Corian vs. Quartz vs. Granite: What’s Best for Kitchen & Bath?

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Remodeling your home requires making many decisions that can be overwhelming, particularly when choosing countertops. Choosing the right countertops can turn your bland kitchen into your dream kitchen. Corian, quartz, and granite are great options if you are looking for countertops for your kitchen or bathroom, but which one is the best?

Corian is a good choice for saving money and getting the exact color and design you are looking for. Quartz is a hard and long-lasting material that is easy to clean and maintain. Granite is a good choice for natural heat and damage-resistant material that will last a lifetime. 

This article will be an excellent guide for the homeowner trying to determine the ideal countertops. Continue reading for all you need to know about Corian, quartz, and granite for your kitchen and bathroom countertops. By the end, you will know exactly which countertop is best for your home. 

Corian: A Basic Overview

Corian is an artificial, human-made countertop surface made of acrylic polymers, minerals, and stone-derived materials. It was invented in 1967 by Donald Slocum, a chemist working at DuPont, an American chemical company out of Delaware.

Gluing and clamping a kitchen countertop table top of acrylic stone in workshop

It quickly gained popularity because of its ability to be molded into shapes and textures resembling wood and plastic. DuPont developed Corian as an alternative to laminate and granite, which were either losing popularity or too expensive. 

However, while it quickly grew in popularity in the 1980s and 90s, its reputation fell behind as granite and quartz became the more desirable countertop materials. However, once again, we see Corian’s reputation rise with the increased color, texture, and technology options making each countertop unique. 

Take a glance at the table below. It includes all of the pros and cons of using Corian for your bathroom or kitchen countertops. The following section will elaborate on each of the features you should consider when purchasing countertops.

It is the most affordable option.It is more vulnerable to cracks, cuts, or knicks.
It is incredibly versatile in shape, texture, and pattern.It is not heat resistant and will damage easily if it comes into contact with heat.
You can install it easily without the help of a professional.The resale value is not as high as granite or quartz.
You can include technology that allows for wireless phone charging.It has the potential to be vulnerable to prolonged exposure to chemicals.
You can customize it to include lights.
It is effortless to maintain.

Pros of Corian

You may not have heard of Corian before, as it is one of the less trendy countertops options. However, that does not mean it’s not worth considering. This section explores the many pros of adding Corian countertops to your home. If you are intrigued by customizable and versatile countertop options, it might be right for you. Let’s find out.  

  • It is the most affordable countertop option. Corian will get you the most bang for your buck if you are choosing between these three options. It is slightly cheaper than granite and nearly half the quartz price, starting as low as $40 per square foot. Installation can be more affordable as well.
  • It is exceptionally versatile. Because it is a human-made material, you can make it into any shape or color you want. While color options were limited after initially created, you can choose from hundreds of colors and textures. It can also take on wood and stone aesthetic characteristics, making it an excellent option for homeowners who want many options. Engraving is also an option for Corian.
  • It is suitable for homeowners interested in do-it-yourself projects. They will be able to install it much easier without a professional’s help compared to granite or quartz. You do not have to worry about visible seams with Corian, and it can be cut easily using tools you may already have, like a circular saw. It is also much lighter, making it more accessible without a professional’s help.
  • Homeowners can customize Corian countertops to include cordless phone chargers. This technology is possible because Corian is human-made, giving manufacturers the ability to imbed a transmitter directly into the countertop. You can charge phones, tablets, cameras, or any other device that allows wireless charging.
  • It can be customized to create impressive lighting designs. If you want to create a genuinely memorable kitchen or bathroom, illuminating your countertops would do just that. With unlimited design options, Corian manufacturers can make your vision come to life. This option would be great for an elaborate outdoor kitchen or even a children’s bathroom. The choices are endless.
  • It is extremely easy to maintain. It does not require additional treatments and can be cleaned using soap and water. It is also non-porous, which means it does not absorb liquids when you spill.

Cons of Corian

Every pro has its con. While it is an excellent choice in many respects, Corian has a few drawbacks to consider as well. If you intend on flipping your home for a profit, this may not be the countertop for you. 

  • It is more vulnerable to cracks, cuts, and knicks. Compared to granite and quartz, Corian is a much softer material and more easily damaged. If you are careful with your countertops, this might not be an issue for you. You should always use a cutting board on Corian to avoid knocking it with your knife. Also, take care when cleaning with abrasive materials, such as brillo pads.
  • It is not heat resistant. Unlike its more durable counterparts, Corian countertops will get damaged if you put a hot pan directly on the surface. One reason that it is so versatile is that it can be heated and shaped in any way. However, this also means you have to take caution when you are cooking or baking. You should always use a trivet to protect your countertops from direct heat.
  • Its resale value is not as high as the other options. The resale value might be particularly important to consider if you do not plan to live in the house very long or to flip it. These days, homebuyers are particularly interested in high-end kitchen countertops such as granite.
  • It might change color over time if it experiences prolonged exposure to bleach or other household cleaners. The discoloration is not likely, but it is something to keep in mind. While it is a non-porous surface, it is not resistant to chemicals. Particularly, if you leave the bleach on the surface for a prolonged period of time, it will likely affect your countertops’ appearance.

Is Corian Better for Kitchen or Bath?

You will not be disappointed no matter where you install Corian countertops. However, because it is not as durable or hard as the other two options, it might be a better fit for a bathroom countertop. 

It is also perfect for a bathroom because it will not absorb moisture from the air. Further, new home buyers prefer trendy countertops in the kitchen over the bathroom, so it will not affect the resale value if it is in the bathroom. 

Quartz: A Basic Overview

Quartz was invented in the 1960s by Breton, an Italian company that remains one of the leading suppliers of quartz countertops today.

It quickly became popular in Italy but did not gain popularity in the United States until the early 2000s. However, it has remained one of the most trendy countertops to this day, perhaps because of its durability and ability to mimic natural stones such as granite and marble. 

Quartz countertops blend naturally occurring minerals mixed with resins and polymers to make a large and versatile slab. The addition of inorganic material to the natural stone means that the result is human-made, which comes with many pros and cons. 

Quartz is one of the more popular countertop options and has an excellent resale value, as it is an increasingly sought-after kitchen feature. 

Below, you will find a table with all of the pros and cons of quartz. It will provide a brief overview of what will be discussed in the following sections. Take a quick look. 

Its non-porous surface makes it easy to clean and maintain.The color can be affected by UV light over years of direct exposure.
It is extremely durable and strong.It is difficult to install without visible seams.
It is resistant to stains.It is the most expensive option.
It is more environmentally sustainable.It is not heat resistant.

Pros of Quartz

As a reliable and durable countertop option, there are tons of reasons you might choose quartz for your kitchen or bathroom. This section details all the reasons that quartz would make a great addition to your home. 

  • It is easy to clean and maintain. It is excellent for kitchens and bathrooms because its non-porous surface makes it easy to clean, resistant to mold mildew, and easy to clean up spills. It is low maintenance, which is perhaps one of the main reasons for its popularity compared to granite, which requires annual sealing. Its non-porous surface also means it minimizes bacteria growth.
  • It is extremely durable and strong. Much like granite, you can expect quartz to last a lifetime. While it is not a naturally found material, it has many features that make it desirable, such as dent and chip resistance.
  • It is resistant to stains. Thanks to the resin and polymer additives, the smooth surface means that quartz will not absorb spilled liquids or cleaning solutions. This feature also makes it easy to maintain; simply use soap and warm water to clean it regularly. Stain resistance is a huge reason to opt for this slightly more expensive option.
  • It is environmentally-friendly. While a good portion of the United States’ quartz comes out of Brazil, one of the more popular companies manufactures it right here in the United States. Cambria is one of the leading quartz manufacturers, and for a good reason. They support the local economy, minimize fossil fuels, and recycle the water used during the manufacturing process. Lastly, their products do not affect indoor air quality.

Cons of Quartz

Even quartz has a few drawbacks to consider. As the most costly countertop, maybe this option isn’t for you. Read on to learn all about the cons of quartz. 

  • Its appearance can be affected by sunlight. It is not good to use quartz in an outdoor kitchen or even inside where it might get daily ultraviolet exposure. While this may not be ideal for a sunny kitchen, it is excellent for bathrooms where there is no natural daylight. Over time, the sun slowly changes the appearance of quartz countertops, changing the appearance drastically.
  • It can be challenging to hide the seams. The reality is that you will not be able to find the perfect size and shape quartz slab for your kitchen or bathroom. Seams occur when two pieces are connected to fit perfectly in your home. They are almost unavoidable with quartz, but you can strategically choose your color and pattern to make the seams harder to spot.
  • It is the most expensive option. Like granite and Corian, quartz’s price will vary based on the slab’s size and quality. It is more costly than the other options because of the manufacturing process and the ability to make customizations to fit your preferences. It is also difficult to install yourself, so factor in the cost of installation by a professional.
  • It is not heat resistant. While it is nearly as durable as granite, it does not have the same heat-resistant quality that the more natural stones do. It can be damaged by placing hot pans on the kitchen counter. You should also keep this in mind if you install it in your bathroom, as it could potentially get damaged from hair curlers or similar tools that require the use of heat.

Is Quartz Better for Kitchen or Bath?

Besides its higher price tag, quartz is truly an excellent option for either the kitchen or the bathroom. It is easy to maintain, which we all want out of our kitchen countertops. 

It also won’t absorb moisture from showers, making it an excellent choice for the bathroom. However, with its biggest drawback being its sensitivity to natural daylight, it might not be the right fit if your kitchen gets a lot of direct sunlight.

Granite: A Basic Overview

If you have watched even one episode of House Hunters, you know that granite countertops are all the rage right now, and they have been for decades. Granite has been a sought-after countertop since the 1920s when it was predominantly used in more affluent family homes.

However, it became more mainstream in the 1970s as more homeowners began selecting it as their countertop of choice. Granite appeals to homeowners who want a unique look in their home because no two slabs of granite are the same. 

Granite popularity spiked in the early 2000s, around the same time quartz gained popularity. While granite was considered a more luxury material in the early 1900s, Brazil started getting really into granite about twenty years ago. 

Today, most of the United States’ granite still comes from Brazillian manufacturers. It also became much easier to ship internationally, and computerized cutting systems have made it easier to work with. 

Granite is the only natural material on this list, as it is mined from quarries all over the world. It is developed naturally below the Earth’s surface out of quartz, feldspar, and other organic materials. 

The following section will discuss all of the pros and cons of choosing this natural rock for your kitchen or bathroom countertops. Before you continue, check out the table below for a glance at all you need to know about granite countertops. 

It will last a lifetime if cared for properly.It has to be cleaned regularly.
It is the most moderately priced option.You must seal the surface regularly to prevent damage.
It is extremely hard and resistant to heat, dents, and cracks.It can stain more quickly due to the porous surface.
It improves the resale value of your home.Seams can be visible even with professional installation.
Repairs are difficult.

Pros of Granite

As one of the most sought-after countertops, everyone knows granite has a lot going for it. This section will discuss a few reasons everyone has been opting for granite countertops for decades. 

  • It will last a lifetime. This reason alone might be enough to sway you in favor of granite. You will never see granite peel, crack, or dent as long as you live in that home. As long as granite countertops are cleaned and maintained regularly, you will get your money’s worth out of the investment.
  • It is moderately priced. Compared to Corian and quartz, granite falls somewhere in between. Although a bit more expensive than Corian, it is a worthy investment, especially given its resale value. You can expect a slab of granite to cost between $40-150 per square foot, not including installation. Keep in mind that most homeowners cannot install granite without a professional’s help.
  • It is tough and durable. Many people like granite because of its ability to withstand heat, dents, and cracks. You can cut your vegetables directly on your countertops without worrying about leaving any marks. You can also place pans right out of the oven onto your countertops, and they will not get damaged at all. Granite’s natural hardness is what makes it so long-lasing.
  • It improves the resale value of your home. As one of the most timeless and sought-after countertops, your home will be a hot commodity when it comes time to sell. The resale value alone will make it worth the investment if you intend on selling within a few years.

Cons of Granite

Granite’s reputation speaks for itself as one of the most popular countertop options for several decades. However, have you considered all of the drawbacks that come with this popular option? This section explores a few lesser-known features of granite that you should consider. 

  • It requires regular cleaning. Because it is a natural stone, granite has a porous surface, making it absorbent, which requires it to be sealed regularly. To maintain granite in its best possible shape, you should clean it daily with soap and water and weekly with a granite-specific, pH-neutral cleaning solution. Avoid using bleach, vinegar, or ammonia, as they will ruin your countertops.
  • It must be sealed every six months. One of the most significant drawbacks of granite is the requirement of biannual maintenance. Granite countertop homeowners must apply a sealant to their counters to prevent germs and bacteria from growing inside the porous surface. The sealant works by filling the tiny pores and cracks that are invisible to your naked eye. You may be able to find a sealant that lasts longer than six months.
  • It can stain easily. Because of its porous surface, granite will absorb any liquid that is spilled. For example, if your child spills purple grape juice, the rock will soak up a little bit of the liquid and result in a purple stain. However, you can rest assured that it will likely not be an issue if you can keep up with the regular maintenance, as sealing prevents that absorbent quality.
  • Seams are almost always visible to the naked eye. Similar to quartz, granite will likely not come in the exact size and shape you need. Therefore, manufacturers will have to cut it and place two pieces together using a seal. The seam is where the two parts are connected, which some homeowners might view as an eyesore. Even experienced countertop installers struggle to hide the seams in granite.
  • It has a more significant environmental impact. Because granite gets mined from quarries in China, Brazil, and Italy, it must get shipped to the United States, which requires a lot of fossil fuel to get it from the quarry to your home.
  • It is tough to repair. All of the reasons we love granite—its hardness, unique features, and durability—make it extremely difficult to fix. While it is unlikely to break or chip, it is not indestructible. If you find yourself with broken granite, it can be challenging and costly to fix because each slab of granite is unique. Cracks have to be filled in with resin, which creates visible eyesores on your counters.

Is Granite Better for Kitchen or Bath?

Due to its porous surface, granite might be a better choice for the kitchen. You would not want your bathroom countertops absorbing moisture from the shower and potentially growing mildew. 

Its durability and high resale value also make it an attractive choice for the kitchen. Lastly, based on its history, granite is most likely to remain a timeless choice for countertops. 

Which One Should You Choose?

As with most things in life, your decision will come down to personal taste. When choosing which countertops are the right fit for your home, there are a few questions you should ask yourself. 

You should choose Corian to spend a little less money and have a few more options. As the most affordable option, including ease of installation, it might be the best choice. 

It also has hundreds of options in terms of color, texture, shape, and customizations, such as embedded wireless chargers and the ability to illuminate the countertop. Corian is an overall great choice for countertops, especially for your first remodel or first home purchase. 

Quartz has many of the benefits of the other two options; it is easy to clean and maintain like Corian, and it has the hardness and durability of granite. 

It might be right for you if you don’t mind spending a little extra money, as it is the most expensive option. However, keep in mind that it does not do well in direct sunlight, so if you have many windows in your kitchen, it might get damaged over time. 

Granite is the best choice for homeowners who want the most natural look in their kitchen or bathroom, as it is the only naturally occurring stone on this list. 

If you’re going to cut vegetables and place hot pans directly on the surface, this granite is for you, as it is incredibly durable. If you go this route, keep in mind that it requires regular maintenance because it has a porous surface that can absorb liquids and cleaners. 

Final Thoughts

As promised, this article contained everything you need to know about these countertop materials. Now, it is up to you to decide which one best suits you and your family’s needs and preferences. Choosing the right countertops is a matter of personal taste, so don’t be persuaded into something you don’t like. 

Corian, quartz, and granite all have their pros and cons. Your decision will ultimately depend on what features are most important to you. Perhaps, in the end, you will maximize your benefits by choosing one material for your kitchen and a different one for your bathroom.

Continue to learn more about kitchen countertops!

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