Are you thinking about renovating your kitchen? Doing research on countertop materials? If so, then our Countertop Spotlight series will help you. Today we look at synthetic or manufactured solid surface countertops (Corian, etc):
Material: Synthetic Solid Surface
Origin: Synthetic or manufactured solid surface countertops are made of man-made materials, most often acrylic, but also polyester resins, marble dust, and other pigments.
Environmental Impact: High. Made primarily from non-renewable resources like petrochemicals and aluminum trihydrate (ATH); production and manufacturing is very energy-intensive, and the material is not recyclable.
Pros: Non-porous, so it's stain-, mildew-, and germ-resistant; strong and self-supporting, needs no plywood underlayment; easy to buff out scratches; can be installed seamless and made to imitate other high-end materials like marble and granite.
Cons: Vulnerable to heat, dents, and scratches; relatively expensive.
Installation: Professional installation recommended, as these countertops are very heavy and expensive. Higher-priced solid surface may include the price of installation.
Price range: $50-$200 per foot.
Kitchn Reader Reviews:
Another vote for Corian. It requires zero maintenance, can be seamlessly repaired if ever chipped, etc, and as mentioned comes in any color or pattern you could want. The home center might not have all samples to show you, so dig a little. I chose one that is a beautiful matte white with a slight marbling effect (not trying to be a convincing faux). It is called Venaro White. - Amyrl
Do not much care for the feel of Corian, and it did stain... I prefer things that age gracefully (like soapstone) to things that don't (Corian, granite, other manufactured surfaces)... - mschaitelaine
My aunt recently redid part of her kitchen and got Corian counters with an integrated sink -- all one piece with the counters, so absolutely no gaps or leaks or places to collect grunge, and it cleans easily and is quieter than other surfaces. She loves it. - bibliovore
Readers, what's your experience with solid surface countertops like Corian?
(Images: Abby Stone)