If you are in the process of choosing new countertops, you might be wondering whether you will have to deal with countertop seams. When you picture your dream kitchen, your vision probably features a perfect, unblemished slab.
Unfortunately, the potential for countertop seams is not something we can predict. It really depends on the fabricator and the final shape and design of the countertop.
With granite or quartz, or any type of stone – whether it’s marble, soapstone, slate, whatever –whether there is a seam or not depends on the layout and the size of your kitchen.
The More Complex The Design, The Greater The Potential That You’ll Have A Seam
Stone slabs are a specific size. If your cabinets, your island, or the peninsula turns a corner, you’re probably going to have a seam where those pieces come together. Whether that does or does not work for you is entirely your prerogative.
The problem is that if you are working with natural stone, the patterns probably won’t match up exactly. Sometimes, a seam is simply unavoidable, but depending on the color and design you choose, it might be more—or less—noticeable than you imagine.
Hiring Reputable Installers Makes A Difference
If you are working with reliable, quality-minded installers, they will do an excellent job of matching up the slabs and getting them into a position where the seam is not so noticeable. This might mean putting it in a corner, for example. Either way, they are limited to the qualities of the slab they are working with.
If the countertops are installed correctly, you shouldn’t feel the seam at all, even if you can see a difference in the grain of the stone. If they are adequately sealed, you won’t have issues of food or liquid dripping down.
Seams Are Inevitable
The bottom line is, a seam is not going to affect the quality or the functionality of the counter itself. A seam doesn’t make it less durable or stain-resistant; it’s just what the installers have to do to get the slab into the house and around your corners.
Many homeowners mistakenly think that if they have a large slab that they’ll be able to avoid seams. However, there are several very good reasons the fabricator might cut your slab.
Some of these reasons include:
- There is no other way to get it in the house.
- There isn’t a clear pathway once you get the slab in the door.
- It is not safe for workers, or the slab, to carry it in one piece. If it’s too heavy, it might break.
- The cabinets can’t support the weight of the slab
Even on a large island, whether there is a seam or not has a lot to do with the weight and size of the slab itself. Keep in mind, somebody has to transport and carry this thing into your home safely without breaking it.
Even on an island, where you might wonder why you have to have a seam, it is likely so the workers could physically carry it into your house and get it to where it’s supposed to be.
Seams Should Be As Minimal As Possible
Most reputable fabricators and installers will do their utmost to ensure your countertop seams are minimized. If seams are necessary, they go the extra mile to ensure they are hidden as much as possible.
Ultimately, if we know there is going to be a seam on a countertop or an island, we will let you know so you can decide whether or not to proceed. If you are fully committed to a seamless counter, we might suggest a product like Corian, which doesn’t have the same issues as natural stone.
Seamless Countertop Alternatives
Quartz is a good choice, not just for seamless counters, but for style as well. Quartz is a prefabricated, high-performance, non-porous material that comes in virtually endless patterns and finishes.
You can even have quartz countertops that look like granite or marble. While quartz isn’t a lot less expensive than natural stone, you will save a bit of money. And, you can have the seamless look you want without all the hassle. To get an idea of what’s possible, some quartz brands you might check out include Cambria, Corian, and Silestone.
Are you thinking about replacing your countertops or diving into a complete kitchen remodel? We’d love to show you how we can help. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.
Brittany received her interior design degree in 2010 and recently earned her kitchen and bathroom certifications. She sees her job as much more than just picking out pretty colors and materials – it also involves exact measurements, plenty of planning, and determining how to have a space accurately reflect the lifestyle of its occupants.