What is Corian?
How is it Made?
What is Corian?
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What is Corian? How is it made?
Corian is a brand registered by Dupont, the material itself is a combination of acrylic resin and aluminium trihydrate which is a natural mineral obtained from
aluminium bauxite. It is called a solid surface because it can be seamless (more on that later) but a bit like Hoover and vacuum cleaners most people use
the name Corian when referring to the product because it is the most widely known. There are other brands of similar material and composition - Hanex,
Staron and Hi Macs to name a few. So, the real answer to the question what is Corian is that it is a powerful brand name sometimes incorrectly used when
describing acrylic solid surfaces.
Acrylic solid surfaces have a multitude of uses, wall cladding, flooring, furniture, baths, shower trays and others but you are probably reading this because
you are considering a solid surface worktop for your kitchen and you probably want, or have heard of, Corian rather than any of the others mentioned above.
Corian is made by mixing the component parts together, heating them and then pouring the mixture into sheets and letting it set, they come in a few different
thicknesses but the most widely used for kitchen worktops is 13mm. There are also a number of standard size sheet lengths and widths available and obviously
the size of the worktop required determines what size is ordered. Corian is a bit like wallpaper, sheets used in the same worktop have to come from the same
Fabricators buy in sheets and either using just Corian, or Corian and other
materials, manufacture bespoke solutions for customers wanting any of the uses
listed earlier. If this work is undertaken by someone who is not a DuPont registered
fabricator then the guarantee is invalid.
Solid surface worktop depths can range from 13mm upwards. For 13mm thick
counters just the Corian sheet is used. You get a really sleek and unusual look
using this method but there are some issues to overcome concerning sinks and
For kitchen worktops deeper than 13mm Corian sheets are usually cut and
mounted onto an MDF subframe to add rigidity and depth. Corian is great to use for
chunky 60 or 70mm deep tops because most of the depth is the MDF subframe,
the extra Corian is only on the profiled front edge.
What is Corian useful for in kitchens?
Corian is used commercially in restaurants and hospitals for two reasons, it can be repaired and is very hygenic as the seamless finish means it is easy to clean and
there are no nooks and crannies for bacteria to hide in. This is obviously important in these environments and the same applies in your domestic situation.
Once your solid surface counters are installed they are fairly low maintenace. Leave a weak bleach solution overnight in the sink every so often and use Bartenders
Friend , available in supermarkets, to take out small abrasions as required and that is about it. People often have there worktops re-polshed professionally after several
years, it does not take long and once completed they look as good as the day they were put in.
We hope that this information on Corian and solid surface worktops has been useful for you, please get in touch if we can answer any other questions you may have.
Image 1. Corian sheet mounted on MDF
If you choose a solid surface top for your kitchen then the following process
will usually apply.
1. You will be given a estimated price for your Corian based on
measurements and colour choice.
2. If the price is agreeable then a fitter will visit and make a template of your
worktop from MDF.
3. The worktops will be custom made from this template, rather like making a
dress from a pattern.
Sheets of Corian will be glued together and mounted on MDF to match the
exact dimensions of your room. Seams will be filled with special colour
matched jointing compound and then polished until no joins are visible.
Special router bits are used to make profiled edges, waterfalls and coved
upstands. Depending on the size and shape of your kitchen the final joint will
probably be done on site,
Image 2. From the front the Corian top appears to be one piece, profile and upstand included
Image 3. In fact when you look at the back of the worktop you can see that it is 3 pieces glued together. The finished front is polished until the seams disappear.
Fabricating Corian is a labour intensive process. It could take up to a week to make the worktops for a large kitchen and maybe a couple of days to fit them on site. This
makes up a rerasonable chunk of the cost of the finished product.