Corian Solid Surface vs. Granite Countertop Comparison Guide

Kitchen and bathroom countertops are one of the most essential parts of these important rooms in your home. Choosing the right countertop material is crucial to get the look, functionality, and durability you need. Two of the most popular options for countertops are Corian solid surface and granite. Both have attractive qualities that make them desirable choices. Knowing the pros and cons of Corian vs. granite countertops will help you select the best material for your needs.

What is Corian?

Corian is a solid surface material made from acrylic polymer and alumina trihydrate. It was created by DuPont in 1967 and continues to be manufactured exclusively by them. Corian is a non-porous material that can be fabricated seamlessly with inconspicuous seams. It’s available in a wide variety of colors and styles to complement any design aesthetic.

Here are some of the benefits of Corian solid surface countertops:

  • Seamless appearance – Joints between slabs are nearly invisible.
  • Durable – Resistant to stains, heat, scratches and won’t chip or crack under normal use.
  • Repairable – Minor damage can be sanded and buffed away. Corian can even be thermoformed to repair significant damage.
  • Hygienic – Non-porous surface inhibits growth of mold and bacteria.
  • Customizable – Available in a wide range of colors/patterns. Can be fabricated into integrated sinks and special shapes.
  • Matte finish – Pleasantly smooth but not highly reflective.
  • 10-year limited warranty.

Corian does have some downsides to consider:

  • Expensive – Higher cost than materials like laminate. Comparable price to natural stone.
  • Requires professional fabrication and installation.
  • Can be damaged by hot pots/pans or strong chemicals if not properly cared for.
  • Doesn’t have the prestigious cachet of natural stone.
  • Limited number of colors/patterns compared to quartz.

Overall, Corian is a great choice for durable, low-maintenance countertops that can be customized for your space. The seamless appearance and repairability make it popular for both residential and commercial settings.

What is Granite?

Granite is a natural stone that is mined from quarries around the world. It’s an igneous rock composed primarily of quartz and feldspar minerals. Granite forms over millions of years as magma cools far below the earth’s surface. It’s an extremely hard and durable material.

Granite countertops have been valued for their beauty and functionality for decades. Here are some of the benefits granite offers:

  • Unique natural beauty – Granite slabs have one-of-a-kind color variations and mineral patterns. No two are exactly the same.
  • Prestigious – Prized as a high-end material that adds value to a home. Conveys luxury.
  • Extremely durable – Resists scratches, stains, heat and is practically indestructible under normal use.
  • Easy maintenance – Requires only occasional sealing to prevent staining. Simple cleaning with soap and water.
  • Resale value – Granite countertops can help a home sell faster and for a higher price.
  • Variety of colors – Available in a rainbow of colors from vivid blue to pinks, reds, whites, grays and black.
  • 15-year transferable limited warranty.

There are some potential drawbacks with granite as well:

  • Expensive – Higher cost than most other countertop materials. Prices start around $60/sq.ft. installed.
  • Requires professional installation – Precise fabrication and seam placement is crucial.
  • Porous – Requires periodic sealing to prevent staining.
  • Susceptible to cracks/chips if subjected to impact. Chips are difficult to repair seamlessly.
  • Some very dark granites can show etching, scratches and wear over time.

Granite remains a top choice as a natural stone countertop option that adds timeless beauty and luxury to any home. Proper care and maintenance will ensure long-lasting satisfaction.

Corian vs. Granite: Key Differences

Now that we’ve covered the basics of each material, let’s compare Corian solid surface and granite countertops head-to-head. Here are the key differences:


  • Corian: Man-made solid surface material.
  • Granite: Natural quarried stone.


  • Corian: Available in over 100 colors but limited patterns. Subtle variations in tone.
  • Granite: Found in a vast array of natural colors/patterns. Dramatic veining provides uniqueness.


  • Corian: Easy routine cleaning with no sealing required. Periodic re-polishing of surface.
  • Granite: Straightforward maintenance but needs regular sealing to prevent staining.


  • Corian: Resilient to scratches, cuts and impact damage under normal use. Stain-resistant.
  • Granite: Extremely durable and able to withstand heavy use/abuse. Stain resistant when sealed.


  • Corian: Easily repaired by sanding or thermoforming. Most damage can be removed.
  • Granite: Very difficult to repair seamlessly. Chips and cracks usually remain visible.


  • Corian: Seams are inconspicuous and barely noticeable.
  • Granite: Seams are more apparent but can be tightly fitted during fabrication.


  • Corian: Can be formed into a wide variety of edge profiles and shapes. Integrated sinks available.
  • Granite: Edges can be finished in many ways but material is less flexible for custom designs.


  • Corian: $55-$75 per square foot installed.
  • Granite: $60-$150 per square foot installed.

Resale Value

  • Corian: Will add value but not as sought-after as natural stone.
  • Granite: One of the most desirable countertop materials for home buyers. Excellent resale value.

Let’s expand on some of the key differences:


Granite is available in a vast array of stunning natural colors and patterns. The variations of minerals and veining make each granite slab one-of-a-kind. Granite immediately elevates the design aesthetic of a kitchen or bath with its regal elegance and luxury. Corian offers a more uniform, subtle appearance with less dramatic veining. While very attractive, Corian cannot match the visual impact or prestige of real granite.


Both materials are highly durable and ideal for heavy-use areas like kitchen countertops. Granite is practically indestructible under normal wear and tear. It’s difficult to scratch, chip or crack and the polish will last essentially forever. Corian is also extremely durable but small nicks and cuts can occur under impact and it needs occasional re-polishing to maintain the smooth surface. For the absolute toughest, most durable material, granite has a slight edge.


Basic maintenance is straightforward for both Corian and granite but granite does require periodic sealing to prevent staining. Corian never needs sealing but should be cleaned with non-abrasive cleaners designed for solid surfaces. Harsh chemicals can damage the acrylic polymers in Corian. Granite can be easily cleaned with just soap and water but sealing it 1-2 times per year will keep it stain-free.


One clear advantage of Corian is the ability to fabricate seamless countertops and sinks in a wide variety of customized shapes. Edge profiles and integrated sinks can provide a very unique, designer look. Granite is limited to more basic shapes and edge styles due to the constraints of working with a natural stone slab. For truly one-of-a-kind designs, Corian solid surface provides more flexibility.


Pricing is comparable for Corian and granite, starting around $55-$75 per square foot installed for Corian and $60-$150 for granite. Material cost for granite varies greatly based on the type, color, origin and rarity of the stone. More exotic granites can range up to $200 per square foot or beyond. The final installed price also depends on the fabricator’s fees which are typically higher for granite.

Resale Value

Natural granite countertops will always be more sought-after by home buyers. Granite adds high value appeal and luxury to a home and is a wise investment if you plan to sell. Corian is also an attractive option for resale but doesn’t command the premium prices of high-end granite.

Pros & Cons of Corian Countertops

To recap, here are the key benefits that make Corian a top choice for solid surface countertops:


  • Attractive, subtle appearance available in numerous colors
  • Resilient and durable for years of use
  • Repairable surface damage
  • Seamless installation with inconspicuous joints
  • Easy cleaning and maintenance
  • Customizable for one-of-a-kind designs
  • Non-porous, inhibit growth of bacteria
  • 10-year limited warranty


  • Less prestigious than real natural stone
  • More expensive than laminate countertops
  • Can be damaged by heat or harsh chemicals
  • Limited style and color options compared to quartz
  • Periodic re-polishing needed to maintain finish
  • Lower resale value than granite countertops

The combination of good looks, durability, and ease of maintenance make Corian a smart choice for homeowners. The ability to create custom designs is also a big plus. Drawbacks are the higher cost versus materials like laminate and it lacks the wow-factor and resale value of natural stone.

Pros & Cons of Granite Countertops

Here are the primary benefits that make granite a top contender for kitchen and bathroom countertops:


  • Stunning natural beauty and endless variety
  • Extreme durability and longevity
  • Easy maintenance with simple soap and water cleaning
  • Prestigious, luxury appeal that increases home value
  • Resists scratches, stains and heat damage
  • 15-year transferable limited warranty


  • More expensive than most other countertop materials
  • Requires periodic sealing to prevent staining
  • Slightly more porous than Corian solid surface
  • Susceptible to chips and cracks that are hard to repair
  • Some darker granites can show wear over time
  • Professional installation is a must

Granite’s natural elegance, extreme durability, and luxury status make it a top choice. The range of colors and patterns available allow homeowners to really make a design statement. Downsides are mainly the higher cost and the need for professional fabrication and installation. Ongoing sealing and avoiding chips/cracks are also important. Overall, granite remains one of the most desirable kitchen and bathroom countertop materials.

Cost Comparison

Let’s break down the typical installed costs of Corian vs. granite:

Corian Solid Surface

  • Material cost: $55-$75 per sq.ft
  • Fabrication: $15-$25 per sq.ft
  • Installation: $10-$15 per sq.ft
  • Total estimated cost: $80-$115 per sq.ft installed


  • Material cost: $60-$200 per sq.ft (depends on stone type, color and origin)
  • Fabrication: $20-$50 per sq.ft
  • Installation: $10-$20 per sq.ft
  • Total estimated cost: $90-$270 per sq.ft installed

As you can see, material costs for the two are fairly comparable but granite has a much wider range depending on the type and grade chosen. Exotic imported granites can run $150 per sq.ft and above. The fabrication and installation costs are also typically higher for natural stone countertops.

Corian and mid-range granite prices are quite similar but more premium granites cost significantly more. Corian has the advantage of being one of the most affordable solid surface options. It provides a durable and attractive countertop material with the look of stone at a lower price point.

On average, expect to pay $80-$115 per square foot for installed Corian countertops and $90-$150 for mid-range granite. Higher-end granite can easily be $200 per square foot or more when premium materials and extensive custom cutting is required.

Always get quotes from at least 3 fabricators/installers to compare prices and see actual slab options before settling on a final budget number. The total cost depends heavily on the specific materials, designs, and complexity of your project.

Should You Choose Corian or Granite?

So which is the better choice – Corian or granite? Here are some key factors to help you decide:


If cost is the prime concern, Corian provides an affordable solid surface option. Mid-level granite can be comparable but premium natural stones will bust the budget.


For low maintenance, Corian requires only simple cleaning. Granite needs periodic sealing but isn’t overly demanding.

Design Aesthetic

For lively patterns and colors, dramatic veining and upscale elegance, granite is unrivaled. Corian offers a more uniform, subtle canvas.

Custom Designs

Corian can be formed into custom shapes and patterns. Granite is more limited for one-of-a-kind looks.


Both are very durable but granite is practically indestructible for years of heavy use.

Resale Value

Granite remains highly coveted by home buyers. Corian adds value but not as dramatically.

For many homeowners, the decision between Corian and granite comes down to the design style they want to achieve along with their budget. Home chefs who will really put their counters through their paces may also lean towards granite for unparalleled durability.

If aiming for a understated, low maintenance countertop, Corian is certainly a smart choice that provides beauty and function at a reasonable cost. For those who adore the one-of-a-kind drama of natural stone and want a lifetime countertop, granite still reigns supreme.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the most common questions about Corian solid surface and granite countertops:

Is Corian more affordable than granite?

On average, Corian is the less expensive option per square foot compared to most types of granite. Mid-range granite prices overlap with Corian but exotic granites can cost much more.

Is Corian durable enough for kitchen countertops?

Yes, Corian provides excellent durability for heavy use kitchen areas. It resists scratches, stains and heat damage under normal wear and tear. With proper care it will last for many years.

What are the best colors for Corian countertops?

Popular neutral Corian colors include Glacier White, Cameo White, Bisque and Linen. Bold colors like Crabapple and Deep Anthracite are also eye-catching choices.

Does Corian need to be sealed?

No. Unlike natural stone, Corian is non-porous so sealing is not required. Proper cleaning is all that is needed.

Can you repair Corian countertops?

Minor damage like scratches and cuts can be sanded down and buffed to restore the smooth finish. More significant damage can be thermoformed and bonded to repair seamlessly.

Is granite hard to maintain?

Granite is quite easy to care for. Simple soap and water cleaning is all that is needed on a daily basis. Sealing 1-2 times per year will keep it stain-free with minimal effort.

How often should you seal granite countertops?

Sealing granite every 6 months to 1 year is recommended. In heavy use areas or with darker, more porous stones, sealing 2-3 times per year provides maximum protection.

Is Corian or quartz better?

Quartz counters like Caesarstone are another leading solid surface option. The main differences are more color/pattern options with quartz but Corian offers better repairability. Overall quality is comparable.

Can you put hot pots and pans on Corian?

Yes, Corian can withstand brief contact with hot cookware but prolonged direct heat exposure in one area could eventually cause damage over time. Using trivets is recommended.

What thickness granite should I get?

3 cm (1-1/4″) is the standard thickness for granite countertops. For longer spans, overhangs or heavier use islands, a thicker slab of 3.5-4 cm is advisable for maximum structural support.


Corian and granite both offer great choices for kitchen and bathroom countertops with their own sets of advantages. For a natural material with timeless beauty that will last a lifetime, granite is unmatched. Corian provides a more affordable yet still highly durable and low-maintenance solid surface option.

Take time to consider the pros and cons of Corian vs granite in relation to your budget, overall design goals and how you use your counters. This will ensure you select the ideal material to fulfill both form and function. With proper care, either Corian or granite countertops will provide lasting performance and satisfaction in your home.