Choosing a countertop material is a daunting process. Corian, granite and quartz are all preferred countertop materials. Comparing the three types of materials will help decide which surface works best for your needs. Take into consideration the amount of use the countertops will get, where they will be placed and the colours and patterns you want to incorporate into the space.
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Corian is a manufactured solid surface countertop material produced by DuPont. It is made of a blend of minerals and acrylics and manufactured in solid sheets that can be cut to almost any shape. The countertops come in many different colours, including solid and patterned options.
One benefit of Corian countertops is the ability to have a sink be part of the countertop. This means there will be no need for an under or over mount sink. Corian, though a softer material than quartz or granite can be buffed if it becomes scratched.
Some drawbacks of Corian are that hot pans cannot be placed onto the countertop. You should also not cut any food on the countertop without using a cutting board to prevent scratches. Though the countertops are durable, a dent in the counter may need to be professionally repaired. Prolonged use of harsh chemicals will result in the discolouration of the Corian.
Granite is a natural stone. The countertop comes in several colours and has unique characteristics specific to where the stone has come from. Granite is comprised of several different minerals including feldspar, quartz and mica.
Benefits of granite are its hardness, durability and beauty. Granite is one of the hardest stone materials available. The granite in your home is unlikely to break or crack under normal use. You can place hot pans onto the granite and it is very hard to scratch or mar. Granite is considered a high-end building material due to its three-dimensional appearance.
Disadvantages to granite are the variation in size and difficult instillation. Granite is drilled and blasted at a quarry. Depending on the quarry, the size can vary greatly and is usually no more than 10 feet in length. This will mean your countertop will not be one solid piece, resulting in seams. Granite is a very heavy material, proper instillation is imperative to protecting your countertops. The countertop may break if it is not supported properly. Granite must be resealed every three years to prevent oils and stains from penetrating the stone.
Quartz is an engineered countertop material. Manufactures take quartz clusters and combine them with bonding agents to create the solid surface countertop.
A quartz countertop is the hardest of the three materials and is the most durable.
Quartz is not easily stained with the use of chemicals or oils. Quartz is also uniform in colour unlike granite making the matching of slabs easy.
Quartz is heavier than granite and installation can be difficult.
All three countertop surfaces can be damaged by the use of harsh chemicals. If you prefer a shine on your countertop, products are available to produce those results with a spray-on, wipe-off application. All three countertops can be cleaned using a mild detergent and sponge.
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