If you are looking for a bathroom vanity top with integral bowl and a low-maintenance cleaning routine, you may consider both cultured marble and Corian. Both can offer you a seamless counter and sink, and both are fairly low-maintenance materials. Looks, cost and repairs in case of scratches do vary widely between the two products, making the choice an individual one for each household.
Corian is a solid surface material manufactured by DuPont. Acrylic resins are mixed together with color pigments, heated and poured into a mold to cool. Corian is infinitely shapeable and can be formed into vanity tops, kitchen counters or shower surrounds.
Seams are heated and melted together so they become invisible, and the color goes straight through the surface for malleability.
Cultured Marble Overview
Cultured marble is an acrylic resin that is mixed with crushed or ground marble. The result is a solid piece of acrylic with a subtle vein reminiscent of real marble. Cultured marble products are typically finished with a highly polished gel coat, and are available in shower walls or vanity tops.
Corian Appearance and Cost
Corian is available in a very wide range of colors and styles. Solid color and multiple color looks are available, with tiny flecks of other colors running through the surface, mimicking the look of natural stone. Corian typically has a dull or flat surface. Different colors can be fused together in one slab. This can mean a white sink with a colored counter, or a shower stall made up of a custom design.
Corian varies widely in price depending on the color of the material and its use. Pricing starts around $50 a square foot and can go as high as $150.
Cultured Marble Appearance and Cost
Cultured marble is available in a range of colors, most with a soft hue and secondary color vein. The sink and counter will be the same color, as will a solid wall in the shower. While some cultured marbles are available in a matte finish, most are polished to a high shine.
Cultured marble prices range from $10 a square foot to as high as $35 a square foot.
Corian Care and Repair
Corian needs little care. It can be washed with most cleansers without harm. It can scratch, burn and melt if subjected to knives, harsh abrasives or hot pots and curling irons. If Corian scratches or melts, it can be repaired with special scouring pads, available through approved distributors. It does take some effort to rub out a mark, but since the surface is dull and the color goes all the way through, it can be done.
Cultured Marble Care and Repair
Cultured marble can be washed with most nonabrasive cleansers. It can also scratch or melt easily if it comes in contact with sharp objects or heat. To repair cultured marble, purchase a kit containing a gel coat to return the material to its former high shine and uniform appearance.
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