Homeowners today have lot of choices when it comes to natural stone countertops. The type of stone, the color and the edge treatment are all considerations that a lot of homeowners are prepared to make when it’s time to visit the stone yard and choose their new counter. What many homeowners may not realize, however, is that for some stones, there is one more choice to be made, and that’s the thickness of the counter as well.
The vast majority of stone slabs come in two standard thicknesses – 2cm and 3cm, or roughly translated, ¾-inch and 1-1/4-inch. Some stones, such as marble, are more likely to be found only in 2cm, while some granites may only be available in 3cm.
In some places, such as in the western part of the United States, the trend is to use a thinner counter – 2cm – regardless of where it is installed. In other places the trend is to use a thicker, 3cm, counter in the kitchen, while bar areas and bathroom counters use a thinner, 2cm stone.
Generally, however, a larger slab counter like a kitchen will do better with a 3cm stone. This is because some 2cm stones may need additional support in order to avoid slight bowing or cracking over time. Many homeowners may choose to use the 2cm slab thinking that the less expensive stone fits into their budget better, but often the bracing required during installation brings the price back up again.
Occasionally, you may also find slab counters in 2 or even 3-inch thicknesses. These thick slabs are generally more expensive than the others, but other than in extreme overhangs, they don’t usually add a lot of additional structure or function to the stone.
For most large countertops, a 3cm thick stone is generally sufficient, provided that overhangs have enough support. If the stone you love only comes in 2cm, however, it can still make a beautiful, functional countertop, as long as reinforcements are used.
Stone thickness is often driven by availability, area trend, and price. Weigh these considerations together to find the best stone for your home.