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Reading: Plywood Under Quartz Countertops, Do You Really Need it

Plywood Under Quartz Countertops, Do You Really Need it

04/30/2021
5 min read

A kitchen renovation is not an easy project. There are several decisions to make and many factors to be considered. However, the foundation for everything is the countertop. As the surface where you’ll prepare and serve most meals, it’s of the utmost importance. Many homeowners are now choosing the easy-to-clean, durable quartz countertop to be the enduring centrepiece of their kitchen. But the question remains, do I need plywood under quartz countertops? 

Before we answer the question, we need to understand what plywood is and how it is classified. 

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What is plywood? 

Many people indeed believe plywood is always necessary when they are installing a kitchen countertop. Yet many homeowners also have no idea what this material is. 

Plywood is a fabricated wood. This engineered product is made by sticking several boards together with a special adhesive. Even though the process doesn’t change, there are different types of plywood available for a variety of uses. For instance, the plywood used in construction of a structure is different than the one utilized in furniture. 

Since there are many types of plywood, there are some basics you need to understand. First, there is a letter system that classifies plywood from A to D. In this classification, A will have the highest quality while D represents the lowest. When it comes to plywood, you will notice that many boards have two letters. This might be confusing, but it is easy to understand. The first letter is telling you the quality of the front and the second, the quality of the back. It is common that one side will have a lower grade than the other.  

If you need plywood to have excellent strength you should choose the highest level. But if it’s only being used for an internal structure, a type C will work just fine. Plywood is not the only option available, but it is the most popular as it is affordable, easily accessible and durable.  

Now that we understand this material, let’s look at the cases when plywood under a quartz countertop is necessary. 

Do you need plywood under a quartz countertop? 

The first step is selecting the highest quality quartz countertop. Peruse the Caesarstone catalogue, decide on a design and the thickness. 

The thickness you select will determine if you need plywood. There’s a misconception that plywood is always necessary. Plywood is necessary when you need it to absorb pressure and prevent cracks. That will directly depend on the thickness of the quartz. 

Quartz Countertop Thickness 

There are three types of thickness common in quartz countertops: 1.3 cm, 2 cm, and 3 cm. Depending on your situation, there might be one thickness that works better than the other. 

  • Quartz of 1.3 cm 

Since this is the thinnest option available on the market, this quartz will be fragile and require a significant amount of support. However, the great thing about this product is that it is affordable and easy to install. It’s primarily used for wall applications (i.e. backsplashes). 

  • Quartz of 2 cm 

The quartz of 2 cm is similar to 1.3 cm, but this option is less common. Even though that could be considered a con, it requires less support since it is thicker. 

  • Quartz of 3 cm 

This is the thickest type of countertop available, and it’s also the one that most homeowners prefer. It offers all the best features of a quartz countertop and requires no additional support. Due to its size, it will be extremely durable and there is no need for laminate edges since there is also no need for plywood.

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How to choose the right thickness 

If you don’t want to install plywood underneath, you should choose a 3 cm countertop. This option will be ideal for most households since it will be easy to clean. Plus, it can withstand a lot of weight without cracking. It offers some heat resistance but will last longer with the use of heat pads.  

Since quartz countertops are the most popular choice with homeowners, there is a large variety of colours and patterns to choose from. Because of its thickness, the 3 cm quartz can provide adequate support without plywood. Since you won’t need to hide the plywood underneath it, there is no need for a laminated edge. 

When it comes to 2 cm countertops, you have the option of not buying plywood for additional support. However, you will need to purchase plywood if you have an overhang over eight inches. If you are looking for something more affordable that still provides a good aesthetic, you can choose a 1.3 cm quartz. However, this option will need plywood for extra support, and because it is rare, you will have fewer options to choose from. 

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s 1 cm that important? 

Yes! When choosing a quartz countertop, the thickness does matter. This number will determine if you need the additional support of plywood. While a 3 cm quartz can be expensive, it is your best choice in the long run. If you don’t know which thickness to pick, talk to your contractor to get a second opinion. 

Do you need any support with a 3 cm countertop? 

Even though you don’t need plywood to support your whole countertop, there are some places where it will be better to have some for more protection. For instance, your dishwasher has no support, so you might want to ask your fabricator to add mesh under the countertop where the appliance goes. Also, you will need to discuss additional support with your contractor if you can, to have a bar top overhang. 

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Final Thoughts 

There’s a lot to consider when renovating your kitchen. Beyond deciding on quartz and choosing the style you like, thickness and the type of necessary support are important choices to make. Take time to contemplate your options, and talk to a professional for a second opinion.