A common question for a lot of homeowners looking for a new kitchen worktop material is whether they should pick one with 30mm thickness or 20mm thickness. While there are other thicknesses available too, 20mm and 30mm are the most popular for materials that may include other stones beyond the traditional marble, granite and quartz products. The kitchen counter height in the UK varies and depends on several factors like the thickness of the surface material used be it the depth or thickness of granite worktop or rather any other material like the thickness of silestone.
While a lot of people believe that it is a question of personal choice, there are, in fact, a lot more reasons to pick one over the other. Let us have a look at some of the differences between the two, and how you can select one.
Differences between 20mm and 30mm worktops
30mm kitchen worktop thickness can withstand more pressure in a single point, (which may be commonly seen as being stronger), than when compared to 20mm worktops. Having said this, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a 20mm thick worktop as it is perfectly capable of withstanding any daily task as well as a 30mm worktop can do, without any differences in terms of performance.
When it comes to kitchen worktops which is the surface where a lot of your kitchen work is carried out, you surely need something durable. Both 20mm and 30mm worktops will be as durable if taken care of in the same manner.
When it comes to looks 30mm worktops also look have a chunkier appearance which may be selected with designs that evoke splendour, magnificence and grandeur. In contrast, a 20mm worktop offers simple elegance, slim design and a modern touch to any room in which it is applied. Besides the thickness of the worktop, is worth considering the colour and pattern of the surface material is it adds more options to the design scheme. For example, when creating a contemporary kitchen, something such as Silestone Calacatta Gold 20mm worktop can bring both a rich feel provided by the thick greys and golden veins on the white background of the stone combine with the slimmer design of the 20mm work surface, rendering the best of both worlds.
The overall design and feel of the kitchen should also be taken into consideration when selecting between the two. As an example, if there is a breakfast island or bar with unsupported overhangs, a 30mm worktop offers more structural security, allowing a recommended unsupported overhang of up to 300mm which is the standard for diners to seat on a breakfast bar and most tables. With 20mm worktops the maximum recommended unsupported overhang is 250mm which turns out to be enough to eat as comfortably. Apart from being able to have larger unsupported allowance for overhangs, 30mm thick surfaces also help with the load and balance of your kitchen furniture.
The above image shows a quartzite worktop and kitchen island in 30mm thickness with full height splashbacks in 20mm thickness
What thickness suits your kitchen appliances better?
Is 30mm better option to go with kitchen appliances too? At times, yes. A lot of modern kitchens have hobs that have a certain depth, and in a lot of cases, a 20mm worktop might not be adequate for the same as you’ll not be able to open the drawer below. 30mm would be necessary in such cases.
Induction hobs are getting increasingly popular now. One reason for their popularity is their slimline features, as they come with induction coils at the bottom which allow for a minimalistic look in the kitchen. If you are looking to install an induction hub, make sure that you first check its thickness. If you want to install it the oven under the hob, 30mm is sometimes a more suitable option.
In both cases, it is recommended that before purchasing your hob, to check with the retailers or manufacturers whether they are suitable for the thickness of the worktops you intend to use. You would be surprised to learn that most brands will have a version of a specific appliance that will suit either 20mm or 30mm thickness worktops.
Common uses of 20mm thickness materials
There are probably more households that opt for 20mm worktops over the last few years, as this thickness can be used as both worktops as well as for other pieces such as splashbacks, upstands, and window sills; ensuring that you never need to purchase an additional slab of material to supply the vertical panels or that the fabricator does not need to mill down the 30mm surfaces to 20mm which is a labour-intensive process that carries additional costs.
While a 30mm worktops looks chunkier than the ones compared in 20mm worktops, your kitchen may require both 30mm slabs as well as 20mm ones when you wish to have vertical pieces featured in the room. The reason for this is that 20mm thickness look better in splashbacks and similar pieces than the same in 30mm, as they do not project to be as far out from the wall as 30mm.
Also, if you already have the worktop made from a 30mm material, the splashbacks, upstands, and window sills made from the same thickness may negatively affect the overall appeal of the kitchen worktop overhang.
The above image shows quartz worktop thickness in 20mm in combination with a kitchen island in 30mm thickness making it a focal feature in the room.
A 30mm worktop carried more material than a 20mm worktop which ultimately means a little bit more money. The cost difference between 20mm and 30mm thickness stone is generally 30% as there is in fact the same percentage of more material being purchased on a 30mm worktop. By the time labour and fabrication costs are added, a 30mm worktop will cost on average 15% more than a 20% worktop overall which is not a huge difference if you require a specific thickness surfaces for your project.
There is no denying the fact that 30mm worktops are a little bit more expensive than 20mm worktops.
20mm worktops are cheaper and a lot of homeowners, as well as architects, property developers and interior designers preferred these for their contemporary beauty as well as for cost saving reasons. If a 30mm worktop is above your budget, you can go for 20mm which will be unnoticeable in terms of looks, especially if you choose stones with beautiful patterns. Everyone will be looking at the surfaces of the worktops rather than noticing a a difference on 1 centimetre in their thickness.
Apart from personal choice, there are definitely a few important reasons to consider when selecting between 20mm and 30mm worktops. Remember the points mentioned above to make the right decision for your kitchen.