Corian quartz countertops have become increasingly popular in recent years as a stylish, durable, and low-maintenance option for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. But how does quartz compare to other countertop materials like granite, marble, and laminate in terms of appearance, durability, maintenance, and cost? Here is an in-depth look at the pros and cons of corian quartz countertops to help you decide if they are the right choice for your home.
What is Corian Quartz?
Corian quartz is a man-made engineered stone created by combining ground natural quartz crystals with polymer resins and pigments under intense heat and pressure. The end result is a non-porous, highly durable surface that resembles the look of natural stone but requires very little maintenance.
Some key things to know about corian quartz:
- Created by DuPont as part of their Corian solid surface line of products.
- Consists of about 93% ground quartz combined with 7% polymer resins.
- Available in a wide range of colors and patterns to resemble marble, granite, and other natural stones.
- Non-porous so resists stains, scratches, heat damage better than many natural stones.
- Does not require regular sealing like granite.
- Offers more consistent coloring throughout than natural stone.
- Carries warranties of 10 years or more against defects.
Pros of Corian Quartz Countertops
There are many advantages that make corian quartz an excellent choice for countertops in busy kitchens and baths:
Corian quartz comes in a diverse array of colors and patterns. Subtle veining and speckling mimics natural granite and marble while uniform solid colors offer a sleek modern look. Mixing kitchen island and countertop colors can create stylish contrast.
Edges can be finished smoothly or with an apron-front look. Integrated corian quartz sinks are also available. This versatility of design allows quartz to coordinate well with any décor style from traditional to contemporary.
With up to 93% crushed quartz content, these countertops stand up well to heavy daily use. Their non-porous composition resists scratches, stains, and heat damage from hot pans better than granite or marble. Seams are tightly bonded to prevent moisture penetration.
Corian quartz rates high on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, around 8-9 depending on the product compared to 4-5 for laminate counters. This makes it very resistant to scratches and cuts from knives or abrasive cleaners.
A major perk of corian quartz is that it requires very little routine maintenance compared to natural stone. Quartz does not need periodic sealing, polishing or special cleaners that granite or marble countertops require.
Simple cleaning with a damp cloth and mild soap is generally sufficient to keep quartz counters looking like new. It can handle accidental spills quickly wiped up without staining. Hot pans or cutting directly on the surface pose no problem for this durable material.
The resin binders make corian quartz non-porous so it will not absorb stains from spills like wine, coffee, or juice. Bacteria and molds are unable to penetrate the dense surface. This makes quartz counters very hygienic and low-maintenance for busy kitchens.
While more expensive than laminate, corian quartz offers a luxury material look at a more budget-friendly price point compared to natural stone. The average installed price of corian quartz is $40-100 per square foot, lower than the average range for granite at $60-150 per square foot installed.
Cons of Corian Quartz Countertops
While corian quartz has many positive attributes, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider:
Limited Color Range
Compared to the endless variety and unique patterning of natural granite and marble, corian quartz has a more limited color palette. There are dozens of colors to choose from but no “one-of-a-kind” look. Those desiring a rare exotic stone may be disappointed.
Lacks Natural Feel
Corian quartz has a smooth even look since the particulates are blended uniformly. Natural stones have more random variation in veining, shading, and crystal structure. For those wanting an organic appearance, quartz can look a bit artificial.
Seams may be visible between countertop slabs since quartz cannot be mined in single continuous pieces. Skillful fabrication is needed to tightly seal the seam. Matching seam colors across a large surface requires artistry.
Can Chip or Crack
While durable overall, corian quartz can potentially chip if subjected to abrupt heavy impact. Cracks can form if the substrate underneath shifts. Heat damage may occur if very hot pots or pans are left for prolonged time directly on the surface.
Fixing any damage that occurs is not as straightforward as with natural stone. The blended engineered composition of quartz makes filling chips or cracks unfeasible. A damaged section usually needs complete replacement.
Higher Price than Laminate
Corian quartz costs significantly more than laminate countertops. While durable, areas of laminate can be replaced as needed over time while quartz requires full slab replacement. The higher initial investment may not pay off long-term for some budgets.
How Does Corian Quartz Compare to Other Countertop Materials?
Deciding between corian quartz and other common countertop options like granite, marble, and laminate involves considering the pros and cons of each in terms of appearance, cost, durability, maintenance, and other factors personal to your needs. Here is a brief comparison:
Corian Quartz vs. Granite
- Granite offers a natural stone look while quartz appears more man-made
- Quartz needs less sealing and maintenance than porous granite
- Quartz costs a bit less than granite on average
- Granite comes in more unique color variations
Corian Quartz vs. Marble
- Quartz is much more stain and scratch resistant than softer marble
- Marble needs frequent sealing which quartz does not require
- Quartz maintains its color while marble can yellow over time
Corian Quartz vs. Laminate
- Quartz is better for resisting scratches, heat, and moisture
- Laminate costs considerably less upfront
- Simple repairs can be done to damaged laminate spots while quartz needs slab replacement
- Quartz has a higher-end look than laminate
Top 5 Corian Quartz Brands
If you decide corian quartz is the right fit for your space, choosing between the many brand options can be challenging. Here are five of the top manufacturers to consider:
As the original creator of engineered quartz surfaces, Corian® offers a wide selection of designs from solid sleek colors to varied stone looks all backed by a 10-year warranty.
One of the first quartz manufacturers, Caesarstone is known for high-quality construction and a broad range of aesthetic styles, patterns, and colors.
Focusing more on emulating natural stone varieties, Cambria quartz counters feature intricate designs and quality stone textures.
Part of the Cosentino brand, Silestone boasts excellent durability and stain resistance with a diverse collection of colors and patterns.
From flooring company DuPontTM, Zodiaq® combines bold unique looks like metallic and recycled glass finishes with durability and easy maintenance.
When choosing, look for quartz brands that offer warranties of 10 years or longer, indicate high percentages of quartz content, and have reputations for quality craftsmanship and customer service. Be sure to see slabs in person before final selection since colors and patterns can vary.
FAQs about Corian Quartz Countertops
Is corian quartz really maintenance free?
While corian quartz requires far less maintenance than natural stone, it is not strictly “maintenance-free”. Simple cleaning with soap and water is required to keep surfaces hygienic and free of grime buildup. Spills should be wiped up promptly to prevent staining chances. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scouring pads that could dull the finish.
Does corian quartz need to be sealed?
No, sealing is not necessary for corian quartz since it is non-porous. Topical sealers cannot penetrate into the dense composition. This saves the hassle and expense of regular sealing required for porous granite countertops.
Can you cut on a corian quartz countertop?
It’s not recommended to directly cut or chop on the counter surface. While corian quartz is durable, the resin binders can be damaged by sharp knife blades. Using a separate cutting board is best to protect your investment.
Can corian quartz counters get wet?
Yes, brief water exposure causes no harm to properly installed non-porous corian quartz counters which resists moisture. Through-surface seams should be correctly sealed to prevent water seeping underneath which can damage substrate. Avoid prolonged direct heat on the surface from appliances like crock pots.
Does corian quartz stain easily?
No, corian quartz resists stains very well compared to other materials. However, some liquids like wine, oil, and fruit juices can potentially stain if allowed to sit for prolonged time before wiping up. Prompt cleanup of any spills will keep quartz counters blemish-free.
Is Corian Quartz Right for Your Home?
Corian quartz delivers the visual appeal of natural stone coupled with excellent durability and easy care. Low maintenance requirements make it an ideal choice for busy kitchens and bathrooms. While quartz lacks the one-of-a-kind uniqueness of granite and marble, the carefully engineered compositions ensure a uniform, attractive look.
For those seeking fashionable high-end counters without the higher cost and maintenance of natural stone, corian quartz offers an appealing option. Combining style and functionality, corian quartz gives you the look you want with little daily upkeep required. Investing in corian quartz countertops can add beauty and luxury to your home for years to come.