As trends in bath and kitchen design shift, material suppliers have to adjust their game as well, and one debate that is making the rounds at the moment is granite thickness. The industry standard for years was a 2cm slab. It’s easy to find a wide variety of colors and sizes at that thickness, plus it is very close to the ¾ inch thickness of most standard wood products, making it an easy fit.
But, style over substance is a thing in interior design and the more luxurious look of the 3 cm (about 1 ¼”) slabs is very popular right now. In fact, some designers are going even thicker than this, with granite slabs up to 2 inches thick. It gives the countertop a weightier feel, and brings the color of your stone into the scheme of the room more with a bold horizontal line breaking up the vertical cabinet doors with a splash of color.
So, which one is right for you? You’ll probably hear me say this a lot but it depends on your priorities. A 2 cm thick stone countertop is rugged enough for even the most serious cooks, but in some cases, 3 cm granite, or even heavier, quartz or marble might be a more suitable fit. Here are some considerations.
When it comes to kitchen and bath remodeling, the design is a great place to start almost any conversation. Choosing natural stone countertops is not an exception. Starting from the desired aesthetic and space outcome gives us the most freedom as contractors to suggest options that will maximize the impact and budget.
- Start with elements that are already settled. For example, you might be keeping your existing cabinets.
- Consider surrounding color schemes and architectural elements. You could have a gorgeous new kitchen that doesn’t suit your house if you don’t.
- Use a drawing, or digital rendering to get a clear picture of how your countertops will look in your space.
Countertop thickness seems like a small thing, but trying multiple thicknesses in your design image may prove otherwise. If the impact is strong enough, the added expense may well be worth it.
The budget nearly always overshadows design. With that being said, there are always options that can help meet design expectations while keeping costs down. If you have a large kitchen, there are ways to incorporate thicker slabs, without throwing the budget out the window. To calculate this, you’ll need to draw out your countertops with a few key pieces of information.
- Start with the square footage of your countertop space. You’ll also want to note any “featured spaces” such as islands, or bar tops.
- Make a note of any cutouts, or cuts that need to be made. This includes ends that need finishing, and sinks, cooktops, etc.
- Mark seams on your layout. You may not be able to determine this until you choose your granite and know how large your slabs are. Check with your installation contractor if you’re uncertain how seams will work.
Most contractors can give you a good idea of granite costs based on this information. With Explore, we’ll give you an upfront estimate to help you plan your project costs as accurately as possible.
If you want the look of thicker granite, you may have fewer options in color and style. When working with natural stone, getting large pieces of intact, clean surfaced stone is a challenge, the thicker it is, the fewer pieces most suppliers have in stock.
- Be open to other colors and patterns. Go back to your original design aesthetic and see if there’s room to adjust. This is not only a good way to get the thickness you want, but can often save money.
- Ask questions. Just because the supplier has that stone today, doesn’t mean they have an inexhaustible supply. At Explore, we’ll let you know exactly what we can get and when you have to decide by.
- Some stone may be available in more than one thickness, this can play into creating some cool feature surfaces, but more on that later.
Once you know the stone is available, buy it as soon as possible. Even if your job is a ways off, if you can lock it in, you’re better off. All-natural stone qualities are limited. Always. Getting exactly what you want can make a big difference in project satisfaction when the job is over.
Ways to get the look you want, for less
I know the feeling of wanting what you want. I get it. I love to give clients exactly what they want, but sometimes maximizing budget means making compromises, or considering other options. If you want the look and feel of thicker counters, there are several ways to get them, without breaking the bank.
- Other surfaces, such as quartz and silestone, are available in a variety of thicknesses and the cost is often less. Don’t discount them before you take a look, we have a huge variety of colors, patterns and styles across all of our countertop options.
- You can use thicker pieces on feature surfaces, such as bar tops and island countertops, while using standard thickness material on the bulk of the counter space. This allows you to create the drama you want, while leaving more room in your budget.
- In some cases, an edge can be built up with multiple layers of stone. You need a skilled contractor to make the match and ensure the seams are not highly visible, which can ruin the entire effect.
My biggest advice to homeowners coming into the kitchen and bath upgrade experience is this, stay open. The professionals at Explore Granite and Tile are here to help you achieve the home of your dreams, for a price you can live with. By keeping an open mind and being willing to “Explore first” when it comes to options, you may be surprised at what you find.
In the end, home improvement is about balance. Determine your priorities first, then filter them through your design ideas and available resources. Don’t compromise for the sake of compromise. If you’re working with a great contractor, they’ve got your back and they won’t be happy until you are. I know I’m not.