One of the most popular countertop materials is granite. Homeowners love how durable, versatile, and beautiful these natural stone countertops are. The variety of patterns and colors means you can find the perfect slab of granite for your kitchen and bathroom countertops.
These natural stone countertops are absolutely stunning when properly installed. Unfortunately, when granite countertops are not installed properly, seams can become quite visible. In order to reduce the appearance of granite seams, you need a company that is detail-oriented.
When a countertop is not properly installed it can cause a plethora of issues. You want each seam in your countertop to be virtually invisible and incredibly strong. To accomplish this, your countertop installer must carefully plan and have a keen eye for detail to avoid:
Most countertop projects do require seams; however, there are some instances when a seamless countertop is possible such as a small bathroom vanity top. Proper design can also minimize the number of seams in a countertop project.
If your kitchen has shorter runs of countertop area then you can get away with no seams. This is only the case if your countertop run is shorter than the slab used for your countertops. The number of available slabs is a determining factor as well. If you have one slab then chances are they will be trying to get your entire kitchen in one slab and may require a seam to do so.
Countertop specialists use a variety of techniques to minimize the appearance of seams. Carefully measuring the countertop area and planning for seam placement is the first thing that must be done to help hide the seams in a granite countertop project.
Countertop specialists use a variety of techniques to reduce the frequency and appearance of granite seams. Here are the top five ways seams can effectively be hidden.
When two pieces of granite are joined together, the gap can be filled using resin, epoxy, or polyester glue. When it comes to creating as seamless of an installation as possible, it is important that the filler is color-matched.
Some installers use silicone to join pieces of granite together; however, this is not recommended as the silicone can allow movement of the granite. Instead, you want to ensure your installer uses one of the recommended fillers listed above.
Finally, pre-mixed pigments should not be used. Each slab of granite will have a slightly different color variation. In order to perfectly match the granite, the sealer must be mixed by the granite installer.
The location of your seams must be carefully determined in advance. Your countertop installer should create a template for your countertop and determine the best location of the seams to reduce the appearance of the seams.
Next, the installer must measure both your cabinets and your floors to ensure they are both straight and level. Doing this will prevent issues during the installation process. If necessary, shims will be used to ensure the countertops are perfectly level.
There are a few areas that should be avoided when determining the location of your countertop seams. First, never place a seam over an area with no structural support or within six inches of a cutout. High use areas like food prep areas should be avoided. Finally, avoid placing a seam directly under a pendant light or under cabinet lighting as this can draw attention to the seam.
You can minimize the appearance of your seams by hiding them in the best spot, including at the back of a cutout for a slide-in range. This technique not only minimizes the appearance of seams but also reduces waste. Another option is near an undermount sink. The appearance of the granite countertop is naturally broken up by the sink.
Both color and pattern can impact the difficulty of camouflaging seams. Although no two slabs of granite are exactly alike, they can be visually similar. Matching the coloration and pattern of two pieces of granite can help minimize the appearance of your granite seams.
Darker colors like Absolute Black and those with a consistent pattern make camouflaging seams easier. Wavy or swirling patterns make the straight lines of seams much more noticeable. When deciding on a pattern, your countertop advisor may be able to point you toward the optimal pattern for your unique kitchen design.
When granite is cut into slabs, the slabs are labeled and numbered. This process is known as book matching. Book matching allows for easier pattern matching.
When two adjacent slabs of granite are used, the patterns along the seams will be mirrored, which can reduce the appearance of a seam. Two different pieces of granite that have different patterns will cause your seam to be much more visible.
The length of your seams can impact the visibility of the seams in your granite countertop. A professional countertop installer understands this and will carefully layout the design to minimize the appearance of seams.
Shorter seams are less noticeable than longer seams; therefore, a countertop installer will try to avoid seams on large islands. If a seam is needed, the countertop installer will carefully consider the kitchen layout, how the island will be used, and where it makes the most sense to place the seams.
Another way you can minimize the appearance of seams is to break the countertop layout into shorter sections. This can be accomplished by incorporating a built-in cutting board, an undermount sink, o a slide-in range. Finally, if an island is a part of the kitchen design, choosing two smaller adjoining islands rather than one large island can prevent a seam down the center of the island.
Another great way to hide a seam in your countertops is to decorate that space with countertop decorations or countertop appliances.
Seams are a part of the granite countertop installation process. However, there are several things you can do to minimize the appearance of those seams. Begin by choosing a countertop color and pattern that is seam-friendly like Absolute Black. Next, consider the seam location and the size of your cabinet run. Finally, if more than one slab of granite is needed, ensure that your countertop installer uses book-matched pieces of granite.