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How do you feel about solid surface (Corian) shower walls vs tile?

I have installed both types of material and the look is much different between the two products. I am looking for your incite on what you have used ad felt was a superior product and why.

Comments (117)

  • thequadsqueen
    3 years ago

    Thanks so much for the details Nancy! So everything through Bath1.com? sounds like you contacted Transolis directly to get custom ceiling molding? This is a remodel. we probably will not opt for dropping the shower pan. We were not expecting how few purchase options there are for solid surface, especially given our shower size of 35”x54”x108”, currently tiled.

  • Nancy in Mich
    3 years ago

    Yes everything was through Bath1.com/ They were the only residential sales agent for Transolid at the time. I started out writing to someone at Transolid and he referred me to Bath1 once all my questions were answered and I was ready to buy. I got a plain 36 x 96 sheet of the transolid material for the ceiling. It did not have the lines in it to imitate tiles as the shower kits do. The lines are through-and-through the shower kit material and do resemble grout lines (except they are flat) but since the swirl pattern is over the sheet as a whole, it makes no sense to have the grout lines interrupting the swirls. If they really were tiles, swirl lines would not continue tile-to-tile, they would end at each grout line. So it is silly to try to make the sheets look like tile with 1 ft x 2 ft "grout line" white lines in the swirl patterns. They may look more like tiles in the speckled or solid patterns You have no choice about getting "grout lines" in the handicapped shower size. You get them.


    Bath1 did have the corner moldings I needed for my ceiling-to-wall seams. They are the same as the back wall-to-sidewall seams. They just were not thinking when they sent me the moldings and sent the wrong ones. First, they sent the wrong color, second, they sent flat, not corner, moldings. Finally, they sent the correct corner moldings. They did not charge me for any of the wrong ones and did not want me to return them (their length would cost more to ship than they lost in letting me keep them). I also needed an extra 3 inch rectangular front edge molding for where the ceiling panel met the painted ceiling. That molding is what made the 36 inch wide ceiling panel work for my 37.75 inch wide ceiling. My contractor just had to figure out where exactly to cut the 36 x 96 panel to fit the ceiling, considering the front molding. He also had to cut the moldings for where the ceiling met the walls, including the angle cuts. That is why getting the kit made for new construction is easiest, if you only want one shower head and one shower control. Those angle cuts have to be precise. They sent 96 inch moldings and Jim had to cut them to fit. The kits are all cut to fit. There was no ceiling kit other than the New Construction, mesh-backed dome with lights installed. And I could not use it.


    If you are getting the wheelchair-accessible shower, it is longer than your shower and you will have to build new walls for it. So - you COULD do the proper stud placement for their New Construction mesh=backed kit.


    If you do not want to move your walls, your only option is a Corian pan made to order from Grifform. https://www.grifform.com/custom-shower-pans/

  • Nancy in Mich
    3 years ago

    Also, thequadsqueen, the Transolid barrier free shower pan is listed as 38 x 63. I could not remember the length earlier and may have said 61"

  • Caitlin Veteto
    3 years ago

    Corian would be my choice between the two. I installed an Onyx composite shower (walls and and pan) in my last house. I will never install a tiled shower floor. The composite is so much less maintenance.

  • Lisa S
    3 years ago

    Would love to see any pics of solid surface showers! Thx!

  • Gregory Pruss
    3 years ago

    Hello Lisa, I just find out we do not have Corian in our shower but a close match of it. It's a plastic. The builder in our other house said it was "Corian" and now I'm not so sure. The most important thing to remember is that tile CAN absorbs water. With that comment, the grot is the culprit, letting the water in. The tile seals the water in. Thus leading to mold problems because the wall can not dry out even though it is green board. A seamless system is the way to go. Also when putting in a new shower, I highly recommend a thermostat controlled water supply to the shower. Set the temp at the shower never touch it again. Gröhe was always our first choice. They were bought out. Gröhe's son took over and is now manufacturing faucets. Gröhe was the first to come out with this type of control. Price might be a shocker but the advantage of a Gröhe is well worth it. One can remove the whole valve with out shutting down the whole water system of the house.


  • tamradiane
    3 years ago

    If installing swanstone solid surface panels in a tub shower surround where we'd be having to add a greenboard to glue panels to ( we have fiberglass tub surround to studs) would you suggest kerdi board, or any hardboard that is sealed.

  • Gregory Pruss
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Hello; when it comes to water I'm just a bit paranoid. Blue board is always my "first choice". On a fiber glass tub there is always a flashing to it. This flashing goes behind the blue board. In my dealings with this bath tub flashing in the past and blue board this seems to work. My "go to" sealer is Plumbers GOOP "work fast" when applying. What your trying to prevent is moisture getting to where it does not belong. I also would use an OIL based paint on the blue board to seal it up. If you "think" water might get into it somehow. I would look closely and see how water intrusion could be prevented.

    As far as "hardwood" is concerned." IT' S Wood"... Wood can be labor intensive and in a moisture environment where shrinking and swelling might occur. "Hardwood", outside Doors are a prime example. I have always loved a magoney doors on old buildings. They are just beautiful. Till I owned a Magoney door. From now on I'll just admire them from afar.

    "Hardboard" is a material of concrete in nature. I think this is what your referring? Concrete absorbs water and "holds it" Not too familiar with "KERDI" board. One wants water not to be absorbed. Some one had the idea to use Concrete board under tile. Lay the concrete board down then plastic or the other way to keep moisture out. Once moisture gets into that area how do you get it out?

    I hope I answered your question.

  • tamradiane
    3 years ago

    Can anyone tell me which they like better Corian or Swanstone for shower surround?

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    3 years ago

    Corian is the best shower wall cladding available.

  • Gregory Pruss
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I've had both. Corian is my first choice. For easy cleaning. The way our Corian was installed was a 1/4 in of Corian over blueboard. Edges were then thickened by a 1/2" / 2" edging of Coian glued on to the 1/4" Corian and edged with a electric rotor. This thicked edge was what received the glass enclosure for the shower.

  • rxn254
    3 years ago

    Years ago I had Dorian countertops. You could take the shiny finish of it, if you used a scrubby. Do these corian shower panels have the same problem? Do I have to be careful scrubbing them so as not to scratch the shiny surface.

  • Gregory Pruss
    3 years ago

    Good question. The answer is yep. I do not scrub the surface of the shower. I use a rubber 2' long window cleaner after showering. This removes soap scum. With no problems to the surface. If I need to scrub the shower surface "Corian" I now use the Dremel tool battery scrubber deal model #PC 10-01 does a great job quick and easy with a car polish and a light abrasive in the polish. Try it you'll like it.

  • ghgardz28
    2 years ago

    How do I find a local place to purchase Corian Shower walls and base? Im in Columbus OH, havent had much luck finding anything. Thanks...

  • Gregory Pruss
    2 years ago

    Hello Joseph. The base of the shower cannot be Corian, last time I heard it is just not made. Shower bases will have to be cultured marble they come in preformed sizes. That means you shower will have a specific size due to the base. Home Depot has them I did a quick look. There are other companies that sell cultured Marble shower bases in various sizes and some companies do custom sizes.......at extra cost. I highly suggest you might look into them.

    Down side is the shipping cost it heavy stuff and somewhat brittle.

    Corian shower sides usually are a 1/4 inch in thickness. Prices vary all over the place I had to get a 1/2 thick piece of Corian glued together. Many contractors wanted 250.00 for a single 36" glue joint. I found someone to do it for 25.00. It took awhile. I found out later, due to miscommunication they thought they had to remove the countertop. Thats what "they" said. The people that did the glue joint for me where kitchen cabinet guys when work was slow although they were wonderful to deal with. These are also the people to contact if you need a used Corian. I when into there shop and found some odd sized Corian old cabinet tops which they were willing to sell. (this leads back to the glue joint) Just let you know there might be other avenues. The shower guys I have found are a little on the pricy side I'm not sure why.

  • JJ Mekai
    2 years ago

    @Bebe Larson, your shower is beautiful! Could you share purchasing information, color, etc. for your tile and Corian color? Is your shower curbless?

  • Gregory Pruss
    2 years ago

    Hey, JJ With the advent of stone top kitchen cabinets....granite, marble A MORE heat tolerable substance than Corian. Corian has fallen to the way side some what. Colors for me are: "What works at the time" and then PUNT. You used the term TILE and i'm still not a fan of the product. The base that I use are cultured marble "With a lip / curb as I have mentioned before I'm just a bit paranoid of water. I would use a none lip / curb-less shower pan on the beach. To answer your question, I would call around to kitchen cabinet guys and see what they might have on hand as far as Corian goes. That's the best I can offer, building here is "ON THE MOVE" to get someone on the phone from a kitchen cabinet place will be short of a miracle, this goes the same with the shower installers "tough" to get a hold of.

    Shower fittings; I am a fan of Grohe products a German company they were the 1st (?) to come out with the temp control valve. You set the temp and every time you step in the shower it is the same temp.

    A real nice feature and worth it. When removing the shower valve if things "go wrong" you can isolate the valve ( turn off the water ) at the shower this is part of the Grohe experience. However they were bought out. They are now part of an Asian firm. Grohe's son has now come out with a product line of shower fittings I would look into. I've had Grohe in three homes and have never regretted it. I hate doing plumbing.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    2 years ago

    Gregory:


    Obviously you didn't click on the link I provided. Corian shower bases are not only still made, there are superior to any other. You don't need heat tolerance in a shower. Depends upon whom you're showering with I suppose.

  • Gregory Pruss
    2 years ago

    Sorry I did not see it. It would have been nice to reference it to something. Like Corian is available at this site, would have been nice.

    Yes your are correct they have it. Boy are you going to pay $$$$

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    2 years ago

    "Boy are you going to pay $$$$"


    Be sure you make and apples to apples comparison. Solid surface is more expensive, but requires much less preparation (labor) than a proper tile job.

  • Gregory Pruss
    2 years ago

    True, I did say in a previous statement I was said I was unaware of a Corian shower Base was made. To restate "to my knowledge they do not make Corian shower bases". Because of the cost this would limit those who could afford this type of base. I would like a Ferrari but I settled for a... another type of car. I also said LOOK around. I'm an opinion not "god"

    I also stated the TREND is to use rock counter tops marble or granite. This means that kitchen/ cabinet contractors could possibly have Old / used / Corian on hand because of renovations. This may be a source of Corian for shower applications. I know this because: this is my own source for Corian. I also stated a rock counter top is more heat resistant than Corian. Which is true; I have seen it in the Kitchen / cabinet contractors Corian "stash" .....thats why the home owner replaced the Corian in the 1st place,.. because of heat damage. Hence the glue joint that I required for $25.00 which by the way I am hard put to find after the repair / glue joint. For those of you who like to work with material Corian is really nice to work with down side you must have your P.P.E. (personal protection equipment) I have used a electric Router on it and band saw, Jig saw with great results.

    Tile.. well I guess some people just have to experience it. Tile on a shower base is not a good idea. Period.

    Regards


    Greg

  • Nancy in Mich
    2 years ago

    Not only is Corian still available as a shower pan, but other solid surface companies like Swanstone and Transolid make shower pans. I have a Transolid shower that is almost 3 years old.

  • Gregory Pruss
    2 years ago

    Thank you for the information that you added to the site.


    Greg

  • kindertina
    2 years ago

    I did Corian shower walls based on Joseph’s recommendation. Love how it turned out.

  • loobab
    2 years ago

    How nice!

    What a nice bathroom!

    Can you please show a close up of the walls with the shower door open?

    What color is the Corian?

    Is the counter of the sink Corian too?

    I like the grab bar in the shower. What manufacturer is it? Do you have special supports in your wall for it?

  • kindertina
    2 years ago

    Thanks @loobab. It’s Designer White (the photos show a grey tone for some reason but it’s white). The grab bar I think you saw is my shower head bar by Grohe, or if it’s the one on the door that’s the handle. The counters are Caesarstone quartz in polished pebble grey.

  • loobab
    2 years ago

    Thanks!

  • jarusyniak
    2 years ago

    @kindertina I'm having a hard time finding Corian in my area (NC). Wondering where you found / ordered yours? And I noticed no seam on back wall, is that one piece? On Grifform website they show a seam in middle of back wall with a piece of trim covering it. I like your smooth, clean, seamless look.

  • Julie K
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Here are a few pics of our Glacier White shower with Pearl Gray Grifform pan.

    We have coved corners so no seams except in our niche and a thin line of silicone where the walls meet the pan.

    Note not all Corian colors are through body. I found out the hard way that Pearl Gray is NOT!!! Had I known, I would have stuck with GW for my pan. I already have a few scratches that need to be repaired and we haven't even used our shower yet!

    When we ordered our pan the lead time was 8-10 weeks. We paid a 35% rush fee and got ours in under 2 weeks. We experienced numerous Corian installation issues with the coving on our bench and just passed our final inspection on Friday, roughly six months after we started demo work!

  • Julie K
    2 years ago

    Not sure why my pics didn't post.

  • Julie K
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I posted about my shower wall installation issues here and our bench installation issues here. To find an installer contact Corian and ask them for the distributor for your area. Then call the distributor and ask who does the most Corian shower installations in your area.

  • loobab
    2 years ago

    I do love your floor with the different colors hexagons!

  • Julie K
    2 years ago

    Thank you!! They're from Fireclay in SF. :)

  • loobab
    2 years ago

    They remind me of organic chemistry in the very best way.

  • kindertina
    2 years ago

    @jarusyniak I'd follow @Julie K's tip to find a supplier/fabricator near you. I had just googled one in my area when I was doing my project. The back is one piece without a seam. The seams are in the shower niche and obviously where the walls meet the tub/the slabs come together in the corners. I didn't do coved corners; my installer recommended against it as Northern CA is prone to earthquakes. Hope you're able to find someone!

  • Julie K
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    We live in the Oakland hills (NorCal) and live near the Hayward fault line. However our house has steel beams under our foundation and extra earthquake bracing.

    We also have hand plastered walls with curves/coved corners throughout our house, so we weren't too concerned with doing coved corners for our Corian. YMMV.

  • kindertina
    2 years ago

    @Julie K Lucky you! :) I'm a teacher and could only afford a tiny condo that was built the year I was born. I bet your place is stunning.

  • Julie K
    2 years ago

    Thank you! This is our forever dream home!! :-)

  • MikeandTerra VanderSchaaf
    2 years ago

    There are a ton of positive and negative attributes to corian. I work for a corian distributor and my biggest recommendation is to make sure you find a good fabricator. They make a massive difference.

  • bouncy5
    2 years ago

    Jarusyniak,
    Mainland Stoneworks in Kernersville NC does Corinne shower walls. We are planning for them to do ours

  • bouncy5
    2 years ago

    It is best to have an appointment. Call336-773-0714 and ask for Jeff.

  • Anne K
    last year

    Hi, anyone from Vancouver Canada? I have been trying to find a source for a Corian solid surface shower pan but am having a difficult time finding one. I've called a few bathroom supply stores and went to a few Home Depot and they only have the ugly acrylic ones and only in white, Corian.com does not even mention this type of product so why is that? If it's such a great product why wouldn't they advertise it?

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    last year

    Anne K:


    Please read the entire thread. www.grifform.com

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    last year

    "Note not all Corian colors are through body. I found out the hard way that Pearl Gray is NOT!!!"


    The color goes all the way through all Corian colors, including Pearl Gray.


  • johnnybegood
    8 months ago

    I’m in the East Bay and would love a recommendation on a good Coriander fabricator as I intend to use it for the shower walls on a condo I’m renovating.

  • Julie K
    8 months ago

    Highly recommend Sullivan's. I posted pics of our Corian shower walls and our Corian tub surround in my Yelp review. 

    https://yelp.to/liBPf4vSbm

  • H H
    8 months ago

    @kindertina may I ask what tub you used? I love the modern streamlined look and am definately thinking of doing the corian shower walls and tub surround for the one tub we will have in guest room. Did you have issues matching surfaces? I guess I overthink having to coordinate different surfaces :)

  • kindertina
    8 months ago

    @H H it’s a Kohler Underscore Soaking Tub. It was a little intimidating finding the right white to match based on a tiny swatch but I am happy with how they look together. I am an over thinker too :) The Corian is Designer White.

  • H H
    8 months ago

    Great thank you!