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Quartz vs. Corian: Serving counter considerations

Photograph courtesy of LTI, Inc.

When it comes to purchasing serving counter material, the most recent trend has been for operators to err on the side of popularity, which leads them to choosing quartz. But is quartz the best option for every scenario? What about considering Corian®?

When faced with a decision between quartz and Corian®, it’s important to determine what is the right material rather than what is the “better” material. To help make the decision process more educated, here are the basics to consider with each option.

Quartz

In recent years, the go-to material for high-end finishes has been quartz. This engineered stone is highly desirable because of its extreme durability and the variety of colors, beautiful patterns and finishes. Through the manufacturing process, quartz is made less porous than natural stone materials, such as granite, marble and concrete. Because of its consistency, it does not stain as easily as natural stone, nor does it require refinishing and sealing every few years. However, quartz is not without its inconveniences.

The chief concern with quartz is price, which will generally be greater than its natural stone counterparts and far greater than other manufactured materials such as Corian®. While quartz is less likely to chip than granite, if it does chip or become damaged, repair options are usually limited to replacing the entire section of countertop—a costly endeavor. Finally, while making for an attractive finish, seams in quartz counters are require a special caulking that is prone to wearing away over time. This caulk also requires cleaning and occasional re-caulking.

Corian®

Another engineered material, albeit a far less expensive one, Corian® is a layered acrylic produced to mimic stone. Invented by DuPont in 1967, Corian® has experienced less demand as a serving counter material than its stone-based counterparts. However, since DuPont’s patent ran out, there are now several companies manufacturing Corian®, leading to greater varieties in quality, color and design.

Like quartz, Corian® does not require a seal and has great resistance to stains. However, unlike quartz, it can be produced to fit nearly any design with seams that are virtually invisible. While it may be slightly less strong than quartz, when damage such as a dent or scratch occurs, it can generally be repaired. This can save operators from the exorbitant replacement costs that come with a quartz counter.

For foodservice operators, the choice to install quartz counters is no longer set in stone. The aesthetic appeal, improving durability and long-term value of a product like Corian® is giving foodservice operators more to think about when it comes to counter material. Fully researching each product and understanding its capabilities, lifespan and lifetime value will ensure the right material decision is made.

This post is sponsored by LTI, Inc.

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