05 December 2009

Not my Dad's Corian

When I was in high school, my Dad renovated our bathroom. I am the fifth kid out of seven making a family of nine. The house where we grew up was big, we had plenty of room. But times were different then, and the nine of us shared a single bathroom. That was some kind of fun, let me tell you. So Dad's decision to renovate the bathroom single-handedly was not one he undertook lightly.

My Dad never did anything half way, he still doesn't. Since this took place in 1979, he used Corian for not just the vanity counter, but for the shower surround as well. I never appreciated his labors until I was older (his labors on this bath as well as his many other labors) but the man was a marvel. Again, since it was 1979, my Dad's miraculous bathroom was a vision in Venaro Peach.

As my appreciation for my Dad's devotion and commitment to his family grew, my esteem for his choice of materials declined. Times changed and tastes changed. Over time, more materials became available and Corian fell from favor as the go-to choice for kitchen and bath surfaces.

I've been referring to it's entire category, solid surface, as dying for years. I think the last time I put it in a kitchen was six or seven years ago, and that was under extreme duress.

Well imagine my shock when I saw the delightful Jamie Goldberg's Gold Notes on Tuesday and I read her column about the "new" Corian. This is not my Dad's Corian and my predictions of its death might have been premature.

Corian has just re-tooled its brand and its palette. Check out these beauties.

Burled Beach

Egyptian Copper






Lava Rock


Really. Check out Corian's website.


  1. You might want to also check out Mystera http://www.hudsonsolidsurfaces.com/ One issue to consider (that your dad probably found working with Venaro Peach Corian) is that solid surface with a directional pattern will show seams.

    Another factoid to remember if your working with acrylic solid surface is that it doesn't require a sub top (like granite or quartz) and it's usually thinner, so you need to allow for the lower resulting height of a counter on a standard height cabinet. Make sure you shim up the cabinets enough to be able to get the dishwasher out (or other under-counter appliances) after installation for repairing or fixing leaks.

  2. Ditto everything you mentioned about shimming up to height but where that's most important is around a slide-in range. Talk about an expensive mistake to miss that one!

  3. We have Earth in our kitchen, and I love it ... removed granite in favor of the Corian, if you can believe it. It creates the impression of soapstone, but adds a contemporary touch to our very traditional Shaker cherry kitchen.

  4. As a Sales Manager for a countertop fabricator, I see every surface, every brand and every option. DuPont really hit a home run with some of these new colors! We sell some of these colors weekly and with every installation, I am still amazed at how beautiful the colors are.

    The one thing I would recommend to anyone specifying this collection of colors (often referred to as part of the Private Collection fron Corian) is that most of these are directional materials just like a granite or marble. I suggest ensuring clarification on how the fabricator will handle corners and turns with this collection. Some fabricators will automatically ensure the 'grain' all goes the same direction (and lay the job out similarly to piecing the job on a natural stone slab), others will want to miter the corners so the material directions meet in the corner and then 'turn' (and you will need to add 5 square feet for this application) and yet others will simply butt the joint so the direction of the pieces end up perpendicular to one anther (the LEAST likely solution, in my opinion. It looks horrible and cheapens the effect of the material). Often specifiers are caught off guard by this characteristic until it is too late and the client is unhappy with the results. All 3 solutions are industry standards and considered acceptable. It is up to you as the specifier to guide the client and sometimes the fabricator, on how you want the directional applications handled.

    On a different note with this collection, check out the color called "Rain Cloud". It honestly resembles a marble when it's installed. It is breathtaking (and I NEVER thought I would say that about a solid surface product!)

  5. Thanks for those pointers Sherry. That the kind of thing I know and never think to mention to folks who aren't up to their elbows in counter materials every day. It's easy to forget sometimes, that for most people this is a one-time purchase. You comments are well-timed and thoughtful. Thank you.

    Hartwood Roses: Welcome and thank you for your comment. Anybody who adopts a greyhound is the kind of person I want hanging around this blog. I'm happy to hear that you're enthusiastic about your Earth counters. Did you have them installed recently? Send me a photo of your kitchen, I'd love to see it. And I promise that your photos won't end up here. :)


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