Quartz countertops are a popular choice for modern kitchens and bathrooms. With a thickness of 2cm, quartz provides an extremely durable and low maintenance surface. But is a 2cm quartz countertop actually strong enough for daily use? Let’s take a deeper look at the strength and durability of 2cm thick quartz.
What is Quartz?
Quartz is an engineered stone made from crushed quartz particles combined with polymer resins and pigments. The quartz content typically ranges from 90-94%. The resins bind the quartz particles together to form a hard, non-porous surface.
The main benefits of quartz countertops are:
- Highly durable and scratch resistant
- Stain, heat, and water resistant
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Available in wide range of colors and patterns
Standard Thickness for Quartz Counters
The standard thickness for quartz countertops is 2cm (or 3/4″). While 1.2cm (1/2″) options exist, they are not ideal for countertops due to fragility. The recommended minimum thickness for sufficient strength is 2cm.
Most quartz manufacturers offer 3cm (1 1/4″) thick options as well. But 2cm remains the most popular choice for its balance of affordability and durability.
Is a 2cm Quartz Countertop Strong?
With proper installation and care, a 2cm quartz countertop can be extremely strong and durable in a home setting. Here are some factors that determine its strength:
Quartz has excellent compressive strength, measuring over 4000 psi (pounds per square inch). In comparison, granite rates between 1000-3000 psi. This high compressive strength makes 2cm quartz resistant to cracks and impact damage.
The flexural or bend strength of 2cm quartz can vary from brand to brand. But quality quartz tops have a flexural strength exceeding 100 psi. This allows a 2cm surface to withstand bending force without breaking.
Quality of Installation
Proper installation is key to ensuring the strength of any countertop. 2cm quartz must be securely fastened to a sturdy cabinet base. This provides critical underlying support. Poor installation can undermine the integrity of the countertop.
Day to Day Use
In a residential kitchen, a 2cm quartz countertop can withstand daily use including:
- Food prep
- Setting down heavy pots/pans
- Kneading dough
- Accidental drops and impacts
With reasonable care, it will maintain its durability for many years before needing replacement.
Does Thicker Mean Stronger?
Going up to 3cm thickness will provide even greater strength. But for most homeowners, 2cm delivers an optimal balance. The added cost and weight of 3cm quartz may not justify the small gain in durability.
Keep in mind even a 3cm top can crack if subjected to extreme impact or force. Proper use and care is still important regardless of thickness.
Tips for Keeping 2cm Quartz Strong
Here are some tips to ensure your 2cm quartz countertop remains strong for as long as possible:
- Use cutting boards for food prep
- Don’t cut directly on the surface
- Avoid exposing to strong chemicals
- Don’t place extremely hot pots/pans directly on surface
- Clean spills quickly to prevent staining
- Inspect regularly for cracks or damage
- Re-seal for added water protection (every 1-2 years)
Is 2cm Quartz Suitable for Commercial Use?
For high traffic commercial settings like restaurants, a 3cm quartz top is best. The added thickness provides extra durability to withstand heavy daily use. Intense heat and frequent impact make 2cm quartz more prone to damage in commercial environments.
A 2cm or 3/4″ quartz countertop offers sufficient strength for kitchen and bath use in most homes. With compressive strength exceeding natural stone and proper installation, it can provide many years of beauty and durability. Simple care and maintenance will keep a 2cm quartz surface in top condition. Going up to 3cm thickness does offer more strength, but comes at a higher cost. For homeowners seeking an attractive, low maintenance countertop, 2cm quartz offers the best combination of strength, affordability and design options.
FAQs about 2cm Quartz Strength
Is a 2cm quartz countertop durable?
Yes, with a flexural strength over 100 psi and compressive strength exceeding 4000 psi, a 2cm quartz surface is highly durable for residential use. It resists scratches, stains, impact and heat damage better than many other counter materials.
Can a 2cm quartz counter hold heavy items?
A 2cm quartz counter installed on a sturdy cabinet can support heavy everyday items like mixers, crockpots, and large pots and pans. But avoid placing extremely heavy objects over 25 pounds on thinner 2cm quartz.
Can you crack a 2cm quartz countertop?
Yes, it is possible to crack 2cm quartz by cutting directly on the surface or subjecting it to strong impacts. But hairline cracks are repairable. With proper care and maintenance, cracks are unlikely in normal residential use.
Should I get 3cm instead of 2cm quartz?
A 3cm quartz provides slightly more durability. But for most homeowners, 2cm offers sufficient strength at a lower cost. 3cm may be recommended for heavy commercial settings. Consult an installer to decide if spending extra on 3cm thickness is worthwhile.
Does thicker quartz mean a higher price?
Yes, 3cm quartz will be 20-30% more expensive than 2cm, due to higher material costs. But thicker quartz can help avoid future cracking or damage repairs, potentially saving money in the long run.
Can you reinforce a 2cm quartz countertop?
It is difficult to reinforce an existing 2cm quartz counter. The best approach is selecting a durable design, proper installation, and careful use to prevent cracks or damage from occurring. Having the countertop professionally re-sealed can also extend its water resistance.
With the right selection, installation, care, and maintenance, a 2cm quartz countertop can deliver many years of high performance as a kitchen or bathroom surface. While using cutting boards and avoiding extreme heat is advised, it can withstand normal wear-and-tear. For most homes, 2cm thickness provides an ideal balance of strength, beauty, and affordability. With simple precautions, homeowners can enjoy durable, low-maintenance quartz countertops in popular kitchen designs.