Homeowners today have more choices in countertops than ever before and quartz is one of the leaders of the pack. They love its sleek beauty, durability, low maintenance and wow factor. Color, style, size, and design all add up to a neat countertop package, but there is another factor in play with quartz, which is likely to affect your choice, and that’s its thickness. You wonder how can thickness with a countertop material like quartz matter, but it does. Depending on how you plan on using it, you want the right thickness to accommodate your kitchen or any other space where quartz is used.
So, how does a potential quartz consumer know what thickness is best to use with a particular countertop or worktop area in a home or business, and how does thickness relate to placement or installation? There are explanations as to what thickness is adaptable to what and here are some of those reasons behind choosing the best thickness for your countertop needs and budget.
Grades of Thickness
The three grades of thicknesses with quartz include:
1. Ultra-thin – 1-1.2 centimeters(CM) = 0.39 – 0.47 of an inch
2. Thin – 2 centimeters(CM) = 3/4 inch
3. Thick and heavy – 3 centimeters(CM) = 1-1/4 inch
Ultra-thin quartz is utilized in several applications. The most prevalent one is with prefabricated countertops that contain a laminated edging. This kind of quartz countertop is labeled as “prefab.” The slabs are usually manufactured in other countries and their edges are laminated and polished ahead of time. The edges are made thicker-looking by using strips of material and adhering them to the underneath side of a slab, which creates a denser appearance.
Another use of ultra-thin quartz is with vertical wall coverings, or what is called cladding. This thickness is conducive to a wall application because of its lighter weight, and the delicate nature of the quartz slab. The fragility of the material is compensated for when it is secured with a good backing in either plywood or drywall. Other applications with ultra-thin quartz include shower walls, surrounds for fireplaces, and paneling type coverings.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Ultra-Thin Quartz
The advantages of ultra-thin quartz slabs are tempting because this thickness is
- usually a much less expensive option in quartz
- manufactured quickly with limited waiting
- hard to distinguish its narrow appearance in comparison to thicker quartz slabs
The disadvantages of ultra-thin quartz include:
- the need for added support
- bad seaming that comes with often warped slabs
- bad seaming on edges
- varying thicknesses that can interfere with sink reveals
- limitations with colors and sizes
Thin (2CM or 3/4 inch) quartz can also be used in vertical applications, and it weighs considerably more than ultra-thin quartz, so it provides a sturdier and more stable application. Also, when mitered edges are needed on a countertop area, like the outside corners, this thicker quartz allows far more coverage for adhesives. This still thin (but thicker) quartz is also used with prefab materials with laminated edges, and it has become even more popular when the laminated edge has been eliminated. This particular profile has a minimalistic, clean and contemporary look that homeowners are interested in using in their homes. One advantage with 2CM quartz is that any countertop installation does not necessitate the support of plywood unless the countertop area spans 24 inches or more.
Two centimeters, or 3/4 inch quartz countertops with a laminated edge are the type of countertops found in newly constructed homes. Builders today want a quartz countertop that looks thicker and elegant, yet at a lower cost.
3. Thick and Heavy
Those that set the standards in the stone industry are inclined to recommend the use of thicker and heavier 3 centimeter or 1-1/4 inch quartz in countertop use. Though considerably more expensive, thicker quartz offers strength and durability as well as depth, texture, and elegance to a kitchen countertop space. While a thinner slab is less costly and creates a slicker, sleeker and modern look, the 3CM quartz is going to provide stability and ease of installation. Any damage is minimal and no underlying support with plywood is necessary with a thicker quartz. Plus, thicker and denser countertops are going to be longer-lasting and of greater value because of their sturdy structure and less exposed seaming details. Solid edge detail also gives countertops a stronger and durable finished appearance.
What is the Best Thickness?
So, of the three thicknesses that are offered in quartz countertops, which one is going to be the best? In most cases, the thicker, 3CM or 1-1/4 inch quartz is going to be the thickness of choice because of its adaptability to almost any kitchen countertop design and style. Plus, the many choices in both designs and colors in this thickness give homeowners and businesses a wide array of selections that thinner quartz slabs just don’t offer. In addition, consumers don’t have to worry about building up laminated edging to conceal any underlying plywood.
Though 2CM or 3/4 inch quartz doesn’t require the underlying plywood support, it does need support for overhangs that run over 8 inches. Though the thinner edge of 2CM may be desirable in a more minimalist or contemporary kitchen setting, this narrow edging isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and countertops will be lowered in height and adjustments may be needed with the cabinetry.
Ultra-thin 1CM quartz is the budget-friendly choice that some builders, do-it-yourselfers, and others into renovating or remodeling kitchens are using today. You can still achieve the look of quartz with this thickness, but you will have to deal with a factory prefabricated appearance along with the use of plywood support as well as seaming and the limitations in sizes, colors, and styles. All of these problems can be avoided with the use of the other thicknesses that are specifically cut to the dimensions needed for a kitchen countertop.
Maybe you are unsure just what countertop thickness is the right selection for you. Looking at the choices, 3CM is going to give you the strength, stability and long-lasting quality and value of all the thicknesses offered; however, if you still have doubts or questions as to what works best for your kitchen countertop situation, complete the online contact form and an expert will get back to you with the information you need to make an informed decision.