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Thread: Corian Counter tops How to cut + join seems

  1. Corian Counter tops How to cut + join seems

    Good afternoon all,

    I wondering what is the best way to cut + join corian countertops? Is there any glues needed and what tools are used to grind the seem flush? I would like to figure out if this is a DIY project or not?

  2. #2
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    Corian can be cut with normal carbide woodworking tools. It's usually best to use the color-coordinated adhesive from DuPont to do your seams so that they will disappear once they are sanded...with a normal sander with dust collection. Corian can logically be a DIY project, but DuPont will not sell the materials to you....you'll need a source that is willing to risk their affiliation to supply you. (There is one outfit that does sell small pieces for craft work, but otherwise, Corian in "counter size" elements is hard to acquire by the DIY enthusiast)
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  3. #3
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    Bob, I understand that carbide tools work the Corian just fine, though I've never done it myself. The trick is going to be getting the Corian. I think you'll find it next to impossible to get large pieces. Dupont tightly controls it's sale, and counter top builders want the work themselves. There are secial colored glues. I think they hot glue strips of wood onto the conter top and use wood clamps to hold it together while it dries. I believe they also have pneumatic claming devices that suction on and clamp it together.

    Good luck which ever way you decide to go! Jim.
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  4. #4
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    yes, you can DIY although you'll probably need at least one other person to help you lift the slabs. here are two websites that might help:

    http://www.easyfabcountertops.com/
    http://solid-surface-kits.com/

    the stuff is easily shaped with all the tools that you already have in contrast to granite.

  5. #5
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    Bob, where are you? I noticed recently a shop was advertising in the Tampa area about selling some closeout pieces of Corian and maybe some other solid surface stuff as well. I guess they are clearing out stock. I would assume if they are doing that, they would also sell some of the glue? Saw this on Craig's List. May not be able to pick your color/pattern this way though.

  6. Generic Corian?

    It sounds very DIY, but I guess the problem is getting the Corian. My buddy (a contractor) said at one time that there was a company that makes "Corian", but they call it a different name because they are not Dupont. I am going to have to ask him who they are.... I remember him saying this about a year and a half ago when I was working with him. Anyone else know or hear of where you can get generic Corian? Bob

  7. #7
    Do a search for "Solid Surfacing Material" instead of using the brand name "Corian". There are a lot of sources for brands other than DuPont's Corian. These materials are pretty much the same much as with PL but many are not as tightly controlled as Corian....
    David DeCristoforo

  8. #8
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    Around here, there is a product called Jetta stone that looks and acts like Corian. I'm not sure that is a national name. We have Corian tops and there are 2 things that will damage it: Crock pots that are set on the counter top and used will darken that spot over time and finger nail polish(probably acetone). DAMHIKT. If I were doing it again, I would put in Formica, IMO, the perfect material for countertops. It requires no special maintenance(ie, sealers), is durable, nonporous and now has texture and color that emulates about every other type of countertop imaginable. DIY had a segment on countertops not too long ago and Formica out performed all the other surfaces in the test.
    Disclaimer: When I say I, that does not include LOML. That's why we don't have formica.

    Eddie

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Watkins View Post
    Around here, there is a product called Jetta stone that looks and acts like Corian. I'm not sure that is a national name. We have Corian tops and there are 2 things that will damage it: Crock pots that are set on the counter top and used will darken that spot over time and finger nail polish(probably acetone). DAMHIKT. If I were doing it again, I would put in Formica, IMO, the perfect material for countertops. It requires no special maintenance(ie, sealers), is durable, nonporous and now has texture and color that emulates about every other type of countertop imaginable. DIY had a segment on countertops not too long ago and Formica out performed all the other surfaces in the test.
    Disclaimer: When I say I, that does not include LOML. That's why we don't have formica.

    Eddie
    Years ago I planned to build a kitchen table with a Corian top. I found that the only way to buy the materials was to become a certified corian installer. I paid like $150 for an 8 hour class to become certified. Once I was certified I found that the materials would cost me (wholesale) over $1K. I ended up using oak and I've never used Corian.

    The big thing the class taught me was how fragile Corian is. Won't handle heat over 200F, can discolor or warp if sunlight hits it from a window. Scratches easily, etc. Not great material IMHO...joe

  10. #10
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    joe, how did you find out about the class? $150 is a fair invesment for not screwing up the solid surface installation that i am willing to make.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by frank shic View Post
    joe, how did you find out about the class? $150 is a fair invesment for not screwing up the solid surface installation that i am willing to make.
    The local distributor required all commercial customers to attend the class before they could buy. I think this was a requirement that Corian imposed. I couldn't even get pricing without taking the class. This was a long time ago, more than 10 years.

    BTW, to be commercial I just printed business cards. I didn't have a commercial account. When commercial outlets ask for a commercial account number, I just tell them I had some credit trouble and I'm now a cash only customer. 90% of the time they will sell to me. Also, I wear shop clothes when I do this so I look a bit like a homeless guy with a nice truck ..joe
    Last edited by Joe Jensen; 08-20-2007 at 4:20 PM.

  12. #12
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    Also, there is a product called AVONITE which has several more exotic "colors" than Corian. Rose quartz, lapis lazuli, jade, to name a few and they are beatiful when finished!! You can use a table saw blade (wood) but you will get chip out. They make solid surface blades for these materials that do not chip out $$ Other normal woodworking tools work just fine! A final note~you cannot screw into this material as it will break very easily. DAMHIKT

    Bruce
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Volden View Post
    Also, there is a product called AVONITE which has several more exotic "colors" than Corian. Rose quartz, lapis lazuli, jade, to name a few and they are beatiful when finished!! You can use a table saw blade (wood) but you will get chip out. They make solid surface blades for these materials that do not chip out $$ Other normal woodworking tools work just fine! A final note~you cannot screw into this material as it will break very easily. DAMHIKT

    Bruce
    Gibralter (sp?) by Wilson Art is another corian type product and they also require classes and certificates to purchase. My kitchen counters were built with this material and it is very nice. A good friend of mine was certified and he built it for me in my basement with my help. I got everything at his cost! Bruce is correct about not being able to screw to it. The proper way is drill a 1/2 inch flat bottom hole and glue a piece of dowel into it. You can then drive a screw into that. This should be done in an edge that is glued up of several 1/2 thicknesses.

    With the proper technique and adhesives, seams disappear. Bowls have no edges to catch and trap water and it cleans up very easily. If you do get scratches, they can be sanded out with very little effort.

    One thing I learned about working the stuff with my routers and sanders is that it screws up the electrical grounding in the tools. If I didn't hold a finger or thumb on a screw on the tool, I'd get the crap shocked out of me. After I gave them a thorough cleaning, that nice little feature went away.

    Bryan

  14. #14
    Like Joe, I went out and got a fabricators certificate for solid surface. For a material called Avonite. This was quite a few years ago, when Avonite had a larger agregate than Corian. The class taught you how to fabricate the material with woodworking tools and it also taught us not to oversell the product.

    Because it is soft enough to cut with woodworking tools, it also scratches fairly easily. They warned us about dumping boiling water (from pasta) into a solid surface sink. They warned us about allowing customers to locate crock pots or rice cookers over a seam.

    I will occasionally sell an Avonite ctop for a bathroom vanity, but I usually steer customers away from using it in a kitchen. My favorite countertop material is Caesarstone - it's what I used in my own kitchen.

    If you really want to use solid surface, look into a product called HiMacs. It is available through a company called E B Bradley and I don't think that they check to see if you have a fabricator's license. It would really be a good idea to take a fabricator's class. I imagine that even the HiMacs will be too pricey to want to practice on.

    Roland

  15. #15

    Corian counter tops?

    Bob, if I'm not mistaken, a few years ago probably 20 yrs.ago, GE used to make a solid surface material for coutertops, it was called Miacarta, haven't seen any of it around in a good while....may still be around. It was some good stuff as I remember, but I can't tell you anything too much about it. Jim Heffner

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