Corian is a durable, low-maintenance material that has been used for decades in high-end kitchens. Corian shower walls are relatively new to the market and there are many positives and negatives to consider before installing them in your home.
Corian shower walls are beautiful, versatile, waterproof, easy to maintain, lightweight compared to quartz and granite, easily restored, seamless with no grout lines, and easy to install. However, they’re costlier than plastic and fiberglass, less customizable than tiles, and non-biodegradable.
Regardless of the pros or cons, Corian is an excellent choice as a material for shower walls as it is resistant to stains/dirt/mold and extremely durable. It’s also very stylish.
What are Corian shower walls?
Corian was discovered in 1964 by Donald Slocum who was then a scientist at the chemical firm DuPont. It’s made from a mixture of natural materials and acrylic resin. The resulting material is solid and non-porous, easy to repair, and resistant to stains.
Corian was first used on kitchen sinks and counters but would eventually find use elsewhere such as shower enclosures and bathroom floors and countertops. Corian flooring is among the best floors although it can be slippery. Like quartz, Corian can be made to look like natural marble and even granite.
For these reasons, Corian is one of the best solid surface shower walls owing to its many qualities.
Pros and Cons of Corian Shower Walls
|Corian shower walls pros
|Corian shower walls cons
|Costlier than plastic and fiberglass
|Easy to clean
|Easy to maintain
|Not very durable
|Easy to restore
|Less customizable than tiles
|Easy to install
|Available in many colors and designs
|More affordable than quartz
|Many edge options
|Travels better than tiles
Corian shower walls pros
The advantages of using Corian shower walls include the following:
1. It’s waterproof
Corian shower walls are waterproof and extremely durable which is helpful for those who love to take long showers. They’re also resistant to mold and mildew growth given that Corian is non-porous hence won’t absorb any water.
2. Easy to clean
With Corian shower walls, you only need soapy water, a damp cloth, and a regular cleaning routine to keep them clean. Don’t use harsh chemicals or sharp objects as both will damage or dull the surface.
3. Easy to maintain
Since Corian shower wall panels have no grout or joints, there is no need to reseal them. These seamless Corian shower walls are also very beautiful due to the lack of grout lines and grout. This reduces the need for regrouting as well.
Most users only reseal Corian when it’s very necessary and that can be once every decade or even no resealing at all. It also depends on other prevailing conditions such as the weather, frequency of use, and the quality of installation.
4. It’s lightweight
Compared to quartz, Corian is quite light. Corian weighs about 2.2 pounds per square foot for a panel that’s 6mm thick. Quartz weighs about 2 pounds heavier for the same dimensions.
5. 10-year guarantee
Corian solid surface shower walls have a 10-year guarantee against manufacturing defects. This means that if the material is not of satisfactory quality, you can get it fixed or replaced free of charge.
The 10-year guarantee does have some limitations. First, there are conditions to be met before claiming this warranty. These include:
- Properly completing documentation when installation begins and upon completion.
- Properly sealing the shower walls to prevent moisture penetration.
- Not applying more than 10 pounds of force on any one section.
The guarantee doesn’t cover any installation errors too.
6. Easy to restore
Corian shower walls are extremely easy to restore. If you are looking for a shower wall that can be restored quickly, Corian is the best material available because it takes little time and effort to complete this process. You can also easily fix a hole in a shower wall with Corian panels.
7. No grout
With Corian shower walls, you don’t have to deal with grout, which is a huge plus. Cleaning the shower has never been easier since you can simply wipe away any dirt or mold on your walls without having to use any chemical cleaners.
Besides that, the lack of grout lines makes the surfaces of your shower wall seamless and looking good.
8. Easy to install
Compared to other shower wall materials such as ceramic and porcelain tiles and even quartz, Corian is relatively easy to install. There are no special tools needed when installing Corian shower walls, and the materials themselves are lightweight which makes it easier for you or a contractor to transport them in your home.
9. Available in many colors and designs
Corian shower walls are available in many colors and patterns which makes it easy to find the perfect match for your shower wall. Being a manufactured item, the material can be made in different colors, textures, patterns, and designs.
10. Luxurious look
Corian surfaces have a premium look and feel and provide a great alternative to tile in many applications. Your shower will thus look modern and sophisticated.
11. Many edge options
With Corian shower panels, you can choose between rounded, straight, and tongue & groove edges as per your needs. Having several edges to choose from makes it easy to find the perfect fit for the shape of your bathroom.
12. More affordable than quartz
Corian shower walls cost from $42 to $65 per square foot. For a 70 square foot shower (3x4x7 feet), it’ll cost about $3,100 to $4,700 including about $150 for labor. This is cheaper than the installation cost for quartz which is about $5,400 for a 70 square foot shower. Other than that, quartz shower walls pros and cons are quite similar to those of Corian shower walls.
13. Travels better than tiles
If you have a movable home such as an RV, shower panels withstand the bumps of the road far much better than a set of tiles does. With fewer lines of connections between the panels, the material is much stronger.
The use of Corian also ensures a long-lasting surface as it is extremely durable, scratch-, stain- and water-resistant. In addition to the amazing performance features, this material can be molded into beautiful shapes with smooth curves that will perfectly suit your needs for your shower design ideas.
Corian shower walls cons
The disadvantages of using Corian shower walls are as follows:
1. Costlier than plastic and fiberglass shower walls
Corian is a solid surface and more expensive to install and maintain compared to some other options like plastic, tile, acrylic, or fiberglass. Already, Corian costs less than a majority of these materials.
2. Has allergens
It may also be impossible for individuals with severe allergies, asthma, or chemical sensitivities due to the material’s VOCs. These allergens, although low in amount, may still be felt by those with highly sensitive immune systems.
3. Less customizable than tiles
With Corian, there are limited design options. This means you won’t be able to choose smaller tiles to create a more customized look. Corian shower walls come in larger sizes only, which results in less of the “wow” factor that comes with interesting tile designs and colors.
However, Corian is still fairly customizable since you can make a Corian tub surround and even have it installed on shower floors, countertops, and many other areas in the home. You can have a Corian shower where the walls and floor (covered with non-slip material) and other areas in the shower are all made of Corian.
4. Not very durable
Corian is tough but can still be damaged by harsh chemicals such as strong acids and bases. Even worse, the 10-year guarantee that comes with Corian panels doesn’t cover damage by chemicals. For these reasons, you should avoid these chemicals.
Besides that, Corian can also be easily scratched and cut with sharp objects. You thus have to be careful when installing and cleaning them or carrying out other activities in general.
5. Not biodegradable
Corian isn’t biodegradable even when it has some natural materials in it. The Acrylic resin in it is synthetic and, as such, can harm the environment when it’s is disposed of.
While slipperiness isn’t an issue on the wall, Corian flooring is dangerous since it’s very slippery. You can prevent that with an anti-slip film, non-stick strips, and bath mats with suction cups.
These downsides for Corian shower walls aren’t dealbreakers and shouldn’t dissuade you from trying out this marvelous material. When looking at solid surface shower walls reviews, consider Corian for its high quality and ease of maintenance.
Care for Corian shower walls
To keep Corian walls clean and in good shape, follow these Corian care tips:
- Avoid harsh chemicals such as acids and alkaline ones as they may dull the surface.
- Clean with soapy water and a damp cloth in circular motions then rinse it. Avoid long cleaning strokes.
- Avoid window cleaners as they dull the surface of Corian shower walls.
- Don’t use sharp objects to clean the surface.
Given that Corian can also make a good solid surface tub surround, it has many benefits going beyond shower walls.
How to install Corian shower walls
To install Corian shower walls, follow these steps:
- Choose the design of your shower in terms of size, color, texture, and other aspects. Have the Corian shower panels cut to size keeping in mind the protruding wall fixtures.
- Remove the wall fixtures such as faucets and showerheads.
- Clean the walls and dry them up.
- Cut the panels into shape if there is a change in dimensions from what you got from the shop.
- Apply a sealer on the side of the Corian panels going onto the shower walls then press them against the walls.
- Seal off any joints with a sealant then wipe the area dry.
- Let the walls dry up then clean up the shower and use it.
This is much easier than tiles and quartz shower walls which may require the input of an expert.
Is Corian good for shower walls?
Corian is perfect for shower walls because it is non-porous and customizable. Corian surfaces are perfect for creating a seamless look in your bathroom as well as allowing you to install custom panels if needed. Corian does not need sealing like other materials such as tile or stone do so there is no mess and installation can be done quickly and easily. In general, Corian is one of the best alternatives to tile in the shower and bath.