Countertop Thickness: 7 Tips For Selecting The Right Countertop Thickness

Kitchen Cabinet Sizes and Dimensions

Deciding on the thickness of your countertop seems like a very small detail. Truth is, the thickness of your countertop will affect several elements of your kitchen. The durability, aesthetic, and cost to install your countertop are dependent on its thickness. The thicker the slab you will use for your countertop, the more durable, but the costlier. The most common countertop thickness is 2cm and 3 cm. Both options have their benefits.

Many homeowners are not aware that there are thickness options and how these options can impact countertops. Most fabricators will recommend a certain thickness they prefer to work with based on durability and ease of installation.

Here are a few tips to help you decide on the right thickness for your countertop. Your preferences and lifestyle will help guide you decide on the most ideal countertop for your space.


Before you can decide on the thickness of your countertop, you first need to be aware of what countertop materials and their corresponding thickness are available. Countertop thickness is typically measured in centimeters.

Granite, marble, and quartz are the most common countertop materials. There are industry standards for their thickness.

Granite – 3 cm

Marble- 2 cm and 3 cm

Quartz – 2cm and 3 cm

You can make your countertop look thicker than it actually is by building up the edge.


Each countertop thickness comes with its own application. The thickness of the countertop is dependent on how you are going to use it. It is, therefore, important to take into consideration the space as well as the activities that will be done on the countertop as well as the objects that will be placed on it.

Thicker countertops are ideal for kitchens. It is the space in your home where a thick countertop is required because of the many activities that goes on.

The bathroom can use thinner countertops because less time is spent and less activities are done in the bathroom.

The recommended thickness for kitchen countertops is 3 cm. it is more durable and will be able to withstand more wear and tear.

The bathroom countertop can do well with a 2cm thickness as it will not be experiencing as much wear and tear as a kitchen countertop.


The final cost of a countertop is dependent on the material (marble, granite, quartz, etc.), its size (width and length) and its thickness. The shape of the countertop as well as the amount of edging required will also affect the final coat of your countertop.

It is a no brainer, that the thicker the slab, the higher the cost of the material. There is usually a 20% to 40% difference in the cost of materials between a 2cm and 3cm slab.


Kitchen countertops often become an important selling point because the kitchen is the heart of any home. Many times, the resale value of your home increases when you have a kitchen countertop preferred by homebuyers in terms of material and thickness. Most fabricators, architects, and designers prefer countertops to be 3 cm thick because it offers the most durability, color options, and flexibility in size. More importantly, it can be installed directly on top of the cabinets without plywood support.

The choice of countertop thickness, however, is also dependent on what is commonly used in a specific area. In the west coast for instance, most homeowners have 2 cm thick countertops. In most areas, though, most homeowners still prefer a countertop that is 3 cm thick.


The thickness of every countertop material affects its appearance and function. The difference between a 2 cm and 3 cm countertop affects their durability, edging, heaviness, price, and style.

A 2 cm countertop weighs less and is best for vertical applications because it is most likely to be prone to damage. However, when used as kitchen or bathroom countertops, its slimmer profile adds to its contemporary look.

A 3 cm countertop can withstand heavier loads; thus, it is a better option for spaces that will see heavier use. However, since it is heavier, you should make sure that your cabinets, as well as foundation and flooring can withstand the added weight.

It is, therefore, important that the thickness of the countertop blends well with the type of look you want to achieve.


The edge style of your countertop can impact its function, safety, and ease of cleaning. After deciding on the material and color of your countertop, the edge style is the finishing touch to a perfect countertop design.

Most edge styles work well with 2 cm and 3 cm thick countertops. The more ornate and dramatic options, though, are only feasible for countertops that are 3 cm thick. The thickness of the countertop affects the final look of the edge,


If you are not installing a backsplash, you need to focus more on the appearance of thickness or bulk of the countertop.

A 3cm thick countertop will be higher and will consume more wall space. This is a good option if you need to conceal a flaw on the wall. A 2 cm countertop, on the other hand, is ideal when installed below a windowsill or shelf.

Quartz Countertop Thickness

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Quartz slabs for countertops come in 2 thickness’: 2 cm and 3 cm. Some manufacturers also have 1.3 cm slabs.

2CM Quartz Countertop

Quartz is a strong material that requires minimal cabinet support; thus, a 2 cm slab is often used to create a minimalistic and clean look. Quartz slabs that are 2 cm thick also do not require plywood support over the cabinets unless it needs to be 24 inches long.

While a 2 cm quartz countertop would need a laminated edge application, a 2 cm quarzt countertop without a laminated edge has become popular because of its contemporary look and high-end look at a relatively low cost.

3CM Quartz Countertop

A 3 cm quartz countertop is the most preferred thickness option by most fabricators, architects, and designers. It is the most durable and is available in various sizes and colors. It also does not need any plywood support and edges do not need to be laminated.

2CM vs 3CM countertops

  • Material Weight

2 cm – 10lbs per SF

3 cm – 15lbs per SF

  • Overhang

2 cm – 8- inches or more overhangs need to be supported

3 cm – 16-inches or more overhangs need to be supported

  • Edge Profile

2 cm – with seams

3 cm – seamless

  • Installation

2 cm – requires plywood on top of the cabinets

3 cm – Does not require plywood on top of the cabinets

  • Applications

2 cm – commonly used in bathroom countertops

3 cm – commonly used in kitchen countertops

Fabrication and installations costs are lower with 3 cm quartz countertops. But of course, the cost of material is higher. Not all stones are available in 2 cm and 3 cm thick. In comparison, using 3 cm thick countertops are more durable and will last longer.

The extra 1 cm makes a huge difference in terms of heaviness, durability, edging, as well as material and installation costs.

Which Thickness is Right for Your Countertops?

In most cases, 3 cm thick slabs are your best option for your kitchen countertop. They come in more designs and colors than the 2 cm thick slabs.

A 3 cm quartz countertop can withstand heavier loads because, of course, of the added thickness. It is, therefore, a better choice for spaces that will see more use and heavier traffic.

A 3cm quartz countertop does not need a built-up laminated edge because it does not need to conceal plywood underlayment.

A 3 cm quartz countertop offers more flexibility and greater value when designing a beautiful and functional space for the modern family.

If you cannot decide between a 2 cm and 3 cm quartz countertop, you will be better off with a 3 cm countertop. 3 cm is the standard thickness for countertops that need to be custom-cut. Being thicker, it is stronger and more durable.


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Granite slabs are available in two standard thicknesses: 2 cm and 3 cm.


For many years, 2 cm granite countertops have been the industry standard. With this thickness granite slabs are available in various sizes and thickness. Of late, 2 cm granite countertops are no longer as popular because of the extra work of having to install a plywood substrate to act as a support layer. The plywood installation meant added costs for materials and labor.

With 2 cm granite countertops, the front facing edges have to be laminated with an additional strip to create the countertop edging.


Taking over as the industry standard in thickness of granite slabs, 3 cm slabs have become popular for kitchen countertops and several other applications. Interior designers love the design flexibility offered by 3 cm granite slab. With this thickness, the granite countertops have a weightier feel allowing the color of the countertop to blend more with the interiors of the kitchen.

The extra thickness of this granite slab means plywood no longer needs to be installed under the countertop. Extra lamination is also no longer needed. This makes your granite countertop more refined and stronger.

2 CM VS 3 CM

A 2 cm granite countertop is rugged enough to meet the demands of even the busiest of kitchens. In some instances, 3 cm granite countertops are a more suitable fit. The choice between a 2 cm or 3 cm granite countertops boils down to the need of having to install plywood beneath the countertop. If you decide to go with a 2 cm slab, be ready to install plywood underneath the slab.

A 2 cm granite slab looks good as a bathroom countertop. It is less expensive and many manufacturers have them on stock.

A 3 cm granite slab is ideal for kitchen countertops. It is more durable, yet more costly because the added thickness uses more material. It is also not as readily available as 2 cm slabs.


Yes, you can. Granite slabs are also available in 1 cm thick. You, however, need to realize that the thinner the granite slab, the more prone it will be to damage because it is less durable. A 1 cm granite countertops will also need more support, especially for the overhang because being thinner, it is fragile. Being thinner, a 1cm granite slab comes with a low cost.

There are other countertop materials, though, that work well as thin countertops.


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Marble countertops are available in 2 cm and 3 cm thickness


A 2 cm marble countertop should be installed with a plywood base. It is often used for backsplashes and surfaces that do not see much daily use such as a bathroom countertop.


A 3 cm marble countertop is durable enough to not need a plywood base on the base cabinet as a back-up support system. It is ideal for use in kitchens that are subjected to heavy use.

2 CM VS 3 CM

A 3cm marble slab is more expensive by a 2 cm marble slab by between 20%-40%. The industry standard for marble slabs is 2 cm for a bathroom countertop and 3 cm for a kitchen countertop.

Before installing a 2cm marble countertop, a plywood base needs to be placed underneath the marble slab. A 3 cm marble slab is strong enough and no longer needs a plywood base.


Yes, you can go thinner than 2 cm such as a 1 cm or 1.2 cm slab as long as you install a plywood or any material underneath the slab to ensure the structural integrity of thinner marble slabs.

When you decide to go with a 1 cm marble countertop, your fabricator will suggest that it should have a pre-fabricated or laminated edge. A 1 cm marble countertop is not commonly used in homes. Large construction projects opt for 1 cm countertops mainly to save on cost.


Marble and granite are two of the most popular countertop materials because they are both durable stones. Granite, though, is tougher than marble.

If you want to go with a thinner countertop, granite is a better option than marble. Marble is softer than granite and will be more susceptible to scratching and chipping than granite.

Yes, marble needs to be thicker than granite because it is less durable


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Wood countertops are available in thickness ranging from ¾-inch to 6-inches while butcherblock is available from 2-inches to 12-inches thick.

The thickness of wood and butcherblock countertops is dependent on how they are constructed.

  • Edge Grain Wood Countertops

This countertop is made from boards laid on their sides and glued with the narrower edge as the surface. This is ideal for long kitchen counters. With this construction style the countertop should have a thickness of between 1 ½-inches to more than 8-inches.

  • End Grain

This construction style entails the countertop to be at least 2 ½ inches thick. Countertops are made from several blocks of edge-grain wood to form a grid that are glued together. This countertop comes with a checkerboard look.

  • Face Grain

Face grain, plank grain, or flat grain style countertop should be between 4-inches to 12-inches wide and with a thickness of about 1 1/2 -inches.


The standard thickness of laminate countertops is 1 ½-inch but a thicker countertop is possible to resemble a stone countertop.


Concrete countertops can be made to look in a variety of ways. It can be made to look like being a thick countertop by having for example, a heavy-looking 6-inch drop edge with the entire countertop not being 6-inch thick.

Concrete countertops commonly come with a standard 1 ½-inch to 2-inch thickness.

Thickness of Tile Kitchen Countertop

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Tile countertops can either be ceramic tile or porcelain tile. In general, the standard thickness of a tile kitchen countertop is 5’16-inch and in some instances ¼-inch.

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