If you’re looking for the best kitchen countertops, Corian and Granite are two of the most common countertop material options you will come across.
While Corian (aka “solid surface”) is an engineered surface, granite is a natural stone. Despite their vastly different origins, both Corian and Granite countertops have many advantages to consider.
But which is cheaper and lower maintenance?
Here we’re going to look at Corian vs Granite countertops, weighing up their pros and cons to discover the best countertop material for your kitchen needs.
Let’s get to it!
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Granite vs Corian® Solid Surface Countertop Comparison Chart
What is Corian®?
Okay, we have to clear up the difference between a Corian countertop and a solid surface countertop before anything else.
- A solid surface countertop is the generic name for this type of countertop surface.
- A corian countertop is the brand name for a specific type of solid surface created by a kitchen company called DuPont in the 1960s
Although Corian is a specific brand of solid surface, you’ll often hear the two terms used interchangeably, so just beware that not all “Corian” counters might be the official DuPont Corian – they might just be a solid surface countertops made by another company.
Names aside, Corian for countertops is created using a mixture of quartz dust, polymers, resins and pigments that hold it all together. These man made Corian countertops can come in various colors and patterns depending on what you’re looking for.
You can also get “Granite Corian” which is designed to look like granite or quartz. This Granite Corian is perfect if you like the look of granite or quartz countertops but prefer the characteristics of solid surface.
One of the most unique aspects of Corian countertops is that you can mold them into a wide variety of shapes that are simply not practical for natural stones like granite. Corian can be molded into flexible curves, twirls, and vertical shapes, making it ideal for ultra-modern kitchen designs.
What is Granite?
Granite is a natural stone that has been used for kitchen counters for decades at this point. As a natural stone surface, it is manually removed from quarries where this inert rock has been sitting in the earth for millions of years.
This shouldn’t be confused with materials like quartz, which are man made “engineered stones”.
Once the granite is removed from the quarry, it is then cut to size and polished to perfection before being installed in your kitchen. A special team of stone fabricators is responsible for creating your granite countertop according to your kitchen’s specifications.
Because it’s a natural rock, granite comes in unique natural colors and patterns – you cannot specify exactly what you want. Of course, you can request certain natural colors and styles of this natural stone, but each granite slab is unique and can’t be altered.
There are many different types of granite available, ranging from relatively cheap to very expensive. The rarer your type of granite is, the higher the cost you can expect to pay.
Corian vs Granite Counters – Pros and Cons
When it comes to Corian vs Granite, there are many reasons that you might buy either of these countertop materials over something like quartz countertops or marble countertops.
Here are the pros and cons of each of these kitchen countertop materials.
Corian (Solid Surface)
- Customizable colors and styles
- Flexible curves possible for modern designs
- Non-porous and antimicrobial
- Consistent and seamless
- Can be made to resemble granite, quartz etc.
- Pretty low maintenance
- Average cost ($40 to $100 per sq ft)
- SCORCHES EASILY
- CAN SCRATCH
- LESS VALUABLE
The main selling point of Corian is how versatile it is. You can get exactly the kind of shape, color, and pattern you want for your kitchen countertops, especially if you’re going for an ultra-modern design with built-in sinks, fruit bowls, backsplashes, and other cool features than can be molded into the design.
However, despite being made with quartz dust, Corian isn’t the most durable material for the kitchen. This quartz-based man made material can scratch quite easily and doesn’t do well with hot pots and pans, so it’s not great if you use your kitchen very often or use a lot of hot pots and pans.
- Naturally unique colors and patterns
- Very strong inert stone
- Polished glossy finish
- Very heat resistant (up to 1200°F)
- Scratch resistant
- Mold and mildew resistant
- Good for the home’s resale value
- SEALING REQUIRED
- CAN HAVE SEAMS IN LARGER KITCHENS
- LIMITED TO NATURAL COLORS/PATTERNS
When it comes to granite countertops, the main selling point is definitely how strong and durable it is. This stone has been sat in a quarry for millions of years before it reaches your countertop – it’s incredibly strong and resilient no matter what you throw at it. It can also handle very hot temperatures, so it’s great with hot pots and pans.
Nonetheless, the downside of a granite countertop surface is the maintenance. Unlike engineered stones like quartz, these countertop surfaces require regular sealing because they are naturally a little bit porous and prone to staining. Granite may also cost slightly more than solid surfaces if you’re going for higher-end versions.
Free Countertop Chart
We Compared Marble, Granite, Laminate, Solid Surface and Quartz Countertops!
How Corian and Granite Compare
Here we’re going to highlight some of the main features of Corian and Granite surfaces to see how the two stones compare.
If you want a surface that’s heat resistant, you can’t do much better than granite. Granite can handle temperatures of up to 1200°F (648°C), which is hotter than you’d probably ever be able to get it in a normal kitchen anyway. On the other hand, Corian countertops can only handle temperatures of 212°F (100°C).
For reference, hot frying pans can reach temperatures of 700-900 degrees, while baking trays can reach up to around 500 degrees.
If you put a hot baking tray or pan straight onto Corian, you’re going to scorch and damage it. If you put a baking tray or hot pan straight onto granite, it’s going to be absolutely fine.
If you do a lot of cutting and chopping when prepping your meals, it makes sense you’d want a surface that doesn’t scratch easy. This is another case where granite is the clear winner.
Granite is an inert stone that’s survived for millions of years – you’re going to struggle to scratch it significantly.
On the other hand, Corian is an artificial material created from quartz dust and resins, so it’s a bit easier to scratch. However, many of Corian’s scratches can be buffed out easily.
On the whole, granite is simply more durable!
If you’re looking for a stain resistant surface, then Corian is the better option for you. Corian is manufactured to be non-porous, so it doesn’t have tiny pores that allow spilled liquids to get inside it.
On the other hand, granite has natural pores that can allow spills inside and cause staining if you’re not careful. To get around this, you need to regularly “seal” it once every 1-5 years depending on how much you use it. Sealing is when a special liquid is soaked into the stone, essentially “filling in” granite’s pores to increase stain resistance.
You can make granite resistant to stains, but it requires maintenance.
On the other hand, Corian is already stain resistant without you needing to do anything extra, so it’s low-maintenance in terms of staining.
Each countertop material have very different designs in terms of aesthetics. See countertop gallery here for inspiration.
Corian usually has a matte finish and can be made in many different colors and patterns, including imitations of engineered stone like quartz. It can also be molded into custom curves, swirls, and vertical structures, allowing you to integrate certain kitchen appliances like fruit bowls and sinks into your corian countertop design.
Corian is usually better for ultra-modern kitchens, though it can be used in all kitchen types.
On the other hand, granite is a natural stone, so you can only get so many colors and styles. However, many people love the natural veining and specs of color dotted through these granite surfaces. You can find granite countertops in both classic and modern kitchen designs, so it’s a great timeless choice.
However, granite will usually have seams in larger kitchens and you can’t turn it into fancy shapes like you can with Corian.
Corian and granite have fairly similar price points. You can expect to pay around:
- $40 – $100 per square foot for Corian
- $50 – $100 per square foot for Granite
However, if you go for rare high-end granite, you could easily pay $200 – $300 per sq ft for the granite.
For most homeowners looking in the entry-level and mid-range price points, the cost between these two materials shouldn’t be much of a deciding factor.
Which is Better?
Everyone’s kitchen needs are different, but here are my personalized recommendations:
- If you want a custom-designed countertop that resists stains, go for Corian
- If you want a timeless countertop that’s very scratch and heat resistant, go for Granite
Hopefully we’ve helped you to choose the best surface material for your cooking needs.