Corian Galley Countertop
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By: Ralph Hampton, July 2002
37’ LNVT GoodNews! (hull 63)

For those who might find it helpful, here are some comments on the Corian countertops we added to our galley on our tug. Corian really transforms the galley countertop space. But it isn't inexpensive. For another installation reason under the bar area {the addition of a washer/dryer} we were forced to rip up part of the Formica and decided that rather than put back Formica, we might as well take advantage of the situation to update the tug and go ahead and spend the money and go with Corian. That said, well maintained Formica can still look nice if installed well.

Corian does drill great for holes, just like it was wood. We have a slot to put electric cords through that I added. If you go with Corian, we recommend a backsplash behind the galley sink and we recommend that it rise to a total height of 7.75 to 8.0 inches. That is higher than what the installer was recommending. We are really glad we did.

There are some other customizations that you should consider when installing Corian: Have the horizontal galley surfaces have a rounded interface piece that is glued on the perimeter on top of the main countertop and then beveled with a rounded upcurve. This eliminates the trouble with having water always run to a crack on the main surface where the vertical piece would normally connect on many other types of installations. Corian blends so nicely that it looks like one piece – but it is really two. The two pieces are the main counter top and then a separate machined corner piece laid on top and blended so that you can’t see any seam. This corner piece actually extends ¾ of the way around the sink. This way you aren't digging out the caulking when you wipe up liquids plus it doesn't accelerate deterioration of the caulking. The vertical backsplash would then sit on it. Do not bracket behind the backsplash so that it is connected to the added rounded upcurve piece or main horizontal surface. You want them to sort of float on one another when the boat flexes — otherwise you risk having a surface crack on you over time. The installer used some kind of clear sealer that has worked well.

If you do change out the countertop with something else, consider going to a single design faucet with a pull out arm for spraying the sink area and filling water pitchers. To us, it just seemed to clean up the look of all the faucets back there. We did leave the salt and fresh water rinse faucets.

Also, consider having the existing galley sink rim go under the Corian, not on top. We think it looks tidier and eliminates grime accumulating at the rim edge if it is installed on top of the sink With regard to the hatches into the top of the refrigerator, note that the installer simply attached the Corian to the top of the old teak hatch and reused the round finger hatch pulls. All in all, we are extremely pleased with the way it all turned out.

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