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tigergirl123

Let's discuss solid surface countertops

13 years ago

I hardly see any mention of solid surface countertops on here, and I am wondering why?

Personally I am not a fan of granite, I find it quite hard and cold looking and I prefer a "warm" kitchen feeling.

I am hoping for some feedback on pros and cons on solid surfacing and some real life experience from people who have it. Also wondering if there is much difference between brands?

Thank you for any help! Countertops are a huge part of our new kitchen and I don't want to make any mistakes.

Comments (61)

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ha!

    Well, I really liked that sink. It also had a sunken faucet deck which meant the counter stayed dry. Just a really nice design, and I think they still sell it. But don't get pink.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Fori - I am so glad to hear from someone who used Corian and put it through its paces ;)

    We were set on some sort of stone (granite, marble or soapstone), but our true love was a white marble and we were too afraid of knowing how tough it can be to keep it nice. I was less worried about etching than stains, but I have 2 young sons who are oblivious about cleaning up after themselves (despite my constant efforts to train them) and I'd hate to have to be uptight about it.

    We then considered laminate with the chrome edgebanding for a vintage look and were settled on that for quite some time. IKEA was running a sale on counters of 40% if you buy their cabinets, which we were, so we checked out the options there. They just did not offer a laminate we liked (we had chosen Mahnattan by Nevamar) and when dh spied the Rain Cloud by Corian in a display, that was it for him. I liked it too but also considered the Organic White by Caesarstone. What swayed us completely were the seams. In the white stones, the seams appear more noticeable but in the Corian, they felt invisible, but you could see where the pattern changed. It was perfectly smooth. The Caesarstone's seam was darker and you could feel it. We also liked how the pattern of the RC was swooshes (for lack of a better word) rather than splotches (although, nice splotches, lol). The Corian also felt warm to the touch and not so cold and hard. I have since spoken to people who say they have less breakage of delicate things with a Corian counter because it is softer.

    I don't know if I'd do a Corian sink in a kitchen because we have had a cheap acrylic one here for 4 years. I knew it was temporary when we bought it, so went for cheap and easy then. It held up wonderfully for the first year but looks bad now. It may not be fair to compare to a better quality material which may be like apples to oranges as the materials may have a different composition as well as level of quality. We already had our new sink so it did not come up for us anyway.

    As a real estate agent, I have seen many ugly granites in use. Those are a negative selling feature because the seller wants to get paid extra and the buyer deducts because they know they will rip it out. Of course, no one thinks THEIR granite is ugly, but we have all seen some that is, so it is out there. Many people spend way more than the can recoup on resale, so that is usually a way to justify spending that turns out not to have such a big ROI. The current economy also is turning away from as conspicuous consumption as before.

    btw - the granites and other natural products we liked were all more than double the cost. The laminate would have been less but the chrome edges and extra labor would have made it almost as much.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We've used a few brands of solid surface. Hanex, Corian and Staron. I prefer Hanex and Staron. Corian just has a "look" about it that I don't like. It looks cheap to me. And for the price, it shouldn't look cheap ;)
    We have a small commercial cabinet shop, and we use Staron most of the time (in hospitals and schools). It is very durable and can take a beating.
    We have Staron Radiance (dark with specs) on our island and Glimmer (light with specs) on the perimeter counters. I'm soooo glad we did not do Radiance everywhere!! It does scratch easier than I thought it would. My cabinet guy told me this, but I figured it couldn't be that bad. Just sliding a plate across the counter will leave a small scratch. You have to look very closely to see it, but it is there. Most can be buffed out with a scrubby. Luckily if it gets too bad, we have the tools handy to buff it out. The light color hasn't shown a scratch at all. I wouldn't change what we did at the island. I love the look. But I am more aware now when I set things on it.
    We had the white integral sink in our previous kitchen. It held up pretty good. I was always able to keep it clean and looking good. My parents had the white Corian sink, and it did not hold up as well. It just always looks dirty. We also have the white integral sinks in our bathrooms and have had no problems with them. I love the look of the integral sinks, but you're limited to just a few sizes. We went with a Blanco silgranite sink this time since I wanted something different.
    The colors online are a bit misleading. So make sure you see the samples in person. They should be able to order you a 4"x4" or 6"x6" sample.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    This is a consideration that can be very hard to calculate, but when I was thinking about ecological impact, I concluded that (some) wood and (some) solid natural stone counters are easier on the environment through production, shipping, installation, and disposal than manufactured counters such as quartz and solid surfaces.

    If you are interested in this as a consideration, there are also products such as Enviro Glass that are made largely of recycled materials. The debates on environmental impact seem to go on and on and clearly the very best are recycled wood (which I was not going to use).

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We just moved but our last house had solid surface (Staron). I absolutely loved it. The integrated sink was completely smooth and seamless unlike what you get with an undermounted sink with granite. No room for water or food getting stuck in between. Also the seams when joining two areas are night and day. It's completely invisible with the solid surface. Love love loved the sink. We never had any scratches and we are hard on stuff (family of 5 with THREE sons, ha ha).

    I like the function of solid surface but the look of granite. Ultimately, we plan to go with granite in our new house mostly because we may have to move in a few years (military) and buyers want granite, especially in our price range.

    If you watch the home buying shows in HGTV, ****nobody**** wants solid surface. Every buyer who walks into a house with solid surface says "we'll have to replace/upgrade this". It's sad but it's just because it's not the trend right now.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thank you for these posts! I really appreciate it and will be reading them to my husband this evening. He was leaning toward the darker colors but I had heard they do show scratches. I don't want a high-maintenance countertop, that's for sure ;) Regina interesting to know that you loved the integrated sink!

    Anyone have any photos they can share of solid surface countertops in their kitchen? Thanks!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I think that while granite and stones are natural, by the time you mine them from the earth and then transport them around the world, the environmental impact may not be better than solid surface choices and could be worse. I would have loved to use something recycled, but none of those fit our kitchen quite right.
    I try to reduce, reuse and recycle when I can so think the greenest choice would be to repurpose one from where it is not being appreciated. Bamboo is another good choice, but again, if it is traveling far, that takes away from the goodness factor.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    hi tiger...

    I had Corian in a med. gray in my old kitchen. While it was easy to clean, it didn't look so great. I had a shiny finish, but there were large areas that looked dull. With lots of natural light coming through my kitchen window, the flaws of my finish were extremely visible. (It was like etchings) And there were scratches too. We tried to be careful, but it just looked bad. Once we had it professionally sanded back to its original state, but it didn't last.

    I'm don't mean to knock Corian, and I'm glad that others have had such good luck with it. Maybe it was the color, finish, and natural light all working against me here.
    I've seen pictures online of the new Corian colors, and they are really beautiful. I hope you have great success with whatever counter you choose!

    KA:)

    Here are a couple of photos...

    Newly installed...

    and 11 yrs later just before my remodel..You can kind of see the differences of the finish on the peninsula.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Dianolo, I agree with you about granite's travel issues. Ours was American-mined, which helped on that factor.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    In the area I grew up in, Corian etal. would still be considered an upgrade. Most people in that area still do laminate, with granite not nearly as common as where I live now. They must still be selling it or they wouldn't keep developing new product. However, I think a lot of commercial environments use it.

    As a surface I think solid surface it could be much more forgiving around kids than stone or quartz in terms of them "helping" in the kitchen, getting out their own glasses and plates and such.

    In the house I grew up in, that had five grandchildren visiting often and and length over the last 20 odd years as well, a broken dish or glass was a rarity because of the laminate counter and the stainless sink. I am now in a household of adults with a stone counter and sink...and glasses get broken.

    That said, I would not gravitate toward one of the darkest colors, nor would I get anything but a matte finish. You will not be able to put something out of the oven on it, nor let your kids have Sharpees, but you shouldnt be doing that anyway:) If you want near bullet proof *and cushy go fabricated stainless steel, but then you will have fingerprints and scratches.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I have Swanstone counters installed in 2003, in Almond Galaxy. I chose it because:

    1) Granite, at the time, was still more expensive than solid surface, unlike nowadays.

    2) We had used Swanstone counters with integral sinks in our bathrooms in 1989, and they turned out to be literally bulletproof. Even my mother's burning cigarette mark scrubbed out, and no, nothing melted. So we were confident of their durability and ease of cleaning.

    3) We have a U-shaped kitchen, so there are two corner seams. With solid surface, seams are invisible. There are no concerns about slab seams around the sink, an issue several granite owners here have agonized about.

    4) I wanted a matte countertop. We get glaring sun in through huge picture windows which take up the entire back wall of the house. Even with window film, the glare off even a chrome faucet was painful (we now have a brushed stainless faucet, LOL).

    5) I have seen many beautiful granites, but I find it too cold to the touch and noisy.

    6) We were only replacing the counters and sink, not the cabinets. Although the cabs don't photo well, there are four different colors in them, and I've never seen a granite that would work with them. Solid surface or quartz were our best choices, and Swanstone is much cheaper than Cambria (our second choice).

    7) We loved our original porcelain/cast iron Kohler Exec Chef for its durability, but the double sink layout doesn't work for us. We LOVE our super single Swanstone in Tahiti Ivory, which is a subtle blend of neutral beige with cream flecks. It is easier to clean and quieter than the Kohler. My DH used to work in restaurants and hates stainless sinks, so they were a dead last choice.

    Let me say this about resale. Everything I do in this house is with resale in mind. But I do not believe that I can predict what the next homeowner wants to decorate with, nor do I know exactly what features the next buyer will fall in love with to make them "have to have" our house.

    What they will get is a home well maintained; with all systems updated from sewer to plumbing to electrical; that will be completely turnkey.

    It doesn't matter if they hate laminate cabs with 'plastic' counters. They will live with it until they can afford to remodel because the layout is extremely efficient, well-organized, with good quality recent appliances and over 25' of countertop to work on (and a gorgeous view, too, which is what's my favorite). It's not a huge kitchen - they weren't in fashion when we gutted the cottage in 1989 to completely remodel it - but it's good sized for the size of the house, and totally in synch design-wise and proportionately.

    Worries about resale are only relevant if you are going to sell soon. Then it IS relevant. Otherwise, get what you want, to please yourself and fit your own situation. You're going to be working in that room every day for as long you live there, and life is too short to waste an opportunity to design it the way you like to live.

    A corner of the counter showing granite-look pattern, against the slate-look vinyl tile flooring (which is wonderfully cushy underfoot and quiet, very important to us)

    The Swanstone super single sink,33x21. It is overmounted but can be undermounted. Our sink cab, however, wasn't large enough to undermount so we had it dropped in.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I don't think the home buying shows on HGTV are particularly relevant to many parts of the country and I think they are scripted to a certain degree. My realtor was on one episode (not as the feature realtor but she was the seller of one of the properties on the show) but she gave me the dirt:).

    I think every option from butcher block to laminate to solid surface to stone to quartz to stainless to enameled French Lavastone ALL have a place in kitchen design depending upon peoples' needs, and budgets.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I moved to the Northwest from metro NJ/NY. Here they use a lot of granite blocks on counters with grout on all 4 sides. I hated it & put Silestone in the kitchen & Corian in the baths. I particularly love the Corian because of the unusual new pattern with a black background. Even the installers went WOW! Corian sinks in the baths & a large single bowl stainless undermount in the kitchen. Upkeep on both surfaces a breeze.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    OOh Lee1 - do you have the Martha pattern in Corian? I'd love to see it. It looks like the bardiglio marble we had planned on using before switching to RC by Corian. We are going through IKEA so can't use her special pattern which I think is only at HD... sigh... I am not sure which I prefer, but would have loved the choice.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    jkom51 - What a wonderful, informative post. Thank you for taking the time to contribute to this thread!

    I didn't bring up flooring but I have to agree with you about the flooring. We installed Armstrong vinyl laminate tiles (the click-together sheets of 4 or 5?) about 6 years ago and LOVE it. The floor is soft, quiet and warm. With very little effort, two kids and a dog later, the floor looks as good now as the day we had it installed. In our new home, however, we are putting in ceramic tile and I sort of dread it the hardness and coldness of it. However I feel that is the look we should go for, to put in anything else might "look" cheap. Fortunately we do not have crawling babies anymore, but my feet sure will miss our cushy floor! Not to mention how many dishes have been dropped on our current floor and not broken... I have the feeling we'll be in for some broken glass in the next place :(

    So anyway - stainless appliances and a ceramic tile floor is enough "hardness" for me. I'm going to get a "softer" countertop which means no granite. Thanks for the rave reviews on Swanstone! I appreciate your input.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Here are a couple of pics of our solid surface.

    Master bathroom (excuse the kitty!) This is Hanex (can't remember color). It is dark with a matte finish.

    Kitchen pics with Staron.


  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    If you do not want ceramic and are "dreading" it, you should consider something else. Many people do hardwood floors in their kitchen and love them. We will be using Marmoleum Click, which is linoleum over a cork underlayment and is a floating floor. It is softer on the feet, legs and back, and is warmer than tile.
    Like your vinyl tiles, it will also not cause as much breakage if you drop something. I am using our bsmt at the moment for a temp kitchen while the work is being done and was shocked when I dropped a glass jar on the old linoleum floor that was laid right on concrete down here. The glass actually bounced a tiny bit and did not break. If that had been in our recently departed kitchen, I'd be cleaning up glass shards worrying about if I missed one or more.

    The Marmoleum does not look cheap to me and in fact, has so many design options and colors so as to not look like everyone else' kitchen floor. You can do it simply or get creative.

    Life is too short and ceramic lasts too long to get a floor you do not really like.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The Marmoleum Click sounds a lot like the floor we have now, I'll have to look it up!

    There are so many hardwood floors already in the house, I really don't want them in the kitchen too. Plus I don't really care for a wood floor and wood cabinets. Wood wood wood. Painted cabinets, I think, look lovely with a hardwood kitchen floor.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We display many different types of counters in our showroom, but we chose Corian for our office desk area. It's much warmer to the touch than a stone would be, and for that, I'm very thankful! My mouse arm rests on a bit of the counter and I'd be frozen to death if were stone. I already have the fingerless gloves for those days when it just seems the place won't warm up. I also love the "seamlessness" of the counter's appearance. It's an U shape with a peninsula ending in a circular seating area, and even great stone fabricators would have had to have multiple seams showing. Not that the seams aren't there, mind you. It's just that they are "invisible" in that color. In some of the newer directional colors, they would have been much more visible, so do take that into account.

    Now for the bad.

    I really don't care for how it looks. It looks plasticy, and I don't mean that in a 60's "new and exciting innovation" type of way. I mean it in a 00's type of "unnatural" way. In a modern kitchen, with a very man made vibe, it could be a fabulous look to use a white solid surface, but with traditional looking wood cabintery, it just looks "wrong" in my eyes. It's like throwing on a velvet blazer with a pair of ratty jeans. Some folks, mostly 7' models with no body fat and great hair, can pull the look off. The rest of us just look like a fool for trying to put the two together.

    The other bad is it scratches. Heavily. The light colors show the scratches much less, and the matte finish show it much less, but even my desk area in a light color shows every mark of every cabinet door sample slid across it. I also have a small area on the circular table area that is cracked because some big lummox sat on it before he thought. And, yes, it's fully supported underneath with plywood and a steel leg. And it could be repaired, no problem, but I'm biding my time to change out this counter pretty soon, so I merely sanded the area enough to disguise the crack. And you can do some home sanding to keep it looking "fresh" as long as none of the scrapes and scratches are deep. If you've got an area where someone forgot to use a cutting board, forget it. Those type of cuts can be deep enough that even a pro can't sand them out and would need to replace the countertop.

    Another minus would be the cost, compared to other solid material choices. Most "name" solid surface is more expensive than a low or mid priced granite if you want something besides a plain white or bone. The more complex the colors, or the more "movement" that the pattern has, the more expensive it will be. I really DO like some of the Corian Private Label colors, but they're about $15 more per square foot here than a mid priced granite. That's about $800 for an average sized kitchen of 50 square feet of countertop. WHich isn't much, if you LOVE a choice more than another choice that you merely like, but if you don't LOVE it, why even consider it? The most used items in any kitchen are the counters and sink/faucet, so those are items that it pays to maybe extend your budget slightly.

    So, the heck with what I think! Or anyone else thinks! This is your kitchen. Do YOU absolutely LOVE solid surface above all the other choices out there? And there is a wide world beyond "just granite OR solid surface", so be sure you explore butcher block, stainless steel, copper, tile, and even laminate. And there's nothing "wrong" with any of these choices if they fit your budget, are durable, and you LOVE them! "Resale" is the bugaboo word that keeps us in a beige and boring world. Don't be afraid to have your home reflect YOUR personality. You can always repaint beige and give a "countertop allowance" in 10 years time after you've made your memories in this house and are ready to move on to the next one.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    dianalo - the Marmoleum product looks beautiful on their website! There are no dealers near us, but I emailed them asking about it. Of course I am not the only one making decisions about the kitchen, I do have to take my husband's opinion into account ;)

    Will we have sticker shock for this flooring? We will need about 150 sq ft of flooring for our space.
    Thank you for mentioning it!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Marmoleum isn't cheap. :)

    I have it and like it very much.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    How much?

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wow I like some of those Hanex colors. I have never used this or any Corian type product but its nice to know its out there. These materials come in some relatively monolithic and soft colors that are good for some applications.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Try www.greenbuildingsupply.com. They were the best price and very nice to deal with. I emailed my layout and pattern and Derreck was kind enough to tell me how much of each color that would take either on a straight layout and on the diagonal (more tile needed).
    You save $99 in shipping if you have it delivered to a business address. My boss is letting me take delivery at work, or the cost savings would have been much less. It was approx 2/3 of what the local place wanted to charge for materials.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Green Building Supply

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I spelled Derrick's name wrong above. The Marm is on a major sale right now, so timing could be very right if someone is interested.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Dianlo--No I have Sorrel, which doesn't show up on the Corian page as nearly as beautiful as it is.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Sorrel

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    In my last home, I used Ceasarstone (warm color, don't remember exactly), and I loved it. It looked great with our cherry cabinets. The style we picked looked like real stone (it IS engineered quartz) and is/was extremely durable.

    In most of the areas I have lived, Corian in the "plasticky" looking finishes would turn-off many buyers. And, personally, I have never been a fan of (the old) Corian until I saw Rain Cloud in a showroom. Looks like marble (my true love) but I'm told doesn't have staining or etching issues. It does scratch easily though.

    I will agree with a previous poster. Some granites are super busy and do not appeal to me. I think whenever you go outside the norm for your area/the current trends, you run the risk of turning off buyers. However, people still can/should do as they please if their circumstances afford it!

    Jen

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Have had Silestone (Gedatsu) in kitchen for about 4 months now. I like it a lot. I insisted on a solid color and felt Silestone looked the least plastic of all the other available brands. It's cold to the touch and hard as a diamond, although,a mug dropped from an upper cabinet and left a small "dent" or scratch in the counter. So I'm assuming it will have marks over time. I bet the edge would chip easily, too. But, I do love it and would get it again.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Here's a REAL WORLD experience with Corian for you. I work as an Animal Control Officer in our local animal shelter. In 2007 we remodeled our Shelter (first time since 1978) and they put in Corian counters for us. We had had formica for years. They chose a tan color.

    We ABUSE this stuff. We drag metal traps covered in dirt across it. We have dogs jumping up and down on it (they occasionally get excited and do crazy things :) We have not pampered it in any way.

    It looks great! We even knocked a chunk out of it shortly after install, a big triangle broke out because our maintenance guy put a screw in too far from underneath. They fixed it seamlessly and even those of us that know it's there can't find the seam/patch.

    If I get a chance today I'll take some pictures to post. I can't IMAGINE that anyone is as hard on this stuff as we are in our application.

    More to come if I get a chance for photos today.

    Rene

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    hellonasty - I haven't looked at Silestone in person, but it's on my "list" :)

    Rene - that's incredible, about your corian counters. Wow. I'm surprised people say they are so easily scratched in a kitchen with normal use?? What color are they? I'd love to see photos if you get a chance! Thanks for responding!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We have a small galley kitchen with not a whole lot of counter space. While I do like granite, I figured that we didn't have enough counters to make it worthwhile. We went with Matterhorn Corian with an intergrated sink. I love the sink. And I love the counters. It is the perfect color, you really can't see any dirt, I feel the dirt most of the time.
    Here is a pic from 2005 when we had it installed.


    We went from builders 4x4 white tile, so I love the solid surface and how it turned out in the plant window.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    When I moved in to my house 16 years ago, a selling point for me in the kitchen was the Corian- "Dusk" a speckled pattern of various greys and a little black with white as the base beneath. Loved it and still do. Will be remodeling within the next couple of months and actually changed my layout to be able to keep the counters. They are indestructible! I stand on them (to paint) have painted cabinet doors and pieces of molding on them, chop on them (no kidding- veggies, fruits, etc). Oil, vinegar, grease, wine- no problem! If it has scratches I don't see them and we get a lot of natural light in that south facing room. Anything that happens to it can be cleaned to like-new with a Magic Eraser. I couldn't see spending 1500 on nice laminate and a new sink or 4 thousand on granite, when if I keep my Corian with integrated sink, my single top-of-the-counter expense will be a replacement faucet!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I am so happy more people are posting their happiness with Corian. I have to admit I was starting to waver. We probably could upgrade our order because it has not been fabricated yet, but now I am thinking not to... whew.... Dh loved the look so much and the cost was very reasonable. I don't know if they'd honor the 40% off special we got if we switch to Caesarstone or Silestone so long after the order was placed.

    We have had good experiences with laminates over the years and were planning on going with a marble, granite or laminate this time. This was a last minute change in plans, almost spur of the moment, so I have not fully processed the difference. Every other decision is researched to death first, but we went on our gut this time, swayed by the display kitchen.

    I can say that in the display kitchen in IKEA, it looks lovely and has people touching it and messing with it all day, every day. It has been there for years, according to an employee, so I can't imagine it is very fragile. I bet people try to scratch and mar it to see how it holds up all the time.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Re scratches:

    Countertops are like carpets - get a solid color and scratches/stains will show easier. Get any kind of pattern, even a subtle one, and it hides wear much, much better.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Well, it took a few days for me to not get distracted and actually produce the photos I offered but here they are. Corian in our animal shelter. We drag heavy duty wire cat traps across this. Dogs jump up on this counter. We drag dirty pet crates across it. You name it. Sand, dirt, rocks, wire.

    {{gwi:1573176}}

    {{gwi:1573177}}

    {{gwi:1573178}}

    {{gwi:1573179}}

    {{gwi:1573180}}

    {{gwi:1573181}}

    The third picture is the spot where we broke out the huge triangle of surface material.

    Rene

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Rene, thank you, I have been waiting for your photos. The countertop looks fantastic for the abuse you put it through! That's about the color I want for one of our bathrooms :)
    We're heading to Lowe's tonight to look at all our options for countertops.
    Any more responses with good or bad reviews on solid surface are welcome!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I've seen a corian witch hazel countertop and it looks really good.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I've been on a hunt for a solid surface that comes in a terrific primary color for my younger son's bathroom. (Like, LEGO-type colors.)

    Just when I thought I'd looked at every option, I stumble across DURAT ... anyone familiar? The colors are fantastic! It's Finnish, but there is a distributor in Portland for the Western U.S.

    I've seen the great blue that Corian has, Caesarstone has an orange to DIE for but it's terribly expensive; most solid surface products just see to take so much pride in looking like something else - it's a little annoying.

    I'm going to email the company, but has anyone ever heard of this brand? Any experience with DURAT?

    Here is a link that might be useful: Durat USA

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I have not heard of Durat until now. The palette is awesome. I agree, its nice to have a material that celebrates itself rather than trying to mimic something else.

    As for the relative indestructability of one surface versus another, I think that is a bit overrated. Durable yes, but there is nothing wrong with having something that also teaches you to take care of things. imo. :)

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    This page has descriptions which are useful to find colors that match your sweeby test.

    Here is a link that might be useful: healing colors descriptions

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We've had Corian (tumbleweed) for a couple years now and I love it. I'd considered granite all over and also just on the island, but I don't care for the hard, cold feel of it. Plus, we have one 18' stretch of counter, the island and another 6' stretch, the weight of the granite would have been horrible. I love the looks of it in other peoples houses but it just wasn't for me in this house. I've found the Corian really easy to take care of and the sink is a breeze to clean. If I'm draining something hot, I always run cold water so it doesn't damage the sink. I always use hot pads on the counter; we had laminate before so that's what I'm used to doing.
    PS...some day I may paint my oak cabinets in an off-white, but hubby's not keen on the idea. Maybe I'll start by painting the island off-white or black.

    {{gwi:1573182}}

    The island has a seam in it....if you look closely, you may be able to see it. Our counters do also but the flow of the pattern nearly hides it completely.
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  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Check out honed granite. Not shiney. Soft. I was going to do Corian before I read about here and fell in love with honed Virginia/Jet Mist...looks a lot like soapstone but without the tendency to chip or scratch.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi doggonegardener, you should send those photos to corian and get a donation to the shelter!! I was sold on soapstone, but found out it might not be possible because my cabs aren't perfectly level. I'm still looking into that, but your photos and the wear and tear on them has me looking at Corian!!!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    ernietd - just wondering why your unlevel cabinets make soapstone out of the question but not Corian? I know from experience that Corian can crack if it is not properly supported and you put pressure on the unsupported area. I must have had some uneven cabinets and my kids (young) cracked it when they crawled onto the counter to reach something in an upper cabinet.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I just ordered Corian Witch Hazel for my "L" shaped counter and island because it has the look of marble but with all the softness and durability of a solid surface material. Thanks hilltop for sharing pictures of your Tumbleweed because my kitchen is very similar and I was really worried about the seaming with a directional Corian. Your island looks wonderful! My contractor (also brother-in-law) was really pushing me towards granite but I had Corian Cameo in my old kitchen and after 20 years, it still looked great. To me, granite is cold and busy. I'm going for a vintage-cottage look and granite would fight with all my "cuteness." Glad to read there are others who appreciate the solid surface materials and are willing to buck the granite craze. Now how about those stainless steel appliances ...?

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I am looking to replace my 18-year-old counter top, which we got for free: white tile. My husband is in the business, granite, Silestone, Corian,Zodiac, etc. etc. he gets at a great price. So, of course, I want wood. Not going to happen. Also, I know that wood would have to be babied and I know I'll get lazy, or out-of-my-mind busy with Christmas dinner and place something scorching hot down on the counter and that's the end of that. I know myself. The white tile has served me well, you can put anything on it and it's fine. You just have to keep on cleaning the grout - it was a lot of upkeep and I'm glad to be replacing it. However, I swore I would never get granite, because I tend to not like to do what everyone else is doing. Well, wood is out, (darn!). I have natural cherry cabinets, still gorgeous, not replacing them. I saw a display kitchen with natural cherry cabinets and colonial gold granite and fell in love. I love the natural movement of the stone, I love the sparkle embedded in the stone, I love the relatively low-maintenance of the stone, and I love that it's a natural material.

    Ask yourself: what am I like in the kitchen - will I be careful? Do I want to fuss with keeping something continually clean? (i.e. white tile with grout - yikes!)

    We all have to make compromises to accommodate our manners in the kitchen. You want to get something that you'll love for years to come. You certainly don't want to have to babysit your counter tops!

    Take your time - do your research, make a decision that's a balance between beauty and brains! Good luck! Enjoy the journey!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Doggone, the links to your pix go to a password protected server. I'd like to see them.

  • 8 years ago

    Well I can tell you one brand of solid surface countertops not to get and that's LG Hausys HI-MACS. They crack, melt and scratch with normal use. And the worse part is there customer service department. Rather than fixing the problem they keep changing the story as to why the countertops failed. Its a long story but if you want to read about it go here http://thefarmgardenblog.com/2015/10/09/hi-macs-solid-surface-counter-review/

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  • PRO
    8 years ago

    Michael O'Loughlin:

    As I mentioned on your other post, we need pictures and dimensions to make an evaluation as to what/whom is at fault for your solid surface installation. Thanks.