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Old 02-06-2011, 01:42 AM   #1
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SileStone, Corian, or ????


I searched here, and did not find exactly what I am seeking. I'd like to hear from folks who have installed kitchen counter tops similar to SileStone (engineered stone, I think it is called) or Corian-types. I've read a lot of lit on them, but want to hear the real story, from real people (or electronic facsimilies thereof). Thanks. john
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:47 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by jklingel View Post
I searched here, and did not find exactly what I am seeking. I'd like to hear from folks who have installed kitchen counter tops similar to SileStone (engineered stone, I think it is called) or Corian-types. I've read a lot of lit on them, but want to hear the real story, from real people (or electronic facsimilies thereof). Thanks. john
Both are heat sensitive. You can't put something from the oven directly on it or it will leave a mark. Same goes for hot frying pans and pots.
I know this is common sense to some people, but to the others, a heads up. The solid surface tops(like Corian) can be repaired of scratches and minor scorching by sanding. Engineered stone(Silestone) will not come back from a burn mark. It will cloud the epoxy permanently.
Granite will also mark if scorched or scratched so the use of cooling grills and cutting boards should always be used if you want to protect your investment.
Engineered stone and solid surface tops are also more uniform then granite. A big selling point to the anal retentive.
Ron
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:19 PM   #3
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A big selling point to the anal retentive.
Ron
Ohhhh! Too cold! Thanks for the reply; that is basically what I am hearing everywhere: Use common sense, it ain't titanium steel.
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:46 PM   #4
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Ohhhh! Too cold! Thanks for the reply; that is basically what I am hearing everywhere: Use common sense, it ain't titanium steel.
I did a kitchen for a customer and she picked out a salt and pepper type granite. About 95% of the top was an homogenous design(what you would get with an engineered stone). But there were about 4 or 5 dark mineral inclusions, about the size of a quarter to half dollar size she did not like, so she would cover them with tea bag holders, saucers, and ceramic pieces.
This was a person who would have been happier with an engineered stone.
Personally, I find them boring. I like the drama of a unique granite slab. There are some stones that look like a flowing stream of rock. Oxymoronic, but true.
Ron
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Old 02-06-2011, 03:10 PM   #5
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I installed a Custom Corian vanity in our bathroom. It's really nice.

We liked it so much that we put it in our kitchen too. We compared it to the other synthetic alternatives, but the Corian just feels better. We also liked the way it looked better than the alternatives.

We chose it over natural stone for primarily three reasons -- 1) it's softer, so glasses don't break as easily. 2) it won't etch if you (read "me") leave tomato peels on it overnight. 3) integral sink.

Haven't had any problems not putting hot pans on the counter top, but when it was new my wife put a hot frying pan into the sink, and it got a little wrinkle. She was used to doing that having always had a stainless steel sink previously. It only ever happened once.

It got a scratch once from sliding a cutting board across some sand (garden vegetables). It was easy to buff out using the provided kit. We've had it about 8 years now, and I really like it. We're buying a new house and we'll probably put Corian in it too, but we'll definitely re-assess and consider all the various options. The new house has an undermount sink my wife really likes, so that might change the equation a little.
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Old 02-06-2011, 03:22 PM   #6
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I installed a Custom Corian vanity in our bathroom. It's really nice.

We liked it so much that we put it in our kitchen too. We compared it to the other synthetic alternatives, but the Corian just feels better. We also liked the way it looked better than the alternatives.

We chose it over natural stone for primarily three reasons -- 1) it's softer, so glasses don't break as easily. 2) it won't etch if you (read "me") leave tomato peels on it overnight. 3) integral sink.

Haven't had any problems not putting hot pans on the counter top, but when it was new my wife put a hot frying pan into the sink, and it got a little wrinkle. She was used to doing that having always had a stainless steel sink previously. It only ever happened once.

It got a scratch once from sliding a cutting board across some sand (garden vegetables). It was easy to buff out using the provided kit. We've had it about 8 years now, and I really like it. We're buying a new house and we'll probably put Corian in it too, but we'll definitely re-assess and consider all the various options. The new house has an undermount sink my wife really likes, so that might change the equation a little.
Another caveat with the synthetic material and the integrated sinks is that they are sensitive to having boiled water dumped into them. The last one I put in there was a warning about it. They(Corian paperwork) warned that it could crack if hot water wasn't ran into the sink before you dumped the boiling water into it. I've never seen this happen but I don't have too many customers that have put it in.
Ron
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:36 AM   #7
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There are some stones that look like a flowing stream of rock. Oxymoronic, but true.
Ron
I think it's called lava; common in Hawaii and such places, but seriously hot stuff. Thanks for sharing your experiences, you two. We'll have to give each a good feeling off before we decide.
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:48 PM   #8
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Another caveat with the synthetic material and the integrated sinks is that they are sensitive to having boiled water dumped into them. The last one I put in there was a warning about it. They(Corian paperwork) warned that it could crack if hot water wasn't ran into the sink before you dumped the boiling water into it. I've never seen this happen but I don't have too many customers that have put it in.
Ron
Interesting. I don't recall mine having any warning like that.

I do pour boiling water into it, but if I have much water, I run cold from the tap and pour the boiling water as a stream to mix with the cold.

I do that as much because it's got plastic drain line as anything, but now I have another reason -- It would suck to crack the sink!
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