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Corian Expert 30yrsInBiz
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

If anyone has Corian or other Solid Surface questions, ask away and I will do my best to answer. There are many myths and misconceptions floating around about these special countertops and I've been answering solid surface questions for nearly 30 years. I've seen the industry grow from Corian's early offering of 3 colors, to more then 130 colors offered today.


There are many major competing Solid Surace brands, such as:
  • Corian (DuPont) the original
  • Avonite
  • Formica Solid Surface (Originally called 2000x, then Surell, later acquired Fountainhead)
  • Wilsonart Solid Surface (Formerly known as Gibraltar and Earthstone)
  • Staron (Samsung)
  • Hi-Macs (LG Chemical)
  • Meganite
  • Mystera (Hudson Surfaces)
  • and the list goes on.......
Swanstone is not considered solid surface material because it contains fibers beneath the surface which may appear if the counter is later refinished.

Most of the major solid surface brands are made up of high performance acrylics blended with Alumina Trihydrate (ATH). Some brands offer sheets made up of Polyester with varying degrees of ATH. Others offer materials that blend poyester and acrylic together with ATH. Each of the brands' sheet goods and bowls can be fabricated with essentially the same techniques.

Although Natural Stone has stolen the spotlight in recent years, more and more homeowners are coming back to ask about solid surface counters. Hospitals and Universities world wide are specifying Solid Surface counters because of the non-porus properties that make for an ideal, germ resistant and mold resistant surface.

Quartz Surfaces are a whole other category. I can explain the advantages and disadvantages of these and other premiun decorative surfaces if anyone is interested.

Thanks for reading,

Troy
 

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Hi Troy,
I have a customer who has selected quartz zodiaq for their kitchen. Do you know of any disadvantages to this material?
Skip
Fireside Homes
 

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Corian Expert 30yrsInBiz
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Troy,
I have a customer who has selected quartz zodiaq for their kitchen. Do you know of any disadvantages to this material?
Skip
Fireside Homes
Hi Skip,
First...for those who don't know, Zodiaq is DuPont Corian's sibling product that is in the Quartz Surfacing category. It competes w/ Silestone, Cambria, Caesarstone and a few other brands. It must be cut with diamond tooling just like natural granite.

Zodiaq, like the other brands, has about 93% quartz content. Quartz is the 3rd hardest material found in nature next to Diamond and Sapphire. The remaining 7% is made up of resins and binders to make the product so stain resistant that it does not require sealant like natural granite and marble. These quartz products are amazing and offer manufacturers warranties; Granite tops rarely come with any backing like a warranty since it is not man made.

As far as disadvantages........... only the fact that there is little you can do if the surface is somehow scratched. It is very hard to scratch though.
Out of time I will discuss more later.

Thanks,
Troy
 

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Corian Expert 30yrsInBiz
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Have they solved the problem of resin products cracking around the drains?
Hello Mike,

There were some cases years ago that caused Dupont to redesign the Corian lavatory drain opening. But not to many. Now...with Corian vanity tops, there is little risk of cracking at the drain hole. But if there are any sink issues to arise, the 10 year warranty covers them and the sink can be swapped out without even removing the counter.

Might the resin products you are referring to be cultured marble vanity tops which were/are notorious for spider cracks at the drains? Cultured marble vanity tops are not in the 'Solid Surface' category like Corian. They are low cost but cannot be reworked, repaired or refinished because the color does not go all the way through. There is only a thin glaze finish on the surface. They are manufactured by countless private local companies whose fabrication processes vary from shop to shop.

Let me know if that helped.

Troy
 

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I'm referring to any integrated sink design whether it's Corian or another similar product. We rarely install Corian or any of it's competitors out here anymore, few people even ask about it anymore, and even more rare is to install it with an integrated sink. By the time we get done educating the customer on the issues involved and the costs they all just decide to go with granite or quartz. We probably install stone 250:1 to any Corian type products anymore.
 

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Corian rarely if ever cracks around the sink or drain, we still get requests for it. its a good CLEAN look, and very sanitary. G
 

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Registered
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Zodiaq

Thanks Troy,
Skip
Fireside Homes


Hi Skip,
First...for those who don't know, Zodiaq is DuPont Corian's sibling product that is in the Quartz Surfacing category. It competes w/ Silestone, Cambria, Caesarstone and a few other brands. It must be cut with diamond tooling just like natural granite.

Zodiaq, like the other brands, has about 93% quartz content. Quartz is the 3rd hardest material found in nature next to Diamond and Sapphire. The remaining 7% is made up of resins and binders to make the product so stain resistant that it does not require sealant like natural granite and marble. These quartz products are amazing and offer manufacturers warranties; Granite tops rarely come with any backing like a warranty since it is not man made.

As far as disadvantages........... only the fact that there is little you can do if the surface is somehow scratched. It is very hard to scratch though.
Out of time I will discuss more later.

Thanks,
Troy
 

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157 Posts
Heres one! Just this morning I was cooking pancakes for the kids with one of those countertop griddles.. same griddle Ive used for many years in the same spot I always cook them... Heard a loud POP noise and looked under the griddle and have a hairline crack in my gibraltar top.. looks like it is on a seam... really straight clean crack about 6 inches long and at the widest 1/64th of an inch. Can I fix this?
 

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Corian Expert 30yrsInBiz
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Crack repair

Heres one! Just this morning I was cooking pancakes for the kids with one of those countertop griddles.. same griddle Ive used for many years in the same spot I always cook them... Heard a loud POP noise and looked under the griddle and have a hairline crack in my gibraltar top.. looks like it is on a seam... really straight clean crack about 6 inches long and at the widest 1/64th of an inch. Can I fix this?
A cracked solid surface top can almost always be repaired. The key to a successful repair is having scrap material that came from the sink cut-out or cooktop cut-out. This will insure a perfect color match.

The fabricator/installer should have left scrap material to remain with the house. They may have made a small cutting board or trivet out of the scrap. If you can't find any scrap, make sure to look inside your cabinets thoroughly. Some installers hide them under the lowest drawers in the cabinets to prevent the piece from being taken by other trades working in the house (new const). If no scrap can be found, the repair can still be made using material found in some local fabricators shop. Contact your local Wilsonart/Gibraltar distributor for fabricators in your area. The color may not be a perfect match but should be close.

The process involves cutting a precise shape out of the damaged area of countertop..... large enough to insure the crack is being completely removed. A carbide tipped straight router is required. A pie or V-shaped cut is most common for repairs. The scrap material is then routed to fit perfectly into the V-shape. Once dry fitting proves the piece fits perfectly, a special solid surface adhesive is required to glue the piece in. Rough and finish sanding will follow to blend the area in with the rest of the countertop surface.

If all done correctly, the repair can be made so that nobody will be able to detect that the counter was ever damaged. :thumbsup: If you attempt to do this on your own, a lot more explanation would be required. Utilizing an experienced solid surface professional is strongly recommended.

Let me know if this helps.

Troy
 

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Fentoozler
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Can I paint a Corian CT?

It's pink...I want it to look like marble - ya know, for a quick flip job.
 

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Corian Expert 30yrsInBiz
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Can I paint a Corian CT?

It's pink...I want it to look like marble - ya know, for a quick flip job.
Painting a Corian countertop would have the same result as painting a laminate top.... the finish would soon wear away to expose the color beneath leaving the buyer with a feeling like he/she was 'ripped off'. I've never heard of anybody doing this to a work surface like that. Better off decorating around it than trying to conceal it from prospective buyers.
 

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Can I paint a Corian CT?

It's pink...I want it to look like marble - ya know, for a quick flip job.
I refinish Corian the same way I do laminate, with Stone Flecks. You can see some examples here:

http:/permaglazenorthdallas.com/photos_sf.html

It's not a paint. It requires a special primer and clear coat, all applied with HVLP.

Barry
 

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solar guy
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1,917 Posts
Hi Troy,
I have a customer who has selected quartz zodiaq for their kitchen. Do you know of any disadvantages to this material?
Skip
Fireside Homes
I do
It costs an arm and a leg and is essentially the same material as silestone.
Cosentino is the only workdwide manufacturer of the equipment and holds patents on quartz surfaces. Zodiaq is DuPont's version and may use different stone for color, is basically the same as everything else
 

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Corian Expert 30yrsInBiz
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Corian is dead
costs more than granite,or quartz
looks like plastic crap
sounds like the OP is trying to sell something.

"Corian is dead", you say? Certainly, the demand for Corian and other solid surface brand countertops has felt the affects of stone and quartz surfacing's popularity. But that is in the residential sector. Recent changes in medical facility regulations and recommendations has led hospitals, worldwide, to replace countertops with Corian to prevent "staff infections". The superior hygienic qualities of solid surface materials make it ideal for hospitals and dental facilities alike. Unlike granite and marble, solid surface countertops are nonporous and do not support microbial growth.


In this down economy, we may have seen sales of residential counters drop, but we can hardly keep up with the demand for Corian and other solid surface counters for dental facilities, medical facilities, and colleges. They've done the research and specify solid surface because of its hygienic qualities and repairability.


"Cost more than granite or quartz", you say? Well...maybe in your local area that might be the case. Fabricators operate at varied levels of efficiency, some still use all hand tools while others in the country utilize CNC machines and V-Groovers for peak efficiency to bring costs down. Our market area is flooded with stone shops that are beating each other up on price to stay in business. Corian and other solid surface brands have certainly felt the effects of this. But in our area, Corian cost can be equal to or less than stone counters.


"Looks like plastic crap", you say? Granite and Quartz Surface counters are obviously right for you and people who think that way! The KEY word in your statement was "Looks". That is what you focus on. Finish the kitchen, stand back and admire the shiny counters. Looks just like the pretty kitchen I saw in a magazine. There are many others who think beyond the 'looks' of a countertop surface. When preparing food for your family, consider preparing it on a surface that is non-porous like Corian or Quartz. The sealant on that granite counter has lost it's effectiveness after the tomato juice and orange juice spilled and broke it down. Now the exposed pores are filled with the raw poultry juices from the meal you prepared 3 days ago! Food poisoning is traced most often to the home, not to restaurants as was once believed. The crevices between your undermount sink and counter or your backsplash and counter are perfect for harboring bacteria. Solid surface sinks and cove backsplash eliminate those crevices creating a cleaner work surface to prepare food on.


"sounds like the OP is trying to sell something", you say? My company has installed over $1.5 million in Quartz and Granite counter tops to date. We are no strangers to these 'hard surfaces'. We've been in the countertop business for 30 years. I weigh out all of the advantages and disadvantages of the different materials to make the best recommendations for any specific application. I offer this information and advice for the benefit of this forum and its members.
 

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Yes there are other products out there now besides Corian . It is not what it once was , but there is a place for it . I do like the sanitary aspects of it . Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge .
 

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Pompass Ass
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Yes there are other products out there now besides Corian . It is not what it once was , but there is a place for it . I do like the sanitary aspects of it . Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge .
I use Staron, I used to use Foutainhead, but prefer Staron, they raised the sheet prices and that was the last time I used iit, but I am doing a commercial job now and will have to use it so I can match what I did in the other building.

With the prices on the sheets going up on Staron, it is now more economical to have granite tops made and isntalled and I don't have to build them, Corian sheet prices are even higher than Staron even though they are both 100% acrylic and have the same warranty, so I don't know how Corian will compare to granite.

It seems like everyone is now doing granite, there are some hacks out there but there are also quite a few good fabricators that are less expensive than me building my own solid surface tops.
 
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