The most common granite thicknesses used in homes are 2 & 3 centimeters. 2 centimeters thick slabs were the previous industry standard for kitchen countertops, but the trend is rapidly changing, and 3 centimeters thickness has become the new industry standard.
The reasons behind 2 centimeters (0.75 inches) slabs going out of fashion are the extra cost and work homeowners need to put in. 2 centimeters thick slabs require a plywood substrate or a support layer for installation.
The extra 1-centimeter (33%) thickness in 3 centimeters (1.25-inch) granite slab means that you don’t need plywood support under granite. It also doesn’t require the lamination of the additional strip to create front-facing edges.
All these things don’t mean that a 2 centimeters thick granite countertop isn’t good enough. It is durable, rugged, and works great for big families and commercial setups.
Many people prefer 3 centimeters thick slabs because it looks great and gives a more luxurious look to the setup. The extra thickness gives the color and design pattern on granite a richer look and makes the countertop a focal point in the design.
Granite Thicker than 3 Centimeter
Some designers are even going beyond 3 centimeters in thickness. Many people prefer to get a weightier and rich look in their kitchens. You can find granite slabs up to 6 centimeters thick. However, it is costly and may not fall into everyone’s budget.
Granite Thinner than 2 Centimeter
You may also find granite slabs thinner than 2 centimeters. It isn’t a good idea to use them. They are fragile and can break easily.
You must also consider the overhand when choosing a granite countertop. The standard is 12 inches and works great for sliding stools or other furniture underneath the counter. Granite thickness may vary if you increase the overhang because thicker granite is heavier and requires more support than thinner granite.
You may need to add extra reinforcements if you extend the overhang to 15 or 18 inches. The contractor will probably install corbels (L-shaped brackets) to support the overhang.
Cabinet Construction Quality
Cabinets and countertops go hand in hand. It is better if both things complement each other. The cabinet top must be level for smooth granite slab installation. Sometimes the quality of cabinets is so poor that the granite fabricator is unable to install the countertops. They then install plywood sheets to balance the cabinets and then install the granite slabs.
Depending on the cabinets’ build quality, the fabricator may suggest you choose a 2 or 3 centimeters thick slab.
Which Granite Thickness is right for you?
It depends on your priorities and your budget. There is no limitation of colors and design in both 2 and 3 centimeters thickness. Most experts recommend going for a 3 centimeters thickness for kitchen countertops and 2 centimeters for bathroom vanities.
Moreover, many people on West Coast prefer 2 centimeters thickness for all projects. The preferred thickness on East Coast and Midwest is 3 centimeters.
You also have to consider your kitchen and bathroom’s design and color scheme. Most people look for granite after installing cabinets. So, keep the contrast and design in mind when shopping for granite. Thicker slabs look great with minimalist and modern designs.
Does Granite thickness really matter?
It depends on your usage pattern. 3 centimeters thick granite is more durable than 2 centimeters, but it doesn’t mean that 2 centimeters granite will crack after a couple of years. It will work for at least 15-20 years if properly maintained.
On the other hand, 3 centimeters thick granite can withstand more weight and will not crack or chip easily if something heavy falls on it. Surprisingly, its lifespan is same compared to 2 centimeters thick granite.
Thicker granite gives a richer and more luxurious look compared to thinner granite. So, if you are looking for grace and grandeur, you’ll be better off with thicker granite.
Does thicker Granite require more Maintenance?
The routine maintenance is the same, but thicker granite requires more sealant. It also requires more polishing.
What other options do I have for Kitchen Countertops?
You can use marble, quartz, quartzite, stainless steel, and wood to make countertops. Stainless steel is mostly used in commercial settings, and wooden countertops require extra maintenance.
You can reuse undamaged slabs to make something new or donate them. Some people also sell old granite slabs if they are in okay condition.