Granite BS Alert: One-Piece (no seam) Granite for L-Shape??

eggpainterMay 11, 2011

Our granite fabricator just called to say that it is not possible for our L-shaped granite counters to be cut in one piece, and they must have a seam at the "elbow" of the "L." The slab is big enough and in fact the layout they have just shown us shows a single "L" shape, only they have decided a seam is needed--so they will be cutting, and then putting the pieces back together with a seam at the exact location of the cut. They say easier transport is the reason, they will only do it when the shorter piece of the "L" is up to 48 inches, and ours is 70 inches. Is this excessively cautious on their part? I don't want a broken counter but it would be nice to have it be one piece. Also, the granite is Virginia Jet mist polished and 3 cm thick, a dense and strong stone. Will try to post photos.

Here is a link that might be useful: photos

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marble_com

With natural stone, it's always recommended to steer on the side of caution. The fabricator has experience in transporting these heavy yet delicate stones, you don't. In addition, if it's a skilled fabricator, they should be able to create a precise and tight fit for the seam and should use an epoxy that is color matched to the color of the granite. As a result, the seam should be virtually *almost* invisible to the untrained casual eye. Virginia Mist is a dark stone and does not have any overly dramatic veining, so that's a plus because uniform grain will not be as apparent as a larger varied grain. A dark color will be less apparent than a light color. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 1:26PM
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marble_com

In addition, wanted to inform you that your photos attachment is not working. Takes me to a Verizon log-in page. Try using a standalone image upload service such as TinyPic, I've included the link. It's a very simple, straight-forward, and easy to use website. Then, you can just give us the direct link to the images.

Here is a link that might be useful: TinyPic

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 1:35PM
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sayde

I have marble, not granite, in an L with no corner seam. One leg is about 2.5 feet and one is 4.5 feet, but with half the sink cut out at the end. There is one seam in the entire installation behind the sink.

When I was choosing slabs I preferred another one because of the markings but it was not tall enough to permit a seamless "L". The guy who did the templating encouraged me to take the other slab that was tall enough to accommodate the seamless L. Whether it was because he didn't want to do the seam or really thought it would look better, I don't know. But I did take his advice (he was really good -- such a shame that his installer did such a poor job!) and I like having it seamless.

In my son's apartment the kitchen has black polished granite and there is a corner seam. It is very unobtrusive. I had never even noticed it until I got into the counter decision process. But now that I have noticed it, I am glad not to have the seam. I would explore this question further to make sure you have good information before accepting the seam.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 2:37PM
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lazy_gardens

If you really think it's BS or excessive caution on the part of the cutters and installers, sign a work order for it to be cut in one piece and stipulate in the work order that you will pay for the broken slab and buy a new one if the piece breaks in cutting, transit, or installation.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 3:37PM
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mikef1

Or check with another installer. Our wanted to seam out L. Not for transport reasons but for installation reasons. He explained that, once laid flat and unsupported, the slab is very delicate. A corner cabinet already installed over the corner of the L made things a little more complicated. We really didn't want a seam and told him so. Eventually, he built some horses the exact height of the cabinets and was able to lower the single piece slab onto them and them slide it into place.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 3:48PM
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regina_phalange

I'm leaning towards BS. We were also told that we "had" to have a seam in ours by the first fabricator that we had come out and measure. We ended up not going with him because we felt a little uneasy about him (for other reasons and he had not been in business very long). I chose a fabricator that's much more expensive but has been in business far longer and has tons of only positive reviews. Also, a very good friend of the family works for the place we chose so I felt that I could trust them. Any who, this place we ended up going with told us that no seam is needed. We were surprised yet thrilled to hear this! Our is not a full "L" but it's angled and each side of the angle is over 48". We actually just got the counters installed today:

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 6:27PM
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olivemill

A 3cm granite countertop 70" long with a 48" leg is extremely heavy. Also, it might be impossible to install depending on your cabinet configuration.

It wouldn't hurt to take your drawing to some other fabricators and ask them if they could do it in one piece.

The picture posted by Regina shows the open sides of the L-Shaped piece which would be easier to install.

Andy

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 8:54PM
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shar-az

Here is a L no seam. This is a picture of our granite, before the Island was done. The granite is 86 in long x 4x 62.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 8:57PM
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willtv

We had a 10' counter run so our granite (Blue in the Night) had to be seamed. The fabricator placed the seam in the middle of our undermount sink. When he first suggested this I thought I would hate it, but as it turns out no one sees it but me and it's less obvious than having the seam at the corner of the L.
Here's a shot.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 9:40PM
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regina_phalange

That's interesting. I didn't know that being against a wall would make things more difficult. That said, if this is the reason then why would they state the reason was transport related? Any who, I would get a second opinion if the seam is something you care about.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 12:08AM
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boxerpups

I wonder....
and this is just a thought, that maybe they are going to
install your counters with less people then they normally
use. If they are using only 1 or 2 installers to carry the
piece perhaps they want more seams because it is cheaper
to pay 2 people rather than 4.

I wonder if the economy is an issue?

Did this installer come recommended?

Do you feel confident so far?

I would definitely take Lazy-Gardens idea of signing a
waiver to get what you want. I have to agree that when it
comes to my granite I wanted them to be cautious. I love
my stone and probably have more seams than I needed.
But my seams are invisible. Honestly you, can not see them.
I had only three installers work on my kitchen. Maybe that
is why I have more seams..Not sure but if money were not
an issue I would have signed a waiver to have one or no
seams and get what I want.
Get what you want, this is your kitchen.
~boxerpups

Here is a link that might be useful: My granite pics

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 7:41AM
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eggpainter

Thanks all, very very helpful info. Boxerpups, special thanks for these great photos, would never guess where the seams are in your counters. If things would work out so well for us, I would prefer they use caution with my handpicked slab and add a seam.

You make a very good point about my confidence in the fabricator also. I think that must be the true source of my uneasiness. I do feel they are competent because they give all the right answers to questions (that I learned to ask from this forum), and they are well established in this area, but I just didn't click with the salesman and I only overlooked that because our contractor, who is wonderful, overall likes them. The owner also is great. So every time the salesman tells me something, I don't trust him. So I think what I will do is ask about their ability to hide seams and show them your photos if you don't mind--to give them an idea what our expectations are. Then I can put this to rest and move on.

Thanks so much again everyone! And please stay tuned for backsplash questions, that is the next step!!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 8:24AM
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boxerpups

Please do use the images

And here are a few more, not mine but these can help
you to see ways of doing seams...

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 10:29AM
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eggpainter

Thank you, very helpful to see these. Would you mind telling me where in general the seams appear in your Jet Mist photos? I'm having trouble identifying them and would like to point out to the fabricator. We have the same type of granite as yours, Jet Mist.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 3:24PM
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marble_com

I always liked this example, can you see the seam? It's in the middle of the sink. Those are the hardest to match because the stone is not very dark and has movement.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 12:39PM
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noellabelle

Mine is in one piece. It's 7 feet long before the start of the curved L. They weren't sure if they could do it, but that was based on the size of the slab. After they templated, they determined it would fit.

There were 2 guys that did it, and it was heavy for them.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 1:02PM
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2boys4me

Hi all, occasional lurker, first time poster.

Sorry to resurrect this old thread.

We are redoing our kitchen and our granite guy told us that with an L-shaped kitchen of our size, they can probably cut from one slab, but that means that at our sink, and to the right of it, the grain would be vertical while at the workspace. Noellabelle's example above is a very similar, if not the same granite we've chosen (River White). We'd end up with about 24" of workspace with the grain running vertically, as in the bottom right of the above photo. If you were to put a stove at Noellabelle's sink, and then put a sink and dishwasher where her "L" ends, that's our scenario.

Does anyone think that the granite having a vertical design there is objectionable, or have any thoughts on how to get around it? I can't see putting a seam in anywhere, it would be way too obvious, and unsightly as well. After I put my mixer and knife block, etc. there will I even notice it?

Thanks, Linda

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 2:06PM
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ginny20

I'm bumping this, because you're already on page 2 and I think you need an answer. I'm hoping people who have this situation will see your post.

I don't have an L to worry about, but I don't think it would bother me. It's only 2 feet, after all. And, as you say, you'll have things on the counter. The only way I can see around it would be to try to miter the corner and match up the veins.

Did your fabricator say whether he had done many L's with distinctly veined granite like River White? Maybe he can let you see some pictures of other installations.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 8:26PM
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2boys4me

Thanks for your response Ginny. No, the fabricator didn't say anything about whether he'd done Ls, and I didn't think to ask. I will the next time I see him. I think he's trying to keep us to purchasing only one slab, so we can keep our costs down.

I don't think think it would bother me, it's such a small area, so I'll ask for pictures of mitered corners in River White if he has any, and if not, then I'll live with it.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 12:46PM
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