If you’re like many homeowners, you have laminate countertops in your kitchen. Over time, they can scratch, stain, and delaminate. Modern countertop brands such as Corian and Silestone aim to solve these problems.
Below, we’ll examine the features of Corian and Silestone so you can confidently choose the right one for your home.
Overview of Corian
DuPont created Corian in 1967 as one of the original solid surface countertop materials. Corian’s reputation for sleek, stylish designs has made it a popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodels for over 50 years. Corian’s colors and patterns run homogeneously through each slab so that all edges match the main surface design.
Overview of Silestone
Silestone, manufactured by Florida-based Cosentino, is one of the leading quartz countertop brands worldwide. Introduced in 1990, Silestone is now found in over 80 countries. It has a reputation for high performance and stylish looks.
Silestone starts as raw quartz mineral, which is ground down, combined with resins, and formed into slabs under intense pressure and heat. This sintering process results in a durable, scratch-resistant surface.
Corian consists of about one-third acrylic resin blended with two-thirds natural minerals (mainly alumina trihydrate).
Silestone is composed of around 90% ground quartz particles combined with bonding resins and pigments for color. The raw materials are sintered into large slabs and then cut to size for installation.
Both brands provide nonporous, solid surfaces resistant to bacteria, stains, and everyday wear, but the two differ when it comes to durability.
How well your countertops will hold up is a crucial consideration when renovating your kitchen. Durability factors like heat and scratch resistance impact how long you’ll enjoy your new counters.
Neither Silestone nor Corian is 100% heatproof. Silestone can better withstand brief contact with hot pots right off the stove, so it offers more adaptability. Corian is more prone to minor scorching or discoloration under high heat — using trivets is recommended.
Silestone’s high mineral content makes it scratch-resistant for a busy kitchen. Corian’s softer acrylic resin composition may show light scratches over time from knives or appliances. Corian scratches can be lightly sanded out, unlike surface damage on quartz surfaces like Silestone.
Both Corian and Silestone promise excellent stain resistance. The nonporous finishes prevent most spills and messes from permanently discoloring counters. Silestone’s quartz density prevents absorption, but Corian’s higher resin content gives it a slight edge for repelling stains.
Oven and sink basin cutouts and decorative edges are no problem for Corian or Silestone. These pliable materials can be fabricated into diverse designs during installation, providing flexibility for customized kitchen counters.
Silestone comes in three common finishes:
- Polished — Glossy and reflective
- Suede — More matte texture
- Volcano — Rougher feel
Corian finish options include:
- Matte — Smooth and matte
- Semi-gloss — Subtle shine
- Gloss — High-gloss shine
With many colors and patterns available, you can find the perfect finish to suit your kitchen’s style.
One benefit of engineered countertops is having seamless surfaces customized to your space. Eliminating ugly seams and joints is crucial for preventing bacteria and grime from accumulating. Corian is produced in slab thicknesses of 0.24 inches, 0.47 inches, or 0.75 inches. Silestone comes in standard thicknesses of 0.47 inches, 0.79 inches, or 1.18 inches.
Cosentino provides Silestone buyers with a limited 25-year warranty. You must comply with the warranty restrictions. Corian residential warranties last 10 years. Separate warranty contracts are offered for commercial customers.
For peace of mind, be sure to understand each brand’s warranty terms before making your decision.
The price depends on your countertop size, chosen materials, and installation fees. In general, Corian and Silestone are competitively priced, with Corian being the more budget-friendly option in many cases.
- Materials: $45 to $65 per square foot
- Installation: $10 to $30 per square foot
- Materials: $50 to $100 per square foot
- Installation: $10 to $30 per square foot
Keep in mind that costs can vary based on company overhead, DIY/professional installation costs, negotiated contractor rates, and seasonal discounts.
With over two decades of experience as a residential real estate agent, I’ve discovered that investing in quality countertops like Silestone or Corian can enhance your home’s value and enjoyment for decades.
How to Choose Between Corian and Silestone
The right countertop choice comes down to your budget, kitchen usage, and personal style.
Silestone’s rugged composition works best for heavy daily use due to its maximum durability. For basic kitchen needs, Corian offers sufficient durability with easier repairs if needed down the road.
Corian’s sleek solid colors give a seamless, modern look. Silestone mimics natural stone with subtle quartz patterns. Consider which design aesthetic fits your home’s style.
I recommend you take time to understand each product’s strengths and weaknesses. An informed decision will bring you satisfaction for years to come.
So, Which One Should You Buy For Your Kitchen?
Analyze how you cook, entertain, and use your kitchen to help you pick the ideal balance of style, durability, and value. If your counters see a lot of hot pans, slicing, and wear, Silestone’s resilience is worth the investment. For lightly used kitchens, Corian offers savings without sacrificing style.
Make lists of your must-haves, from a sleek minimalist look to heat resistance for baking. Review what each brand has to offer. Determine whether Corian or Silestone better fits your lifestyle and design vision.
Follow all care and cleaning guidelines to maximize the beauty of your new counters. With some thoughtful planning up-front, you’ll enjoy your updated kitchen for years.
FAQs About Corian and Silestone
Can you cut on Corian countertops?
You can cut directly on Corian, but using a cutting board will maintain its flawless look over many years of use.
Does Silestone need sealing?
No. Silestone’s nonporous surface doesn’t require sealing to prevent stains. This makes maintenance easier compared to natural stone.
Can you repair scratches in Corian yourself?
Minor scratches and scuff marks can be gently sanded out of Corian with fine sandpaper. Deeper gouges may need a professional.
How thick is Silestone?
Popular Silestone thicknesses are:
- 0.47 inches — Bathrooms and light use
- 0.79 inches — Kitchens and moderate use
- 1.18 inches — Heavy-use areas like kitchen islands