Recent Posts

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Closer Look at the Kitchen Renovation- Corian Countertops

Several of you have been waiting for this post since I first mentioned I was going to install Corian countertops in the Storybook Cottage kitchen. You had questions! I hope this post will answer them all.

DTA Summer Tour 2015 125

First and foremost in my heart of hearts if this would have been my forever home I would have installed white marble countertops. But this is just our “for the next few years” home. So, we had to consider investment costs verses resale payout.

Why We Chose Corian

Given the price point we were in there were just a few countertop options. Several big bloggers and design sites have stated that laminate “Has come a long way” and while I agree, for my own home it just not the look I was going for.

Quartz was another option but it tended to only be available in a darker color palette and that was not what was needed for our rather dark “before” kitchen.

So that left Corian. I googled “Marble Corian Countertop” and was totally delighted when I saw this gorgeous kitchen from Made By Girl.

After some more google research I found Jen's kitchen (from "Made By Girl"). She has my dream kitchen and it's not carrara marble it's the Corian Rain Cloud

A bit more research revealed that the marble like Corian version is called “Rain Cloud” and boy howdy is it a fantastically close match! Hint: the real piece of marble is the small top slab.

How Corian Rain Cloud (countertop) compares to real marble (sample laying on top)

The Installation Process

After picking up a sample of Rain Cloud, as well as a few other choices, I headed home. It’s always best to see samples IN the room that they will be placed in. While I loved Rain Cloud it quickly became evident that the white and grey marbleized pattern would clash with the “not going to be replaced anytime soon” tan tile kitchen floor. So we selected Corian “Linen”. It is a soft white background with bright white and pale tan flecks.

It was a fairly light color option because the ultimate goal was to bring the kitchen out from its “Dark Dungeon” status.


Painting the cabinets had helped, but a new countertop was in order. This was as much for looks as for performance. The previous owners has just laid granite tile squares directly over the old existing laminate. The tile had not been laid evenly nor had the right amount of adhesive been used. These factors made for a wobbly, uneven kitchen countertop.


Because the granite tile and stone backsplash had been improperly installed the demo was done in about 15 minutes. The tiles pretty much just popped off at the slightest nudge.

Ikea cabinet 001

It’s always a treasure hunt here at Storybook Cottage. Thirty years someone had applied wallpaper directly to the sheetrock. This application makes it impossible to remove in the future without damaging the drywall. Please, if you can, avoid doing this. It was somewhat interesting to excavate a few more layers of wallpaper. All the trends of the past 30 years were evident. The most recent wall application, done by previous owners, was applying fake plaster on top of the wallpaper so the walls could be painted. At this point to correct the issues all of the sheetrock would need to be removed in the kitchen. Or I can be content with faux plaster walls. I’m content.

Ikea cabinet 004

It takes about two weeks after an order is placed for the countertops to be delivered. One of the benefits of Corian is that there are no seams. The countertop arrives all in one piece.

Ikea cabinet 007

You also have the option of integrated sinks which I LOVE! No yucky film or mildew can build up on the sink edge because there isn’t one.

DTA Summer Tour 2015 092

Once the countertop is in place it is then sanded down to reveal a slight sheen. Even though the sander/vacuum has an attached bag be forewarned that a layer of Corian dust is going to settle over every inch of the room.

Ikea cabinet 009-001

Here is a side by side shot of the sheen that is revealed after sanding.

Ikea cabinet 012

The entire installation process took approximately 6 hours. Our kitchen is rather on the small side. You can begin using the counters right away.

On a side note, if your husband is not handy with basic plumbing skills you will need to hire a plumber to reinstall your faucet. We really love our Wetherly kitchen faucet by Moen. I do have plans to remove the base plate in the future for a cleaner look. #can’twait

DTA Summer Tour 2015 051-001

Two weeks out and we are so happy to have new countertops.

DTA Summer Tour 2015 121

Wednesday’s post will be all about the subway tile backsplash.



GSGreatEscaper said...

Laura, thank you for that informative exposition of the whole method of installation. I did not know about the sanding/sheen process. The kitchen looks fabulous! I'm sorry you couldn't choose the color you really wanted but the overall impression is still amazing. And, it could turn out to be a blessing in disguise because it's possible that in 8 years or so the pendulum will have turned back to beige from the gray that is now the popular neutral palette. (A friend complained to me on Saturday that her house used to be the gray house on their street but now the houses on both sides have been painted gray!)

Auntie Em said...

Your new countertops are gorgeous! Love the light bright look in your new kitchen. I know marble is the preferred counter top material but the solid surface is so easy care and a practical trade off.
Now for my kitchen I went for laminate since I love changing things so much and for a few hundred dollars I can switch my kitchen to look totally different. (thank goodness DH is so obliging and handy! lol) And like it was mentioned, laminate has come a long way over the years)
I am sure you and your family will enjoy many warm and loving moments shared over good food prepared in your new room.

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

LOVE LOVE the way the new countertop and backsplash looks!!

Angela said...

Laura, your kitchen is beautiful! I love how your countertops and backsplash look. You have excellent taste!

Prettypracticalhome said...

Good morning, Laura! The Corian is a great option and turned out beautifully. I found it to be a durable material and enjoyed cooking with it. We had the same wallpaper issue in our first Texas home. Wallpaper applied directly to Sheetrock with textured walls below the chair rail! We stripped what we could and skimmed the walls so that new paper could be applied. Houses here are full of surprises ;). Thanks for explaining the installation process.

Louise said...

What a wonderful transformation

Louise said...

And your table setting is so pretty and yummy looking


Beautiful transformation for your kitchen, it sure looks gorgeous! Your new countertops are fabulous, it's the best of all when we get to transform our kitchens. Even our mood changes for the very best...hahahaaaa...
Enjoy this great place with your dear family.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

You kitchen has come such a long ways since you bought this house. Wow, what fabulous transformations.

nonie everythingsewing said...

It looks wonderful, so nice and bright.

Linda said...

That looks gorgeous!! I'm just amazed at all you've done. Did you have a budget set aside for this entire renovation? There are so many things I'd like to someday renovate in our house but we tend to spend our money on other things like eating out, maintaining cars, vacations, college, shopping, and gardening and we don't do credit so it really leaves nothing left for renovations such as this, so we basically live with it. I do want to get our main living area (our only family living space, lol) painted sometime this year but probably not before fall now.

Kerri Van Aken said...

My mom put in Corian counter tops in her kitchen in 1983. 32 years later, they still look great. You made a good choice!

Shelia said...

Hi Laura! Oh, your kitchen looks marvelous! The painted cabinets look awesome and your Corian is so pretty. Didn't realize they made a marble looking one. You could have fooled me. When we bought our new/old house the counter tops in the are Corian. Just plain white and then a dark blue on the island. It is pretty worn and I've read you can resand and start over but I've never tried. :)
Your home is looking gorgeous. Am I surprise? Naw! :)
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Hena Tayeb said...

gorgeous.. what an improvement.. i love the all white-ish look

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

It looks great, Laura! We had corian in our kitchen in New York, with the integrated sink. I loved it. Here we have the laminate that was here when we moved in. I'm not sure if we will replace it because, like you, I'm not sure if this will be our "forever home" now and I'd like to go with quartz.

Dawna Motz said...

That can't be the same kitchen!! It looks awesome now!! and i love the white subway tiles..looking pretty spiffy! I love it!

ellen b. said...

A wonderful transformation! said...

That looks fantastic! What a great transformation. I agree I like the integrated sink too - makes clean up easy!

Lisa said...

WOW! I've been away for a bit Laura but I have kept up with all the beautiful happenings going on at your house. Such a pretty kitchen and who knew marble had a Corian twin?

Denise said...

Hi Laura,

I think your countertops, sink, and backsplash turned out beautifully. When we were having our granite countertops installed, they had to talk me into getting an undermount sink, as opposed to the old style of porcelain sink. What was I thinking??!! I love the undermount sink because you don't get a buildup of crumbs, mold, and mildew like I had with the old sink. I'm glad you chose a porcelain sink because those are my hands-down favorite. :) I think subway tile is a beautiful choice for backsplash; my next-door neighbor just had that installed in her kitchen re-model. We chose not to use the base plate with our faucet, and have been very happy with that decision -- our faucet is very similar to yours. Also, as much as seeing the materials used, I love to see everyone's pretty things that they place on their countertops. It's the final perfect touch! I love your marble pastry slab and rolling pin and the glass canisters.

Enjoy your pretty and cheerful new space!


Denise at Forest Manor

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

It looks fantastic. Corian would have been my choice if could have offered it and I'm drooling over your now bright kitchen!

Unknown said...

I love your kitchen, everything turned out beautifully! We have narrowed our choice down to corian linen as well. Are you still happy with it? Has it held up well? Also, we want to get the integrated sink. What "white" did you use? Yours
Looks so nice. We are having a hard time deciding which of the corian "whites" for sink choices looks best with the linen counters. Thanks for your time!

Decor To Adore said...

Hello dear UNKNOWN. I have no way of contacting you so I hope you will return and see my response. Over a year later we still are really enjoying our Corian counter tops. Best of luck in your remodel.

Decor To Adore said...

PS: I just chose the plain white integrated sink.

Kim Puzak said...

Thanks for your response! I'm glad to hear that you're still enjoying them! Do you find it difficult to keep the sink looking clean? Does it stain easily? Thanks again for your time.

Decor To Adore said...

Hi Kim, the manufacturer recommends a soft scrub cleanser. I use the soft Bon Ami version about once a week for a good deep scrub. In between, a few times a week, I spray a bit of the Clorox spray bleach for sanitizing. This is so much easier to keep clean compared to our previous stainless sink.