Laminate vs. Corian

blob2009February 1, 2009

We are remodeling are kitchen and are trying to decide between the Wilsonart HD laminate and Corian and a stainless steel sink vs. a blanco silgranit sink. Does anyone have either or have any suggestions. I am concerned about scratches on the corian as I think they are too noticeable even if they can be buffed out and concerned about the shine wearing on the HD laminate. Any help would be appreciated!

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The advantages of laminate are selection and price. Laminate is available in almost a bewildering array colors and textures. It typically costs less too. Neither surface is indestructible so appearance becomes a factor of care, although solid surfacing is typically more easily repaired.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 7:43AM
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We have both in our home. We have the Wilsonart HD in our home office and Corian in our kitchen. While I'm happy with both, I absolutely love the Corian in the kitchen but prefer the HD in the office. In both cases we have oak cabinets, typical for our area.

We previously had laminate in the kitchen and replaced it last summer with Corian "Tumbleweed" which is a lighter marbled taupe/tan. I also looked at the very dark "earth"; however had found some information online where some stores wouldn't warrant it against scratches which to me discouraged it's use. I've since visited online with someone who did use "earth" and they are very happy with it. Some say Corian has a cold feel; however I think it is soooo much more comfortable & aesthetically pleasing compared to the prior laminate. Since the tumbleweed has a pattern, there are seems that could be noticeable in the island and my counter (17' running length), but the guy did a fantastic job so that even if you point out the seams to someone, they have to look really hard to see them. Also we put in the cove back because I like the ease of cleanup. If you read enough online you'll find people who have strong feelings for and against the Corian. Some say it's plasticy (is that a word), but I think it's just smooth and haven't had a problem with scratches. I have a white incorporated sink, not sure if it's blanco silgranit, but it's what the Corian dealer sold. It's very easy to take care of, only caution is not pouring/draining boiling water in the sink without first running cold water. I didn't want the stainless steel again because we had problems with water spotting..

The HD laminate that we have in our office is "deepstar flint", a darker black & bluish grey. It adds a masculine feel which we wanted. The HD has a slight roughness to the service which I'm not sure I'd care for in a kitchen; although I have a friend who has a lighter color (perhaps a Sedona) which is beautiful. The seams are a little more evident, but not bad.

It comes down to budget and personal preference.

Here are a couple pics, I can take a close-up of a seam in each if you like. I realize the look might not be for everyone. I prefer a neutral, uncluttered, country look.

Corian Tumbleweed with Marble Beige tile

Wilsonart deepstar flint

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 9:38AM
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Forgot to mention, we've had the HD laminate for nearly 2 years. It gets used and abused. It's the place everybody puts things when they walk in the door and it's subject to dishes, cups, laptops, books, craft supplies, etc. The shine is still as good as the day it was installed. So that need not be a concern of yours.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 2:27PM
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Laminate is great, sturdy, and can be pretty stuff...I had it for years. But I switched to lg hi mac solid surface (like corian) because I wanted an eased edge with no seams. I LOVE it. smooth as anything, cleaning is so easy, and there are no seems anywhere. Also updated to an undermount sink (stainless), which I also love.

I really loved the looks of the hd laminate, but opted against it because I didn't want the seams along the edges and because it's textured. I often sit at my counter and write....didn't want the bumpy surface.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 9:20PM
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Thanks for all of the replies. I only have a few days to make my decision and I am having such a hard time. One day I would like corian and the next day laminate. I appreciate the pictures that were posted also. It is nice to see other countertops as a whole rather than a small sample.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 1:16AM
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blob, have you tried posting your question on the kitchen forum? Actually, if you do a search in that forum, you will find lots of examples of both laminate and corian to see.

Another great source, check out the finished kitchen blog. Here is the page where you can scroll down to countertop surfaces category, to check out laminates and corian.

Here is a link that might be useful: FKB category page

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 8:36AM
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Thanks jessie21.... Is there a way of having the messages sent directly to my emails so I know when I have a response instead of searching? I will check out the kitchen forums again. I am actually considering the LivingStone too. I was told that it is the same as Corian but lower in price. Does anyone have any info????

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 1:32PM
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Most people I know who've had Corian have liked it, but it's very expensive compared to laminate. In the end, when I did my kitchen, we just went with granite, which wasn't much more expensive than corian, but infinitely better. If it's an option, I'd consider granite.

If you want cheap, laminate is the way to go and you'll get years out of it if you look after it.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 2:29PM
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Does anyone have input on Corian countertops and sinks???

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 10:30PM
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I'm biased against Corian. I just don't like the plast-icky-ness of it. :) It can be beauriful in the right kitchen, such as one with a very modern aesthetic. But, for less money, you can usually have granite. Mother Nature hands down beats man as a production company. Even the most regular and boring of granties is far more beautiful than the prettiest Corian (or laminate). If budget is a consideration, then go with the cheapest possible off the shelf laminate and plan on an "upgraded" countertop at a later time. If you like laminate and would never consider any other countertop surface, then there are plenty of choices out there. I happen to love the pretty "out there" colors and styles of laminate myself. It's not pretending to be anything other than it is. However, if budget is only one of your concerns, then I'd definately investigate other possibilities than just the two you have fixed on. There are SO many other choices, and many that will give you better functionality (and value) for the money you are spending on Corian.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 11:47AM
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Blob, I think you have your answer. Most of us sort of like them, but they are plasticy and by the time you pay the cost, you're better off with a nicer material, ie granite. Not that much price difference.

As for sinks, go undermount. I think they are way cool. Uber-cool even.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 5:24PM
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oooh, I don't know about that, pjb!

I'm loving my lg hi mac (corian-like). Cost was not the determining factor for me (it was pretty steep). I know I'm in the minority, but I don't mind admitting that I PREFER it to granite! It's warm and homey and modern at once. not plastic-y to me, and I love that if I scratch it up too much or even ding it, it can easily be fixed. And don't forget no seams!! Most here prefer granite. I like it in the ground, where it belongs. (that's a joke, son.)

Corian is usually more expensive than laminate but in all materials, it depends on the color/style.

I do agree that undermount are way cool.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 2:16PM
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Everyone has their personal preference towards what feel and style they prefer in countertops. Like jessie21 I prefer Corian over granite. I could probably have gotten granite less expensive. I KNOW I'm in the minority with Corian solid surface. But I don't want to turn this discussion into which is better or looks nicer, etc. Granite is beautiful. From my experience Corian is totally functional. Perhaps granite is as well. They both have their advantages & disadvantages. It's like carpet vs. hardwood. It's personal preference. When deciding, actually pull up to a counter (if you're having an island) and sit by it to feel it and experience it so you know what it will be like to put your hands or arms on it. As Jessie mentioned in an earlier post, the seams on a laminate are a little rougher. On our office laminate we have a beveled wood edge. While the cabinet maker did a terrific job of doing it, its less smooth than a bullnose or no-drip edge.

Like others have said, an integrated or undermount sink is the way to go. I can't believe how much easier my integrated sink is to clean. No more edges to scrub around.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 6:11PM
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Hi Blob,

I had Corian installed in our kitchen about 3 years ago and I have to tell you that I wish I'd either gone ahead and bought the granite that I really wanted or had laminate installed. I've regretted the Corian since day one. Now I'm not saying all of it looks like mine, but mine is dull, ugly and scratches easily.

Sure hope you didn't have your heart set on Corian! :)

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 2:27AM
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Hi blob---I just went through this same process. I finally decided on corian to replace the 28 year old laminate in my home. The old ivory/cream color laminate has held up very well--there are visible scratches, but it still looks pretty good although there is one very visible seam. There are some gorgeous laminates out there today.
I wanted a more seamless look so decided on Corian. I picked the color "fossil". I also seriously considered quartz (silestone). However my home is fairly casual and I thought the high gloss of the silestone shine might be over the top. I looked at granite as well & the ones I saw were fairly dark. I wanted a lighter look because my cabinets are an antique black color. Granite is also very overused in my area. Another consideration important to me was the environmental impact of granite. My countertops have been measured and I am waiting for the installation. I also chose the integrated corian sink. I will follow up after they are installed.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 10:16PM
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I have a Corian countertop in my kitchen that was installed -- geez -- is it really 17 years ago? It's held up wonderfully. I've got a pad that I can use to buff out scratches. It's no more plastic-y than the polyurethane on my hardwood floors.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 6:21PM
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