The A - Z of Kitchens
Corian "Solid Surface" Worktops - how much, what are they and are they a good idea?
Corian is a brand in the same way 'Hoover' is and is often used to describe the generic surface type - which is technically known as "Solid Surface". There are many other suppliers of Solid Surface worktops besides Corian including LG Hi-MACS, Samsung, Staron, Capsule and a few others.
Solid Surface worktops have been around for decades now, but many people aren't sure what they actually are. Their popularity has continued to increase over the years, and most people have heard of "Corian".
We are certified Corian fabricators ourselves but we also promote Capsule - which is a local company to Cheltenham that make and mould their own Solid Surface. As far as we know Capsule is the only company in the country that manufactures their own solid surface in the UK. We have supplied Capsule for 10 years and it remains a really popular solution.
All solid surfaces share some similar characteristics including being 100% waterproof, and are able to be moulded, shaped and formed into almost any shape imaginable which allows designers to be free with their creativity.
Because of the way solid surface is made it gives a finish without joins which is both visually great but also incredibly hygienic - that's why it is often used in healthcare installations. You can also have moulded in sinks which complete the look.
Solid surface feels warmer to the touch than Quartz or Granite, and feels a little less unforgiving too which is appealing to some.
As solid surface is 100% waterproof it is very resistant to staining, and in the unlikely event that you do damage it the worktop can easily be repaired and normally virtually invisibly. Different makes of solid surface do have different properties and some offer more resistance to scratching than others.
In general the darker colours show up wear and tear marks more than light so we don't recommend going for really dark colours.
All solid surface manufacturers recommend that a moulded in sink isn't used with a 'Kettle Tap' - unless like Corian and Capsule a stainless steel base is inserted at the bottom of the sink.
Solid Surface is also equally at home in the bathroom, and many products are so tough they are used externally for cladding buildings!
There are other 'solid surface' products which are actually chipboard worktops covered with a 3mm or 5mm solid surface coating which at first look keeps the price down. However we have found that unless it is a single straight run these normally cost about the same as a 'proper' solid worktop like Capsule and aren't as good. They also rely on the fitter doing an excellent job (and no-one ever sitting on the worktop) because if you have to join the worktops you run the risk of an imperfect joint not being watertight which can allow the chipboard to 'blow'.
How much does it cost?
Pricing can vary wildly between retailers. Corian is expected to be expensive, however it doesn't have to be. Actually we find it isn't too much more. A solid surface worktop is usually a similar cost to Quartz and a little more than granite.
If you want to know any more please just get in touch!