The thickness and weight of a granite countertop depends on the total dimensions of the piece. Larger pieces naturally have to be thicker and heavier than smaller pieces. They need to be able to support their own weight, in addition to the weight of other items placed on or in it. Usually, countertops for kitchens or sinks must also support sinks and other in-counter appliances. Additional thickness and mass are needed for granite countertops to do this.
Generally, granite countertops are between half an inch and an inch and a half thick. The thickness of a granite countertop is directly proportional to its dimensions. Therefore, a countertop that measures 96 square inches, which can cover an entire kitchen surface, will probably be between an inch and a quarter and an inch and a half thick. On the other hand, a countertop measuring 36 square inches for a bathroom sink will probably be between half an inch and three-quarters of an inch thick.
Alternatively, there are granite countertops that are not solid, and can serve as sheathing for a kitchen or bathroom counter. Usually, granite tiles such as these are significantly thinner than solid granite countertops, with most models measuring three-eighths of an inch thick. These are plastered to concrete counters, and while they are thinner and lighter than solid granite countertops, they are prone to chipping or falling off.
It follows that thicker granite countertops are also heavier than other models. Some granite stonework can be as heavy as one ton, requiring a forklift or winch to install. Usually, these are garden fixtures. they are as large as they are, to withstand the outdoors.
Smaller pieces for the interiors of homes are usually between 20 and 80 pounds. 20-pound models are usually countertops for single sinks, while larger ones can cover entire food preparation areas in kitchens. Some professional kitchens use granite countertops. These are usually the largest in-door granite countertops, often weighing more than 400 pounds.
Naturally, trying to install an 80-pound kitchen countertop will result in herniated discs and lower back pain. Lifting these and placing them on the surface on which they are to be mounted, can result in injury, or at the least, damage to the countertop. Instead, do-it-yourselfers are urged to request assistance when installing these. Even professionals have helping hands to carry these, and gently lower them into position on a counter.
The popular option among do-it-yourselfers is to simply install sheathing of granite tiles over a concrete counter. These are lighter, usually weighing less than a pound apiece. However, anyone looking to install their own sheathing ought to be forewarned. Some projects require as many as 20 tiles, so carrying these may be difficult and tiring. Also, the plaster with which these tiles are attached is itself quite heavy. A typical bag of plaster is usually 15 pounds, and people who prefer cement will be loading 20 to 30 pounds of it onto their backs.