Tag Archives: choosing countertops

Choosing the best granite thickness: two centimeters vs. three

Looking for a new, fresh countertop?

Picking the right material, color, and design gives your kitchen or bathroom an instant facelift. When it comes to choosing the right thickness for those granite countertops, however? Not quite as exciting!

It is often not a priority decision but choosing the right slab thickness is vital as it affects every aspect of the installation and long-term reliability of your new counters. Let us explain how to pick the perfect thickness for your granite countertops—and why it’s so important.

 

The Basics

Traditionally, granite countertops are available in two options: two centimeters and three centimeters-thick.

And while a centimeter difference may not seem like much, everything from the installation, short-term price, long-term value, and overall strength are impacted by this one decision.

Here’s what you need to know:

 

Strength

We’ve all done it: leaned against the kitchen counter while reading a recipe or propped our child on the edge to tie his shoe.

Kitchens are the busiest rooms in our home, and our counters should be up to the challenge.

But the truth is, a two-centimeter granite slab can’t handle as much pressure (eek!) as its thicker counterpart. This is especially true around narrow cuts such as in front of a sink. While three-centimeter counters are strong enough to support their own weight when being installed, two-centimeter slabs have to be installed on top of plywood decking to boost its strength and resistance. When scrutinized the plywood is in fact visible from underneath the top. Your guests are unlikely to notice it but you will. Just reaching underneath your two-centimeter laminated top you will be able to feel the plywood support as opposed to polished stone.

Meanwhile, three-centimeter countertops can withstand an overhang of up to a foot, which makes for an ideal, casual eating area.

 

Price

The more material you use, the higher the cost, right? Well, with granite countertops, this isn’t entirely true.

Sure, three-centimeter slabs are technically more expensive than two-centimeter slabs…if you’re only paying for the material alone; however, the installation is simpler, the fabrication costs remain the same, and handling requires a less strenuous attention—as two-centimeter slabs are more delicate.

So, what does this mean? At Primera, the cost of 3cm slabs are about the same as 2cm slabs.

 

Long-Term Value

Three-centimeter granite countertops are, ultimately, more valuable in the long-term. The material is stronger and has a sleeker aesthetic, as the profile can be fabricated with more detail.

That’s not to say two-centimeter slabs can’t be fabricated; in fact, they often are. But this is only made possible with the process of lamination, another point off the two-centimeter slab’s value.

Here’s why:

 

Two-Centimeter Slabs and Lamination

Laminate treatments are used frequently on two-centimeter granite countertops. This process involves applying a thin strip of the same material under the entire border of the countertop (think of it like a small, upside-down fence).

Lamination essentially makes the countertops look thicker, but the seam between the strip and the counter is noticeable—and the countertop is no stronger because of it.

 

Here’s the Deal

At Primera, we think it’s a bit silly to charge more for three-centimeter granite countertops when the installation, handling, and final result is easier, more efficient, and truly gorgeous.

We’ve seen a pattern:

Two-centimeter slabs tend to be more popular. But the slab requires the edge to be laminated, a labor-intensive process—not to mention the seam is visible. The three-centimeter slab, however, requires no lamination and can be completed faster.

Overall, three-centimeter granite countertops simply offer a much cleaner, more contemporary look while proving to be stronger and offer better value as they cost about the same.

So, are you ready for your new granite countertop? Reach out and we’ll give you the look you’ll love and the strength you need, within your budget and on time.

Contact Primera today.

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3 tips to picking the perfect countertop

Picking the perfect countertop

It is amazing how much a countertop thoroughly changes the look of a kitchen. The kitchen is the core of the home and receives much attention from home buyers. It is an important area to invest in when you are building a new home or thinking ahead for resale value.

When it comes to choosing a countertop material, there are a wide variety of selections to pick from; the options are almost limitless. There are many choices when it comes to pattern, color, style and durability. Countertops range anywhere from affordable, low-maintenance ceramic tile to high-end semi-precious slabs so you are sure to find an option in your taste and budget.

Countertops are a long-term commitment. It is important to choose the countertop that will support your lifestyle and meet your specific needs.

Some of the options you can choose from are:

Ceramic Tile: Affordable, durable and easy to clean, ceramic tile is a good choice for the average hard-working home. The uneven surface and grout lines are minor disadvantages.

Engineered Stone: Made from bits of marble and other types of rock, engineered stone is low-maintenance and durable. There are a wide range of colors and patterns and a high level of consistency because it is manmade.

Vetrazzo: Crafted from recycled glass, Vetrazzo countertops are scratch-resistant, durable and simply stunning.

Semi-precious: Stain, scratch, and heat resistant, semi-precious slabs are beautiful pieces that will make a bold statement in your home.

Granite: High-end yet low-maintenance, granite is a beautiful option for kitchens that need durable but classy countertops. Granite tends to be more expensive but will last a long time. Other natural stone options include marble, limestone, travertine, quartzite, sandstone and onyx.

When selecting and installing your perfect countertop, remember to keep 3 things in mind:

  1. Color
  2. Durability
  3. Maintenance

Take a look at Primera’s product gallery to get an idea of how all these above options look visually or view our portfolio for more inspiration and ideas.

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Countertops dilemma

Are you stuck between a rock and a hard place; more specifically, between granite and engineered stone?  Choosing a countertop isn’t as easy as flipping a coin, or is it?  Engineered stone is a composite of material made of crushed stone bound together by polymer resin.  It is commonly referred to as quartz, but engineered stone can be made up of other materials, including granite, marble, and semi-precious stones.  Natural granite on the other hand, is mined straight from the Earth and cut into slabs.  While granite countertops have been a famous choice for years, engineered stone is on the rise and rightfully so.

Engineered countertops give your kitchen or bath the look and functionality of stone without the maintenance.  You never have to seal engineered stone and because it is a non-porous material, it decreases the spread of bacteria.  It is a man-made product so you will have consistency in color and design and seams tend to be less visible than granite if properly installed.  You will also have a better chance of matching the pattern in the event you need a replacement piece.  Engineered countertops can give your kitchen a contemporary feel without overshadowing your backsplash or cabinetry.

Since granite is a natural product, you will find more movement or variance in each slab.  Just like a snowflake, no two pieces of granite are ever the same. For many, this is the allure of granite. With this variance, however, you may also find some flaws and fissures which could potentially weaken the granite.  But time and time again granite has proven to be durable and continues to be the best return on investment.  What can I say?  Granite is granite.  It is a timeless beauty.

Since price, durability, and functionality are neck and neck, your decision will most likely come down to personal preference.  Heads or tails? Are you a timeless beauty or contemporary classic?

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