A Comparison of Silestone and Corian for Kitchen Countertops
Many people use the names Silestone and Corian interchangeably, as if they are one and the same, or at least two brands for a type of product. However, they are not. Corian developed by DuPont is the first of the solid surfaces to come out in the market back in the 1960s, and the most recognized brand of it type. Silestone by Cosentino, on the other hand, came out in the market in 1990. It is not the first engineered quartz stone to come out in the market, but it is also the most recognized brand of its type.
There are other important differences between these two popular surfaces. Here is a comparison of Silestone and Corian for kitchen countertops.
Both Silestone and Corian are brands of aggregate stone, meaning they are engineered or manmade products composed of several materials. This is often a sticking point for homeowners that prefer natural stones for their countertops.
Between the two, however, one could argue that Silestone is more “natural” than Corian because of the composition. Silestone has about 94% of crushed quartz in its composition, with the remaining 6% made up of binding resins and coloring agents. Quartz is a natural mineral, and one of the hardest in the world according to the Mohs scale.
Corian, on the other hand, contains only about 66% of natural minerals, mostly bauxite, from which aluminum comes. The rest of the mix is acrylic resin, a plastic product called polymethyl methacrylate, and pigments. This means that Silestone is about 28% more natural than Corian.
The composition of the two products largely dictates their durability. Silestone is tough and very hard to cut even with special equipment. Corian is relatively soft and may be cut with non-industrial grade rotary saws. As a result, Corian is much easier to cut and scratch than Silestone, mostly because of its composition.
Engineered stone products are usually non-porous, so they are mostly resistant to stains. Of course, no material is stain-proof, although both Silestone and Corian do a great job of resisting Class I reagents, which include:
- Cooking oil
- Tomato sauce
However, Corian is not proof against Class II reagents, which include paint removers ad drain cleaners. Silestone puts up more resistance to these stronger reagents ad acids, although it is not a good idea to put that to the test.
Silestone and Corian are non-porous, so that is already a good step in the right direction when it comes to preventing bacterial and mold growth on countertops. Aside from that, Corian has a special coating that inhibits the proliferation of harmful microbes as part of it standard features. Silestone has a similar feature using a bacteriostatic formulation using silver ions as stated on its website.
Most engineered products come with some type of manufacturer warranty, and Corian and Silestone are no exception. DuPont offers a 10-year limited warranty for its Corian products, while Cosentino gives their Silestone slabs a 25-year limited warranty.
You should know that the length of the warranty is not as important as the limitations and restrictions of coverage. For example, both Corian and Siletone come with transferable warranties, but not all engineered stones have that. Read the fine print thoroughly to understand the terms and conditions.
As engineered products, both DuPont and Cosentino are constantly improving their offerings. There regularly come up with new colors and designs for their product lines, so you are quite likely to find one in either type of stone product to suit your needs.
Currently, Silestone is available in more than 90 colors in four styles, three finishes, and up to 6 edge treatments. Corian has 120 colors, three finishes, several textures, shapes, and edge treatments.
In appearance, Corian (as with most solid surfaces) tends to have a milky rather than shiny appearance. Some people have identified it as closer in appearance to soapstone than granite, and it does appeal to people with no love of bright and shiny surfaces. Corian lacks the depth of natural stone, although it can come in the right colors and designs to mimic marble and granite.
Silestone, on the other hand, can take a high polish if necessary, although some variants do come in matte and other finishes. Many of the models also have better success at achieving the depth of natural stones. They are not perfect replicas, but good enough to pass scrutiny from all but experts.
One of the biggest issues homeowners have with granite countertops is the rumor that it emits radon gas. While this is technically correct, the levels of toxicity have been highly exaggerated. Additionally, higher levels of radon gas emissions have been observed in soil, groundwater, and other natural things. In fact, because Silestone has high percentages of natural quartz, miniscule levels of radon gas might be detected, although not enough to be harmful. Radon gas emissions have not ever been detected from Corian products. Make of that what you will.
Saying that Corian and Silestone are the same is like saying granite and marble are the same. They share one or two things in common, but they are very different in essential ways. When it comes to choosing between Corian and Silestone for kitchen countertops, the differences can go a long way towards swaying you one way or another. Generally, Silestone is a better choice to Corian, just as most engineered quartz stones are better than solid surfaces.
If you need help with choosing and installing quartz countertops, consult with a reliable countertop specialist that is also an authorized distributor of engineered quartz stones. KNC Granite is a local company that distributes and sells engineered quartz stone from the top brands in the industry. These include Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI, all of which come with manufacturer warranties.
We also have a large collection of natural stones. You can check actual granite and marble slabs in our showroom in Lanham, Maryland.
We deal directly with stone manufacturers and fabricators, so we can give you the best prices possible. In fact, we have a best price guarantee. Additionally, you only pay for what you use, so it does not matter how big or small your project is; you will not be forced to buy a whole slab.
We do not only supply top-quality stones, however. We are experts at fabricating and installing kitchen counters or bathroom vanities. Also we specialize in kitchen remodeling and bathroom upgrade projects, delivering on time and on budget.
Give us a call or email us for your free in-home consultation and quote!