Our White Corian Counters Are In – And We Love Them!

Merry Countermas to us!

They’re here. And they’re spectacular.

Just as a reminder, the cave room looked like this back when we moved in last December:

But back to our brand-spanking-new Corian counters. I didn’t expect them to feel as chunky, heavy, and stone-like as they do. They’re like marble without the veins. Seriously. Nothing plastic-y about them. And they’re sleek but sort of matte too if that makes sense, which looks/feels really chic and sort of honed-marble-ish (according to our installer the white matte ones are the only ones that don’t show scratches, which will definitely come in handy). So yeah, it’s safe to say that we’re completely smitten.

Of course things were looking a bit rough when they went in, but we’re used to the room looking like crazytown by now:

One of the coolest things to watch was how they made them completely seamless by filling the cracks where the slabs met with some sort of glue-caulk and getting it suuuuuper hot with these defibrillator-looking pieces:

Then they were flash cooled and the installer polished them until the seams were completely gone. Seriously, I’ll give anyone who can tell where they were a hundred bucks because it’s impossible. Oh but for this step of the project Burger, Clara, and I went for a nice long walk and John shut himself up in our bedroom because it was a little fumey while the glue-caulk was heated up and cooled and smoothed down (but it thankfully wasn’t a dusty or messy process, which was nice). So I didn’t come back to chaos, just beautiful white amazingness with the fan going and the windows open.

Here’s where one of the seams ran (right up this corner) before he worked his installer magic. No evidence of it at all, right? Three cheers for shape-shifting counters. And yes, that is a baguette. We’re fancy like that.

The guy was awesome about talking us through maintenance stuff. Here are a few of the fun things that I stood there and actually took notes about because I’m ridiculous (in my defense, the guy seemed to be entertained by my furious scribbling):

  • Corian is nonporous, which means stains can’t penetrate it (and most of them can simply be scrubbed off, even if you don’t catch them right away)
  • If stubborn stains (like red wine that somehow sits for a few days) do discolor the top layer of the Corian, a spray bottle full of 10 ounces of water and 1 ounce of bleach should strip the stain right out.
  • The white color runs all the way through the counter, so if some insane spot refuses to come out, it can be lightly sanded in a circular motion with extremely high grit sandpaper (400 grit) and then followed with a very fine buffing pad (which was provided to us by the installer along with the sandpaper). It’s like they knew we were DIYers. So we don’t have to call anyone in to “resurface” things in a decade or two if we feel like polishing them up because they essentially taught us how to do it ourselves.
  • Our counters are warranteed for 10 years, so if anything ever cracks or otherwise has issues they can come fix it for free (holla!) using the same method they used to fill the seams, which makes any prior damage completely undetectable.

So that combined with the fact that John’s sister has had the same exact counters for five years with three kids and a big dog (and zero repairs/stains) makes us deliriously excited. And I’m happy to report that we’re not being nearly as anal as we were with our first kitchen’s granite counters (the light color of them really freaked us out in the beginning). We’ve jumped right into using our kitchen even more – so things like spaghetti sauce have already made an appearance without any disastrous results.

Oh but there is one problem. Our sleek new counters make our old cabinets look like crapola by comparison…

… but once we sand, prime, and paint them (along with fiiiinally replacing the eyeball hardware) they should be worthy of such pretty countertop company. Can’t wait to rebuild/cut down some matching doors and get to the whole priming & painting step.

You can read all about why we chose white Corianand how much it costs here, and how the templating process went here. This post is just really about photos. Glorious, glorious photos of the counter that we waited 20 sinkless days for (read more about removing the old counters and sink here).

See that hulking 3 foot by 5 foot peninsula? Pictures don’t capture how big it really is (it’s larger than the wood dining table that we used to have in here). That baby is pure joy. So much space to spread out and bake/craft/eat/serve up appetizers, etc. The kitchen is pretty much 100% more functional and there aren’t even stools there yet (or any wood trim pieces on the back and side of the peninsula to hide those ugly brackets)…

Oh yeah and see those counter edges on the peninsula above? They’re gently curved, so there’s no pokey part to stab Clara in the eye or John in the hip or me in the belly (yes, we’re all dramatically different heights around here).

And for those wondering how we’ve been dealing with an in-progress kitchen and asking if we’ve been eating out every night, we’ve actually been really lucky to have a fully functional fridge, stove, and dishwasher this time around (which was not the case during our first kitchen gut job). So we’ve still been eating/cooking at home without counters and a sink (we just used a piece of plywood leaned on top of the cabinets as prep space with a cutting board and other platters and plates to keep us from actually prepping food on the plywood). But the whole washing-pots-and-pans-in-the-tub thing was getting old. So happy to have this guy back in action:

Our counter fabricators even left us a handy little cutting board that they made out of the sink hole for us, which can also be used as a trivet (super hot things shouldn’t be placed directly on Corian counters, but we never put hot stuff on our old granite counters without a cutting board or trivet, so we should be cool). Oh and for anyone local wondering who we used for installation, we were beyond thrilled with Five Star (our installers) who were hired through Home Depot (where we ordered our Corian). More on that here.

Oh but wait, before the counters went in we hid a little time capsule behind one of the cabinets (which will only be found when our counters are someday removed).

John sweetly wrote it. It reads:

Today our new countertops are being installed. We are a family of three (well, four if you count our chihuahua Hamburger). I’m John Petersik (age 30), my wife Sherry (age 29) and I moved here 11 months ago in December of 2010 with our daughter Clara (age 1.5). We write a blog about our home improvement adventures called Young House Love (www.younghouselove.com). If you’re reading this it means you’re probably getting new counters too. Hope you enjoy them!

Here’s how we hid it behind the corner cabinet by the window (stapled to the back of the cabinet in a ziplock bag).

Ah memories. We can hardly picture the top of the cabinets anymore. Isn’t it weird how your eyes adjust so fast? So next up we have to cut down and hang a cabinet for the built-in microwave next to the pantry, start trying to retrofit/build matching doors for the secondhand cabinets that we added to the room, prime and paint the cabinets, tackle the backsplash, hang our built-in range hood and floating shelves, redo all the lighting, lay the cork floors, install our new stainless dishwasher, add crown molding, etc. Whew. Might not be done until late January (we originally were aiming for early Jan) but we’re inching slowly towards the finish line. Just taking things one day at a time seems to be the secret to sanity. That and washing things in the sink again. Oh man, it’s good to have that guy back.

UPDATE: We’re officially in love with our new counters. Check out the update post about them here.

Comments

  1. erin says

    What a difference those counters make! My parents had white Corian counters that look identical to yours installed in their kitchen in 1988 (23 years ago). They cook in there every day and the kitchen is the main hang-out spot in the house, and even with 23 years of heavy use the Corian counters still look new.

  2. Cynthia says

    Oh my goodness. Oh Your Kitchen Goodness. It looks REALLY fantastic! I am actually Excited about how fabulous this is going to be–both aesthetically and functionally. If you were my brother/sister or whatever, I would so be like, “Do you need any help sanding those cabinets?” “Do you want me to take care of Clara so you can spend more time on the kitchen?” “Which ceramic animals are going to find there home in here, do you think? Let’s try them out together!” Well, I live in Massachusetts, and I’m not a sibling. But I can’t wait to see it done. Happy Holidays, Guys!

  3. katie frokedal says

    Those countertops look AWESOME. I can’t wait to see your kitchen finished… You have done some awesome things to it so far. And I’m sure you can’t wait to have it finished :)

  4. Kelly says

    Your countertops are beautiful. So white and clean… they just seem to sparkle. I can’t wait to see the rest of the kitchen updated. Will the cement boards you placed on the wall to hang the tile… help with the hanging of the shelves as well? I always wondered about weight with open shelving and would love to know how to do it. It’s on my project list. (:

    • says

      Since we know where the studs are from hanging the cement board we’ll hopefully just go right into those for maximum strength (and might add some simple decorative brackets under them as well). We’ll definitely keep ya posted!

      xo,
      s

  5. says

    That peninsula is a thing of beauty!

    We have a flush peninsula in our kitchen as well and it is seriously my favourite thing! We were so excited when we found out from our builder we could do that at no extra charge. Totally opens up sight-lines and is super functional. I will NEVER have a breakfast bar in any kitchen again!

    Glad you are so in love with your new counters! Things are really starting to come together.

  6. Claire says

    I’m amazed you didn’t make a play on “White Christmas”.

    I’m dreaming of a white Countermas….

  7. says

    Ok…so I was a kitchen and bath designer for 7 years before having babies and I always hated Corian. I knew all the functional benefits…but just didn’t dig the look. BUT…and it’s a BIG one…THIS LOOKS AMAZING. Seriously. I love that you didn’t do an upgraded edge and you kept everything really sweet and simple. It’s changed my view! I know you guys are going for white cabinets too which will look great. I just hope the counters don’t “get lost” with them. Have you ever thought about maybe doing a gray to the cabinets? Could tie your dining room in nicely too. Just thoughts! It looks great guys!

    • says

      We have actually debated soft tones for the cabinets so we’re not set on white! Now that the counters are in we can’t wait to hold up lots of swatches and see what we think!

      xo,
      s

  8. Emily says

    I hope you don’t mind that I’m going to “pin” this, so I don’t forget Corian as a choice when we are finally able to redo our kitchen! Love it! :)

  9. says

    Wow- they really are beautiful! For the longest time, I have disliked white countertops (because our old crappy white laminate used to show EVERY single speck of dirt), but seeing yours is making me rethink that entirely… And how cool that the seams have literally disappeared! Kudos to you for taking the time to research and really find exactly what you want. Looks beautiful!

  10. Scott says

    They look incredible, congratulations! I’m thinking of getting new countertops soon and I was wondering how much the project cost –– cost per square foot + labor? Congrats, once again on your sparkling kitchen.

    • says

      Labor was free and it was $38 a square foot through Home Depot (they also honored a Lowe’s coupon for 10% off and gave us 5% off on top of that for using our Home Depot credit card). Hope it helps!

      xo,
      s

  11. Stephanie says

    My folks installed Corian in their home in 1993 and when they sold it in 2005, the countertops still looked AMAZING!! They never scratched or chipped, and they aged well. Makes me wonder why everything is granite, granite, granite these days (HGTV, maybe??). There are many good options out there. You picked a great one!