Choosing the right thickness for your new quartz countertop is an important decision that requires careful consideration. The thickness you select will impact cost, durability, and aesthetic appeal. This guide examines the factors to weigh when determining the ideal quartz countertop thickness for your kitchen remodel or new construction project.
What is Quartz?
Before diving into thickness options, it’s helpful to understand what quartz countertops are. Quartz is an engineered stone made from crushed quartz particles combined with resin and pigment. The result is a durable, non-porous material that resists scratches, stains, and heat.
Quartz offers the look of natural stone with more consistency in pattern and color. And unlike granite or marble, quartz does not need to be sealed regularly. This makes it an ideal option for busy kitchens.
Standard Thicknesses for Quartz Countertops
Quartz countertops are typically available in three standard thicknesses:
- 3/4 inch – This is the most common and affordable choice for quartz countertops. At 3/4 inch, this thickness provides an elegant look and works well for most applications.
- 1 1/4 inches – A step up in thickness, 1 1/4 inches offers enhanced durability and visual weight. This thickness is a great choice for heavily used spaces.
- 2 cm – At 2 cm (or about 3/4 inch), this metric thickness is the minimum recommended for quartz countertops. It’s budget-friendly while still offering durability.
Thicker options like 1 1/2 inches are sometimes available through custom fabrication. Anything thicker than 1 1/4 inches is generally considered overkill for residential settings.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Quartz Thickness
Determining the right quartz thickness for your project depends on several factors:
How your kitchen counters will be used should guide your thickness selection. For surfaces subjected to heavy use, opt for a thicker quartz slab. 1 1/4 inches is best for busy kitchens or households with kids. If your counters will see more light use, a standard 3/4 inch thickness should suffice.
The thickness impacts the recommended overhang for unsupported edges. A thicker quartz slab can safely cantilever more than a thinner one. Most fabricators recommend a 1 1/4 inch thickness for overhangs over 6 inches. Standard 3/4 inch quartz works for shorter overhangs.
Visually, a thicker quartz countertop conveys a more substantial, sleek look. The added density shows in the surface and polished edges. But thickness also impacts installed height, which can disrupt the flow of your counter and cabinetry.
As you might expect, your budget also determines what quartz thickness makes the most sense. Since more materials are required, thicker slabs cost more to fabricate and install. But keep in mind that the difference in pricing for upgraded thickness is usually minor in the context of the overall project.
Type of Installation
How your countertops will be installed is another thickness consideration. For wall-mounted counters like in a laundry room, you can get away with using thinner quartz. Full-height cabinets can provide ample support for 3/4 inch tops. Countertops set on a base or piers work better with thicker quartz for added strength.
Recommended Thicknesses by Installation Type
Here are some thickness guidelines based on the type of quartz countertop installation:
- Kitchen islands – Go with 1 1/4 inches for sturdiness on all exposed sides of an island. For a dining peninsula, you may be able to use 3/4 inch thickness.
- Full-height kitchen counters – 3/4 inch standard thickness is fine for most applications. Use 1 1/4 inch for a decorative overhang beyond 8 inches.
- Bathroom vanities – 3/4 inch quartz works well for most bath vanity tops, even with a small overhang.
- Laundry and utility rooms – At 3/4 inch thickness, quartz withstands heavy use in laundry and utility spaces while fitting within tighter budgets.
- Bar countertops – Opt for 1 1/4 inch thickness for bar tops to support overhangs and withstand impacts.
- Desk and tabletops – For horizontal surfaces, go with a thinner 3/4 inch quartz countertop.
Other Considerations for Quartz Thickness
Beyond the factors above, a few other considerations may impact your preferred thickness:
- Edge details – Decorative edges like ogee, bevel, and bullnose work better with thicker quartz that can stand up to intricate edge profiles.
- Backsplash height – If you want to minimize the height transition between countertop and backsplash, thinner quartz keeps the surface lower.
- Cabinet style – Integrated countertops look better with standard 3/4 inch quartz that blends with cabinetry. Floating counters call for thicker tops.
- Cutouts – Thicker quartz is less prone to cracks around sinks and cooktops. Added thickness is prudent for spans over 30 inches.
How Much Does Quartz Thickness Add to Cost?
Because thicker quartz requires more materials, it costs more per square foot than thinner countertops. Here are some average costs for installed quartz countertops by thickness:
- 3/4 inch – $70-$100 per square foot installed
- 1 1/4 inch – $80-$110 per square foot installed
- 1 1/2 inch – $90-$120 per square foot installed
But most quartz manufacturers only charge a small upgrade fee for thicker material. The increase is generally $5-$15 more per square foot compared to 3/4 inch. So you get enhanced durability and aesthetics for a minimal investment.
Achieving the Right Thickness Balance
Ultimately, selecting the ideal quartz thickness is about finding the right balance for your space. You want thick enough for durability and design, but not so thick that it overpowers the room. Follow these tips to hit the right mark:
- Match thickness to usage – opt for 1 1/4 inches or more in hardworking kitchens
- Ensure adequate support for overhangs
- Weigh visual impacts – thickness affects appearance
- Consider special fabrication needs – thicker quartz accommodates complex edges
- Budget for a minor upgrade if beneficial – increased thickness comes at a small price
- See slabs in person – visualize how thickness impacts aesthetics
With an understanding of the factors involved, you can zero in on a quartz thickness that perfectly suits your setting. Choosing the ideal thickness results in a stunning, long-lasting countertop that enhances both form and function.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a thicker quartz countertop better?
Thicker quartz countertops are more durable, can handle greater overhangs, and offer a heavier visual look. But thickness comes at an added cost. In low traffic areas, standard 3/4 inch quartz may suffice.
What is the standard thickness for a quartz kitchen countertop?
The most common thickness for quartz kitchen countertops is 3/4 inch. This thickness works well for most residential kitchens. Where extra durability is needed, 1 1/4 inch provides enhanced strength.
Can you put thick quartz on top of existing counters?
It is possible to install new, thicker quartz countertops over top of your existing counters. This may require adjustments to accommodate the change in height. The existing counters must be in good condition to support overlay.
Does thicker quartz get hotter?
Thickness has minimal impact on heat resistance. More thickness can slightly improve insulation from heat. But in general, all quartz thicknesses maintain their temperature well relative to other countertop materials.
Is 2 cm too thin for quartz?
2 cm, or about 3/4 inch, is the minimum recommended thickness for quartz countertops. This thickness works well for applications with ample support like full-height cabinetry. For freestanding spans, a thicker 1 1/4 inch slab prevents sagging.
Choosing countertop thickness requires balancing design, performance, cost, and installation considerations unique to your space. While thinner 3/4 inch quartz fits most budgets, step up to 1 1/4 inches for heavy-use areas or overhangs exceeding 6 inches. Collaborate with your fabricator and designer to select the ideal quartz thickness for your next kitchen or bath renovation.