How to Make Quartz Countertops Look Thicker

Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom renovations due to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, some homeowners find that standard quartz countertops look too thin for their liking, especially when compared to more substantial natural stone countertops like granite. The good news is that there are several effective techniques to make quartz countertops appear thicker and more substantial without having to replace them.

Choose the Thickest Slab Available

When selecting quartz for new countertops, choose the thickest slab available, which is usually 3cm (1 1/4 inches). While quartz can be purchased in thinner 2cm slabs to save on costs, this thinner profile will make the counters seem insubstantial. The extra thickness of 3cm quartz adds weight and a solid feel that reads visually as more luxurious. For a truly thick look, some manufacturers offer quartz in giant 5cm (2 inch) slabs, but these are special order and cost more. If your budget allows, opting for the thickest standard quartz material will make the biggest impact.

Add a Built-Up Edge

One simple way to add perceived thickness is to have the fabricator install a built-up edge. This involves adding one or more layers of matching quartz material to the front edge of the counter. A 1-inch built-up edge can provide the look of a thicker countertop without having to purchase more costly oversized slabs. A built-up edge also creates a subtle lip around the perimeter that prevents liquids from running off the counter. Built-up edges can be made to varying heights for more or less visual impact. Keep in mind that the built-up portion may not exactly match the pattern of the main slab.

Extend Quartz to Vertical Surfaces

Another way to make quartz appear thicker is to extend the quartz material beyond the counter surface onto surrounding vertical surfaces. For example, quartz can be installed as a full splash behind sinks and stovetops. The quartz backsplash can be taken all the way up to the underside of wall cabinets for a heavy look. For a full integrated appearance, side splashes and even windowsills can also be surfaced in matching quartz. Visually extending the counter material onto wall surfaces makes the whole installation look thicker. Take care to account for the extra cost of more surface area when requesting a quote.

Increase Edge Profile Thickness

Changing the edge profile is a simple upgrade that can make a quartz counter seem more robust. Rather than a standard pencil-thin front edge, request a thicker 1/4-inch or 1/2-inch front edge profile. The thicker edge can give the impression that the entire counter is a bit brawnier than it is. An oversized edge also provides additional impact resistance against chips and cracks. Just keep in mind that a thicker edge does sacrifice a tiny bit of the usable counter space.

Add an Apron Front

For an island or peninsula, adding an apron front is a great way to create the illusion of thickness. An apron front extends the quartz material down around all sides of the island before connecting with the cabinetry or flooring. Usually 4-6 inches high, the apron front suspension makes the island appear to float while also concealing the gap between counter and flooring. Be sure to order extra quartz material to accommodate the apron front. This custom look has a built-in appearance, creating the impression that the entire counter and island are constructed from thick solid quartz.

Increase Cabinet Height

In some cases, making the surrounding cabinets appear thicker can visually translate to the counter. For example, increasing the height of face frame cabinets from the standard 36 inches up to 42 inches or more will make the entire kitchen look beefier and more substantial. The taller full-height cabinets make 12- or 15-inch baseboard seem diminished proportionally. Standard thickness countertops will look thicker sitting atop the taller cabinetry. Just be aware that taller cabinets cost more and require higher end paneling to prevent sagging under the additional weight.

Add Thick Decorative Molding

Thick crown molding installed where the countertop meets the wall adds another layer of visual thickness. Rather than basic 1-2 inch crown, look for more substantial 4-6 inch wide decorative molding. Chunky corbels or curved brackets can be installed intermittently along the counter-to-wall junction for accent. Be sure to fill any gaps between the counter and walls to create a seamless look. The wide molded trim and corbels add another layer of thickness compared to the bare countertop profile.

Cover Seams with Metal Banding

Making a quartz counter appear seamless can also enhance its look of thickness. If necessary, ask the fabricator to shim any visible seams between sections to make them flush. Then cover the seams using metal banding. Brass, copper, or stainless steel strips about 1 inch wide can elegantly hide seams and create the illusion of one continuous thick surface. The metals bands can follow the seam or be installed decoratively in geometric patterns across the counter. Just avoid going overboard with an excessive number of metal lines.

Undermount Sinks for Continuous Surface

Another way to make counters look seamless and robust is to use undermount sinks. By sinking sinks beneath the countertop surface, you avoid disruptive rimmed edges. This creates an illusion of thickness since the heavy quartz appears to flow uninterrupted around the sink cutouts. Avoid wall-mount faucets or accessories that require holes drilled through the quartz. The more accessories are hidden or underside mounted, the more substantial the counter surface appears. Just keep in mind undermount sinks cost more to cut and install.

Use Contrasting Thick Edges

Adding another material along the edges can create a faux layered look that reads as extra thick. For example, you could have the main counter fabricated in 3cm quartz while the exposed front edge is done in a contrasting 4-5cm slab of granite or other stone. The difference between the thinner main surface and thicker edge creates the appearance of a brawny countertop. Just be aware this multi-material look costs more for fabrication and materials. The contrasting edges can be done along just the front or wrap around exposed sides as well.

Incorporate Thick Stone Decorative Inserts

Another creative way to increase the visual thickness of quartz counters is to add decorative inlays of real stone like marble. Small stone tiles or large slabs can be inset seamlessly into the quartz surface. The quartz will appear even thinner next to the 1-2 inch natural stone inlays. This style does add cost for extra fabrication and inlay material. But strategically chosen stone patterns and locations can transform the look to custom luxury. Just avoid overdoing it with too many different materials and patterns.

Add LED Lighting Under Cabinets or Lip

Installing subtle lighting underneath upper cabinets or under the front edge of the countertop can create striking shadows that emphasize thickness. LED strip lighting works well, providing even illumination. As the light shines on the underside of the counter lip or cabinet toe kick, it casts shadows that accentuate the quartz surface depth. Just avoid lights that are too bright or white, as the goal is to subtly showcase the contours, not overpower the space.

Use Large-Scale Tile as Backsplash

Choosing a large, dramatic tile as a quartz backsplash can help the counters appear thicker by contrast. Oversized tile like 12×24 inches make the standard 3cm quartz seem dainty in comparison. Natural stone and porcelain tiles come in a variety of thicknesses up to 1-inch. Just make sure the tile thickness doesn’t overwhelm the actual counters. Laying the tile in a classic brick pattern or an offset orientation can also make them pop. Just avoid tiny mosaic tiles that would make the quartz counters appear chunky rather than sleek.

Create Thick Grout Lines Between Tiles

If using a tiled backsplash, specifying thicker grout lines can also enhance the thick look. Rather than traditional thin 1/8th inch grout, consider using 1⁄4-inch or 3/8-inch grout lines. The wider grout channels add another layer of visual thickness compared to the quartz counters. Contrasting colored grout that stands out against both the tile and quartz aids the thick effect. Just be aware wider grout lines increase installation time and cost. Keeping the rest of the tile minimalist helps the bold grout stand out.

Maximize Hanging Upper Cabinets

Installing upper cabinets that fully maximize the available space also makes counters seem thicker. Having upper cabinets hung close to the countertop edge removes visual gaps that can make counters appear suspended or unsupported. Shallow cabinets mounted high above look disjointed from thinner counters below. Filling every inch of wall space with flush mounted cabinets or shelving gives a seamless built-in impression. The lower counters will seem like a solid extension of the cabinetry rather than thin detached slabs.

Use Thick Quartz Shelving and Niches

Incorporating thick matching quartz into other design elements like open shelving, niches, or display cubbies can reinforce the chunky aesthetic. For example, having a built-in bookshelf flanking the range with thick 3-5cm quartz shelves and sides will mirror the hefty island countertop nearby. Thick shelving and cubbies act like supporting design details to lend the whole space a stout feel. Just be mindful of the extra installation cost if the shelving needs to be custom cut to size from a quartz slab.

Add Side and Back Splashes

While a basic backsplash can help, taking quartz splashes up side walls of a kitchen island or peninsula installation can further enhance thickness. The chunky solid look of quartz covering multiple surrounding surfaces makes the whole installation seem thicker and almost built-into the floorplan. Full side splashes also hide the joint between countertop and cabinetry, removing a visual break up of the surface. Just take care that side walls are properly supported and reinforced to hold thick quartz vertical panels securely.

Use Minimalist Bar Stools and Legs

Avoid ornate bar stool designs or legs that distract from the countertop. Keeping island and bar stools fairly minimalist and streamlined puts the focus on thick quartz surfaces. Metal legs in straight vertical orientations work well. Avoid prominent horizontal rungs or curved shapes that make the eye jump around. Simple pedestal stool legs in brushed steel, black iron, or solid quartz appear cohesive with the countertop thickness. Keep stool seat materials and colors muted as well so the quartz can take the visual spotlight.

Incorporate Thick Beveled Subway Tiles

Using thick beveled subway tiles as a backsplash can create the impression of countertop depth. Beveled edges provide dimension that emphasizes the thickness of the tile and makes the quartz surface seem beefier by comparison. Keeping the tiles in a classic straight stacked pattern avoids fussy designs that compete visually with the counters. Dark grout lines also help ground the weighty feel. Limit the tile area just around sinks and cooktops to keep the focus on the continuous thick quartz surfaces.

Add Decorative Wood Brackets Under Overhangs

Whimsical decorative brackets made of thick wood or carved stone underneath the counter overhang can reinforce its sturdy appearance. Strategically placed brackets act like structural supports, giving the impression the hefty quartz counters require a little extra load bearing strength. Keep the brackets chunky and angular, at least 3-4 inches on each side. Matching the wood stain color to the cabinets also helps the look appear structural rather than purely ornamental. Just avoid tiny dainty brackets that get lost under a thick counter.

Opt for Full Slab Backsplashes

Rather than cut tiles, using a full slab of quartz as a backsplash can mimic the visual thickness of the countertops. A 3cm backsplash slab matched to the counters makes the entire installation seem hefty. The full quartz backsplash should be precisely cut to fit flush against the main counter slab. If necessary, extra support brackets can be used to bolster the vertical weight. This is one of the simplest and most affordable ways to get a cohesive thick quartz look since it utilizes a full section of the existing countertop slab material.

Consider Roundover Edges

Roundover edges provide a smooth rounded transition between the vertical and horizontal planes of the countertop surface. The profile serves both functional and decorative purposes. The curved edge has a visibly thicker appearance which adds a subtle boldness compared to standard sharp 90-degree edges. Roundovers also soften and feminize the aesthetic for a gentler thick look. And the gradual curve makes the edge more durable and comfortable to use. Just keep in mind that roundover edges reduce seating space at the counter perimeter.

Wrap Edges Over Cabinetry Below

Allowing the edges of an island or peninsula counter to overhang past the supporting cabinetry gives the appearance of immense thickness and weight. The thicker the wrap-around overhang, the more substantial the counter will seem. For example, an 8-10 inch overhang on all sides will make standard 3cm quartz look like a giant solid surface. The floating cantilevered visual effect emphasizes the quartz thickness while defining the island shape. Just take care to add extra corner support brackets for long overhangs to prevent cracking under the sheer mass.

Use Contrasting Quartz Patterns and Textures

Incorporating multiple colors, patterns, and texture finishes in the same quartz installation can bring visual interest while accentuating thickness. For example, a smoother polished quartz main counter surface with heavily textured quartz along the front edge and special tile inlays provides contrast that makes each element stand out. The interplay highlights the unique thickness and heft of each design choice. Just take care to avoid going overboard with too many competing textures in a small space.

Consider Thicker Countertops for Less-Used Areas

To save on costs, standard 3cm quartz can be used for most countertop surfaces while thicker 5cm slabs are reserved for special areas like islands that need maximum visual impact. For example, using ultra-thick quartz on a conversational bar area draws the eye to that space as the focal point. Thicker materials can also be used strategically on columns or dividing walls between rooms to establish substance. Concentrating super thick quartz only where needed prevents overspending while still achieving the illusion of heft.

Increase Perceived Thickness with Laminates

Real quartz countertops can be given the illusion of extra bulk by using laminates designed to mimic natural materials. For example, wood grain or stone texture laminates applied to the front edge and splashes make those surfaces appear thicker compared to the actual quartz core. The laminates can wrap down the sides of peninsulas for a floating look. Just don’t use laminates along any counter surface or edge where moisture contact is likely. Seams may also be visible between laminated and quartz sections.

Add Side Panels and Extra Support for Overhangs

Substantial overhangs can help counters seem massive, but take care to properly support the span. Thick sturdy side panels fitted between the bottom of the overhang and floor keep the protruding counter from sagging or cracking under its own weight. The supports also allow wider overhangs beyond standard dimensions. For extremely long spans, consider quartz corbels or triangular kickers for extra support. The reinforced overhangs prevent damage while maximizing the dramatic cantilevered thick look.

Take Advantage of Thicker Quartz Options

If your current standard quartz counters seem too thin, know that many manufacturers now offer thicker slabs as a custom option. Popular brands like Ceasarstone, Cambria, and Silestone have released more substantial designer editions in 4, 5, and even 6cm thickness. The thicker tiers provide the same benefits of durability and maintenance but with enhanced visual bulk and weight. Though premium thick quartz costs more, the investment may be worthwhile to achieve your ideal opulent, hardwearing kitchen aesthetic.


With some creative planning and strategic design choices, it’s completely possible to make standard quartz counters look impressively thick and substantial. Deciding which techniques make the most sense depends on your budget, project scope, and aesthetic goals. But by implementing even a few of these thickness-boosting ideas, you can enjoy the most visually impactful quartz installation possible. With the right approach, thinner cost-effective quartz can be transformed into a showstopping kitchen focal point that appears custom built and ultraluxurious.