This homify article is special as it acquaints you with Corian. Every year, new furnishing & design materials flood the market and offer novel opportunities for us to improvise upon how our home spaces look. Home professionals experiment with new & ever evolving materials to cater to the clients’ wish for innovative home design.
Here we are going to talk about one of the novel materials- Corian- which you may have heard about, but might still not have a clear idea regarding it. So, let us get up, close & personal with what Corian really is, what it is used for and when it is used.
What is Corian? Corian is a synthetic material for solid surfaces, developed by Dupont. It consists of 1/3rd acrylic resin (PMMA) and 2/3rd Aluminum hydroxide (Aluminum trihydrate). How can this material contribute to the interior design of our homes? Read on to know more about its characteristics, advantages, disadvantages & costs, and be inspired to try this fashionable modern material!
Taking a peek into history, the first formulation of Corian goes back to 1963 & was made by 2 scientists from Dupont- Don Slocum and George Mann. The material was marketed as Corian in 1967, and 2 years later, the serial production of Corian plates began at DuPont's Yerke factory in Buffalo. In 1970, the original formulation of the product was replaced by the current one, making the material more resistant to acids. The new formulation also makes it translucent, enhancing its utility for decoration.
In 1974, the first molded objects were made, and in 1981, the invisible joint adhesives appeared. 2004 saw the first impression of color images embedded in Corian and in 2007, the palette of available colors was expanded to hundred. Impressive, eh?
Corian boasts of the most outstanding qualities- it offers the ease of moulding, makes possible eliminating visible joints, is translucent, and hard & resistant to abrasion.
Corian has some wonderful characteristics, including the following:
a) It is suitable for exteriors, as it is unaffected by ultraviolet radiation;
b) Corian pieces are joined with special adhesives that eliminate the jointed look, allowing for objects of bigger dimensions and continuous appearance;
c) It is non-porous. Minor damage can be eliminated by rubbing it with non-abrasive cleaners or by sanding, and greater damage can be conveniently repaired locally. As Corian is a homogeneous material, Corian surface can be restored by general sanding, similar to how it would be for wood;
d) It is an inert material and in case of fire, the gases produced by its combustion are non-toxic;
e) Corian can be easily worked with carpentry tools;
f) It is translucent. This allows for its use in lamps, novel designs of furniture and retro-illuminated decorative elements; and
g) Corian is entirely waterproof & antibacterial, which makes it a good choice for use in hospitals, laboratories, restrooms & surgical areas among other places requiring 100% hygiene.
Any product has its pros & cons, and Corian is no different. Apart from being on the costlier side, it has the following disadvantages:
a) Its use as a countertop material can cause deformation in case of very hot utensils (although it is said to withstand up to 205ºC);
b) Its relative ease of getting scratched- hardness of Corian is equivalent to that of hardwood, being inferior to stones like granite or some of the synthetic compounds with a mineral base; and
c) Corian is sensitive to some chemicals such as acetone, and certain solvents.
The maintenance of furniture constructed with Corian is minimal since owing to its non-porous nature, it can resist stains; the stains do not penetrate and thus are easy to clean. Due to this advantage & the absence of joints, Corian surfaces facilitate thorough cleaning and hinder the growth of germs. These characteristics make this material suitable to be used in strictly asepsis environments, such as operating theaters. Therefore, you can use it in your bathroom or kitchen without any worry, taking precautions only in terms of the temperatures it can withstand sans getting damaged.
Corian can be purchased in different colors & models. When designing a furniture with Corian, the cost varies depending upon whether the furniture is straight/ linear, or it has curves/features with special widths & contours. Even so, the price of the material corresponds to the average- high range; but the cost gets more negotiable as you approach standard sizes, for example, by choosing worktops 60 cm wide. It can be said that in such a scenario, the cost becomes the main negative point of Corian… ..but considering a 10 year warranty, it is still profitable.
In a modern kitchen, the different working surfaces can be given a spectacular look with Corian. The colors & models available offer a wide range for selection. You can tastefully combine Corian with the design of the tiles or with the wall & floor linings.
Just be mindful that like countertops made of other non-stone materials, Corian countertops have comparatively lesser heat resistance. So, it is advisable not to place utensils fresh out of the fire on a Corian countertop, since excessive heat can cause damage/ deformation of the surface. You can make use of protector-pads over the countertop to place the very hot utensils, so as to prevent possible damage to the Corian surface.
Corian is manufactured both as plates and preformed pieces. For the plates, the mixture of Aluminum and resin is poured on a moving tape of steel that crosses a tunnel of low temperature. Once the mixture is cooled, the edges of the sheet are trimmed with standardized measurements- the ones most commonly used for washbasin counters. The commonly used thicknesses of Corian are 6 mm and 12 mm.
Toilets, sinks and bathtubs can also be made of Corian. Corian toilets are molded pieces and are often integrated with the counter, forming a single element. In addition to rectangular shape, round or oval toilets are also popular and are designed in different sizes.
Corian washbasin is easy to install, like any ceramic or glass washbasin. In bathrooms, the non-porous character of Corian is an advantage as it makes them totally impermeable and guarantees zero retention of germs.
If you want to modernize your lounge/ living room using Corian, as shown in the picture, you can opt for a sofa designed with a Corian base on which you could place plush cushions that lend a sophisticated, cozy ambiance to the room. This type of designs fit well with the contemporary chic style & spacious rooms. The Corian bases used are corrosion resistant and easy to maintain. When teamed up with befitting furniture, upholstery, shades & decor, a Corian base couch can impart a really jazzy, modern, original & creative stance.