If you’re planning to renovate your kitchen, buying new appliances is a proverbial piece of cake. Painting? A no-brainer. But replacing your countertops may give you pause – especially if you’re looking to upgrade to Corian style counters. Traditionally, manufacturers and distributors have held the reins on Corian style counters, insisting on professional installation that can cost up to $80 per square foot. Now, however, Corian style counters – known more generically as solid surface counters or solid surface kitchen tops – are available in relatively easy do-it-yourself kits.
Why Corian Style Counters?
Corian solid surface counters have a number of advantages. First, they last seemingly forever. Second, Corian counters are solid surface sheets, meaning that the Corian colors go all the way through. Plastic laminate countertops, by contrast, have only one layer of color, so the surface can be permanently marred by knife cuts, lose color in areas of heavy use, and sometimes even peel back. If a solid surface counter becomes marred, you can just sand it down and retain the beauty of the material. Third, Corian style counters are more forgiving than tile when it comes to breakage. If you drop a dish on a Corian solid surface, the dish is not as likely to break and you don’t have to worry about the tile chipping.
Taking the Plunge
If you are a seasoned do-it-yourselfer, you shouldn’t run into many problems installing a solid surface counter. Plus, you’ll be astounded at the cost savings. Corian pricing can be as much as $80 per square foot, while do-it-yourself solid surface counters are about half that. While the actual installation process might not be daunting, it’s crucial that you correctly calculate the length of the Corian style counters you’ll need. The company that ships your materials to you will need precise measurements.
Measuring For Materials
Most kitchens are either straight tops or include joining two tops at a 90-degree corner. They typically include a glued 1-1/2 inch front edge and a 3-1/2 inch backsplash that is applied later. To determine the amount of solid surface counter you need, measure the length of your existing countertops. For standard depth countertops, you add up the lengths and divide by 12. This will give you the amount of lineal feet you will need to order. So, for example, if you have two 96-inch countertops, you would add 96 and 96, and then divide by 12. In this example, you would need 16 lineal feet of countertop.
New Corian style counters will give your kitchen a fresh look, and will last seemingly forever. If you’re handy with woodworking, you shouldn’t have a problem installing Corian style counters yourself. So take the plunge and spruce up your kitchen!