To seam or not to seam? That is the question.

Teehee1984August 30, 2014

Well after four years of saving and lots of angst, my kitchen remodel is in full swing. Everything is going fairly smoothly. Yesterday the granite fabricator came out to template my cabinets and said I could do the L portion of my countertops in one piece -,without a seam- if a cabinet panel next to the fridge had not been put up.

Let me say that I hate seams in front of the sink and cooktop, even though I realize that it's a small seam and probably the best place. I get that. However I think that small seam is really pronounced in front of the cooktop and I've seen a lot of pictures where I think it's very unseemly (or unseamly, arg). No offense to anyone, that's just my personal opinion.

My granite doesn't have super movement, lots of veins or lightning bolts....and the fabricators are not matching up two different pieces....the cooktop would be cut from the same slab. In theory, it might not be that noticeable. To others.

What would you do? Make the contractor rip out the panel or take seam?

My kitchen designer is willing to take it up, fight it out with the contractor, who is probably going to be very reluctant to pull out the panel. kD says it wouldn't be the first time this has happened.

Advice anyone?

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I'm confused as to why that panel would have anything to do with having a seam or not having a seam. It has to be there so if it comes out it's going to have to go back unless you want to be looking at the side of your fridge (which is a whole lot worse than a seam.). What is their reasoning behind removing the panel?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 9:02AM
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I have a U-shaped kitchen, and the quartz counter goes from a fridge panel on one end to a wall (and corner cabinet) on the other end. Mine is 75" long.

Maybe I just had super-fantastic installers.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 9:17AM
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I think, to get the one piece / L-shaped one piece to slide in there ( without a seam) the installers need more room...... To drop the granite in there. Does that make sense? The panel would need to be removed to get the granite in there.

That is what I understand, anyway.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 9:26AM
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I recall that ours was a tight fit between the panel and a wall and they were able to push the panel back just enough to slip the counter in and then back it off to the wall. No cutouts to accommodate though.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 9:50AM
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You could put the seam at the junction of the L-shape rather than in front of a cooktop or sink.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 9:54AM
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Ahh, I see, it's just for ease of installation and then could go back in. I'd probably do that if I was concerned about visible seams. What does the stone look like? If it's a very busy stone your seams might be close to invisible.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 11:03AM
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Tell your granite fabricator he will put the piece in without removing the panel in one piece or you will find a fabricator who will.

That's about one of the silliest things I've ever read here.

If he needs a 1/2", have him pull the fridge, back off the panel screws, drive a shim between the panel and cabinet (the panel will flex a bit without failure), install the stone, and reattach the panel. 5 extra minutes tops.

This post was edited by Trebruchet on Sat, Aug 30, 14 at 11:17

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 11:12AM
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"Tell your granite fabricator he will put the piece in without removing the panel in one piece or you will find a fabricator who will."

I would think that any indication that the fabricator needs to be told how to do the job would be indication that maybe a new fabricator should be found. If it is as simple as you say (and I'm not questioning that), shouldn't any experienced installer know how to do it? If the fabricator only wants to provide what's easiest for himself (making a seam vs. taking a few extra minutes during installation to provide for a seam-free install), I'm not sure I'd want that person doing my job anyway.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 1:41PM
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In the house before this one, I asked that the L shape be installed in one piece if possible. Worst decision I ever made. It was too big and too heavy for the two installers to handle. They beat up my vent hood, my Viking range, and a couple of cabinet doors. Seamless is definitely better, but make sure they are strong enough to handle such a large piece or that they send a sufficient crew to handle it.

btw, I withheld the 2nd half that the fabricators were due, and that is what it took to repair the damage they had caused. (Viking parts ain't cheap!)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 1:51PM
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Thank you all for your insight. My impression is it wasn't the fabricator, but the GC putting in the cabinets who would likely object to moving a panel / cabinet. I'm going to try to get the one piece/ no seam....but you're right bbstx the cabs could definitely get banged up. Appliances and vent aren't in, so that isn't a worry.

I'll take all this up with the fabricator.

So do I get the "silliest question" award for this one? ðÂÂÂ

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 5:43PM
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Mine did exactly what mayflowers and Trebruchet said.

When they fabricated, it wasn't in. There was a temp piece in it's place. The fabricator requested they not put in all the screws so they could temp push it out a bit. Worked perfectly.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 7:50PM
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Didn't read as a silly question to me, I'm glad you asked and received good answers.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 6:58AM
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These were definitely good answers. Seems like a mis or lack of communication between fabricator and GC. For which I shouldn't have to pay the price.

Thank you all -- I'll be armed and ready to fight for what I want. No seam. ðÂÂÂ

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 8:24AM
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I'll add that at the time of install, the fabricator got a little nervous about the length (10ft) of the long leg of my L with the sink in the middle of it and contemplated putting a seam and asked me about it. I said I was happy we didn't have one, but if being seamless would jeopardize this piece and we'd have to start over, I'd take a seam. Granted our piece had particular movement and I'd been to the yard and there was no more of it.

In the end, they went for it and it worked out fine. But by that point I trusted him enough to say he needed to do what he thought best as the professional. (Granted that's burned me in other areas of my reno with other professionals>.)

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 9:00AM
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