Corian or Granite Countertops: Which Is Cheaper?

You need affordable, safe, and durable materials for your kitchen and bathrooms. While there are many materials in the market, let’s look at two of them—Corian and granite. Are Corian countertops cheaper than granite? Let’s find out.

Corian is cheaper than granite. However, the price difference is not that huge. If you are on a budget, choosing between Corian and granite countertops is not a difficult option. You need to consider several factors such as durability, composition, and maintenance. Despite the slightly higher price, granite offers longer life and a higher resell value than Corian.

Because of their different pricing ranges, Corian and granite have considerable variances. This article looks at various factors to help you comprehend the pricing difference entirely.

So, keep reading.

Which Should You Select: Corian Or Granite?

You can install countertops in a variety of areas and rooms. There are common in the kitchen and bathroom tops or on the patio. So, for long-term service delivery, quality must be top-notch.

The cost of the material is one of the aspects that may influence your decision. Because we already know that Corian is less expensive than granite, let’s look at their price range.

How Much Do Both Corian And Granite Cost?

Corian countertops have a price tag of approximately $40 to $150 per square foot. On the other hand, a granite slab can cost the same minimum of $40 but as high as $200. The range in pricing is because of size, pattern, and color. And as you can see, the difference in pricing is not that big. 

But still, on pricing and cost, you also have to consider more things like service, transport, and installation of the countertops. So, every penny saved can help the overall price to fall. 

The Main Factors That Affect The Cost Difference

The table below highlights some of the factors that result in the disparity in pricing between Corian and granite:

FactorCorian Granite
Cost $40 to $150 per square foot$40 to $200 per square foot
Durability Durable Durable 
Resistance to acidic foodsYesMostly
Heat resistanceLow with a maximum of 325 FHigh 
Scratch resistanceNo, but you can fix the scratches using a scouring padRarely, but if you cut items without a chopping board, scratches will eventually show
Origin  of materialManufactured Mined and made from natural stone.
Composition Binding resins, minerals, dyes, and fillersNatural stone. A combination of quartz, feldspar, and mica
StainableNo Yes
Outdoor or indoor useBoth Both 
Places of installation Kitchen, bathrooms, furniture tops, home decor, faux walls, art, wall cladding Kitchen and bathroom countertops, stone artifacts
Porosity No Yes. And this is why sealing is essential.
Damage by cleaning detergentsNo Yes, depending on the components of the detergent. Alcohol, ammonia, and bleach make the granite appear dull
Maintenance Easy. You use water and soap for a basic clean. Then ammonia, bleach, and vinegar for a sanitizing cleanEasy. You use water and a gentle detergent to maintain its integrity. Refrain from using ammonia, vinegar, and bleach
UsesResidential and commercialResidential and commercial
ColorsThey are available in over 100 colors; it will depend on your preference. There is each hue to match up to any decor tone you have for your home or businessThe color palette is diverse depending on the color of the original stone—they are primarily browns, blacks, whites, and hints of copper
Pathogen resistanceYes. With cleaning, you can keep the counter free from germs, bacteria, fungi, and moldYes. With cleaning, you can keep the counter free from germs, bacteria, fungi, and mold
Pliability Yes. Manufacturers can bend and twist to the desired shape at 325 FNot pliable at any temperature
Advantages Cheaper, non-porous, stain-free, available in various colors, easy to installThey are hard and very durable, with natural, unique patterns
Disadvantages It gets scratches and dents easilyIt stains easily, and they are heavy
Available sizes¼, ½, and ¾ inch tilesBig slabs

Corian & Granite Composition 

Granite is a naturally occurring stone that manufacturers acquire from miners. The miners harvest the stone from the quarries and sell it to the manufacturers. After that, the companies cut the rock into slabs, shape, and polish it. They do not add nor remove anything from the original product.

Corian is synthetic. It consists of binding resins, minerals, dyes, and other fillers that proffer its original look. Corian is a product of DuPont, and it was the only option for a while until competing companies came into the market.

Costing related to each countertop material is primarily due to labor and the process of making each. Notably, natural products are usually more expensive because it takes more time and effort to mine than from the ground. 

The purity of granite makes it more costly than Corian. Of the two, granite tends to be heavier.

Corian & Granite: How They Look 

Granite has a fascinating pattern that is natural and not planned whatsoever. This means that whatever pattern the original stone was, the resulting granite countertop will appear the same.

Corian being artificial offers a broader range of appearances. The patterns, colors, and designs may be tweaked to the manufacturers liking. Plus, the makers can integrate it with other materials like glass, stone, and wood. 

Corian can also take different textures. You can have the countertop looking like wood, glass, marble, and any other design the manufacturer desires.

Of the two, the versatility of Corian is favorable, but people still prefer the uniqueness that granite brings to the table, quite literally. The fact that no granite countertop looks the same as another makes it valued higher than its competition.

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Corian & Granite: Installation 

Since installation is a significant factor in overall expense, it is substantial to compare why Corian is cheaper than granite.

Corian’s lightness and versatility make it an easy installation project for even when DIY. One can cut it using a circular saw to the shape and size they desire and install it with no visible seams.

Now, it is much complicated to do when it comes to the heavy granite countertops, so it is better to leave the job for experts. They know how to handle it, cut it, and even fit it. On that note, installing granite is far more expensive compared to Corian.

Sure, you may take up the challenge to install a granite countertop yourself, but you might be setting yourself up for failure. You must remember that if you cut it the wrong way and try to make the seams disappear, you damage it. This will then force you to get new slabs. Also, if you drop one, it becomes another cost you will have to incur in replacing.

Corian & Granite: Maintainance

Granite stains quite a bit when you pour acidic liquids like vinegar and lemon juice. And that is why granite countertops necessitate the owner to seal it biannually or annually. It is also prone to chipping and cracking suppose you are used to dropping heavy items on the counter.

Unlike Granite, Corian does not stain at all. Thus, you don’t have to think of sealing maintenance costs. 

The good thing about granite is that it is scratch and heat-resistant. This means that you can place a hot pan or pot immediately from a fire. Corian does not offer you the same freedom. Anything hotter than 3250 Fahrenheit will damage a Corian countertop.

Corian is not scratch-resistant, and it is prone to getting cuts when you cut your veggies without a chopping board. The good news is that you can buff these scratches on a Corian countertop using a scouring pad.

The overall maintenance of both is easy and cheap. You only need soap and water to do basic cleaning and bleach and ammonia for a sanitizing clean. 

When it comes to granite, please refrain from using bleach, ammonia, or vinegar too much as it may react with the roc when it comes to granite. This may result in the stone appearing dull. And this is why sealing is paramount.

Other Factors That Differentiate Corian And Granite

Here are a few extras that differentiate these two countertop-making materials:

Health Hazards

Corian countertops meet all the safety regulations regarding the emissions guidelines for volatile organic compounds, also called VOCs. It is also clear from any hazardous air pollutants, HAPs. Additionally, it is Greenguard certified. It is non-allergenic to both humans and pets. It does not have any heavy metals.

Granite, on the other hand, may contain naturally occurring radioactive elements. And when these radioactive elements decay over time, they produce radon. Radon is odorless and colorless, meaning you will not be able to see or smell it. When you have long-term radon exposure, you are at a high risk of getting lung cancer.

Regardless, the EPA attests that most granite that makes countertops for any residential or commercial space is safe.

Bacterial And Pathogenic Resistance

Corian being a synthetically made material, is naturally a pathogen and bacteria-resistant countertop. This means that any spills containing any germs will not get absorbed by a Corian countertop. 

Granite remains clean with routine cleaning, although it may harbor bacteria and other pathogens over time. This is because of its porous nature. Spills containing these pathogens may sip into the countertop, and they can start living and multiplying.

For these reasons, places requiring clean counters like kitchens are best using the Corian instead of granite.

However, this is not to discredit graphite entirely. One study done by the Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management suggests otherwise. It states that granite is a safe surface as long as there is a routine cleaning and disinfecting practice. 

Significant Issues Of Corian And Granite Countertops Resulting In More Costs

Despite the pricing factor that we established that Corian is cheaper, there are a few problems with each counter type. Here they are and how you can solve them:

Corian

Denting And Scratches

You can easily dent or scratch a Corian countertop with little effort. Dropping a heavy load and cutting items without a chopping board are the leading causes of these issues. And when this happens, it makes the countertop less appealing. 

The solutions to these problems are elementary and may cost you a few bucks or nothing at all. Suppose the dent or crack is a big one; you will have to replace the whole countertop. But if it is a small one, you can cover it up using a filler.

You can sort out the scratches using a scouring pad, buff the scratches out, and finish off by polishing the surface.

Warping 

When you accidentally place a hot pan or cooking pot on a Corian countertop, the surface will bend, deforming the countertop’s shape. When this happens, you have no choice but to replace the affected tile or the entire countertop, depending on the damage. 

This is an extra cost that will also include buying, transportation, service, and installation. But if you are doing it on your own, you will reduce this expense.

The solution to prevent warping is to refrain from placing hot substances on a Corian countertop. You should also get a heat-resistant material and place it between the countertop and the hot pot if you must.

Non-Reusable

If you move and want to use the same Corian countertop tiles, be aware that they may not function as well. If you want a polished look in your new location, you’ll need to acquire a new set of tiles.

Alternatively, repurpose them and place them somewhere else. Consider the countertop in the backyard or the one on the patio.

Granite

Staining 

Granite is a natural stone, and staining is the main issue that can be a headache. You can stain a granite countertop with most colored liquids as well as oils. And they all leave an undesirable map on the surface.

The great news is that baking soda is a remedy you can use. Make a paste of baking soda with acetone. Then scrub away the map. This paste will, however, work for organic stains only. Bleach can also be used but only in moderation. Using it all the time will make your granite countertop dull.

The best solution is to seal the countertop.

Eerie Etching 

Eerie etching is an issue that occurs when you expose granite to vinegar. Fruit juice and ammonia also do the same to a granite countertop. The result is a dull countertop that looks less shiny and less appealing.

The solution to this problem is also sealing the graphite countertop. This is to ensure that nothing corrosive does any damage to the stone. Another simple solution is to clean all spills right away and not use any detergent with any acidic properties.

Hazing 

Hazing is when the countertop appears cloudy. This occurs because you might be using a detergent that is most certainly causing a reaction with the granite. 

If you notice this, reevaluate the soap you are using and change it. Opt to use stone-safe soaps instead.

Bottom Line 

Are Corian countertops cheaper than granite? Yes, based on what we have covered and numerous pieces of evidence. The fundamental reason for this is that Corian is a synthetic product, whereas granite is a naturally occurring stone. 

Regardless, Corian is the most cost-effective material to utilize in your house. Both provide stunning countertops, but Corian is hands down the less expensive alternative.

Sources:

6 Common Types of Granite Countertop Problems

GRANITE OR CORIAN: WHICH COUNTERTOP SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?

Corian vs. Granite

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Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started HomeInspectionInsider.com to help people better understand the home inspection process and answer questions about homeownership and home maintenance.

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