Kitchen countertops are a very important part of your kitchen. This is a place where you do most of your kitchen activities, and keep related stuff. Naturally, this area has to be solid, sturdy, and at the same time decorative and good looking so that it adds to the beauty of your kitchen.
Therefore, it is essential to look for materials which fit the above-mentioned categories, and also add to the décor, style, and functionality of the kitchen. There are several materials which are considered and used. Some of them are marble, quartz, laminate, granite, wood, and solid surfaces.
A Corian countertop is a subtype of the solid surface. It has different features, such as being resistant to stains, scratches, heat, mold and mildew, and burns. It is non-porous, and has a seamless appearance. Furthermore, it is also renewable and repairable. It comes in a variety of shades and colors to suit your kitchen décor style.
Corian is a registered trademark of the DuPont Co., and has become quite popular since the 1970s. It is sold only through licensed distributors and sellers, and is usually available for USD 60 to 80 per square foot, which is quite expensive to buy. However, it is totally worth the buy.
Most countertops have to be professionally installed. However, there are several people who like to do such tasks themselves. This particular market has been captured by people who make different 'Do-It-Yourself Kits'. Corian ones are no exception.
A variety of kits are available in the market. Therefore, to purchase one of these Do-It-Yourself Kits, one must submit the plan drawings, cabinet dimensions, color and pattern preferences to the manufacturers of these kits. You then get a kit that includes sheets of materials, which are cut to an approximate size with cutouts for sinks etc., and matching backsplash strips. The areas around the sinks are also reinforced. The kit also includes a tinted two-part epoxy, a modified caulk gun for seaming, and an installation video.
It is recommended that one works with these materials outdoors, and wears a particle mask. Also, it is suggested that one uses dust extraction to take care of the dust and shavings that arise from the cutting process.
- As the first step, make sure that the older installation has been removed. Don't begin work on a new one before that, as it can get quite messy.
- Adjust the levels of the cabinets which are under the countertop so that they are flat at the same level. Different materials have different load-bearing capacities. Ensure that the cabinet materials that you have used can bear the load of the Corian solid surface material.
- When the cabinet layouts include an island or a peninsula with some inches of counter overhang, attach a ¾th-inch thick plywood to the cabinet tops.
- The plywood should be such that its front edge fits neatly over the edge of the countertop, while the bottom face of the plywood should flush with the edging at the bottom. You can attach corbels to the cabinet frames for additional reinforcement.
- Begin with a section, which contains the seam support strip at one end. Lay the first sheet in position, and fit it against the wall. Scribe and contour the back edge with a belt sander, and mark a cutting line on one end for trimming purposes. You can use a masking tape and draw lines on it, and then cut the sheet to ensure accuracy while cutting.
- Now make cutouts for the sink after cutting the section lengthwise and scribing the back end. The kit usually includes a template for the sink cutout. Clamp the template to the countertop section so that it is aligned with the location of the sink. Cut through the sheet using a router and a straight bit.
- Once you have all your sections cut out to size, you must seam them with the epoxy, and bond them to the cabinet tops using silicone. While joining two surfaces next to each other, first clean the surfaces of the joining edges with denatured alcohol, and then apply a layer of tinted epoxy to the strip.
- Do not remove the squeezed out epoxy, as this will reduce the amount of curing time, and will weaken the bond. Rather, you can sand it off after it dries.
- Use power sanders to smoothly sand the seams after the epoxy glue dries off.
- After all the sections are in place, install the backsplash, sink, faucet, and hook up the range. Secure the backsplash strips to the wall using silicone-caulk adhesive.
- Keep the remaining pieces of the material, in case you need to conduct repairs in the future.
Caring and Repairing
These countertops do not require to be sealed when they are not in use because of their resistance to mold and mildew. Normally, when they do need cleaning, soap and water or regular household cleaners do the trick. If, on the off chance, you do get scratches on the surface, you can simply buff them out by lightly sanding the surface.
So, go ahead and install your own Corian countertop, and maximize the enjoyment of your kitchen experience.