What are 'Corian' Solid Surfaces? What are their applications in Sanitary, Kitchen & Other Usage?

A young female undergraduate of architecture with a husky but sweet voice on the other side of the phone had a question for Bricksnmortar Edesk--
"Have you guys heard about this building product called 'Corian' and 'Corian Solid Surfaces'?"

Typically we receive queries over emails or via our twitter or facebook handles or through our 'ask us' hyperlinks to which we ponder upon, discuss and then post a reply and/or information by means of a blog post. This was the first of instances when someone had called-in and requiring immediate answer to her query. A client of her case study in the curriculum had heard of this building material somewhere and wanted the young 'to-be-architect' to provide the requisite information. The young lady was briefed about this product called 'Corian' by one of our team members, and some related weblinks shared with her for her subsequent detailed perusal and surfing. But as promised to her, we are sharing the information on the material here on this blog too.

So, What are 'Corian' Solid Surfaces, and what are their applications in Sanitary, Kitchen &  Other Usages?

'Corian' is nothing but the trademarked brand name of a building material that was created by the famous company 'DuPont' in the 1960s. It is a very useful solid, non-porous, homogenous, architectural stone-like surfacing material which has wide applications in the architectural, construction and interior designing world. This material finds wide usage as:
  • kitchen platform counter-tops
  • bathroom vanity counter-tops
  • furniture tops and bench-tops
  • moulded sinks & basins (as an alternate to white chinaware and steelware in wet area applications)
  • creative & moulded wall cladding (interior & exterior)
  • finishing surfaces for facades, fascias, cornices, and the likes
  • for signages and insignias
  • concept designer furniture & furnishing elements
  • creative and inquisitive lighting fixtures & effects
  • perhaps many other kinds of newer forms and shapes

Usage wise, Corian's closest competitors in terms of solid surface materials are  granite & marble stones; ceramic or vitrified tiles; stainless steel; fibre glass; etc.

'Corian' (and perhaps other similar building materials made by other companies like DuPont the world over too) are made essentially from a controlled chemical compound that uses bauxite extracted Aluminium TriHydrate (ATH) as the base material along with selective acrylic polymer resins, color pigments, etc. The main ingredient ATH provides this building material a stone-like hard surface, but which unlike the natural finishing stones can be cut, routed, drilled, sculpted, bent, or worked like wood upon simple controlled heating process called 'thermoforming'

In its simplest commercial form, Corian is available in market as rectangular sheets primarily in thicknesses of 6mm, 12mm and 18mm, which can be thermoformed by heating it to 150 °C (300 °F) and thereby transforming these simple sheets into almost seamless and unique shapes for a multitude of uses as stated above.

Other popular brands of similar make and use include:
  • LG's HI-MACS brand
  • Polylac Holland BV's Marlan brand
  • Samsung's Staron brand
  • Cosentino's Silestone
  • Wilsonart's Gibraltar brand
  • US Surface Warehouse's LivingStone brand
  • Durasolid surfaces
The finished products are quite elegant and impressive in appearance. The usage is still in high-value/ high-end projects like airports, restaurants, commercial estates and the likes. The usage at the homes of the common people like you and us is still not very common due to lesser penetration in terms of awareness and less numbers of dealers/ outlets. If promoted aggressively and the prices are kept reasonably, solid surfaces like Corian, Hi-Macs, Marlan, Gibralatar, etc. will become more and more common to see in many a homes.

Architects, designers and creative personnel have long been collaborating with these companies offering such building materials and create mind-boggling products. These pictures, sourced from open web, tell a beautiful story by themselves. Enjoy the beauty of these creations!

Have you used these solid surfaces commercially or personally? If yes, you may share your pictures and stories with us, and we shall publish the selected ones here on this site.
[Note: In case you are not able to see the embedded slideshow portraying the amazing and creative usages of Corian, have a look at it visiting here

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  1. These are marvelous options. Where can I find them in Delhi may I please know?


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