Like many engineered quartz surfaces such as Silestone and Cambria, the Corian(formerly known as Zodiac) quartz surface is all about providing a practical yet aesthetically pleasing alternative to natural stone as a building material. The compound is about 93% quartz and 7% polymer resins and pigments, again much like Silestone and Cambria, but with an important difference: the colors exude the diamond-like radiance of pure quartz unique to the product.
The Corian® quartz surface marries nature and science to produce the best possible product to the fore. It comes in a range of beautiful colors and patterns that closely mimic the look of granite, yet it is more durable because it contains significantly more quartz. Quartz is what makes granite hard and durable, Granite typically has about 20% quartz, compared to the Corian’s 93%. Corian is also GREENGUARD Certified® because the production process caused little harm to the environment. All the components used in Corian quartz surfaces are non-toxic, safe for humans, and otherwise meet the requirements for a safe and useful product.
Corian countertops are strong, because of the quartz, and nonporous because of the polymer resin. They are very difficult to scratch or damage with ordinary use, because pure quartz has a rating of seven on the hardness scale. As Corian quartz surface are almost entirely quartz, the only substances harder than it are diamonds, topaz, and sapphires. Fortunately, quartz is much more common than these three precious stones, so they cost a lot less. Otherwise, only the very rich could afford a Corian countertop. As it is, Corian countertops are available to many homeowners who want something that will not scratch or stain easily from spilled liquids or food.
Because it is non-porous, keeping a Corian countertop clean is much simpler than with other types of countertop materials. It only takes a regular wipe down with a clean, damp cloth and the occasional once-over with mild soap ad warm water will keep the surface in pristine condition. Corian quartz surfaces will never a sealant or wax to preserve the integrity of the surface.
Aside from being a low-emission material, Corian quartz surfaces also promote safety and hygiene. As it is made of non-porous materials, all Corian countertops are designed to inhibit the adherence and growth of bacteria, molds and mildew. This is the reason why it is often used in hospitals.
It should be noted that while Corian countertops are extremely durable and resilient, it is not invulnerable. Extreme heat, heavy weight, unusual stresses, and sudden impact can damage the surface. Prolonged contact with a hot object such as skillet should not be placed directly on the countertop. It is also advisable to use a cutting board instead of the countertop to cut meat or vegetables with a knife, which may damage the table.
Bleach, ink, and permanent markers are alkaline based, and may cause the surface to lose its color and shine. Other chemicals to avoid are strong solvents, furniture strippers, and paint removers. Wash the exposed area with water as soon as possible.
Corian countertops cost about the same as granite per square foot, but there can be some variations in price depending on the thickness, edge style, color, and design as well as requirements for cutouts to accommodate the faucet, sink, and so on. On average, you can expect to pay about $65 per square foot, with a high of about $120 per square foot. To give you an idea of what you may be dealing with, a counter measure 28 square feet with backsplash may run you $2,400, all in. The cost of your installation is a big factor, and may vary greatly from region to region.
Zodiac countertops are ideal for use in any part of the home, including the kitchen, bathroom, wine cellar, or bar. Many commercial establishments also take advantage of its many excellent qualities by using them as reception desks, cafeteria counters, and hospital countertops. As long as it is indoors, the Corian quartz surface is versatile enough to be placed in a wide variety of uses outside of the home. It is not recommended for outdoor use, however, as exposure to direct sunlight will fade the colors, which would be a shame.
That is a difficult question to answer unequivocally. Granite and marble are the go-to materials for a truly epic kitchen redesign, but engineered alternatives such as the Corian quartz surfaces are fast gaining popularity. However, these are not necessarily for the same people.
There are adherents on both sides of the fence. Some maintain that natural stone is the only way to attain elegance and style, and that nothing can compare to the colors and aura of natural stone. The fact that the costs are nearly identical makes it a difficult point to counter. Nevertheless, others maintain that engineered does not mean ugly. Corian countertops mimic the colors and patterns of true granite closely enough to make no difference to all but the most discerning. As a matter of convenience for color coordination, the advantage of an engineered product that can be customized to a custmer’s requirements on demand is undeniable.
Currently, there is still a clear preference for natural stone as the countertop material of choice, mostly because of customer bias rather than any real difference in performance or style. Overall, Corian countertops are a viable alternative for most people who desire not only esthetics but also convenience. While there are still challenges to overcome to make Corian countertops the equal if not superior of natural stone in terms of esthetics and cost, it has a clear advantage in durability and stain resistance.
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