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Corian/Minerva/Granite or something else?

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Mrs C

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We are debating what to use for kitchen worktops. I have done one side in ash but don’t want a wooden worktop round the sink. The last house we had granite which was fab, but expensive.

What are people’s thoughts on durability and cost of Corian and Minerva? Is there anything else I should consider? It’s a 3m run with sink part way down and goes into an odd shaped corner which is 800x700

Thanks
 

boardgamer

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We had Corian worktops installed in our kitchen 7 years ago. Without doubt it is the best surface we've ever had, and we would never choose a different option. My wife loves it. We have upstands at the rear and side edges, so really easy to clean. The sink is integrated, so no overhanging edges or joins where dirt can build up. The (induction) hob sits almost flat in a cutout. Just fantastic. (As much as a worktop can be....). There are some surface marks that you can see if you look with a strong light in the right direction, but if they ever bothered me, I can just get my sander out and give it quick once-over with 220g, and it'll be back to new. I haven't felt the need in 7 years. (The installers used a Festool sander, with Brilliant discs.)

Possible problems
We've a careful couple and look after it. Very hot dishes are always set on trivets (I made some out of the spare cut-out pieces, and although these have been totally abused, they still look fine).
Sharp objects will mark the surface, so we never cut directly onto the worktop.
There's potential for things like turmeric to stain the surface, but we've never had a problem if you wipe up reasonably quickly.
We never pour boiling water directly into the sink, unless there is some cold water already there.
Don't get a solid colour (especially dark) if you want to hide imperfections/joins better - we have Silver Birch, which is a pale "aggregate" pattern, and that works beautifully.
 

samhay

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RE: 800x700
We were planning on using some sort of composite when we did our kitchen, but as we cut the work top into a window opening behind the sink, it required a piece that was wider/deeper than standard (as this couldn't be reliably joined). This pushed the price up considerably and made it a non-starter. Depending on how you do the joints, this may not be a problem, but have you priced the various options up yet?
 

MattyT

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We have Minerva and we are really happy with it. However, we have looked after it and always used chopping boards and never put hot pans directly onto the surface. Granite is harder and therefore more durable, especially in terms of scratch resistance. Maybe you could get a sample of each and test the quality and durability?
 

Rich C

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Granite is often not much different in price to the synthetic options. Definitely worth pricing them up, you might be surprised.
 

akdaka

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You don't say what colour you are looking for but we have a light coloured surface and as said before you need to be careful of staining. The cleaner is good at removing most things though. Worktop savers by the cooker will help with putting hot stuff down.
 

sunnybob

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phil.p":37ypiv3s said:
My friend had granite fitted and said never again. He got fed up with throwing out chipped crockery and glassware.
He never thought to just be more gentle with stuff then? :roll: (hammer) (hammer) :D
 

AJB Temple

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I have tried most things in various houses and developments, including granite, marble, limestone, slate, mahogany, oak, corian, quartz, and the variations on man made stone, plus stainless steel as used in pro kitchens. I have even had a cast iron worktop with oak surrounds (and will do that again).

In a domestic environment I would choose granite every time, and for a really serious cook, stainless steel. Price variances in the overall scheme of things are usually fairly minor if you shop around and don't go "high street".
 

sunnybob

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we have granite, 11 years now and its not chipped, stained, or discoloured.
the corian type sink had to be replaced when a visitor put a hot pan in it and it cracked.
 

Lons

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I've fitted a few granite and a number of Corian and similar products, later ones mostly being Mistral composite because at 25mm thick / 12mm upstands, unlike corian it was thick enough not to need doubling up thickness at edges. My own kitchen, utility and even a breakfast room table top is in Mistral and it's lasted well. We do have s/s sinks though.

Granite: Huge choice of colours but also varies in quality. Durable but still can be stained and chipped if careless. Difficult to repair chips and worst feature is that joins will always be visible. Has to be cut and polished by others usually though can be done with great effort.

Composites like Mistral etc: Good range of colours, easy to work with standard routers, saws, DAS etc. Glued joins if done carefully can be virtually invisible. Does scratch and stain so need to treat with care however using a DAS and suitable Abranet disks they can quickly and easily be re polished, mine are to 400g so a satin finish. Any chips or damage is easily and invisibly repaired using the correct colour glue/filler. Dark colours show surface scratches more than light so needs more maintenance. Ours is light, been installed a number of years and I've re poished once though close to needing again now.
It's expensive, can be as much as granite but if self installed can save you a lot of cutting and fabrication costs.
 
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