Erikanh (and others with 12+ft island), do you have a seam?

gobrunoJuly 23, 2009

Erikanh, and all others with super long islands, I was wondering if you had a seam in your stone island top? It seems that most slabs are less than 12 ft., so, I was wondering if you have a seam in your counter, or if you were able to find one long enough so that you don't have a seam. I'd like to avoid one because I think a seam dividing such a huge island would look obvious. Just curious what you did.


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My Cambria Quartz (not granite, but still) had a seam. They did a great job, and I could never ever tell unless I'm looking right at it from up close. If they do it right, it should be fine. Sorry, don't know about granite in particular, as far as size of slabs...

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 11:37AM
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Yes, I do have a seam. The longest marble slab I could find was 119 inches long. However, granite does come in longer lengths, and my fabricator had recently done a 12 foot long granite island with no seam for a big beach house in Cape Cod. He mentioned that with a slab that size they have to make sure that they can get it into the house.

Most marble and granite aren't uniform like the manmade quartz that annettacm used, so I think getting a nice-looking seam is much more difficult. I had wanted my seam near my prep sink so that I could cover it with a big cutting board, but they ended up putting it on the other end. They did a great job matching the two pieces and making a thin, completely smooth seam. Nevertheless, I wasn't completely happy with it, especially since the owner of the company had assured me that they could put the seam near the sink. He offered to completely redo the island, but I've decided to live with it. No one but me sees it, and I don't really notice it anymore. I plan to get a much larger trencher bowl for fresh fruit and cover most of the seam with that.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 1:48PM
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Looking to cover our 11 foot island with no seam was no picnic. It meant driving across state lines to see many suppliers. It's more common to find darker granites in the large sizes(they are denser and break less easily) , although I found a 137+ inch version of New Venetian Gold and many other large slabs as well. Not many over 12 feet, though. Selection would likely be extremely limited in that size. Don't forget, you will also need several inches extra for overhang on top of that. Unless the KD is well connected with such a fabricator, you will run across many who are unwilling to do something so large. Some places just don't have the equipment, manpower, or expertise and some don't want the liabillity. We had eight guys carrying this thing into my house and hoisting in place and they needed excellent access.

With a 12 footer, I think it is quite possible you will end up needing a seam. Personally, I think that KDs ought to disclose when a seam may be needed straight across an island, before designing it that way, but perhaps yours is quite confident in the expertise of the fabricator to whom he/she is referring you. I would make sure you look at examples of the fabricator's seams - ask if they use vacuum suction and if they do top polishing. I have one seam in my kitchen, near the corner of the sink run - you can literally not feel it and it is barely visible, even if you are standing right on top. But not all seams are like this - in fact the great majority you will run into are not. If you really dislike the idea of a seam, you could also (if it's not too late) consider reducing the size of the island by a couple of feet - your selection will be much greater. I almost did that before finding a large slab in a granite I wanted.

erika - Looks like your guy did a fabulous job (and a simply beautiful kitchen/family room ). I'm guessing the seam is under the basket of lemons, but that is completely circumstantial! Can I ask a very off topic question - how high is the mantle on your fireplace? We are thinking of hanging a big screen, but not sure how low we can get way with putting it. Also -how big is your screen? Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 3:04PM
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eastcoastmom, thanks for your kind words. Yes, the seam is under the lemons. =)

I just measured and the top of the mantle is 48 inches from the floor, the bottom of the television is 52 inches from the floor. The television is a 52-inch Samsung.

We wanted to make sure to mount the television low enough for comfortable viewing. It's also tilted down a bit. Our carpenter built out the wall above the fireplace to give us room for wiring and to make the fireplace more recessed to provide further protection from the heat. We use our fireplace quite often during our long winters, so just to be safe, before installing the tv we built a nice fire and put a thermometer on the mantle. The temperature never went up more than a few degrees.

We're very happy we decided to position the television over the fireplace, despite lots of advice I read online discouraging it.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 3:31PM
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Hijack! Jeez erikanh. Back at ya babe: Your kitchen is FAB too!


    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 4:14PM
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erika, are you happy with your slab backsplash? It is something I am thinking about so I won't have to deal with grout lines.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 4:30PM
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Thanks a million, erika. I've read those comments, too - but really no other place to put it in our case. Glad to hear you are happy.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 5:02PM
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remodelqueen, the backsplash has only been up for 4 months but so far I'm very happy with it. I wasn't as worried about stains on the backsplash, so I kept the marble polished unlike my countertops. I've splattered spaghetti sauce, curry and olive oil and so far everything wipes away easily.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 5:37PM
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thanks erika! :)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 3:31PM
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