Corian Kitchen Worktops
I was recently asked by a friend of ours, who is planning her new kitchen, whether there was a cheaper option to the increasingly expensive Corian solid surface kitchen worktops. She wanted something that had similar properties and benefits but wasn’t cheap-feeling like a laminate worktop.
Before I go on however, let me just explain a bit about Corian and what I mean by ‘solid surface’. This material has been made by DuPont since 1967 and has been extremely popular in the last 10 years in contemporary kitchens, with white being the most popular colour choice. It is available in over 70 colours and can be fabricated to any size and thickness required. When fitted there are no visible joints and sinks can be inserted (in the same material) to form one continuous surface, which is solid, non-porous, difficult to stain, impact resistant and warm to the touch. However it comes with a hefty price tag and worktops that are fabricated off-site by specialist companies average around £400 per metre.
I started looking into this and found some startling results. It turns out that a worktop constructed from chipboard with a 6mm solid surface ‘veneer’ is available from several manufacturers.
Just like a laminate, these worktops come in pre-fabricated lengths and thicknesses, a choice of around 15 colours and can be cut and installed on-site by a kitchen fitter or experienced DIY person. However, unlike a laminate top, seamless joints can be obtained with a bit of practice and under-mounted sinks can be inserted to order. The properties, performance and durability are the same as Corian but the average price per metre is just £125. Some manufacturers can even fabricate worktops to your desired dimensions for a little extra cost and most come with a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty just like Corian.
We have a Corian worktop in our kitchen, which we love, and I fabricated myself but with these cheaper varieties available I would seriously consider using them next time. As far as I can see the only bonus to having a Corian worktop is the brand, the ability to have it fabricated to your exact choice of thickness and dimensions and a wider choice of colours. Corian are the inventors of this type of material and are still the market leaders, but more and more people want this kind of quality but cannot afford the price so I think these cheaper, standard sized worktops will become more popular and with a little clever design and good installation no one would ever know the difference.
The other bonus to these worktops is that you may save enough to treat yourself to some designer taps or even a pop-up plug socket!!