Slab vs. Prefabricated Countertops
A natural stone countertop is an ideal option in your kitchen renovation whether you choose granite, marble, quartzite, soapstone, or travertine. There are two main types of stones that will be offered to you, slab and prefab (prefabricated) stone. It is important to understand the type of stone before you start shopping for your next kitchen countertop. So, what is the difference?
Both slab and prefab stones are made of natural stone. Prefab means it is manufactured in sections to enable quick and easy assembly on site. A prefabricated stone has been cut to standard measurements before it goes to the distributor/store. It is made in a limited and standard range of options as it is precut to few standard sizes and it is made only to popular varieties of stone, color, and few types of edging. Prefab stones are made to custom fit general kitchen dimensions. So if you need a standard size countertop, prefab stone will be a great choice. Prefab stone is thinner than slab which is why it is less expensive. Also as it is mainly mass manufactured and quality can sometimes be of concern.
On the other hand, slab stone is a custom cut from a single slab of natural stone. You can go to stone suppliers to choose the slab of stone you want for your kitchen countertop and it will be cut to fit with your kitchen measurements. The slab is essentially a customized countertop option. After choosing the slab, they will cut it to your specs, work on the finish and edging, offering you more options. The slab is also thicker than prefab stone, typically measuring .5-.75 inches while slab stones are 1.25 inches minimum.
Slab stones are thicker and larger offering more options with size. Also since the slab is mined all over the world there are additional options for a variety of veins and different colors and different edging styles that can suit different tastes. When you shop for slab stones they are roughly 50-60 square feet with unsmooth, uncut, and unfinished surfaces. This offers the customization with endless options for kitchen countertops.
With price points and costs to consider, prefab counters are definitely more affordable. Even though prefab has fewer customizable features, thinner cuts and are mass-produced, they ship from different locations thus making them more accessible while reducing the overall costs. However, if you prefer the customization and price isn’t a factor, the slab countertop would be best choice, as it can be cut and installed to suit your specifications especially if there are larger and irregular dimensions.
Whichever type of stone you choose from make sure you take proper care to maintain their appearance and quality.