The countertop takes center stage on the priority list when considering kitchen remodeling or a minor update.
While many countertop options are available, three stand out as popular: Corian, Quartz, and Granite. Although all of them are made of high-quality materials, they are certainly not identical in features.
So, we are going to do a thorough comparison of key factors like heat, stain, durability, etc. Also, we will take a closer look at what aspects each outperforms the others.
The Corian brand offers solid surface materials used to create countertops, kitchen fixtures, and wall panels. Basically, the acrylic polymer and natural minerals such as aluminum trihydrate are mixed to manufacture Corian materials.
Each of these constituent elements plays a pivotal role in fashioning Corian solid surface material that boasts durability, vibrant coloration, and top-notch quality. The acrylic polymer serves as a binding agent, while the minerals contribute to its durability and stone-like appearance.
Pigments are added to the mixture to achieve the desired color and pattern. Corian countertops are also known for their durability, ease of maintenance, and affordability compared to Quartz or natural stone countertops.
Pros and Cons of Corian Countertops
- Easy to clean: The Corian solid surface is made of resins and epoxies, creating a non-porous surface. So the liquid, dirt, and dye can not stain its surface. On rare occasions, you can easily clean it with a mild soap and water solution.
- Seamless appearance: One of the reasons for the popularity of Corian solid surface materials is their ability to provide a seamless appearance in design. Additionally, they can be molded into various shapes and sizes, making them incredibly versatile.
- Repairability: Corian countertops hardly get scratched or marked. If it gets scratched in a rare event, it can be easily restored by sanding and buffing the surface.
- Variety of color options: Corian offers an endless selection of colors and patterns for homeowners to choose a style that matches their kitchen or bathroom decor.
- Scratche Issues: While Corian solid materials are quite scratch-proof, they are not entirely impervious to scratches. Sharp and heavy objects have the potential to leave surface scratches. Therefore, cutting something directly on the Corian countertops is not recommended.
- Sensitive to excessive heat: One drawback of Corian countertops is their comparatively lower heat resistance when compared to other materials such as Quartz or Granite. Using a protective buffer when setting down hot pots or objects on Corian countertops is crucial.
- Budget: Although Corian is more budget-friendly than Quartz and Granite, numerous less expensive alternatives are available. Corian countertops usually fall within the mid to high price range.
Quartz Counter Top
Similar to Corian products, Quartz is also a man-made and engineered material, but they are created using different processes and possess distinct compositions.
However, there are certain similarities in the formation of Quartz when compared to Corian. Quartz is produced by blending over 90% crushed natural quartz crystals with resins and pigments. Similar to Corian, resins act as a binding agent, and the pigments provide color.
So, the basic difference between Corian and Quartz is in their composition and properties. Corian is primarily acrylic-based, while Quartz countertops are predominantly composed of crushed quartz crystals mixed with resins.
Pros and Cons of Quartz:
- Durability: Quartz countertops are highly durable and resistant to scratches and damage. They can last for lifetimes.
- Non-porous and maintenance-free: Quartz is non-porous, which means it doesn’t allow any liquid and dirt to penetrate, resisting bacteria and mold growth. That’s why no seal at all is required, and simple cleaning should be enough for maintenance.
- Colors and design: Quartz can be available in an unlimited variety of colors and patterns. Its sharper, colorful design makes it a popular choice for adapting different types of kitchen decor. Even it can imitate the pattern of Granite.
- Cost: Quartz is among the most expensive countertop materials out there, more than Corian.
- Installation: Because of its weight and involving tools, the installation of Quartz material necessitates skilled professionals and a sturdy foundation. DIY installation is strongly discouraged.
- Not Completely Heat Resistant: Quartz is moderately heat resistant, but this doesn’t make it completely heatproof. The resin in its composition can be damaged by excessive heat, ultimately causing color fading.
- Not seamless: Unlike Corian, Quartz doesn’t provide seamless integration entirely, and the seams are visible on the bugger surface. Therefore, experts and skilled craftsmen need to be involved to reduce the seam.
Granite countertops are natural stone countertop materials. These natural stones are found in quarries around the world. There is a variety of Granite slab types, each with its own quality and price point. Granite materials consist entirely of natural rock with no human craftsmanship. The diversity of colors and patterns in Granite slabs contributes to their unique design.
Pros and Cons of Granite
- Heat and scratch resistance: Granite is much better than Corian and Quartz in terms of heat and scratch resistance. That’s why they are popular countertop options for their increased resilience against heat. Plus, they are highly durable as well.
- Completely Natural Stone: While Quartz can only imitate the look of natural stone, Granite is entirely composed of natural stone.
- Unique and attractive: Each Granite countertop has a unique and attractive appearance. So homeowners can enjoy a one-of-a-kind countertop with distinct patterns and mineral veining.
- Cost: Granites come in different price range and is mostly expensive. However, its quality and unique natural composition compensate for its high price.
- Porous: Being a natural stone material, Granite becomes porous and can absorb liquid. This can lead to staining if spills are not cleaned up promptly. To prevent staining, they need to be sealed annually.
- Weight: Granite is a heavy material and requires a strong foundation to support it. Also, an expert installer is required to ensure proper installation.
- Costly repair: Granite materials are not only expensive to purchase but also costly to repair if they get damaged. However, Granite countertops are not easily susceptible to damage.
Which Material is the Best for a Kitchen Countertop?
When choosing kitchen countertop materials, the most instrumental factors are the product’s durability and the ability to resist heat, stains, and scratches.
In terms of durability, Quartz countertops tend to be the most durable due to their engineered stone and non-porous surface. This non-porous quality makes them relatively low-maintenance compared to Granite and Corian.
However, Granite is also highly durable and often comes second in terms of durability and strength. It is not porous, so it requires regular cleaning and occasional sealing. While Corian may not be as durable as Granite and Quartz, it still offers higher durability.
Resistance to staining is also a crucial factor when deciding on a specific material for a kitchen countertop. Busy kitchens always tend to stain the countertop, so countertop materials should be highly stain-resistant or sealed timely.
A countertop material that is less porous is more resistant to staining. Quartz countertops are generally considered resistant to staining because of their non-porous structure. Therefore, Quartz countertops are easy to clean and maintain, as spills and stains can be wiped away without leaving marks.
After Quartz, materials of the Corian brand come second for being less susceptible to stain. Corian countertops are made of a solid surface material that has inherent stain-resistant properties. However, they may still be susceptible to some level of staining if not properly cared for and maintained. So, the Corian countertop requires regular light cleaning with a mild soap solution. However, don’t use any abrasive cleaner that can leave a mark of scratch.
We already know that Granite is non-porous and allows liquid to penetrate. However, if adequately sealed in a timely manner, they also show less tendency of staining.
You can expect a warranty of up to 20 years for Corian solid surface countertops. In practice, these countertops can endure for as long as 50 years. Additionally, they are relatively easy to repair in the event of any damage.
If properly maintained, Granite countertops can go through a lifetime of survival, potentially reaching up to 100 years. They are generally expected to outlast Corian countertops.
Quartz is also indestructible for a longer amount of time. The durability and non-porous features of Quartz give your countertop a lifetime of perseverance. So, all three materials as countertops can serve for a very long time, while Quartz and Granite stay for a lifetime.
Protection against heat is a primary concern for kitchen countertops as they are subject to a wide range of cooking activities. People often knowingly or unknowingly put hot pots, pans, or baking sheets on countertops. That’s why countertops should be heat resistant, at least to some extent.
Among Corian, Quartz, and Granite, Granite tops show the highest level of protection against heat. It can not be damaged or discolored by high temperatures of its natural stone materials.
Then comes Quartz, which is also moderately heat resistant but can’t withstand excessive heat. One of its materials, resin, can be damaged by heat. So, it is recommended to use hot pads when placing any hot pan or objects on a Quartz countertop.
Corian is a more vulnerable countertop against heat than Quartz and Granite. It can be subject to permanent damage by excessive heat of hot pans. That’s why hot pads, trivets, and cutting boards should be used to protect the Corian surface.
Corian’s solid surface materials could be your most cost-effective choice if you have a limited budget. Corian countertops are cheaper than Quartz and Granite, starting at $50 per square foot installed and running up to about $140. DIY installation is an option for those with a solid DIY skill set.
When comparing the three choices, Granite slabs come with the highest price tag. The cost of a Granite countertop could range between $80 to $180 per foot. That said, Granite is available in a variety of types, each costing separately from others.
The cheaper option of Quartz countertop comes at $80 per square foot installed. It can rise up to $150 per square foot if you choose custom-built options with intricate patterns and designs.
We’ve thoroughly reviewed each material’s strengths and weaknesses, conducting essential comparisons on critical factors. Corian stands out with its seamless design possibilities and budget-friendly options, while Quartz impresses with its durability and minimal maintenance demands. Granite, on the other hand, brings forth uniqueness in design and excellent heat resistance capability. The final choice of countertop material now depends on you.