Countertops play a big role in how your kitchen both looks and functions. For that reason, many homeowners who are remodeling their kitchens will be focused on finding a countertop that not only matches their design, but their lifestyle as well.
Two materials that are frequently seen as durable and low maintenance are quartz and Corian. Both are attractive materials with a lot of colors and patterns available, but only quartz is truly low maintenance.
Corian vs. Quartz – What’s the Difference?
What is Corian?
Corian is the name of a solid surface material produced by DuPont. Because it was one of the first solid surface countertops produced, the name is often synonymous with the material.
Solid surface countertops are made of a type of plastic that’s melted and poured into molds. It’s often installed in the form of a slab, with any seams melted together during installation to hide them.
Corian comes in a wide range of colors, and has a soft appearance and feel. Because of the way that the material can be molded and fused, a Corian countertop will frequently have an integral sink as well as a 4-inch backsplash.
The color and pattern used in Corian is incorporated throughout the material, so if it were cut in half, you would see that the color permeates. This is considered a benefit over laminates, which only cover the surface of the countertop.
Corian can scratch and discolor fairly easily, but the material is considered low maintenance when compared to granite because these marks can be removed. Scrubbing pads of different textures can be used to buff out any scratches or minor stains, restoring the countertop to its original appearance. The material is technically nonporous, so it doesn’t require any special cleansers or sealers. Any discoloration technically remains on the surface, and can be scrubbed away.
However, because Corian is a type of plastic, it can melt. So hot pots must be placed on a trivet or another protective surface to prevent damage to the countertop.
Corian is most commonly found in solid colors, as well as color combinations that feature a lot of small-colored specks. Some have a softly mottled appearance as well, which can be reminiscent of stone.
What is Quartz?
Like Corian, quartz is a man-made countertop. Unlike Corian, though, it’s made of more than 90% quartz – a natural stone. The quartz is mixed with resins and pigments to give it color and style. Also like Corian, quartz comes in a wide range of colors and styles, including some that can mimic the appearance of granite, marble, and polished concrete.
Quartz is also a solid material, sold in slab from. The color of quartz is also insular, which means that it can easily cut and shaped to from unique edges, waterfall sides, and cutouts for sinks and cooktops. Because the edges can be polished, it’s common to undermount sinks or to use a farmhouse style sink with a quartz countertop.
Quartz is a very hard, durable material. It can be polished to a high gloss or have a matte finish. It’s more similar in texture and feel to a granite or marble. Its surface is smooth and flawless, unlike natural stone which may have small pits or fissures.
Quartz is scratch and stain resistant, so it’s easier to maintain than either granite or Corian. Quartz countertops also do not require any special sealers or cleaners. The material is impervious to heat, so it’s not subject to melting or burning the way Corian can.
Quartz is able to more accurately replicate the colors, patterns, and veining of several different materials. Like Corian, it can be found in solid colors, but it can also contain vein patterns similar to marble, and color fleck patterns similar to granite. The solid gray colors can also take on the appearance of concrete, for those who want an industrial look with less maintenance.
Durability and Versatility
While both Corian and quartz can be considered lower maintenance than natural stone, only quartz is a truly durable and highly versatile material. Quartz is made tough so you won’t have to deal with removing scratches or stains. And with the many style options available, it works well with any kind of kitchen design.
If you want the most design options and lowest maintenance for your countertops, choose quartz for your next kitchen design.