pritchardjenny0

20mm (2cm) porcelain slab countertops

Jennifer P
last year

I’ve read many discussions on the sintered stone (Neolith) & porcelain slabs for countertops & done a lot of research on the countless brands that offer a porcelain & have concluded that the success is usually contingent upon an experienced fabricator & installer & the “finish” option chosen for durability w shiny/polished being more problematic for high traffic kitchens.

What I can’t find much on, is the fact some of these brands are now offering a 20mm (2cm) thickness. I’m curious if anyone has installed or worked with this thickness and can weigh in on if it’s a better choice than a 12mm for a kitchen. Still staying away from a polished finish, & still choosing a fabricator whose worked with it, are there advantages to going 20mm? Or is it just a vanity thing? Especially if I’d still miter the edges for a “thicker” look...anyone have any insight?

Comments (43)

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    last year

    I'd get the 20mm, no doubt. This stuff is delicate enough as it is.

  • PRO
    Quartz - Stone Care, Cleaning & Repair Experts
    last year

    No advantage over 6mm, 8mm, 10mm 12mm or 20mm for porcelain.

    It comes down to the aesthetic of the finished edge if you are not drop fronting the edge.

  • Silverlined
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I've been told porcelain must be mitered, but I have also seen an installation with undermount sink where the edge was just polished. The pattern doesn't continue throughout, so edge finish is a judgment call.

  • b c
    last year

    Infinity porcelain has a 20 mm product that has" Natura vein "technology which means that the vein pattern is throughout the slab. Love to know if anyone has this or has knowledge of this product. With the slab being 20 mm thick there would be no need for a mitered edge. This new product sounds very exciting to me as would eliminated issues of the edge.


  • Silverlined
    last year

    @b c If it's true that would solve one problem. You'd still need a fabricator with the skill and equipment to fabricate successfully and install without cracking. Not every shop can do that.

  • b c
    last year

    https://www.infinitysurfaces.it/natura-vein-tech/ Here is the link for the infinity porcelain slab company. The link tells explains that they can have the vein run throughout product and is offered in the 20 mm thickness. Yes you still need to have someone very experienced with the product. to fabricate.

  • just_janni
    last year

    argh - how can I get that sodalite in the US???? That is GORGEOUS......


  • Steve
    last year

    Just_janni - I’m thinking of using sodalite or noir. I’m in Southern California and have a supplier and fabricator that I’m using. Did you decide on an option yet? Where you located?

  • reillyj6
    last year

    Jennifer- I most likely going to use Magnifica 20mm white slab for my countertops. I have been playing around with 2 small samples of polished and non-polished surfaces compare durability staining. Why do you state no to the polished surface?

  • b c
    last year



    Interested in what you will decide to do. I have also been looking at large format porcelain as mentioned. I am interested in anyone who has put it in their kitchens to post their photos and comments. The polished versions do have a ripple like appearance in the slab yards which is a concern. However I find that the satin or matte finishes do not have the depth and do not look as realistic as the polished versions. I have read that quartz is on its way out and porcelain will be the new favourite in kitchens going forward. However there seems to be a lot of negative information regarding fabrication and edge options are extremely limited. Love to see photos and experiences you have had before I make the plunge.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    last year

    Manufacturers use "revolutionary" so often it's cliche. Infinity seems to have changed this. Eliminating the mitering required for the printed sintered surfaces reduces labor and therefore costs considerably and the color/movement going all the way through would allow a much more round edge profile, thereby substantially reducing the pervasive chipping complaints against printed sintered. If you got a chip, you could just re-profile and polish the edge, eliminating it. That's not happening with mitered.

  • just_janni
    last year

    Steve

    I am in the Raleigh, NC area - is there is US distributor for the sodalite product?

  • Barbara Davis
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Steve We use ordered the infinity slabs for our pool bath with steam. We live in Del Mar, CA. We are going with the Honed Classic Statuario. Did you purchase yours? I can't wait to see it, please post.


  • Barbara Davis
    last year
    last modified: last year

    just_janni you can find distributors on their website 👍😊🌸


  • southeasthouse
    last year

    I don't see the distributors listed on their website. Do you have a link?


  • b c
    last year

    Love to hear anyone who used the Infinity porcelain slabs for counter tops in their kitchen and if they love them or are having any issues such as chipping or cracking.

  • just_janni
    last year

    Barbara Davis I must be a moron - I can't find the info on distributors....


  • Barbara Davis
    last year

    I went back to the site and it said coming soon, they must be updating. We purchased ours at https://pacificastone.com/product-category/porcelain/infinity/ 

    Mihail helped us and is awesome.

  • Barbara Davis
    last year

    The marble effect is fantastic, not all pixel looking and they feel like marble.

  • jchinhome
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    Has anyone installed the 20mm slab without mitering? Has there been problems with chipping? We are considering the Infinity product but are concerned about the chipping. We are hoping that edges would hold up better if they are not mitered. Also, does anyone know if there is a distributer in Northern California?

  • Silverlined
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    Chipping will be reduced on any porcelain slab without a miter. The problem is that most porcelain slabs are not through-body porcelain, meaning the polished raw edge will not carry the pattern and sheen throughout. What you should be just as concerned about is cracking. In a perfect world, a countertop installation would be done on perfectly level cabinetry or at least shimmed to be perfectly supported all over. In the real world, even with the best fabricators and installers you think you can find, that perfect scenario doesn't happen 100% of the time. If you are one of the people who has countertop fabrication or installation mishaps, you could be looking at cracking of your material at any point along the process from fabrication to post-installation use. This material requires special skill and tools to do well. At minimum, you would want to look for a slab supplier that offers insurance on the more tricky slabs like porcelain. I know that Allure in Dallas does this.

    I really think people cross off real marble too soon. It eventually wears down to a patina and can be a beloved and beautiful surface. The primarily dolomitic marbles like Danby are preferred for countertops.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    5 months ago

    Sintered can be a fine countertop; it's all in the fabrication and installation.

  • Julie K
    5 months ago

    I'm located in the SF Bay Area and would appreciate leads on Infinity 20mm slab distributors and more importantly experienced fabricators/installers in our area!

  • Julie K
    5 months ago

    Sigh... it looks like the only distributor of Infinity porcelain slabs is located in SoCal (Anahaim).

    https://pacificastone.com/product-category/infinity/

  • atlbeardie
    5 months ago

    Julie K, there are likely more distributors of Infinity porcelain countertops than the one you identified in So Cal. We live in Atlanta and are getting it from UMI Stone, which has been acquired by Construction Resources. Construction (remodel) has just started. It'll probably be installed in late July/August. I'd call around to various stone fabricators/dealers if I were you. Someone is in the Bay area is probably carrying Infinity.

    BTW, MSI is also coming out with a through body porcelain countertop slab product. I understand it will be available sometime this summer. You might also inquire about it.

  • Julie K
    5 months ago

    Thanks atlbeardie! I checked and it appears the only California distributor is located in SoCal.


    My designer reached out to the California distributor to see if it's possible (and affordable) to ship slabs from SoCal to NorCal. We need at least 2 slabs for our bathroom project and probably at least another 2-3 slabs for our kitchen. However, we're planning to finish our bathroom project before starting demo on our kitchen.


    Thanks for the tip about MSI's through body porcelain slabs. I'll be sure to mention it to my designer in case she hasn't heard the news.

  • Julie K
    4 months ago
    last modified: 4 months ago

    @atlbeardie, you were absolutely correct! The problem is I haven't found any Infinity slabs available for viewing hear our home.

    In the SF Bay Area you can purchase Infinity porcelain slabs at All Natural Stone, Dal-Tile and Bedrosians (showrooms purchase slabs from Pacific Stone, currently the only CA distributor of the slabs).

    My parents live in SoCal so I'm considering making a trip to Pacific Stone's showroom in Anaheim to view an Infinity slab in person. It would be helpful to see them in person, so I can determine whether I like the Infinity slabs better than the Neolith ultrasoft slab I saw last week.

  • Silverlined
    4 months ago

    If you had read many reviews of Neolith you might be running the opposite direction. Some people have success with it. Many have had heartbreak in terms of long term wear properties.

  • Ronit Roitman
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    Did anyone in this thread end up installing the Infinity slabs, or finding more info to help in making their decision? We are also considering it and would love to hear any feedback, our main concern is also chipping. Thank you!! @Julie K @jchinhome @Barbara Davis @Barbara Davis @Jennifer P

  • Julie K
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    We're planning to install Neolith Calacatta Ultrasoft in our primary bathroom and coffee bar, but haven't put down a deposit yet. We have time to change our mind since our demo date is still several months away.

    Meanwhile, I just reached out to the California Infinity distributor in Anaheim since we're traveling to SoCal next week. I'm planning to visit their showroom if they have Infinity slabs available for viewing. If we go I'll be sure to take lots of pics and post them for you!! ;-)

    Edited to add: Just confirmed with the Anaheim showroom they they have actual Infinity slabs for viewing so I'm planning to visit the showroom next Tuesday.

  • Julie K
    3 months ago

    Hi Ronit, I viewed several through body and non-through body Infinity slabs last week. Here are some photos of the through-body slabs I saw in Anaheim.


    IMHO, the Infinity slabs I viewed didn't come close to the beautiful Neolith Ultrasoft slabs I saw in Berkeley. The slabs I viewed looked more like quartz than porcelain to me!


    Also the through-body slabs are only available in slabs with a white background and a single color (i.e., not available if you want a slab with multiple colors like a Calacatta Gold).







  • Julie K
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    Here are some pics of the polished (non-through body) slabs I saw during my visit to Pacific Stone in Anaheim.









  • Julie K
    3 months ago

    And here are a few pics of the Neolith Ultrasoft slabs from the Berkeley showroom.







  • Ronit Roitman
    3 months ago

    @Julie K thank you!! This is so helpful!

  • PRO
    The Surface Collection
    3 months ago

    Hi, I thought I would contribute advice to this thread from a supplier perspective although we are a UK based company. The nature of the production of porcelain means the edge is a plain colour however, more and more brands are working on 'full bodied porcelain'. We currently distribute Atlas Plan in the UK and they offer Natura Vein and Natura Body technology which means the pattern runs through the material.

    We have previously distributed Neolith as our approved porcelain but moved across to Atlas Plan in 2018 due to various benefits. Atlas Plan is actually produced in the same factory as Infinity porcelain.

    A mitred edge involves filing into the solid edge of the material by 45 degrees, doing the same with the adjoined piece and sealing these together, see image attached found on google. This is advantageous when you desire a thick looking worktops as it makes a 12/ 20mm porcelain look 40, 50, 60mm- however deep you choose the mitre. However, this also increases the cost due to the precision fabrication that is required.

    Polished finishes have previously had a bad reputation as being easier to mark but Atlas Plan production for their polished finished uses a machine glaze of glass particles rather than a sheet of glass sat on top of the porcelain. This means there is no 'thickness' added on top of the porcelain and allows flex in the material which the glass did not.

    I hope that this is useful to those who need the advice. :)


  • Alex P
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Hi Everyone!

    Thank you so much for the wealth of information here. I feel like I've read everything there is on Houzz, learned a lot, but still need some guidance.

    We like the idea of a contemporary countertop with a look of matte concrete or gray stone. This leads me to the road of deciding between two imperfect solutions: 1) honed concrete-look quartz (long thread of maintenance nightmare, confirmed in my own stain tests) or 2) porcelain slab with very easy maintenance, but another long thread about chipping and cracking.

    I would like to see if there is a solution with porcelain that we could be comfortable with. This means 1) finding an experienced contractor 1) avoiding mitered edge, so that it can be rounded to minimize chipping (not concerned by through-body pattern due to uniform contemporary look) and 3) properly installing slab

    The part that I get hang up on is step 3. We are getting frameless cabinets. I understand the preferred installation method would include a Kerdi or Wedi board with 100% coverage underneath for any slab 12mm or below. My questions are:

    1) Can I install a 20mm porcelain slab straight over open cabinets? MSI says yes https://cdn.msisurfaces.com/files/flyers/porcelain-fabrication-installation-guide-2cm.pdf, but I don't know if this is too risky

    2) If the answer is no, what is the thinnest substrate can i get away with over the cabinets and how can I make it inconspicuous/white/hide it? I thought I could use Schluter tile edge trim to hide it (https://www.homedepot.com/p/Schluter-Systems-Jolly-Bright-White-Color-Coated-Aluminum-1-2-in-x-8-ft-2-1-2-in-Metal-Tile-Edging-Trim-A125BW/202602086), but that's an option for thin boards only.

    What am I missing?

  • Silverlined
    2 months ago

    Honed Absolute Black granite will get you a look you might be willing to settle for and will wear like iron. If it were my kitchen, I wouldn't consider either concrete or porcelain due to cracking and/or chipping issues possible to erupt at any time regardless of anything you do.

  • Alex P
    2 months ago

    Thanks Silverlined! We are after something quite a bit lighter than that. Our kitchen doesn’t get a lot of natural light and we’d like to keep it as light and airy as possible.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    2 months ago

    Alex:


    Look at the concrete solid surface look alikes please. Outperforms engineered stone, the real thing, and sintered and has for years.

  • Alex P
    2 months ago

    Thank you Joseph! Really appreciate your contribution to the forum over the years! We looked at a couple of samples and haven't seen the one we love yet. I know that this material is much easier to repair. It did feel a bit more plasticky and had quite a number of scratches in the Porcelanosa showroom (Krion) when we checked.


    Does anybody have hands on experience with 20mm porcelain slabs? Can it be installed on top of the cabinets just like quartz and not worry about cracking? Would rounding edges, instead of mitering minimize concerns about chipping?

  • Silverlined
    2 months ago

    @Alex P In theory, cabinets could be leveled to precisely the same height so that a countertop material would sit right down flat on top with no shimming. In reality, this almost never happens. Even with the very best technology in cabinetry leveling like using EZ-Level bracing which remains intact over time, you are still looking at having to shim a countertop of any type at least in a few places even in the best of circumstances. Regular cabinetry shims can shift over time depending on how they are applied, affecting your long-term stability prospects. For a countertop material that is already prone to cracking such as porcelain is, this becomes a great risk to try to shim that material with no underlayment for support, even at a 20 mm thickness. I would be more comfortable relying on the MSI guidelines for something like a small bathroom vanity countertop rather than a full kitchen where you will almost be guaranteed to need to shim the porcelain to bring it level across the largest run of your countertop area, thus leaving gaps between shims rather than the full support a subtop would provide. That is why you rarely see porcelain countertops without an underlayment unless it is for a small area like a bathroom. If you want the edge to be thin and polished without an underlayment, what this means is that you will need to specify your cabinetry to be constructed with full subtops and then somehow get them all perfectly level and ensure that there will be no shifting of the cabinetry or foundation in years to come, and then lay the porcelain down without shimming it if at all possible. Your idea of metal trim to cover an underlayment is creative, but remember that Schluter is designed to be anchored into grout, so you would need to be confident that you could secure it in an alternate manner before going that direction since you won't have any grout or tile adhesive in that area. I mentioned honed Absolute Black granite because it is much lighter than the polished type. Some varieties present in a gray color like concrete which is why your description reminded me of it. Soapstone also comes in a matte gray variety. I put soapstone in my own kitchen and love it, and it is considered to be a modern material for current kitchen design. Prepare for heartbreak if you do go with porcelain under any circumstances. Cracking and chipping with porcelain can happen, and it can happen to you, sometimes beyond any hope of warranty coverage. I liked the look of porcelain and its wear properties, but after much research including seeing cracks and chips in finished applications and talking to experienced fabricators, I decided to spare myself the risk. I have been thoroughly happy with the soapstone instead and recommend it if you cannot find anything else suitable. Even a honed marble like Danby would present fewer headaches for you than porcelain or concrete, I think.

  • Alex P
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @atlbeardie, I am curious if you ended up installing porcelain countertops? If so, which fabricator did you end up using? How was your experience?

    I am in Atlanta area as well. Thank you!

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