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Corian or what else

  • t

I have been told that Corian dulls in traffic areas leaving an uneven finish over time, some shiny some dull. Anyone have any knowledge in this area?
Is granite all it is cracked up to be. Is this where I should be looking or is all this new Formica where I can get the best product at the best price.
I realize Formica doesn't handle heat like granite, but that aside Corian,Granite Or Formica, what are your thoughts.

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    1. re: cheesemonger

      Isn't Zinc soft, does it dent when something heavy is dropped on it or do counter appliances leave impressions? I love the idea. Are there varieties in the color?

      1. re: Tonto

        I'm considering zinc for some of the countertops in my kitchen. Old house in an historic district. Yes, it is soft and will dent. The color constantly changes which is the beauty of it or the thing others will hate - depends on your point of view. You can get it pre-aged or pristine and age it yourself with acids like lemon juice and tomato sauce. Sorta organic.
        It comes in sheets like Formica and works the same way with the same tools. http://www.metalresources.net/index.p...

        1. re: MakingSense

          What MakingSense said is exactly what I like about it. Because it ages, and deforms and gets color variation. Of course, I don't cut on it, I use butcher blocks and plastic boards, but I love the "aged" look it gets.

          1. re: cheesemonger

            Thanks MakingSense and cheesemonger. I like the idea. I am in New Orleans, anyone know who works with zinc in NO. Is the cost comparable to granite?

            1. re: Tonto

              I talked to the people at the sheet zinc manufacturer and they told me that a good formica fabricator could do the job. Works the same way with basically the same tools. It should be less expensive than granite depending on how complex the countertop is.
              I fell in love with the look after seeing an antique zinc-topped table in an antique store on Magazine Street in New Orleans. The patina was fabulous. Zinc is often used by decorators for restaurants and bars because it's like a constantly changing work of art. Not for someone who can't deal with imperfection.

    2. If I were doing my kitchen again, I would get Silestone. Quartz is actually a better choice in terms of durability and color selection than granite...

      I also like corian, but I felt it was awfully expensive for what it was. The Silestone is more economical, as well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ChefJune

        We just redid ourt and went wtih Silestone - it is great - easy to clean and durable

      2. The nice thing about Corian is that, after some time, you can sand it back to it's original luster. I had a coffee table made with a Corian top about 20 years ago and it's worked out really well for me. But were I to choose what to use in a kitchen, I would go with granite or zinc. Cost-wise, it's about the same. The biggest problem is keeping it clean. Granite holds a stain if it's not wiped up quickly. I have a marble top kitchen island and would never, ever go with that again. It's a huge pain in the ass to keep clean and stain free. Although for making bread and pasta, it's the tits.

        So all-in-all I think you need to decide what you're going to be using it for. For all-purpose I feel granite would work. If you're a baker or a pasta maker, marble - and if you have the means, make sure you can remove part of the marble to refrigerate for puff pastry, etc. For looks and durability, again, granite. For ease of use and long life, Corian.

        1. Granite & marble is not too forgiving. Drop a glass and get out the broom. Solid surface materials (Corian) will offer quite a bit of give. To pollish up the dull areas, use GREEN Scotch Brite pads. They make them to fit on orbital sanders and grinders to save on the elbow grease.
          Another option that is fairly new to the market is "RICHLITE" (http://www.richlite.com/countertop/
          )Dont freak out when you find out that its paper. The website will link you up to order samples. Get some and see if you can wreck it. I cant and I have power tools. Same as solid surface, a bitof fine abrasive will freshen it up in a hurry.
          Best of luck.

          1. I've had Corian and Granite and enjoyed both. I don't chop or dice anything directly on either -- I used lucite chopping boards for that. I do put hot coffee cups and wet glasses on granite and have never had a ring -- but I have the granite sealed. I don't recall if I could do that on Corian. Depending on the look that you want to achieve too. I think that granite is richer looking -- I love the granite yard where i can pick what I want! I'd say it's a matter of taste and price point. As to Formica, I have no experience so I can't comment there. Enjoy.

            1. Tonto -

              Check out all the answers to my question. . . happy reading!

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/369572

              1. I have several friends whose Corian has started to yellow after about ten or twelve years. It really looks dull in one case, and all of them want to replace their countertops. Granite won't do that. I don't put hot pots taken off the stove on my granite without a trivet, but I do put pans out of the oven on it with no problem. Only issue seems to be that it is a hard surface and tends to cause chips on plates or even enameled pots if they are not set down gently. You also should not cut without a cutting board or you can dull your knives. You might want to look into Silestone over Corian if you don't want polished granite.

                1. In my life I have had formica, corian and now have marbles and limestone. I love my current counters. To make a broad brush statement that it stains, it doesn;t stain, it scratches, it doesn;t scratch, it fades, its too hard, a glass will break on it a glass won;t break on it just is not fair. It all comes down to which stone, what are you looking for what is your price point, what professionals do you have in the area, how good/bad you are at upkeep.

                  So if you are looking for the best product at the best price, you have a long road ahead of you. Figure out what you want and then see if it fits the budget. If not then figure where you can slice and dice.

                  1. You might try DuPont Zodiaq quartz surfaces for durability and strength. It's also quite beautiful. (I have it in my kitchen at home.) Similar to Silestone, but the color/texture choices are superior. Here's a link to look up where to buy: http://www.zodiaq.com/zodiaq/a/en/c/I...

                    1. Vermont Soap stone is a beautiful material that stands up well to busy kitchens. Google it! I have used it on a number of projects and everyone has been happy with it.

                        1. My house is 10 years old now, and the one thing I am still 100% happy with are my decisions on countertops. I have blue pearl granite everywhere except the prep island, which is butcher block.

                          I put flaming hot cast iron on the granite. It has never stained (because it's a dark color?). It's gorgeous.

                          The butcher block island would not suit perfectionists, because it stains very easily, but I don't really care. I sand it once in a blue moon. I cut directly on it, no separate boards unless I'm handling raw chicken, beets, etc. Scraps get scraped straight into the sink.

                          I think it's most important to pick a surface that allows an UNDERMOUNTED SINK. Laminate does not. Shoot me if I ever have to use a sink with a lip around it again.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: danna

                            I heard this mentioned before--about the lip of a sink. Sorry to go off topic but what's the pro and con. Maybe I should start a new post but this is just a quick question. Years away from replacing sink or counter. Just curious. Thanks.

                            1. re: eve

                              A lot of people don't like sinks with lips around them because crud gets caught under the edge and can be hard to clean. We have an undermount and I really like it - but as with so many trade-offs there is a maintenance issue - albeit not a major one - yhou have to make sure to recaulk the sink periodically to prevent leakage around the edge of the sink where it meets the undersurface of your counter material.

                              1. re: eve

                                Say you are cutting vegies, garlic, whatever. Or you have rolled out a piecrust and there is flour everywhere. When you are finished, you just push everything directly into the sink(or use a bench scraper for the piecrust). Run the disposal. You're done. There is no lip to impede shoving the debris into the sink. There is no lip to CLEAN around when you are finished.

                                And even if you aren't big on chopping and scraping, there is still no lip to slowly collect crud over time. Maybe it doesn't matter as much to super-clean people, but in my former kitchen, I would periodically try to clean carefully around the lip and....nasty stuff would appear.

                                Ten years ago, the only (reasonalby common) choices for undermounting a sink were stone or Corian. A few people tried to discourage me from using butcher block where a sink would be because of the water, but I have had no problems. I have been told that some of the newer less expensive options allow undermounting now, but I have quit paying close attention.

                                BTW, my Mom has Corian and has found that she can put hot pots on it without scorching, in spite of the manufacturer's suggestions. She has the integrated sink and would do it all again except she would not get a white sink again, it has stained. The pale grey on the rest of the counters has not.

                            2. I have stainless steel countertops in my kitchen. They have held up to regular, heavy use for almost ten years without any problems. They will dent if you really slam them but that is about it. I also have put very hot pots on them but try to avoid that in general. They do scratch and patina but I like the way it looks. I imagine that you might have a problem with rust if you left a wet, cast iron skillet or something on it but other than that they a great.

                              1. Here are some enviromentally friendly options. I've only seen samples of the material - which look really cool - but i dont actually know how well they hold up because I dont know anyone who has them. Most of them are made of compressed recycled paper, believe it or not, and come in a variety of nice colors. Its worth a look, at least.

                                http://www.richlite.com/
                                http://www.shetkastone.com/

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: julseydesign

                                  what a great idea, thanks for opening my eyes to "green" options.