Corian worktops are the ideal choice for those looking to combine a unique and stylish look with a host of practical benefits, from long-lasting durability to ease of cleaning.
‘Space age’ material Corian has a long, proven track record, and is trusted in a wide range of different applications because of the properties it offers, as well as its versatility.
Corian excels where granite or quartz worktops fall short, and deserves serious consideration as the ideal material for kitchen surfaces.
What is Corian?
Corian is an innovative man-made solid surface material that was created by scientists from DuPont in 1967, and initially went on sale in 1971.
The first of its kind, Corian is manufactured from a mixture of acrylic polymer and minerals, with added colourants.
It can be manufactured to any design, as it is thermoformable – meaning it is flexible when heated, allowing it to be reshaped. Corian can also be carved and sanded, making it highly customisable.
On the practical side of things, its composition gives it unique properties that have found a large number of uses since its invention.
Originally made in just one shade, it is available today in over 100 different colours and patterns. It is also made in sheets of several different thickness levels, without any compromise on strength and durability at the thinner end.
Since its inception, Corian has undergone a number of improvements, such as the development of “Deep Colour” technology in 2014. This version features not only bolder colours, but also greater resistance to damage.
The Many Uses of Corian
So what is Corian used for? Although originally created for use in kitchens and bathrooms, today Corian’s useful characteristics have helped it to find a wide variety of uses both in the home and in public spaces.
For example, its toughness and its clean appearance have seen it used on building exteriors, for a chic, modern look that offers new design possibilities.
Because it is easy to keep clean and free of bacteria, Corian is used in hospitals, laboratories, and other places where keeping a high standard of hygiene is an essential concern.
You will also find it in the fittings of shops, hotels and bars, and it has even been used to build quirky furniture and lighting.
Looking to the future, you might increasingly see Corian in high-tech applications with embedded touch-sensitive controls, LED lighting displays or audio-visual systems.
Combined with its other properties, this adaptability and forward-thinking will likely help Corian become even more widely used.
How are Corian Worktops Made?
I order to create Corian kitchen worktops, the installer will first make a template, including details like dimensions, any required openings for fittings or appliances, and other necessary adaptations.
Corian is usually manufactured in sheets, which are then cut to the specifications of the template and are usually fixed to a plywood base.
In smaller kitchens with a more simple design, this may be done from a single piece. If multiple pieces of Corian are used, for example in creating a corner, these will be joined on-site during installation.
Corian has a uniform appearance throughout, with no outer finish. Because of this, the joins can be sanded down to appear completely seamless, creating the illusion that the whole worktop was made from one sheet.
As well as worktops, Corian sinks, splashbacks and other fittings are available that can be combined seamlessly with the surfaces for interesting possibilities.
Advantages of Corian Worktops
The characteristics of Corian give it a number of advantages over other materials.
One of the most appealing benefits to solid surface worktops is the large array of colours on offer. From true, bright white, to bold colours and metallics, to dark charcoals, there is sure to be something to complement any kitchen design. Combined with the seamless finish, Corian worktops offer a look that is not possible with quartz or granite.
If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, Corian is even available in varieties that are patterned to look like natural stone, without losing the uniformity that’s one of its key features – the pattern shows throughout.
Corian works well in kitchens because it is non-porous, making it stain-resistant and easy to keep clean and hygienic. This also gives it bacterial resistance by inhibiting their growth.
It is tough and hard-wearing, and can always be easily repaired, by sanding, to look as good as new if it does get scratched or otherwise damaged. Granite or quartz can also be damaged without proper care, but are far more difficult and costly to repair, and may need a specialist.
Additionally, granite is a porous material that can absorb liquids and be left stained by certain substances if it has not been properly treated.
The long-lasting appeal of Corian as a kitchen worktop material, as well as its many imitators, are down to the fact that it combines near-endless design possibilities with the ideal practical characteristics for kitchen use.
Granite is a natural stone, and may come with imperfections; colour choices are also extremely limited.
While quartz is man-made, and therefore more colours are available, there is nowhere near the variety of Corian. Quartz can also become discoloured over time, showing its age and losing its style, needing replacement.
Corian worktops can be installed to fit any design from a classy, traditional look to a bright, clean ultra-modern setting.
The durability and ease-of-cleaning of solid surface worktops offer peace of mind that they will last to be enjoyed for many years and can be kept looking brand new with little to no maintenance.
Corian has been with us since the 60s, and it’s easy to see why this versatile material is still a great choice for the modern kitchen, and the perfect partner for any design.