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Old 06-18-2007, 10:33 AM   #1
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Solid Surfacing aka Corian


I have been researching countertop materials off and on lately, and am narrowing my options down. Here's how I see my countertop options.

1) Laminate - While it works, I am tired of having it. Current house has it, and it's held up well for 4 years, but the next house I wanna do nicer.

2) Stone/Granite/Marble - wow, pretty pricey, I am seeing $45-60/square foot. Not really ready to drop 1/2-1/3 of my kitchen remodel budget on just the countertops.

3) Solid surfacing - aka Corian/Hi-Macs etc. Acrylic resin surfaces. My parents went with Hi-Macs, and actually had their sink molded right to the countertop. Looks great, is semi-repairable, and cost for ~25 feet of it was around $1500.

4) Concrete. A buddy of mine did this, I am not crazy about the look, and not sure I have that kind of time to DIY this part of the project.

5) Tile - not my bag of wax, I lived in a partment with tile, and I was not crazy about it.

It does look though that the solid surfacing stuff is not DIY-available all that much, though it is my front runner until I have more solid cost figures.

Seems there are 4 major manufacturers.
DuPont Corian - the original acrylic surfaces
Avonite
LG Hi-Macs
Wilsonart


Anybody have experience with this stuff? Is any of this stuff DIY available? I have not trouble fitting/finish routing.. just not molding, pouring and heaving concrete ;-)

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Old 06-18-2007, 10:39 AM   #2
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Solid Surfacing aka Corian


If you whip out a calculator, you'll find that solid surface costs just as much as granite. 1500 divided by 25 = 60. I would go with granite even if it cost a little more. It is a much better material. The only good thing about Corian is that if you scratch it, it can be sanded out and re polished. You are very unlikely to damage granite like that. Marble as a countertop should not even be one of your choices. Too soft and poreous(sp?) it scratches and stains too easily.

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Old 06-18-2007, 01:45 PM   #3
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Solid Surfacing aka Corian


I used the Himacs and it worked out great. I had a large radius cut and one double wide piece, so it was not a DIY job at all. If you have all standard sizes, you could probably do it, depending on the edge profile you want. Granite is priced by the square foot whereas the Himacs was priced by the linear foor for a standard 36" width. I could not find any granite that did not cost considerably more.
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Old 06-18-2007, 03:54 PM   #4
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Solid Surfacing aka Corian


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Originally Posted by send_it_all View Post
If you whip out a calculator, you'll find that solid surface costs just as much as granite. 1500 divided by 25 = 60. I would go with granite even if it cost a little more. It is a much better material. The only good thing about Corian is that if you scratch it, it can be sanded out and re polished. You are very unlikely to damage granite like that. Marble as a countertop should not even be one of your choices. Too soft and poreous(sp?) it scratches and stains too easily.
The numbers I referred to were based on a rough guesstimate of what my parents have for a kitchen. Also, the sink basin was molded right in, so that $300-400 right there.

60/ square foot is different than $60 linear foot. Whipping out the calculator on a standard 30" top comes out to $150/linear foot (2.5 sq-foot/linear foot), so less than half the cost.

If I can get a granite guy to come down to $60/linear foot, he's hired... an probably will soon be out of business.

The only other downside of stone tops is the hardness on glass and flatware. It tends to break more dishes than a laminate or acrylic.

One last material option is to do stainless countertops. I have not ruled that out yet either, my wife likes it, it'll lend itself to the style ofhouse we are bidding on, and finally, I like the industrial look of stainless. Hmmm. That, and with my 6' sheet metal brake, I can bend up most of it myself. If I want really fancy, I can weld the corners up too.
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:14 PM   #5
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Solid Surfacing aka Corian


While I believe Corian is still available only to factory trained installers, a fewof the other brands are available on the market. In the last few years granite prices have leveled out to the same range as the synthetics , so we have not put in a synthetic top in several years. For an honest price comparison, you really need to decide on the stone you want and your preferred edge treatment and get it's price (there is a wide range in prices, depending on the particular type of stone) and the prices you see advertised are always for the basic stones and minimul edge profiles. Then do the same with the synthetics. Take a look at the quartz products, I think they are much nicer than the acrylic (Corian,etc) products, although they are right in the same price range as many granites. If you go with stone, be sure to view the companies installations to see how they piece the slabs together, particularily if they cut out the holes for cooktops and sinks, or put narrow "fillers" in front and back to join the large side slabs. Many fabricators use this method because it eliminates having to field cut the openings, but I think it looks too pieced together, and have left the shops that use this method. Beware that stainless may look good when you see a new display, but it blemishes easily, and needs to be cleaned and polished often to look good.
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:24 AM   #6
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Solid Surfacing aka Corian


We had this same decision 2 years ago. We ended up going with the granite because it wasn't going to be that much more than the solid surface materials. Home Depot and Lowes will sometimes run specials on certain granites which may bring them more into your price range. One thing to keep in mind if you do decide to go with stone, make sure you go and pick out your slab. One slab of stone may look very different than another slab of the same type. That's why it's important to personally pick out your slab.

Good luck with your choice.
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Old 08-01-2007, 09:17 PM   #7
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Solid Surfacing aka Corian


If you want to DIY you might try Bennissimo Systems Granite Solutions. It is granite tiles that you can order. Different front edge designs are available as well as angle cuts for for corners. You can find it online.

Dave
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:52 AM   #8
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Solid Surfacing aka Corian


I have solid surface in the bath room and granite in the kitchen. I love the looks of both but the solid surface is a dream to take care of. Our granite has settled at the seam several times and we had to have it fixed.
where the sink was cut out there are 2 cracks in front of the sink. These are not real visible, but I know they are there.
As far as a return in your $$$$ if you sell, granite is better.
Are you going to install it yourself?
If not, I would go by the pattern and color and which looks of the best in your eyes! What pattern do you like the best? Stay away from Marble. It is a real pain to care for.
Elody21
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:33 PM   #9
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Solid Surfacing aka Corian


We went with Corian for a variety of reasons. Of the solid surfaces, it felt best to the touch. We eliminated granite because it breaks dishes easier, and etches if you leave tomato peels on it (don't ask about either).

Also, only solid surfaces can have an integrated sink. Dupont only distributes Corian through trained installers. I'm led to believe this has to do with the warranty.

After about 8 years, we have been really pleased with the Corian. We're planning on putting it in the new house.
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:49 AM   #10
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Solid Surfacing aka Corian


So glad the Corian worked out for you. It is a beautiful product! Yes it has a very soft feel. I like it too.
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Originally Posted by pyper View Post
We went with Corian for a variety of reasons. Of the solid surfaces, it felt best to the touch. We eliminated granite because it breaks dishes easier, and etches if you leave tomato peels on it (don't ask about either).

Also, only solid surfaces can have an integrated sink. Dupont only distributes Corian through trained installers. I'm led to believe this has to do with the warranty.

After about 8 years, we have been really pleased with the Corian. We're planning on putting it in the new house.
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:01 PM   #11
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Solid Surfacing aka Corian


The house I bought has Corian counter tops with an integrated sink (which is white). While I love the look the sink stains very easily (especially anything tomato based) and you have to really scrub it with a bleach based cleaner to get it white again.
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:07 PM   #12
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Solid Surfacing aka Corian


We had the LG Hi-Macs installed. Like it so far. This is definately not a DIY project. The guys who installed it told me it is even more difficult to install that granite. Lowes had a good deal when we were ready to buy. Certain colors were 1/2 price and the molded double bowl sink was included.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:51 PM   #13
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Solid Surfacing aka Corian


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Originally Posted by mserrino View Post
The house I bought has Corian counter tops with an integrated sink (which is white). While I love the look the sink stains very easily (especially anything tomato based) and you have to really scrub it with a bleach based cleaner to get it white again.

I use green Scotchbrite pads on my white Corian sink. Cleans up quick with them. Sometimes I add some Barkeepers Friend to the Scotchbrite.

I don't use the pads when they're new, because they're more abrasive then. After I've scrubbed some pots they get a lot softer.
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Old 05-20-2011, 03:40 PM   #14
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Solid Surfacing aka Corian


Go to a local store that sells just granite and nothing else. Select from the slabs they have in the inventory. Hire a granite-specialty contractor/company to do the installation. You can save about 60% or more that way.

That's what we did. The estimates we got from Home Depot and Lowe's were about 3 times than the approach above. We ended up saving about 60%+ and about $35/sq-ft with everything included, including labor, granite, backsplash, and whatever else. The job was beautifully done too. We were lucky to find an excellent contractor - I have to say.

The $50/sq-ft Home Depot or Lowe's advertises is kind of false because they have a lot of add-on costs, like edge, corners, cutouts, and stuff. It actually often adds up to over $65+ or more when you take everything in the entire project into account.


Last edited by mdawson3k; 05-20-2011 at 03:43 PM.
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