Silestone is a popular brand of quartz countertops known for its durability, aesthetic appeal, and variety of color and finish options. When shopping for Silestone, one of the key considerations is the thickness of the slabs. Selecting the right thickness impacts the look, functionality, and costs of your countertop installation.
Standard Thickness Options for Silestone Countertops
Silestone quartz slabs are available in three standard thicknesses:
- 1.2 cm (around 0.5 inches) – This is the thinnest option offered by Silestone. It provides an affordable option but is best suited for low-traffic applications like bathroom vanities.
- 2 cm (around 0.8 inches) – This is the most popular thickness for Silestone installations. It offers a good balance of durability and cost-effectiveness for kitchen countertops and other high-traffic applications.
- 3 cm (around 1.2 inches) – The thickest Silestone slabs provide maximum durability and are well-suited for heavy usage areas like kitchen islands. The added thickness gives it a more substantial, premium feel.
While 1.2 cm and 2 cm are the most common thicknesses, 3 cm slabs are growing in popularity as homeowners look to make a design statement with their counters. Some specialty Silestone selections are only available in 3 cm.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Silestone Thickness
Choosing the ideal Silestone thickness involves weighing several factors:
Thicker quartz can better withstand heavy day-to-day use without cracking or chipping. High traffic areas like kitchen workstations benefit from 3 cm, while 2 cm is sufficient for most households. Use 1.2 cm only for bathrooms or decorative accents seeing minimal wear.
Countertop overhangs or unsupported spans should be kept to under 10 inches with 2 cm Silestone to prevent cracking and sagging. 3 cm is recommended for overhangs exceeding 10 inches.
Thicker quartz has a more substantial, premium appearance which some homeowners prefer. Beveled edges help enhance the look of added thickness.
Thicker slabs weigh considerably more, making them harder to maneuver and install. This may limit slab sizes and impact installation costs.
Naturally, thicker Silestone comes at a higher price. In limited budgets, opting for 2 cm over 3 cm can provide significant savings.
Edges and cutouts are easier for fabricators to complete with thicker, more rigid slabs. This can reduce fabrication errors and call-backs.
A thicker countertop better bridges the transition to a standard 4 inch backsplash without requiring additional buildup.
Home cooks regularly moving heavy pots or appliances may want a thicker surface that can withstand impacts.
Ensure base cabinets can support a 3 cm countertop’s weight if selecting the thicker option. Reinforcement or new cabinets may be needed.
Standard dishwashers are designed to align with a 1.2 cm countertop. If using 3 cm, the dishwasher may need an additional panel for proper integration.
Cost Impact of Silestone Thickness
Not surprisingly, thicker Silestone countertops come at a higher installed price:
- 1.2 cm – Starts around $40 per square foot installed
- 2 cm – Starts around $55 per square foot installed
- 3 cm – Starts around $70 per square foot installed
These costs can vary based on factors like slab color, edge treatments, sink types, and regional labor rates. In general, moving from 2 cm to 3 cm carries about a 25% cost premium.
For a typical 30 square foot kitchen, 3 cm Silestone would add $450-600 compared to 2 cm. This significant upcharge is worthwhile for buyers prioritizing heavy usage, overhangs, or aesthetic appeal. For those on tighter budgets, 2 cm provides the best value.
Pros and Cons of 1.2 cm Silestone
- Most affordable thickness
- Sufficient for low-traffic bathrooms
- Easier for DIY installation
- Works with standard dishwashers
- Prone to cracks/chips without proper support
- Not recommended for kitchens or high-traffic areas
- Limited overhang capacity
- Less durable long-term
- Can look insubstantial
Pros and Cons of 2 cm Silestone
- Ideal balance of cost and performance for most buyers
- Handles most household uses with proper installation
- Overhangs up to 10” are supported
- Easier to cut and install than 3 cm
- Not as durable as 3 cm for heavy usage
- Short overhangs may look undersized
- Less premium appearance than 3 cm
Pros and Cons of 3 cm Silestone
- Maximum durability for heavy usage
- Best support for long overhangs
- Substantial, premium look
- Handles impacts better
- Bridge backsplashes easily
- Significantly more expensive
- Requires cabinet reinforcement
- Harder to cut and install
- Won’t fit standard dishwashers
- Weights more, limiting slab size
Standard Silestone Thicknesses by Application
- Vanities – 1.2 cm
- Shower Walls – 1.2 cm or 2 cm
- Tub Surrounds – 1.2 cm or 2 cm
- Countertops – 2 cm
- Island Countertops – 2 cm or 3 cm
- Backsplashes – 1.2 cm
- Low-Traffic Floors – 1.2 cm
- High-Traffic Floors – 2 cm
- Surrounds – 2 cm
- Hearths – 3 cm
- Grill Countertops – 2 cm
- Outdoor Kitchens – 3 cm
- Pool Copings – 3 cm
Achieving Sufficient Support with Silestone
Proper installation and support are critical to prevent cracking, especially with thinner 1.2 cm and 2 cm slabs. Here are some best practices:
- Follow manufacturer guidelines for cabinetry or base support. Use 3/4” plywood decks for base cabinets.
- Avoid unsupported spans greater than 24-30 inches during installation.
- Use brackets or corbels to support long overhangs exceeding 10”.
- Allow 1/8” gap between slabs for thermal expansion.
- Seal seams with flexible silicone caulk (not rigid grout).
- Select experienced, certified Silestone fabricators and installers.
Adequate support transforms thinner Silestone into durable, long-lasting countertops. Consult designers to engineer proper reinforcements for your project.
Achieving a Thicker Look with Standard Silestone
For homeowners who prefer the heftier aesthetic of 3 cm Silestone but wish to keep costs down, there are a few tricks to increase the visual thickness of standard 2 cm slabs:
- Add a reverse bevel – A 1/16″ bevel along the bottom edge creates depth.
- Use thicker edges – Full bullnose or triple waterfall edges boost presence.
- Increase backsplash height – Extending to 6 inches hides part of the slab.
- Add an apron front – Attaching a vertical apron along the front creates mass.
- Use floating shelves – Shelves underneath cleverly conceal thin edges.
- Illuminate underneath – Lighting underneath the overhang emphasizes shadows and thickness.
- Contrast with 1.2 cm backsplash – A thinner backsplash further accentuates the countertop.
Silestone Thickness Considerations by Color
While thickness selection mainly depends on application, some specific Silestone colors and patterns may also influence decisions:
- Bold granites – Busy, granitelike designs like Calacatta Gold are better displayed in thick 3 cm slabs.
- Solid colors – Thickness has less impact on uniform solids like Blanco Zeus, so 2 cm usually suffices.
- ** Quartz mirrors** – Reflective finishes like Mirror require rigidity to prevent distortion, favoring 3 cm.
- Large patterns – Scaling up subtle patterns demands thicker slabs to maintain effect.
- Bookmatched slabs – Mirror imaging is easiest to achieve across thicker seamed surfaces.
- Vein cuts – Cutting along veining is cleaner with a thicker slab.
- Premium collections – Upscale lines like Silestone Eternal emphasize luxury with 3 cm.
How Thick Are Other Quartz Countertop Brands?
While Silestone offers three main thicknesses, other leading quartz brands provide similar options:
- Caesarstone – Offers 1.2 cm, 2 cm, and 3 cm
- Cambria – Offers 1.3 cm, 2 cm, and 3 cm
- LG Viatera – Offers 2 cm and 3 cm
- Quartz Master – Offers 1.2 cm, 1.9 cm, 2.5 cm
- Hanstone – Offers 1.2 cm, 2 cm, and 3 cm
- Samsung Radianz – Offers 1.2 cm, 2 cm, and 3 cm
As with Silestone, 2 cm remains the most popular thickness for most major brands. High-end or premium collections will sometimes only be produced in 3 cm.
Average Slab Sizes of Silestone by Thickness
Silestone slabs come in a standard size of approximately 55” x 120”, with some variance depending on thickness:
- 1.2 cm – 55” x 118”
- 2 cm – 55” x 120”
- 3 cm – 55” x 120”
Fabricators can cut these down to customized sizes for specific installations. Maximum sizes may be restricted for thicker slabs due to weight limitations. Homeowners should consult their fabricator on ideal slab dimensions for their project.
Custom Thickness Silestone Slabs
While 1.2 cm, 2 cm, and 3 cm encompass most installations, Silestone can be customized to non-standard thicknesses outside this range. Typical custom options include:
- 1/4 Inch – For niche decorative applications like ultra-thin bathroom vanity tops placed over existing counters.
- 1.5 cm – For homeowners seeking a thickness between 1.2 cm and 2 cm.
- 2.5 cm – For added resilience between 2 cm and 3 cm.
- 4 cm – For absolute maximum durability in commercial or outdoor applications.
Custom cuts smaller than 1.2 cm or greater than 3 cm will generally require a minimum order size and prolonged lead time. They also come at an extra cost compared to standard thicknesses. Homeowners should check with local Silestone suppliers on availability and pricing for specific custom sizes.
What thickness of Silestone is best for kitchen countertops?
The 2 cm (0.8 inch) option offers the best combination of affordability, durability, and ease of installation for most kitchens. Homeowners can upgrade to 3 cm for high-traffic areas like a central island.
Is 2 cm Silestone too thin?
With proper installation and support, the 2 cm thickness provides sufficient durability for kitchen counters and other residential applications. It is not considered too thin under normal household use.
What thickness of Silestone is best for bathrooms?
The 1.2 cm (0.5 inch) slabs are ideal for low-traffic bathroom vanities. 2 cm can also be used, but provides minimal added benefit. Shower walls and tub surrounds are best with 1.2 cm or 2 cm.
Can you cut Silestone thinner?
It is possible for fabricators to cut down 3 cm or 2 cm slabs to make them thinner during installation. But this is rare, harder to achieve cleanly, and not recommended. It’s best to order the desired thickness upfront.
Should I get 2 cm or 3 cm Silestone?
For kitchen counters, 2 cm often provides the best value. Only upgrade to 3 cm for heavy-use islands or long overhangs exceeding 10 inches. For flooring, fireplaces, and outdoor projects, 3 cm is recommended.
Does Silestone thickness affect price?
Yes, thicker Silestone comes at a higher installed price. 3 cm is approximately 25% more expensive than 2 cm for an average kitchen. Going from 2 cm to 1.2 cm does provide around 30% cost savings.
Is thicker quartz better for resale value?
Slab thickness has minimal impact on resale value on its own. More important factors include quartz brand, color/pattern appeal, overall condition, and trended vs. outdated styles.
How thick is quartz compared to granite?
Quartz is typically available in thinner 1.2-3 cm slabs compared to 2-4 cm for granite. But thinner quartz offers comparable or greater strength than granite thanks to its engineered composition.
Should Silestone overhang the cabinets slightly?
A small overhang of 1-1.5 inches is recommended for Silestone. This prevents splashes from damaging cabinet fronts and creates a sleeker floating appearance. Overhangs greater than 10 inches need thicker 3 cm slab.
When choosing quartz countertops, Silestone’s thickness options of 1.2 cm, 2 cm, and 3 cm allow homeowners flexibility based on their functional needs and budget. While 2 cm satisfies most kitchens and bathrooms, 3 cm provides maximum ruggedness for heavy usage. 1.2 cm works on a budget for low-impact areas. Consider overhang lengths, appearance, fabrication impacts, and reinforcements when weighing thickness. With smart planning and support, even standard Silestone thicknesses stand up beautifully for decades. Consult experienced local designers to determine the ideal quartz thickness for your next project.