Granite seams

darletteMay 1, 2013

We're remodeling our kitchen and installing new cabinets, granite countertops, and a dropin cooktop. Even though our granite slab is long enough for the counter, our fabricator says we need a seam at the cutout for the cooktop to prevent it from breaking during transportation and installation. Since it's a dropin cooktop with no front apron, there would be a seam in the middle of the front and back strips of granite. Has anybody heard of this? We would prefer not to have a seam.

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teachertile

It will be more difficult for them to install, and more prone to breaking, but that it's NOT a reason to put a seam there. Once installed the granite will actually be stronger as one piece instead having 2 pieces with a seam.

This post was edited by teachertile on Wed, May 1, 13 at 12:34

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 11:20AM
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darlette

Thanks, teachertile. So, what do most people do when they have a dropin cooktop? One of the reasons we went with that type of cooktop was for the sleek look end to end. We didn't think we would have a seam. The granite is white based (White Zeus) with gray and brown speckles. I'm also concerned about the epoxy they use yellowing over time. Any thoughts on that?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 11:56AM
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teachertile

I meant to say THAT'S NOT a reason to put a seam there. I would push them to cut it without a seam. I will edit my previous post!!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 12:33PM
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andreak100

darlette - when discussing seams while picking our granite, our fabricator told us that THEY hate seams as much as we (the consumers) do. But, there are times when it makes sense - remember that stone is VERY heavy and that there are risks in moving a very large piece into a house, so even if the granite slab is long enough, it has weak points where there are cutouts. If that cutout is in certain areas, it makes a long slab much more likely to crack and get damaged during the move and installation into your home.

According to our fabricator, she said that often seamed areas are actually stronger than the granite itself.

As to the epoxy yellowing, I don't have first hand experience, but it's my understanding that the yellowing issue is much less of a problem than it had been in the past due to new formulations.

Having said all of this, someone here wound up having a large slab installed (was it Bee, maybe?) and I think that I can remember whoever it was saying that she had paid to the fabricator to have additional workers to carry the slab.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 1:30PM
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Sophie Wheeler

They can possibly cut a large percentage of the hole out and just finish doing the cut-through on site if you have good enough access for them to do that. They'd need an electrical source and for you not to mind some granite dust in the driveway. And no rain. If your stone is particularly delicate, and some are, they could possibly do the entire cutout in your driveway if you'd be OK with that.

Of course, I'm sure they'd want you to sign a waiver stating that they recommended that you do the seam at the cooktop and if it broke or was so large it damaged your walls or cabinets when they tried to carry it in, that it would be on you to purchase additional granite or to have the damage repaired. Any time you go against a fabricator's recommendations, you'd need to sign that and assume the responsibility for the decision.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 1:46PM
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mpagmom

How long is the counter? I just had granite installed in a house I'm selling and they had a ridiculous number of seams. I think they did it to make it easier to carry in - one guy could carry in almost every piece by himself. In my new house I have much larger pieces without seams.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 2:02PM
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jellytoast

I would think it's possible to have a drop-in cook top without a seam in front and back, just as it's possible to have a sink cut-out that is seamless. If not having a seam is important to you, you might want to make inquiries of some other fabricators. What is beyond the capabilites of one fabricator might be quite doable with another.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 2:19PM
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attofarad

I have a seam center front/back of my main kitchen sink. I had it cut from mirror-image (bookend) slabs, and the match is near perfect. You have to look closely to see it at all. Much better for my L-shaped counter than having a seam at the corner, where we would not have been able to match the granite (and the counter is longer than one slab, so had to have a seam somewhere). My good friend has the same, although with a different granite and different fabricator.

Since your counter is short enough to be cut out of one slab, I would encourage the fabricator to do that. Mine wanted a minimum of about 3.5" to 4" between the cutouts and the front of the counter, so that may be more than you can fit with your cooktop and counter width. For my vanity sinks, they put metal rods epoxied into grooves in the back side in front of the sink.

Is your granite 2cm or 3cm thick? Does it have a lot of veining and natural fissures, which could imply easy to crack, or is it very uniform?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 2:37PM
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darlette

Thanks, everyone.

I'm not sure how thick it is but I don't think it has a lot of veining. Your point about the distance between the cutout and the front of the counter is a good one. Maybe that's the issue.

Glad to hear some of you have had good luck with seams. Since these will be very short, if they're not too visible, I guess I could live with them.

Another possibility they're talking about is doing the cutout here at the house but they're concerned about how dusty that is. They're also looking into coming up with some sort of support when they transport the granite.

We'll see!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 3:21PM
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oldryder

you are getting some bad information.

I am a fabricator.

A cooktop cutout is normally too large to cut and then expect to move the part. The rails at the front and rear are usually only 1-2" and are certain to crack if the part is moved. The normal way around this is for the fabvricator to cut out the 4 corners of the cutout, install the part in the house, and then complete the cutout by connecting the cutouts in the 4 corners. THis can be done with minimal mess with the use of a little water and a big shop vac to collect the cutting dust at the blade.

sometimes, when a seam is necessary, the fabricator will offer the option of seaming the rails at the front and rear of the cooktop in lieu of a regular full length seam. This is actually a nice option as very little of the seam at the rails will show since the cooktop usually covers 1/2 of the rail anyway.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 9:48PM
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badgergal

My cooktop countertop run is 140 inches. It was installed with seams at the fornt and back corners of the cooktop. So there are 4 small seams. You have to look very carefully to see these seams. I was not concerned at all about having the counter installed this why. I knew that my fabricator did good work and would do it the correct way. I posted the pictures below on a previous thread where someone else was worried about seams by the cooktop. Since you probably didn't see that thread here are my pictures once again. My kitchen has been done for more than 18 months now and these small seams have not been a problem at all. Hope this alleviates your concerns.

Left front corner seam

Right front corner seam.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 10:40PM
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darlette

Thanks, oldryder. I'll ask about that option -- cutting the corners out and finishing the job here.

Badgergal, that's a beautiful job they did with your seams! If we have to do seams and they end up looking like yours, I would be OK with that.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 5:21PM
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elle0221

Hi darlette, I was concerned too when my fabricator told me I would need a seam in the center of the cooktop. Our cutout was L-shaped and would have been too long without a seam there. I am posting a pic - the kitchen has been in use for 6 months, no problems so far - the seam looks great.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 8:43PM
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