Choosing the Best Kitchen Countertop: Quartz, Corian or Granite

A kitchen remodel brings a lot of decisions on everything from the overall design to the small details. Countertops are one of the biggest decisions you’ll make since they affect the overall look and function of your kitchen space.

Choosing between quartz, Corian and granite for your kitchen countertops requires considering several factors, including your budget and the look you want. Here are some considerations:

Luxury Options

If you’re looking for luxury in your kitchen, you may be considering quartz, Corian and granite since they are all luxurious finishes that come in a variety of shapes, sizes and edge details. When it comes to style, however, they each have their own look and appeal.

  • Streamlined look: If you prefer a clean, streamlined look, quartz and Corian are the top contenders. These finishes are fabricated, so you’ll have a range of consistent colors and patterns for a cohesive look.
  • Rugged look: If you prefer a rugged or natural look, granite is the best choice. The natural stone comes in an array of patterns and textures that are created by volcanic formation, so there’s no way to control or guide the way the minerals set.
  • Ultra-luxurious look: If you prefer a step above the typical luxury finish, quartz or granite are excellent options. Both of these finishes have gorgeous mineral flecks and a high sheen that looks upscale.
  • Color palette: Quartz, Corian and granite all come in a rich variety of colors, but if you want bright colors like orange, purple, yellow and green, quartz and Corian are the best options. As expected, natural stone is limited by the colors produced during its formation, but manufactured finishes like quartz and Corian use man-made pigments and flecks to create a rainbow of possibilities.

Durability

The kitchen is one of the high-traffic areas of your home, especially if you have a large family or do a lot of entertaining. In this case, having a durable, low-maintenance countertop may be the highest priority so that you don’t have to worry about leaving hot pans on the counter or messes that need to be cleaned up immediately to avoid staining.

Quartz and Corian are the best options for durable, low-maintenance kitchen countertops. These finishes are fabricated with high-quality resin that creates a non-porous surface. Non-porous means a surface that isn’t permeable to air, water or other fluids, which is ideal for a room that comes in contact with a lot of bacteria and fluids. The result is a hygienic finish that’s resistant to cracking, etching, staining and fissures.

  • Quartz is the top contender for durability. It’s virtually indestructible and requires no special cleaning or sealing.
  • Corian is heat- and crack-resistant, but if it does get a scratch, it can be buffed out easily. It also doesn’t need sealing.
  • Granite is a hard stone, but it can still get cracks, fissures, stains and etching over time, due to its porous quality. Granite countertops are better for homeowners who are comfortable with higher-maintenance cleaning and long-term care.

Eco-Friendliness

If designing an eco-friendly kitchen is important, you can find plenty of options that work well in sustainability.

  • Quartz comes from brands that are made in the U.S. and conserve fossil fuels. Quartz slabs contain one of the planet’s most common minerals, as well as pre- and post-consumer recycled materials. Quartz also lasts a long time.
  • Corian is a highly durable material and doesn’t require the lengthy fabrication process of granite. It may be manufactured using chemicals, however.
  • Granite requires extensive mining for extraction and high-demand shipping requirements that aren’t sustainable.

Cost-Effectiveness

In terms of cost, quartz, Corian and granite vary widely across the country. The cost factors include the size of your kitchen and island, the material, the edge style, thickness, finish, water edge or sheet backsplash and more.

Furthermore, the quote you get from a big box store often sounds affordable, especially in comparison to your other costs, but it’s rarely your out-the-door price. Most stores don’t include templating and fabrication, which means extra charges, and the edge and radius corners aren’t included in the price. All of these styling options are important and add to your total costs.

You also have to consider delivery and installation. If you intend to have your kitchen countertops delivered and installed professionally, that’s another charge added. You can install the countertop yourself, of course, but you’ll need to disconnect appliances, remove your old countertop, level your cabinets, attach the under-mount sink and drill holes for the faucet, which is more than most owners want to take on.

When estimating the true cost, it’s best to get a customized estimate for your particular kitchen and design with a professional company to choose the right countertop for your needs.

That said, you can estimate the general costs per square foot of these three countertop options. Generally, quartz is the most expensive. Granite is slightly less in cost per square footage, and Corian is the least expensive of the three. Taking this into consideration, you have a starting point for the best option for your kitchen.

If cost is a concern, keep in mind that one of the hottest trends in kitchen design is mixed media countertops. For example, you can use a material like Corian or quartz for your wall countertops, but then choose a butcher block made from reclaimed wood for your island. Wooden cutting boards can be inset into your countertop near the sink or food prep area as well, giving you a different look.

Plan Your Kitchen Remodel

As you can see, planning your kitchen remodel takes a lot of time and consideration, especially when it comes to the combination of form, function, cost and durability of your kitchen countertops. If you want guidance on choosing the ideal countertop material for your kitchen aesthetic, color palette, size and budget, the Kitchen Solvers team is ready and willing to assist.

And be sure to check out our blogs, Pros and Cons of Different Countertop Materials along with All About Quartz Countertops and Everything You Need to Know About Granite Countertops for more information on choosing the best countertop for your kitchen.

Kitchen Solvers is your top remodeling resource, whether you’re doing a full remodel on your existing kitchen or you’re just looking for a few updates. Visit one of our convenient locations today to consult with our friendly and knowledgeable team about your next kitchen project!

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