Granite countertop seam issue

driftdownApril 15, 2014

HI Guys,
Just finishing a complete kitchen remodel, and the countertops were the last step. I chose to buy two slabs to ensure that I could maintain the movement or flow in one direction throughout the kitchen. I'll try to explain the problem: I have mitered 2 inch edges, and when my fabricator cut the stone, they ripped the edge to be mitered, folded over edge where it would show, and discarded the un-mitered piece. So now, the flow is broken and mismatched because of the 2 inch gap they created. Essentially, they messed up a perfectly nice piece of granite and I'm at a loss as to how to proceed. There are no more matching slabs available, so I'm trying to find a way to improve this. Any advice is appreciated, thanks!

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driftdown

as viewed from a few feet away

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 2:08PM
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driftdown

the seam is very visible in the morning light

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 2:09PM
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Linelle

Your granite is gorgeous!!! The shot from a few feet away looks very good, esp. the flow of the granite. I can't even see the seam.

Compared to how awful some seams turn out, yours looks incredibly clean and tight. But what do I know? Could they have used a darker seam material? Have you hit the darker places with a Sharpie?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 4:28PM
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Trebruchet

"I have mitered 2 inch edges, and when my fabricator cut the stone, they ripped the edge to be mitered, folded over edge where it would show, and discarded the un-mitered piece. So now, the flow is broken and mismatched because of the 2 inch gap they created."

???? "â¦discarded the unmitered piece"?

"2 gap"???

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 4:32PM
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annkh_nd

Let me see if I understand:

I think what you're saying is that they cut the length - range to wall - and created the mitered edge from the part cut off (that looks beautiful, by the way). But you're thinking they should only have cut the slab from range to corner, and let that 2" extend toward the sink. You feel the colors/movement would have matched up better at the seam if that part hadn't been cut. Is that right?

I must say, from a few feet away, it looks beautiful, and to my untrained eye, the seam doesn't look bad either. I agree that it could be darker. How does it feel when you run your hand over it?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 4:58PM
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sjhockeyfan325

I agree with the others - there are seams to complain about, but this doesn't appear to be one of them!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 5:23PM
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threegraces

That seam is invisible from far away, I'm impressed with that much movement.

Maybe a darker grout line would help close-up?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 6:00PM
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debrak2008

I see that others (more experienced than I) think it looks OK. Personally I would not be happy with it. The seam appears too light colored.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 6:20PM
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catbuilder

I don't think he's complaining about the color of the seam, but rather the section that was cut out where it joins. They essentially cut the counter in two pieces to make the L, but couldn't join them back together to exactly match the pattern because they had to cut off 2" the whole length of the piece to make the miter so that it flows down the edge.

Driftdown, pick your poison. You can't have it both ways (uninterrupted pattern at the seam AND flowing down the edge). Other than the color of the seam, it looks great.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 7:23PM
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romy718

The seam is too light, as others have said. I'd ask them to come back & darken the seam. I see one area along the seam that the mismatch is somewhat noticeable. Once the seam is darkened, that area will look very much like the overall pattern (just like it does in the distance shot).

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 7:30PM
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ineffablespace

I think the pattern match turned out well considering it is a match of slightly separate areas, and you got a great mitered effect down the edge.

If they can darken the fill of the seam, great, but other than that I think it's fine. You can't expect a perfect match for what they had to do considering it is a natural material with a lot of movement.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 7:38PM
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PRO
Sophie Wheeler

Looks really good. If you wanted it all shoulda been a three slab job.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 8:44PM
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cba6777

I am going through something similar right now. We bought 3 slabs to do island and counters. I requested a negative reveal for the sink. I was in the room when my GC told the fabricator this. Also, my GC said he reminded him a few more times. So what did he do? Grr..

I didn't even see how the seams were (there are 2), since I was so upset about the sink part. They said there was leftover granite that should be able to match up. So they took the granite on the counter back - the island turned out great though.

Well, now I have my negative reveal (which might need to be cut down more if he can, since it's hard to get the sink grid out ... he's going to kill me) and one seam looks ok, but the other one is far more noticeable. I wish I had seen how it looked beforehand, and maybe I would have dealt with seeing the edge of the sink.

So is there anything that can be done to make some areas of the seam blend any better?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 9:25PM
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driftdown

Thanks for the input/advice- This forum is an amazing resource. I really do love the stone, and will make peace with the alignment. I spoke with the fabricators today and they're sending their best seam guy over in a few days to work some magic. Here's a simple drawing showing the basic idea of what happened. It seems to me that this could have been avoided with proper cuts.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 9:38PM
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Trebruchet

driftdown:

I would be very interested in hearing how such a top should have been mitered in your opinion.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 10:12PM
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snookums2

I wasn't sure what ways going on except the seam looks light. Now I see the pattern offset.

I think her idea is fine and makes sense from a layperson's perspective. If it can't be done, just explain why. Contractors are not above being questioned or beyond making mistakes.

How would a third slab solve this design problem?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 1:58AM
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deedles

I don't get all this granite seam matching stuff, but having said that, the distance shot looks great and a darker seam might take the curse off it pretty well.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 2:48AM
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gr8daygw

I have seen many companies do corners like this. My mother's is like that. I don't know why they don't do it differently but it probably saves on product and is easier. I was upset that they did it that way at my mom's. It made me think less of the company who did other things wrong too such as cut where there were definite defects in the stone like pock marks with indentions and seaming where there is not enough support for the granite so that the seam keeps separating from settling. They know better. It makes me think because my mother and step-father are older they didn't think they had to be as conscientious.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 8:04AM
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Trebruchet

" I don't know why they don't do it differently but it probably saves on product and is easier. I was upset that they did it that way at my mom's."

They did it that way because they had to. Where else are you going to get pattern matching material? You must make the miter out of the immediately adjacent material to get a match.

Look at driftdown's drawing again. Even if you could somehow stop the miter cut before you get to the "should not have been cut" area, from what material are you going to make the small mitered edge for the "SNHBC" return? The matching material to make that small edge has been used to make the "L" miter. It can't be used twice or be in two places at once.

Mitering the top from corner to corner doesn't solve anything either, for the same reason. The only thing that could have been done differently and may have looked better is to have run the seam with, instead of against, the grain of the stone, but you're still gonna lose the 2". It is impossible to avoid.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 8:40AM
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ineffablespace

I think the drawing is something that is easy to do in a drawing but it would be extremely hard to execute in real life.

I don't think you would have enough material to get both the miter on the front edge of the cabinet AND a clean corner where the cut was stopped where that edge could be mitered directly for the front of That run. There is going to be loss of material simply from the width of the cutting device.

This sort of cut and layout match is extremely hard to execute in Wallpaper which is soft, can be cut with a razor, and of which you have extra material if necessary,

So, sure it's easy to show on paper, but I bet you would end up with a bad corner because you are trying to make it do too many things at once.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 9:27AM
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ineffablespace

Here is what I mean. There is not material to miter both runs. one will not have enough material to match the miter. I think the run to the left has the most important miter to match but that means the entire run to the right would be mismatched by at least two inches along its length.

Your drawing explains things only in two dimensions, not in three dimensions. Because there is a thickness of material that is added to the edges that is cut from the face of the material, you can't take what happens on the Top only. You are using material for the Top and Edges

This post was edited by ineffablespace on Wed, Apr 16, 14 at 10:40

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 10:00AM
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driftdown

Thanks, Ineffablespace- Your illustration lets me see the flaw in my conception of how it should have been done. Hopefully, they can color and disguise the seam so as not to draw the eye to the mismatched flow. I'll post a few pics when they're finished.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 10:59AM
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oldryder

I am a fabricator.

In my opinion that is an exceptionally nice job managing the grain flow andn the mitered edges look great. A little darkening of the seam would be a little better.

Give your fabricator credit for doing a fine job.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 11:24AM
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snookums2

Thanks for the explanation. And oldryder's vote of approval!

Your stone is really interesting and gorgeous. It does seem to flow very well overall. Darkening the seam should help not draw attention to the area. I think your question on how it was cut was a valid one.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Wed, Apr 16, 14 at 13:28

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 1:21PM
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threegraces

There is at least one episode of needing to be talked down from a ledge per remodel.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 3:41PM
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andreak100

All in all, I think it appears to be a fairly good seam. I think that the fabricator matched the flow as well as could happen under the circumstances. I do agree that perhaps the seam could be darkened a bit and it would fade away a little more.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 3:44PM
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Trebruchet

"There is at least one episode of needing to be talked down from a ledge per remodel."

Best comment so far.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 4:03PM
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