Why CORIAN so expensive?

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Corian is the brand name for a solid surface material created by DuPont. As a manufacturer of solid surface furnitures, we’ve met many customers who are shocked by the price of our products made of corian. We explain to them that it’s the corian sheet that is expensive. Resently, there was a question raised in a Linkedin group: why corian so expensive? The following are some brilliant answers that can help you understand Corian.

The Question by Max: Who can explain me – why CORIAN in 2013 so expensive? Its just a acrylic sheet with brandname…

Answer 1: I believe that Corian is an inventor of Solid surface material. They have proven the quality and consistency in solid surfacing material. Barring the few drawbacks of acrylic base, there are many advantages (mainly thermoformabilty, excellent weather resistance, etc), it is a wonder material.

Answer 2: I agree with the other comments, but Avonite is more expensive. There are some products that may be “solid surface” but that doesn’t mean you should sell it as an equivalent to Corian. Some of Corian’s colors are expensive, but they also stand behind their product and insure only certified fabricators are selling/fabricating/installing their product as it should. Additionally, I have not found another product to match the quality of the Private Collection colors.

Answer 3: I’m not a chemist, nor do I understand the intricate workings of producing a sheet of Acrylic solid surface material. However, my feeling is given the same materials to work with, two different manufactures can produce different qualities of end product given their skill, expertise, process, and equipment. Just as two fabricators can produce different levels of quality given the same materials to work with. Just because a inexperienced fabricator is given the same material as an experienced one, doesn’t necessarily yield the same level of quality with the finished product.

Answer 4: It is important to understanding the process and the costs associated with manufacturing and marketing. DuPont deserves the credit for the innovation of Acrylic Solid Surfacing. They held the lock-tight patent for the process for many years. DuPont, LG and Samsung are very large companies with contribution margins to everything they produce. They are limited on there customization of colors, patterns, sizes and thicknesses and charge a bundle for anything out of standard. More and more demand for these products has occurred as result of the value added (ease of maintenance, reparability and sustainability). There are choices in the market for good quality, price competitive products. One only needs to look closely at the players, try and test the products being offered by others to determine suitability and equality.

Answer 5: They are all about the same formulation and thermoform the same as well. What most designers don’t know is that many brands are manufactured in the same factory in China. I would never use anything but Corian on a building exterior however. Dupont is the only manufacturer that I am aware of that has does the extensive testing for exterior use. Remember: The people at DuPont are scientists.

We do however use all the major brands here at ASST. Brands such as Porcelanosa’s Krion , LG and Avonite we see alot too. Our shop though still sees more specifications from DuPont Corian because they are the innovator and can basically sit back and watch the money roll in. It’s all about brand recognition and they can charge a premium for it. The first company to market always has an advantage.

Answer 6: There isn’t a real answer to your original question. It’s like asking why people prefer Coke over Pepsi. To have a solid debate on this, we need numbers and stats to prove… a) market share of all solid surface brands (the major ones at least) worldwide b) the overall pricing from each market for all brands c) the amount of money spent on marketing in each market. These are just some of the things you need, we will need a lot more information than this to determine “Why is Corian expensive?” Some can argue it is cheap in comparison to some other brands. You also have to consider “after-sales” service too. Point being, it is pointless to ask “Why is Corian expensive?”

Answer 7: Max, if you are talking about margin, Corian is one of the better ones. I see you live in Shenzhen/ Hong Kong. Which is where I am based as well. I have met with Samsung, LG, and Corian distributors in Guangdong province and Hong Kong. Corian gives the best margins to the a) Distributors and protecting their selling and territory rights, b) Fabricators and making sure they adhere to a certain skill set and ability and c) Retailers so they can sell the product competitively and fair (but not cheaply) to the customers. In Chinese their is a saying that all 3 parties need to win for a product/business to be successful. Corian is doing just that by rewarding the above 3 that I just mentioned. Now you know why Samsung doesn’t do so well in China and Hong Kong.

Answer 8:One should always do there own research on the products they specify, fabricate and use. There are may choices in ALL of our markets for Acrylic Solid Surface as well as Polyesters and polyester blends. The important factors you should be concerned with (not price); how long has the company been in the solid surface industry? Who do they sell to (references)? What projects and industries do they have a history with? Do they own there own manufacturing facilities? Do they meet industry and environmental standards? Do they offer solutions in colors, patterns, sizes and thicknesses for the projects you are working on? Do they back there products?
Take a carful look and be sure for yourself.

Answer 9: Having followed this thread, and given Max is purportedly an ‘engineer’, it’s surprising the lack of respect for the engineers who actually brought the innovation and technology to create solid surface, and an entire industry. Equally surprising is the disdain for ‘office managers’, which includes marketing and sales.

There’s an old adage that ‘nothing happens until somebody sells something’. Without marketing efforts, and the resulting sales, there would be no engine to create demand and generate revenue. Successful businesses are comprised of team-players that understand and respect the value of all the components that make up the process. Disproportionate self-importance will almost always put you on the wrong side of success.

As I reflect back on the $ 50+ million of solid surface I’ve sold, never did a client ask for a ‘no-name’ solid surface. Branding is a critical component of success. To believe otherwise is ignorant at best, and arrogant at worst. Underachievers who choose to hitch their wagon to no-name products need all the luck we can wish for them!

Answer 10 :A few years back, when the construction industry hit rock bottom in California, our shop experimented with a handful of “No Name Acrylics” out of China. The main reason we dropped the “No Namers” in favor of the more expensive Corian … was based on the higher standards of quality control that Corian adheres too. We prefer fabricating from a quality product, where as sheets are of the same thickness, with pattern/colors continuing constant to the sheet ends, and minimum variation between dye lots. Where as the “No Name Acrylics” appeared to offer a product similar to that of Corian, it soon proved otherwise when material was received, not just damaged in freight, but was warped, or mismatched consecutively numbered sheets, and no response from their customer service department. You get what you pay for….
YES, We will take a Brand Name over a No Namer EVERYTIME!

Answer 10: This isn’t the only time I have read in this group or any other group discussion about China selling inferior acrylic sheets to the market. First and foremost, when making such a comment, you need to consider the environment and the whole story before hand.

1. Usually it is the “Buyers” (whether that be a US building materials trading house or a company that OEM’s) they are “ALWAYS” price sensitive. Driving the price as low as possible. Certain Chinese manufacturers thus skimp on materials and alter the formula to make it to the cost level to the “Buyers”.

2. So you think it is suppose to be cheap because it is produced in China. If you google “cost of living standards” and “rising minimum wage in China” you can see a dramatic increase in the last decade. So where do you think business owners will cut their cost?

3. Last time I checked, the American market accepts “Chinese Acrylics” perfectly as well. Don’t they have Meganite over there? Which is produced in a Factory about 100 miles away from Shanghai?

4. Samsung Staron OEM’s from a factory in Guangdong, which very few people know about.

5. Wait, didn’t DuPont purchase a factory in the 90’s in China? Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t that brand called Montelli????

There are companies in China that has been making Solid Surface for 20 years. A handful, but there are. Those are the companies that understand quality and will survive in the long run. It is just unfortunate that you came across defective shits from a poor manufacturer.

The bottom line is…YES, “YOU PAY FOR WHAT YOU GET.” But just because the sheet came out of China doesn’t mean it is inferior, it means you PURCHASED THE WRONG PRODUCT FROM THE WRONG MANUFACTURER.

Answer 11:Bill, I agree with you. It is all about common sense (and a little due diligence). Just one note: while Corian is the inventor and leading brand of acrylic solid surface, AVONITE also has over 25 years experience developing and selling (and servicing) solid surface. AVONITE was the one who brought color and design to solid surface with their 100% polyester sheet versus the standard solid whites and beiges that were first invented and sold. And today AVONITE continues to innovate and create both with 100% acrylic and 100% polyester solid surface sheet in the broadest range of sizes and thicknesses available on the market.
Finally, as a Marketing professional, I have to remind people that it is not about PRICE but about VALUE or TOTAL COST. I just completed a case study involving a retail chain where using Right-Sized sheet from AVONITE versus standard 30 x 144 sheet resulted in an estimated 12% cost savings for the project (assuming the same pricing per square foot for all sheet)… something to consider perhaps..

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