Suggestions for seam placement

flevyAugust 11, 2012

My island is going to be 10x6 feet. The cabinets are grey and we were hoping for a white top. The 3 white quartzites we've found that are large enough to not have a seam are pretty grey and blend in with the cabinets. We're starting accept that maybe the island will need a seam. What are your thought on an island seam? It will have to be seemed width wise not lengthwise. Is there a better place for the seam or does it go where the first slab ends?

I've even thought of doing a mitred edge around the white slab in another color. Would this work? I do it with fabric all the time when I'm short :)

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Could you find bookkmatched slabs and seam right down the middle, matching the veins? That look is very dramatic as a vertical, but it would be OK horizontally, too, I would think.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 9:25AM
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There was another thread about mitered edges in different colors recently - with one concern being whether the mitered edge would be smooth enough and precise enough not to show with two different materials. Basically if you have to fill a small nick - which color do you use?

I think I would be disappointed if I had a seam down the middle of my island. If you can do the bookmatched like Ginny suggested, that would be awesome, but otherwise, not so much. Given that I used to sew a lot, I'm sensitive to seams. Sounds like you sew a lot - are you also?

Here is a link that might be useful: Mitered edge thread

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 10:35AM
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Another option that people have suggested before in this situation (i.e., island too big for slab) is to make one end of the island butcher block. I personally love this look. I remember someone with a walnut block at the end of hers, and she did cut on it. Functional and beautiful.

I think the mitered border would work - you're talking about adding like 9" or a foot of a different color in a border all the way around the edge, right? That would probably be very expensive, too. Seams are the most expensive part of the job, and that would be 4 mitered seams and 4 long seams.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 10:48AM
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I would do anything I had to to avoid a seam. With very rare exceptions, I can always spot them. That's just me though. You can find other quartzite & granite slabs large enough, but it may take some research, plenty of phone calls/emails to different stone yards and several trips to the different yards. For an island that big, the extra work would be worth it to me.

Out of curiosity--have you looked at the quartzite in a horizontal position with your cab samples in a vertical position as the materials would be in your kitchen? Also have you looked at them under light in this configuration in your kitchen/under lighting similar to your kitchen? The look of the stone can really change when you do this. The ones you have found that work size-wise may turn out to be perfect when looked at in the positioning they will be in the kitchen with the same/similar lighting to the kitchen.

If you do go the route of a seam, Ginny20 is right that doing a trim around the island would be more expensive and potentially problematic if not done perfectly, With a single type of stone book ends are best. Will you have a sink in your island? If so, I would not let them seam it at the sink. If the seam isn't done right you can end up with big problems. Better just to avoid that situation arising if at all possible by placing the seam elsewhere. I like the butcher block idea. Another idea to eliminate a seam is to make a section of the island a different height (i.e. baking prep area--think rolling out pie & cookie dough or a dining area--either on one end of the island or a raised bar area that runs the length of the island).

10x6 is a big island--what configuration of cabs/seating is going underneath?

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 11:16AM
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