Typically quarries will cut and ship stone slabs in measurements of 2cm or 3cm. In some cases, harder stones such as granite or quartzite will even be available in 1cm. But what should you do if you find your perfect stone in 3cm and your project calls for 2cm? Luckily, there is a way for your fabricator to downsize your stone to fit your design needs: milling. Milling is the process of slowly grinding the thickness of a material down using a mill saw.

Aria Stone Gallery Colosseo Marble Bookmatch Feature Wall
Aria Stone Gallery’s Colosseo Marble Bookmatch Feature Wall. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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How Does a Fabricator Mill a 3cm Slab into a 2cm Slab?

Most fabricators will have the ability to transform your 3cm slab into a 2cm slab using a mill saw. To begin the process, a foam board is first placed on top of the work table for support and to absorb the pressure that the saw places on the stone. This will avoid creating cracks or fissures in the material. The mill saw then moves across the surface, slowly grinding the stone down to 2cm. There are many different types of milling machines, and they are categorized by orientation to their workpiece and by type of motion.

Aria Stone Gallery Silver Wave Fireplace
Aria Stone Gallery’s Silver Wave Fireplace. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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Can I Use a 3cm Material for a Backsplash?

Backsplash applications in kitchens or bathrooms are prime examples of when slabs may need to be milled from 3cm to 2cm. In some cases, a 3cm slab is too thick and may get in the way of faucets, sinks or cabinetry.

Aria Stone Gallery Colorado Gold Marble Bathroom
Aria Stone Gallery’s Colorado Gold Marble Bathroom. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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How Can I Make My 2cm Slab Appear Thicker?

On the opposite note, if you are wanting your 2cm countertop or island to appear thicker, there is a way for your fabricator to miter the edges, giving you endless possibilities when creating your edge profile. No need to search for a 3cm slab, you can make a 2cm material appear to be 3cm, 4cm, 5cm or thicker using this technique.

mitered edge
Don’t be fooled; This countertop edge is not 4cm, but simply a 2cm slab with a mitered edge! Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

What Stone Thickness Should I Use for Wall Applications?

It is not recommended to use 3cm materials for wall applications since a typical household wall is not built to support such an immense amount of weight. When applied to a wall, the slenderness of a 2cm slab may be more visually appealing and easier to work with, especially when installing electrical sockets or finishing the sides of the stone.

Aria Stone Gallery Zebrino White Marble Fireplace
Aria Stone Gallery’s Zebrino White Marble Fireplace. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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Does Milling Effect the Strength of Stone?

Every countertop is just as good as the support beneath it. As a rule of thumb, 2cm is an appropriate strength for marble, quartzite and granite.

Creating a slab smaller than 2cm (especially with marble) is not recommended unless it is for a smaller project such as a small vanity, threshold, or backsplash. If needed, quartzite and granite can be milled to about 1/2 an inch. For marble, it is not recommended to go below 3/4 of an inch in order to keep the integrity of the stone in tact.

Aria Stone Gallery Arabescato Gris Marble Feature Wall
Aria Stone Gallery’s Arabescato Gris Marble Feature Wall. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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VIEW MORE:
Can you Change the Finish of a Slab?
Everything you Need to Know About Quartzite
On the Edge: Mitered Edge & Waterfall Edge Countertops