Granite countertops are durable and elegant; much sought-after for their natural colour, veins and patterns. Their timeless beauty and earthiness have made them popular in both kitchens and bathrooms because they can withstand daily wear and tear without losing their beauty.
But granite comes in both tiles and slabs, which can be confusing if you don’t know the difference.
First, don’t worry. Here, we’ll outline those differences so you choose the most suitable countertop for your home.
FAQ: Difference Between Granite Tiles and Slabs
This guide will help you better understand the difference between granite tiles and slabs to ensure you pick the right one for your countertop.
Don’t think that the thickness of your granite countertop isn’t an important factor. It’s just as key as the design and cost.
Thickness in Slabs
Blocks of granite are cut into sheets of different thicknesses depending on their size. On a large scale, granite factories cut big pieces of the stone into 1.8, 2 and 3-cm sheets of cutter slabs and gangsaw slabs from unfinished blocks. Gangsaw slabs come in 2 and 3-cm variations. Small cutter slabs come in 1.6, 1.8, 2 and 3-cm variations. Big cutter slabs come in 1.8, 2 and 3-cm variations.
Note: The sizes of the granite sheets acquired from cutting big blocks are often reduced when the sheets are processed in factories to make them suitable for consumer use. The ones mentioned here are ready to use for countertops, flooring, and worktops. B2B consumers can purchase other slab sizes directly from the factories, or granite blocks from the quarries.
Thickness in Tiles
Granite tiles are only suitable for flooring and the tile sizes available are 60/60” or 60/30” that have a thickness of either 3 cm and 2 cm respectively. These sizes are suitable for making high-quality flooring. However, when considering granite mosaic tiles, the sizes can make a huge difference and the options to choose from small (1/1”), medium ( 6/6” and 12/12”) and large tiles (18/18” and 24/24”), that vary in thicknesses as well (from ⅛ to ½ of an inch).
Granite slabs are a coveted material for countertops owing to their unsurpassed beauty. They are available in rich textures and hues that add a luxurious appeal to any bathroom or kitchen.
Tiles can be found in the same colours, but since they’re not as large as the slabs needed for countertops, they can be mined from smaller deposits. This increases your chances of getting a colour that might not be found in countertop slabs.
One significant difference when it comes to the appearance of installed granite tiles is their grouting. Though this depends on the style you choose, the grouting can be created in such a way as to make it less noticeable. This gives the tiles an interesting accent.
While granite countertop slabs are thicker and more durable than tiles, they aren’t immune to chips, breaks or scratches as they come from a natural source. This means installers need to be careful when handling the material.
When it comes to granite tiles, their durability is affected by how they are installed. If not done properly, air pockets and bubbles form underneath the tiles. This results in certain areas of them being unsupported and compromises their ability to effectively support the weight.
Granite slabs are heavy. They require a one-time installation as a single piece needs to be fitted in place and secured. This results in a shorter installation time than granite tiles. However, since slabs are significantly heavier, more workers may be needed.
By contrast, granite tiles are much smaller so each piece needs to be installed individually, either by one or multiple workers. Ironically, smaller pieces take longer to be installed than larger ones.
Additionally, the installer will need to ensure that all tiles are aligned properly. As mentioned, tiles are often cut from smaller blocks which can result in differences in colours and patterns. So, while installing them, you will need to ensure that they are matched. This may require a little artistry on your side.
What Should Be Chosen for Kitchen Countertops: Granite Slabs or Tiles?
When it comes to designing a kitchen or bathroom, homeowners are often limited by two factors: their budget and imagination.
Be realistic about your finances to avoid potential problems. If you’re working with a small budget, you may benefit from purchasing granite tiles. While slabs are more popularly used for countertops, they’re also more expensive. Consider hiring a professional to help you choose a product to fit your budget. Being in the industry, they should be able to offer some design-related ideas. For those with fewer financial constraints, there is a wide range of options.
Your imagination, however, is limitless. With a bit of creativity and innovative ideas, you can build your dream kitchen while not overspending.
So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with a granite countertop provider to weigh your options and choose the product that best revitalizes your space.