corian vs granite.

watboyMay 5, 2008

Hello all this is my first time posting on this forum. I am currently considering redoing my entire kitchen. I just got a quote last week for all wood maple cabinets, Corian counter tops I was quoted $21,000 my kitchen is tiny so I was surpsied I have about 11 feet of cabinets a total of 16 cabinets. Is that a good price? Also is Corian or Granie better? I can't seem to pick between the too. Which one is cheaper? The guy said he would give me a free integrated sink, free faucet and 4 cabinets for free. Having lived a bit I know nothing is free. Please help me out here this is my first major renovation ever.

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Does the $21K include the cabinets or is that just for the Corian - if just for the Corian it's outrageously high - how many sq. ft. of countertop do you have? If it's for the cabinets and countertops it's probably in the right ball park.

Corian vs. granite is a volatile topic. The costs are actually pretty close depending on which granite you choose. Some of us prefer natural stone over artificial plastic (can you see my bias :-) but there are many people who like the uniformity of Corian. You really need to go out and look at granite and Corian counters and decide for yourself - there's no right answer - it's a purely personal decision.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 10:32AM
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comparing corian and granite is like comparing apples to oranges. Both are countertops, but that's really the only similarity. In some areaa (like mine) granite is actually cheaper. Granite is cold and hard, corian is warm and softer. Granite is a beautiful natural material with veining and character, corian is man-made and very uniform in appearance. Corian is easily repaired if damaged, granite is hard to damage but difficult to repair. Go look at both and decide which is right for you. I used to love corian, but have gotten really tired of it and am putting granite in the new kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 10:39AM
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don't get a quote for both cabinets and countertops together. have whoever's quoting split the quotes so you can compare apples to apples.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 10:48AM
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If you do decide on Corian, I recommend you avoid a white corian sink. Anything red will stain it immediately.

I love my corian counters, but my new house will have both corian and granite. Corian on the perimeter, completely seamless around the L-shaped kitchen with an undermount ss sink, and a slab of granite on the island. I feel like I'm getting the best qualities of each. For me, the highest price corian was still less expensive than a cheaper granite, but it really depends on where you're shopping.

Regarding cabinet cost, there are huge differences in prices for X feet of maple cabinets. Pre-made, Custom, semi-custom, local guy, Christopher strutting Peacock, etc. and free faucets are usually worth what you pay for them. Go browsing and have fun!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 11:04AM
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I have corian in my kitchen and love it. Have granite in my baths and love it. I don't think I would put granite in my kitchen because I love the fact that I can bleach my corian and get that clean feel. But this is my personal opinion. Whatever you choose,you should be happy with it. I love both surfaces.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 11:54AM
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If you want Corian, check the competition. I got a plain white made by Samsung that was cheaper. I have really enjoyed it, but I have only had it a few months.
I had genuine Corian in by former home in a pretty blue called Oceana. I also had a Corian sink. Do not get one.
Mine was a double, and it was so small on each side you could not wash a cookie sheet. Also, it was hard to keep clean.
I like the suggesion made to mix other surfaces if you get Corian. This time, I got the plain white solid surface on the perimeter, underneath are whitewashed cabinets with a huge farmhouse sink. Then, the island was painted a Farrow and Ball celery color with an antique pine top. The contrast is very pleasing.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 12:56PM
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i ripped corian out of my kitchen and would never own a home with it. i hate the stuff. but i'm not you :)

i'd take your layout to a couple of plACES and look for some comparison costs for like items. your price seems high if you're looking at middle of the line cabs. but again we don't know how muck is cabs and how much is conter top :) nor do you know the quality of the granite. you need to stop now in my opinion....and start reading threads on all of tese subjects.

my bathroom, with about 9' of upper and lower cabs...and marble, is some $23,000 (off the top of my head) for avery quality cab (omega custom) and 3cm marble in book matched slabs, so if you're pricing high end...your price might be fine...mine does not include install....does yours??? you have awhole lot of questions sill to ask :) but welcome aboard!!!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 12:57PM
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First of all, always get more than one bid. Second of all, they need to break everything down by item so you know what you are paying for each thing. Quotes vay wildly. I am getting Corian (I just don't care for granite even though it may have been cheaper!) and my GC who is doing the cabinets usually deals in the fake Corian but they didn't have the color I wanted. They can get Corian but at a HUGE markup. So I went to 2 different fabricators for a Corian only came back at $5800 and one came back at $3300 for the eaxct same thing! The expensive place wanted to charge me $400 for each sink cutout (!), but it least it listed everything out so I could compare. The Corian I want the basic level A and is $47-48 sq ft at home depot so the $3300 bid is right at $48 sq ft. Do your homework! Go to HD and get a bid there to see what the retail of Corian is. I went with the fabricator instead of HD, even though HD was about $300 cheaper but I trust the installers more at the fabricators.

Small hijack....what edge do you all have on your Corian? The full bullnose is what I wanted but costs $18 extra a square ft, but the 'flat' bullnose is an included edge. My perimeter color will be Vanilla and I don't want it to look like it could be laminate! Dh likes the clipped edge. I would love to see picturres of Corian edges, b/c the fabricator only had granite samples.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 1:24PM
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If you like artificial flowers for their uniform appearance and never-fading qualities, you'll like Corian...if you prefer real flowers, go with granite...that's actually a very negative way of putting it and I've just offended a lot of very intelligent people who chose Corian for good reasons, but I LOVE granite (not just my own but all the beautiful slabs I see on this site).

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 2:07PM
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I thought the special edges were priced by linear foot, not square foot? My granite edges are $20/linear foot which is a whole lot cheaper than by square foot. My sink cutouts were $300 for a large sink and $150 for a small bar sink. They are all undermount sinks.

Getting multiple bids is certainly wise. But trying to accurately compare bids is difficult if the bids are not broken down the same way or the services/options bid on are not identical. Before I would go with the lowest bid I would first check the quality of the fabricators work and see actual finished jobs if you can. How experienced they are at doing seams and installation plus customer service can be worth the extra cost in many cases.

I don't know how much price negotiation is possible with big stores like HD, but at least in my area with the housing slump the stone fabricators are finding more time on their hands and are willing to throw in extras and work with the customer in pricing. Lots of sales reps can play games, however, with supposedly discounting one aspect of the job while keeping premium pricing on other components. What matters is the bottom line for the complete job once all the subcomponent choices and options have been agreed upon. Then you need to decide how much reputation, expertise, quality service is worth to you when making a choice between competitive bids.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 2:21PM
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That quote seems very high to me for a kitchen that small. I have almost three times as much cabinetry as that, and my cabinets and countertops combined were only about $25,000. That's the installed price for soapstone counters and custom cherry cabinets with brushed nickel hardware.

Now, when you add in the cost of my new appliances and the work my GC had to do with moving wiring and plumbing and gaslines and walls, the whole project cost more than twice that. Still, I'd definitely recommending shopping around.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 3:12PM
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Yes, it's linear foot for an edge! It will add about $400 to the cost for me. Not too bad I guess, but I wish I could decide if I liked the included edges...

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 3:24PM
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wow, bluekitobsessed, that's a little harsh, isn't it? but don't worry, i'm not offended.

but, watboy, that's the typical rap in our beloved kitchen forum when there is ever a discussion that includes granite compared to anything that is (shudder) man-made. So many great things are man-made, including our computers and lap-tops...which make our discussions possible. oh, and just an aside...paint is man-made too!

as for me, although i can really appreciate others' granite countertops...they can look gorgeous... i just can't see myself actually living with granite in my kitchen. I don't like the cold and hard look and feel or the weight. i visited a few granite yards and just never came close to wanting to have one of those slabs in my kitchen. I could oooh and ahhh over the rock but.....

On tuesday, a guy is coming to template for my counters. not only am i going "fake" with solid surface but even "fake fake" with LG HiMac volcanics instead of corian. My choice wasn't based on price (it's kinda expensive), just on what I thought I may like the best.

please wish me luck because i have been actively trying to pick a countertop for several months and I'm a little apprehensive. Good luck to you too!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 8:44PM
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After much research and shopping, we went with a "fake" corian brand - Livingstone in Volcanic ash with a raised bar in LG HiMac Merea. We found a local fabricator who didn't charge extra for the coving, cove bullnose edge, or removing the old countertop. The Livingstone and the extras were much less than we would have paid for the least expensive Corian at Lowes. We had over 115 sq. ft. of countertop, so this was a big decision. It's been in a month and so far we are very happy with our decision. Also got an off-white corian-type sink that so far has been a breeze to care for. We'd had stainless steel sinks for several years, and debated what to do for a sink, but friends have had good luck with the corian sinks. Granite can be gorgeous, but we just have too much counter in too narrow an area (30 year old house) - plus, if I get tired of it in 10 years - who wants to haul out that granite - and what will they do with it???

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 9:01PM
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I agree, get several quotes. I got a great deal on Corian. A couple of kitchen places near me were having a special. It was on par with the nicer laminates. I had to pick from the A or B color lines, but with the integral sink and any edge of my chosing, it was a steal. I had about 18 options to select from, which was more than enough for me.

I'd have liked granite, but it would have been at least twice as much as the Corian for some of the less interesting granites. I've still got two kids to put through college, so Corian it is.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 9:03PM
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We chose Corian because it seemed to be a better aesthetic fit with the ultra-contemporary thing we were going for. I think that all the popular kinds of countertop (including the best seller, laminate) are probably very fine and serviceable products.

bluekitobsessed, your post made me think of some granite enthusiasts the way Bill Hicks did about non-smokers. In one of his old stand-up routines, he called the non-smokers in the audience obnoxious and self-righteous (among other things), and then said that "my biggest fear, if I quit smoking, is that I'll become one of you."

He was joking, and so am I. Just came to mind.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 9:05PM
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I already regret that last post, if anyone takes it seriously. I was laughing when I wrote it, thinking of one of my favorite (now deceased) comedians. It looks mean to me now on the screen, and that's not what I was thinking.

I sincerely meant no offense to anyone.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 9:16PM
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My SO really, really, really wanted corian for the clean, crisp contemporary look and low maintenance, but I just couldn't find a pattern that I liked.

Which was good, because I found a granite that we both love that was $20/sq ft cheaper!

Corian, at least around here is VERY pricy.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 10:36PM
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I chose the Corian b/c most granite is just too busy for me. It feels cold and hard. I wanted a plain solid color for my perimeter (vanilla). I chose Corian Maui for my island, I think mixing the Corian and granite would have been fine too, but dh didn't want to mix surfaces! Let me tell you, every last person I spoke with tried to talk me out of Corian and holy heck! not a solid color of it to boot! I know what I want and I know what I like. Corian is soothing to me and the Vanilla is going to be so warm in my kitchen. I like plain and it is going to look great when it's done Oh and I do like that I can bleach and sanitize the counters.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 10:38PM
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I have about 13 feet of cabinetry in my small kitchen.

Cabinets were $7,000 (I picked a cheap cabinet source; could have spent $13k easy); Corian w/ sink was $1,100.

This is NOT include labor to install cabinets (but did include Corian install)

Cabinet install was probably $2,000 of the price; demo would have added a bit more. (I'm in NYC)

My total cost (ripping out floor & reinstalling; moving a doorway; new electrical circuits), sans appliances or cabinet hardware, was $23,900.
That was 3 years ago now, though.

What does that $21k cover?

(Me, I love Corian)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 11:10AM
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I'm sorry if I offended anyone. I freely admit to being biased, but also thought I made it clear that there are a lot of intelligent people with good taste and sound reasons for wanting Corian. If that wasn't clear in the last post, I hope it is now. Plain solid colors, not too busy; not cold and hard; maybe less expensive; I think you can also get a fully integrated sink?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 11:15AM
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Oh, and I'm also seriously tired of the "you must be low-class and anti-nature if you want plastic Corian" subtext to the people who dislike it.

Those of us who dislike granite don't say things that imply "we think you're pretentious if you like granite."

We don't like it because it's cold to the touch (which it is--no value judgment there), hard (one of its advantages, actually, but not on we value--and again, a hard, cold fact), visually busy (this is the closest to being a non-objective statement, and it's not true of every granite, but it is again, true of many of them).

We don't usually say, "I would never have it in my home" or things of that ilk.

We stick to the facts. I wish some of the granite fans would as well.

Me, I *like* the smooth, plastic-y feel of Corian. As a friend said, when I was trying to explain why I like it: "It feels like technology."

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 11:23AM
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Agreed on all counts, talley sue. Thank you. I don't understand some people's need to make themselves feel superior by knocking other people's choices. Or rather, I do, but I wish I didn't.

I want to add that corian can be polished to a higher grit, as we did: it's a low reflective gloss, and *fabulous*. My contractor, when he saw it installed, said "*This* is corian?" It's "Green tea", and plays beautiful harmonies with our Ikea Hallarum/VG fir cabinets and Sicis glass backsplash. It looks like water, seriously, or like concrete polished up to a sheen but without any of the sealing or other issues, and it's forgiving of things put down a bit hard, warm to the touch, impervious as all getout to staining, and smooth like leathered/antiqued stone. (when I can keep it cleared, which isn't often, but that's our fault!)

It's a look that probably not many people, if any, associate with corian, but it's completely doable by the fabricator, who also loved the look and said he would recommend it to clients, esp. if they were getting less busy patterns. You might want to ask your fabricator to try it on a small piece to see if you like it.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 11:33AM
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To each her/his own. I am ripping out two-and-a-half year old Corian to replace it with granite. We didn't ever choose to get the Corinan, it came in the house. To tell the truth, it was close to a deal breaker for me. I don't like the feel or the look of Corian, but that's just me. However, the sink has truly been a nightmare. It is white and not very functional--someone empties a dreg of coffee into the sink and I have 10 minutes of scrubbing to do! When we first looked at the house with the builder I asked whether I was just stuck with that sink. He howled! But I have a good friend who loves his Corian.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 9:48AM
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We are replacing our 4 yr. old Corian with granite in our kitchen re-model. We put the Corian in to replace the horrible formica that came w/the house when we bought it but after having it for a short time we discovered that it scratches like crazy, even when being very careful. I liked the smooth look and feel, but you couldn't even put a coffee mug down w/out a coaster underneath. Too much maintenance for me. Not all granite is "busy" either. We chose Ocean Etole (aka Catskill Green) and it has a very small subtle pattern. It's going in tomorrow!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 10:29AM
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that is almost two thousand a foot, way too high unless it is Habersam.

Find a local customer cabinetmaker in the phone book, preferably one that also does countertops of all kinds. That way there is no finger pointing on issues. Kitchen dealers are ordering factory cabinets and marking them up, they have to to cover their services. For some people, a designer is the way to go, we refer people to designers from time to time rather than doing their work. Big box stores are using guys like me and again marking up their work, or getting it at a low margin.

Regardless, a custom shop will build you better cabinets and get them done quicker. Find one that also installs, again, no finger pointing.

Expect prices to start around $300 per foot installed for some pretty basic cabinets. If you want Kraft maid quality, expect $400 to $500 per foot (those are some really nice cabinets in that price range). If you want Habersham type work, expect closer to $1,000 per foot, with about one third going into the finishing process.

Solid surface, Corian is only one brand, runs from the high twenties to the mid seventies per square foot, installed. Any edge that can be polished with a machine should be no extra charge. If hand work is needed for ogee edges or the like, expect five or six bucks a linear foot. Sink and cooktop cutouts should be free, expect sinks to run from $275 to $500 depending on brand.

There are some brands of solid surface to avoid. Bad material, bad warranty response on problems, or a history of bankruptcies by the parent company. Ask the fabricators which brands they sell, and which brands are kept hidden inside a cabinet somewhere. Samsung is an excellent brand, as is the LivingStone that others mentioned.

Solid surface sinks don't stain, if they do that is a warranty issue. Most likely the fabricator switched a cheap china sink for the manufacturers good sink. An unscruplous fabricator can pocket a few hundred bucks on a job doing that.

Yes, there are different finishes or polishes on solid surface. Matt finish is the best for durability, 60 micron sandpaper then a scotchbrite buffing. Satin is 60 micron, 30 micron, then scotchbrite buffing. Satin brings out the darker colors in a sheet. Gloss finish usually is not recomended for kitchens unless you are willing to put up with tiny scuffs when viewed in the right light. There is an exception, 100% polyester solid surfaces that can be sold high gloss. Still, a perfectionist won't be satisfied, but neither will they be happy with granite with its natural flaws.

Light colors show abuse less, dark colors are a big no no cause like a black car, they show every little ding and scratch.

Scratching, well we have a couple of tops that were pulled out under warranty after 9 1/2 years in a home, one bad sink. They look like new, but it was a neutral color. In about eight years of fabrication of solid surface tops, we have had seven calls to fix a scratch, and we don't charge for the service. It is a really rare occasion, a coffe mug with an abrasive bottom or a plumbers metal tool box are the usual culprits. We tell people to take a sheet of 220 grit sand paper, tape it down, and wiggle their ceramic ware back and forth several times. Problem solved.

So, like other materials, solid surface isn't a perfect material for a countertop, but there are fewer complaints from customers than the other materials. In my opinion, it is the best material available as long as you don't pick a black, dark green or dark blue.

It is 100% non porous, uses FDA approved materials, has a NSF51 rating for countertop use, sinks can be intergrated with no seams or cauling needed, shouldn't be a charge for cutouts or common bullnose edges, the horizontal seams should be nearly invisible, you can make backsplashes that match or even window sills, it is available in half sheets (15 square feet) which means less waste and thus less cost, it is pretty consistent so no need to visit a slab yard or worry that someone will cut out the pretty part, it can be bleached for sanitation with no harm, common cleaning products won't hurt it, and no matter what is done to it, it can be repaired almost invisibly. No sealing needed, ever. And long warranties that truly mean what they say because the fabricators must be certified to purchase the material.

The best thing is that solid surface shops aren't used to the material having flaws that can be blamed "Oh, it is a natural product you know, it is all like that". We tend to be perfectionists and the material is light enough to handle that it can be taken out and scribed if needed.

Rodding isn't needed so rod splits don't happen, it doesn't stain or etch but if it did, just sand it out and repolish. Bacteria can't survive on it for long, no crevices, cracks, fissues, pores, pits or caulk seams for them to hide in. The acrylic brands and some of the polyester products are UV stable so no fading like quartz or some granites. It is produced in factories, no child labor involved, no mountains ripped apart, no bonded labor used. No suprises in the chemical content like granite, no radiation, no radon, no cobalt 60, no Polenium, no arsneic or lead or other heavy metals. Uranium can't leach out because there is none to start with.

You know who makes it and who will stand behind it, the brand not the fabricator.

Everyone who knows me knows I can go on and on on the benefits of solid surface. It isn't as pretty nor as hard as quartz or granite, but it is a safe investment and workers don't develop silicosis working with it and I've never heard of a fabricator getting killed from a sheet of it falling on them.

Then after years of service, you buff it up and it looks like brand new. No other material can offer that.

No one uses coasters on solid surface, but if that coffee mug will scratch or stain solid surface, it will likely do the same to granite or quartz. Go over to and read thousands of granite customers customer complaints, read the dozens of problems here on Garden Web on granite issues, there is no other material that has as many complaints. Less than 30% of the market, with 90% of the complaints.

I'll sell it to you and make a good profit. I'll test it first to make darned sure it is a low radiation level stone first. You will like the quality of my seams, installation, and polishing, but when it cracks, stains, or etches, I'll say I told you so.

It is just a stone, it came out of the earths crust. Understand that and you will love the stuff.

Just my opinion

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 9:02PM
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I plan to get new countertops and splashing in my kitchen.
I have granite in my bathroom and hate the dark areas if a drop of water is left on the top. My installer stated, "if you go with Corian I won't do the job" ????

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 7:57PM
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