How to cut corian countertops

Corian and other solid-surface counters vary slightly in proprietary manufacturing recipes, but most consist of plasticised resins, crushed minerals and chemical binding agents. Like wood, Corian and solid surface materials have their pattern and colour consistent through the depth of the product.

For comparison, Corian has a similar consistency and cutting style akin to hard MDF. Cutting Corian cleanly is a slower process than MDF but can typically be completed in one pass. It also takes to sanding very well and can be power-buffed to a gloss finish.

Preparation and Tools

The two key tools you need to make your cuts are a router and a trim saw fitted with carbide-tipped blades. Carbide tips will give you the best cut with the cleanest finish and cannot be substituted. Cutting through Corian isn't difficult, but it is much messier than working in wood since the resin particles tend to float freely and stick to everything as if they are magnetised. If cuts and routing can be done outdoors, you should do so. If you must work indoors, tape-seal and tent the work area and think about renting an air cleaner to extract the dust from the air. Obviously, wearing a micro-filtration particle mask is a must, and eye goggles may help, particularly if working indoors.

Cutting and Finishing

Start your cuts by laying the first sheet of Corian down, fitting it up against the wall. Mark a cutting line on one end for trimming by laying down a strip of masking tape and marking the cut line onto the tape. This will make for a more perfect cut. Make your cut with the saw and refit in place.

To make sink or range top cutouts, affix the cutout template that comes with the unit to the countertop section so the template is aligned on centre with the unit location. Use a router fitted with a straight carbide bit to cut through the material along the template lines. For a counter-mounted faucet, sprayer and/or soap dispensers, use a drill fitted with an appropriately sized hole saw to create them after you make your sink cutout.