Corian is a popular solid worktop surface used in kitchens. With extra attention to care, these worktops can last for a long time.
However, corian worktops come with cons that consumers may wish to consider before installing one.
The disadvantages of corian worktops are that they are easily damaged by heat and prone to scratches. Corian can stain with extended exposure to things such as bleach, tomato sauce, and UV rays. Installation errors and costs can lead to expensive repairs and overall expenditures. Corian comes with a limited warranty and is made with plastic which makes it not as valuable as other worktop options.
Read on to learn more about the downfalls of having a corian worktop to help you decide if this option is right for your home.
11 Disadvantages Of Corian Worktops
Corian was introduced in 1967 as a lower-cost option compared to granite or marble.
Raw materials such as acrylic polymers, polyester resins, and more are mixed and poured into moulds to make desired colours and patterns into hardened shapes.
This process creates less overall waste while giving consumers exactly what they want. The result is a product that resembles a worktop appearing like a mixture of laminate and granite.
The variety of options along with cost-effectiveness for using corian as worktops is advantageous for homeowners.
However, the disadvantages are worth considering to determine if this material is right for your home or a remodel.
Read on to learn more about these cons.
1. Easily Damaged By Heat
The materials that make up corian worktops are susceptible to heat. Therefore, unlike other worktops such as those made from stainless steel or granite, corian will sustain heat damage.
The worktop can melt or appear scorched.
Additionally, if there is any grit on the underside of a hot pan, it can create a thermal shock to the material, making the surface crack.
Worktop appliances such as toaster ovens or air fryers can generate enough heat to damage corian countertops as well. Even spoilt boiling water can damage a corian surface.
Inferior heat resistance is a downside to corian worktops. However, this kind of damage is repairable and worktops can be resurfaced, if necessary.
It is better to avoid heat damage altogether by using heat-resistant mats or trivets underneath pots and pans.
Take care not to pour boiling hot liquids over a worktop, and this includes any attached moulded corian sinks.
2. Prone To Scratches And Dents
Granite and stone worktops can withstand knife cuts, but corian ones cannot.
Corian is a softer material and is prone to scratches with sharp objects or chips and dents if something heavy falls upon it. Scratches on darker-coloured corian are more readily visible as well.
Corian worktop material appears consistently the same throughout the depth, making it easier to repair than other worktops.
Dents and scratches can be repaired with some labour-intensive work. This may include buffing them out with sandpaper and then refilling the area with clear or colour-matched epoxy.
If a scratch or dent is particularly deep, there is a risk that a visible depression could remain.
If the repair is professionally done, this can be costly depending upon the amount of damage.
To avoid damage, always use a cutting board and do not slide objects across the surface. Take care not to drop anything heavy onto the worktop.
3. Susceptible To Discoloration From Cleaners
Corian worktops can become discoloured after using cleaners.
A dull, filmy appearance can build up over time on the surface. Darker corian worktops will more readily show discolouration, needing more attention to their care.
Diluted bleach can also be used on corian worktops. However, if used regularly, the colour may fade over time.
If window cleaner is used on corian worktops it will leave a film residue behind.
Cleaners that are pH neutral are best, much like the ones used for granite or other natural stone worktops.
Abrasive cleaners and scouring pads can be used as long as they do not cut the surface.
Soapy water or ammonia-based cleaners are ideal for cleaning corian worktops. While a cooker hood helps pull moisture away, any spills or damp surfaces should be cleaned up immediately.
The worktop then must be rinsed clean with clear water. Buff the worktop dry to prevent a filmy appearance that can make it look blotchy and uneven.
Even with care, as the worktop ages, it will develop a patina, changing its overall appearance.
4. Some Items Can Stain It
While corian countertops are resistant to staining and non-porous, this is only true depending upon what has spilt.
Things like bleach or tomato sauce will leave stains if left sitting on a corian countertop. These types of spills should be cleaned up immediately.
Use soap and water to remove any residual oils or liquids. Buff dry.
5. Susceptible To UV Damage
Ultraviolet (UV) rays can also yellow or discolour corian. Outdoor installations are not recommended for this material.
UV rays from the sun can also enter through a home’s windows, causing discolouration as it shines on concentrated areas.
6. Faux Appearance
Acrylic is a transparent plastic that bonds well with other materials with heat processes (thermoform).
Since acrylic is used in the composition of corian, it can appear fake and cheap-looking, like inauthentic stone.
Homeowners may not like the look of a worktop that has a plastic component in it.
7. Limited Warranty
Corian has a limited 10-year warranty which only covers product defects and not damages from homeowner use.
This warranty will not cover stains, discolouration, scratches, damage or cracks from heat, and normal wear and tear.
This leaves the majority of issues with corian up to the homeowner to pay for repairs.
8. Shorter Longevity
Even though corian comes with a limited warranty, if well cared for it can last up to 30 years. Conversely, other worktops that are harder, such as granite, can last up to 50 years or more.
Corian is generally used in homes instead of heavy-use areas such as commercial kitchens.
9. Installation Errors: Warping Or Collapse
The way corian is moulded allows for seamless looks and virtually invisible edges, even when it is installed in pieces.
However, the installation process of corian can lead to damage. Corian must be installed by knowledgeable professionals and individuals.
Corian is thick and durable and does not necessarily need a timber substrate. However, if timber is used, wood should be moisture-resistant, connected with angled metal, with framing timber on the edges.
Corian can expand and contract with exposure to heat. This heat can form humidity that moves or traps heat, or pressure on other materials, causing the wood to potentially fail to support the worktop.
Additionally, support structures under a worktop should offer level and rigid support. If not, then the worktop could warp or collapse.
10. Hidden Product And Installation Costs
Corian was originally invented to offer a lower overall cost, ranging from £400 to £600 per square metre today. Additionally, installation costs will vary depending upon the contractor.
Corian worktops are versatile, offering homeowners options to upgrade the worktop. As a result, the costs go up.
These hidden costs include the following:
- Colour and grain complexity and patterning
- Worktop formulation (percentage of recycled materials, colours and grains, etc.)
- Type of finish: matt, satin, semi-gloss, gloss
- Unique configurations
- Overall size
- Illumination (back-lit worktop)
- Capability to charge devices without plugging them into the wall
- Increased costs for complex installation
As a result, these upgrades increase the overall cost to the consumer.
11. Corian Does Not Add Resale Value
Since corian is not an authentic stone and is made with acrylic, it is considered a cheaper material.
It does not add resale value to a home like granite, quartz, or marble worktop would.
Pros Of Corian Worktops
Consider if the advantages of a corian countertop outweigh the cons listed in this article.
The pros are as follows:
- General stain- and moisture- resistance
- Easy to clean with soap and water
- Numerous colour, feature, and design options
- Nonporous (doesn’t need sealing)
- Costs less than stone worktops
Corian worktops offer homeowners numerous options to customise their kitchens. These various options, along with installation, can lead to higher overall costs.
With proper care and installation, corian is durable and easily maintained. Minor damage can also be easily repaired but is not covered by the manufacturer’s limited warranty.
Other downfalls to having a corian worktop are that they are susceptible to damage from heat and sharp objects. Corian can become discoloured with some liquids and UV light, as well as appear as if it has a film-covered surface when water is left on it.
Corian is made with acrylic (plastic) polymer. Some homeowners find that this does not add to a resale value and offers an inauthentic stone-like appearance.
Overall, homeowners should consider if these disadvantages in installing a corian worktop are undesirable long-term consequences for their kitchen space.