How to Choose Between Corian, Silestone and Granite Countertops
Use Kitchen Design Books as Resources
When choosing a counter top material, it is easy to become overwhelmed because of all of the choices available. Granite, Silestone and Corian are all beautiful and functional materials with pros and cons inherent to each. Consider the form and function associated with your particular application; kitchen counter tops typically receive high levels of use and also carry concerns about heat damage, while bathroom counter tops tend to receive slightly less use. There is also less associated worry about heat damage in bathrooms. Regardless of where you will be using your counter top, Corian, Silestone and granite all are good choices.Most of these materials can be purchased through a local home improvement store or professional design center.
Corian is a brand name associated with solid surface counter tops. It is not impervious to heat damage and can also be scratched. Scratches,however, can be buffed out and repaired quite easily. It is resistant to most stains because it is non-porous, and generally does not require sealing. Available in many colors, it is somewhat limited when comparedto granite. When installed professionally, it has almost invisibleseams and also allows for the installation of a built in sink of the same material. This too, is seamless with a smooth finish. Corian and other solid surface counter tops cost between $40 and $60 a square foot.
Silestone is the brand name given to an engineered quartz stone countertop product. It has been marketed as being resistant to germs and bacteria, though this is unproven. It is available in a wide array ofcolors, and is similar in installation to Corian, with little to no visible seaming. Engineered stone such as Silestone can run from $50 to$100 per square foot.
Granite is considered the top of the line when it comes to countertops. It is a hard stone, with unique coloring from slab to slab, with no two pieces alike. It comes in a variety of colors from yellows to reds and everything in between. Granite is heat resistant, scratch-resistant and stain-resistant, making it an excellent choice for counter tops. You will see some visible seams when it is installed; it also requires sealing with an appropriate sealer. Installed prices run from $70 to $90 per square foot.