$50 per sq.ft.
  • Fabrication – Quartz fabrication averages $15-$25 per sq.ft. Corian fabrication costs $25-$50 per sq.ft.
  • Installation – Quartz installation runs $5-$15 per sq.ft. Corian needs certified installers charging $15-$30 per sq.ft.
  • Total installed cost – Quartz averages $80-$120 installed per sq.ft. Corian averages $40-$100 installed per sq.ft.

However, the costs vary widely based on factors like:

  • Brand – Higher end brands cost more
  • Stone type – Some quartz with exotic looks cost more
  • Complexity – Intricate edge profiles, cutouts increase cost
  • Location – Prices higher in some markets
  • Vendor quotes – Get quotes from 3+ vendors for best deal

Pros and Cons of Cost

Corian pros:

  • Lower material cost than quartz
  • Can find deals on remnant pieces
  • Repairable if damaged, extending lifespan

Corian cons:

  • Higher fabrication and installation costs
  • Total cost can exceed budget quartz

Quartz pros:

  • Greater durability than Corian
  • Easy maintenance, lower long-term cost
  • Consistent pricing, easier to budget

Quartz cons:

  • Higher base material cost
  • Fewer opportunities to get discounted pricing

Is Corian or Quartz More Affordable Overall?

For most homeowners, quartz countertops end up being the more cost-effective choice in the long run. The higher material cost is justified by:

  • Significantly lower maintenance over lifetime of 10-15 years
  • Superior scratch, stain, and heat resistance
  • Easier installation process
  • Consistent pricing from major brands

However, Corian can be a smart budget option under certain conditions:

  • Finding a deal on discounted sheet materials
  • Using smaller surface areas to minimize costs
  • Having simple layout with few seams/cutouts
  • Ability to install yourself or use low-cost fabricator

The best way to determine true cost is to get quotes from 3-5 installers in your area for both quartz and Corian options. Be sure to get total turnkey pricing, not just material cost. With proper quotes in hand, you can determine whether Corian or quartz better fits your kitchen remodeling budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Corian cheaper than quartz?

In most cases, no. The average total installed cost of quartz countertops runs $80-$120 per square foot, compared to $40-$100 per square foot for Corian. However, Corian can potentially be cheaper with discounted materials and DIY fabrication/installation.

Is quartz worth the extra cost over Corian?

For most homeowners, yes. The added cost of quartz is justified by its superior durability, easier maintenance, and consistent pricing. Quartz offers a better long-term value for most buyers.

What increases the cost of Corian vs. quartz?

Corian’s fabrication and installation is typically more expensive than quartz. Intricate edge profiles, cutouts, and seams can also drive up Corian’s costs. Large surface areas will be more affordable in quartz.

Can I install Corian myself to save money?

It is possible to DIY install Corian and save on labor costs. But it requires skill with carpentry, cutting, and gluing acrylic surfaces. Any mistakes or improper sealing can lead to early failure.

Is recycled quartz cheaper than natural stone slabs?

Yes, recycled quartz made from crushed waste quartz is 10-30% cheaper than quartz made from natural stone. It has the same durability but fewer color/pattern options.

The Bottom Line

When choosing a new countertop, your budget will likely play a deciding role. While Corian can cost less in certain scenarios, quartz countertops deliver superior quality and value for most homeowners in the long run. Be sure to get multiple itemized quotes before deciding if the lower initial price of Corian is worth the tradeoffs versus durable and low-maintenance quartz.