WHY IN MOST CASES YOUR GRANITE OR QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS WILL HAVE SEAMS
Many customers ask us if there will be seams in their countertops, typically after a salesperson at one of the big box retailers tell them there won’t be any or they won’t see them. Unfortunately, this is false in a majority of cases when installing for larger kitchen or bar countertops. Part of the reason is because natural stone is quarried and cut into 10 foot blocks. Another reason is because when cuts are made for sinks or range’s it makes the stone fragile, and can break apart. In this blog you will learn more about why there are seams or have to be as well as the only way there won’t be seams.
WHAT IS A SEAM?
A seam is a transition between two pieces of stone countertop.
The reasons you may need one or more seams are:
- A section of the countertop may be longer than the slab of stone that the top is being cut from.
- If you have a change in direction in your countertops, “L” or “U” shaped kitchens are good
- If you have a long or big section of countertop that can not be brought into your kitchen in one piece due to access issues.
- If you have a fragile granite with a cutout for a sink or cooktop. Some natural stone countertops are inherently weak due to veining. Transportation stresses may have to be taken into account.
SEAMS ARE NEVER INVISIBLE
It’s important to understand that seams in granite or quartz countertops are never invisible. Unfortunately, some of the big box & warehouse stores make false promises and will tell the client
the seam will be invisible. This just sets impossible expectations.
HOW BIG OR SMALL A TYPICAL SEAM SHOULD BE
A proper seam will be no more than 1/16 of an inch wide and will be flat and level along the whole length of the seam. You will feel a small change is the surface texture over the seam. You should not feel any difference in the height of the stone from one side of the seam to the other. There should not be a seam over a dishwasher or any other unsupported portion of the countertop.
Example of the worst seam we have encountered courtesy of one of our competitors. Replaced and fixed old stone countertops.
BEST LOCATIONS TO HIDE SEAMS
Cooktops are actually good locations for seams as the seam length will be quite small and less conspicuous. Seams are bonded together with color-matched epoxy, the technician will match the color at the job site to get the best possible match. With countertop stones that have a lot of color variation, the technician will pick the best average color.
COUNTERTOPS WITH VEINS
Countertop materials with large, bold, or contrasting veins can be more of a challenge with seams. Getting the veins in your stone to line up perfectly at the seam is rarely possible and should be taken into account when selecting the stone. If a kitchen is going to have a couple of veins where the countertop changes direction, then a less directional pattern should be considered. Overall don’t worry too much about the seams but also do not expect them to be completely invisible. If you are choosing a stone with a prominent stone pattern, we will take into account your seams and make any recommendations we feel are helpful.
ONLY WAY TO NOT HAVE SEAMS IN STONE COUNTERTOPS
As you have read through this blog, it is not typical to have zero seams in your granite or quartz countertops. The exceptions come to smaller slabs for desks, smaller bars or possibly bathroom sinks. If the cut can be done in a smaller than 10 foot slab, then you can have stone countertops without seams. If you need to install a sink, range or have larger kitchen space; there isn’t anything you can do to prevent seams. However, you can hire the best contractor to make sure the seams are minimized and blended as best possible. Below is another example of a seam that is blended well & only really noticeable from up close.
Should I Choose Granite or Quartz
It really depends on your home as well as your market as we previously wrote about here. However, quartz has been growing in popularity due to the ability for customizing to your color scheme. For the best US made quartz, you will want to look at Cabria. Granite is slightly more cost effective, and has amazing colors and patterns due to how it is formed. The downside to granite for larger countertop spaces is having enough stone to match throughout your kitchen or living area. You should make your decision based off your budget, but also how you want the space to flow together.