Granite seams at sink - it depends?

kksmamaAugust 10, 2013

My fabricator nearly always seams at sinks, because a high percentage of the time when he doesn't the slab breaks during transport as there is so little material - it is easy for 4 guys to twist slightly and snap it.
But my slab is gneiss and has lots of long, lovely lines - so I'm worried getting a nice seam will be difficult. And my counters are extra deep at 29" with a sink cutout that will be less than 18" front to back. The run is 115", the sink will be about 35" from one end and only 28" wide. I do not think the gniess is brittle, the slab edges were perfect and my broken sample could be glued back without noticing the line, there was no crumbling. It is 128" long.
This is for the cleanup zone, on the left side. The island will be one slab, and the cooking wall run will likely have a bridge behind the KA rangetop.
Are there other factors to consider as I prepare to make my case for no seam?

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kk, you saw my seams and i don't have,as much movement in my stone as you do in yours. You said you glued your broken piece back together. The problem is when they cut for the sink they cut out about 1/8th of an inch. So some of your pattern is missing when they put the seam together. Also some fabricators leave the surface chipped. The inside of the stone fits perfectly, but the top looks wider. Plus it is difficult to match the color. (thanks, old ryder!)

Look inside the hole cutout. the slab looks like it is close, but look how wide the seam is.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 11:07AM
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Can you get bookmatched slabs? We were able to and the fabricator was able to have the two pieces on either side of the sink flow together nicely. This joint is hardly noticeable, even with our heavy movement granite (Crema Bordeaux).

Are you doing an undermount or drop in sink? If drop in, they could just do the cutout for the sink on site. That way, you can have one continuous piece.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 11:46AM
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My slabs are already at the fabricators, and I doubt they are bookmatched. The sink is undermount and I want a slight positive reveal, so it will have to be done at the shop.
Peke, I'm so sorry you had fabrication problems, you deserve better after all the work and effort you put in!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 12:18PM
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Sorry, no seams at my sink.
My sink is a workhorse, so I can't imagine what epoxy/whatever can handle my thousands of time a day I use my sink.
It's my strong-put-my-foot-down-not-budging stand.

gorgeous granite!


    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 12:38PM
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My fabricator doesn't seam at the sink. They've been in the granite business since the 1940s (headstones), so I trusted their judgement.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 12:58PM
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I am a fabricator.

We do not seam at the sink except in special circumstances. It doesn't make sense to me to have a seam at the busiest location in the entire kitchen.

Fabricators "sell" the seam at the sink because it eliminates their risk of a cracked sink rail. However, the vast majority of the time a seam elsewhre is preferable.
sink rails can be "rodded", which involves epoxying a steel rod into the underside of the sink rail, to minimize the chance of a crack.

when I started my shop I made an arrangement with a local engineering college to do a test of rodded vs. unrodded. The materials science professor (one of my partners teachers) assigned the project to 3 senior engineering students. They built a hydraulic test fixture with computer data acquisition and confirmed that rodded rails are substantially less prone to cracking. (I mention this because there are a lot of "opinions" in the industry about the benefits of rodding and the people that assert that rodding doesn't help are simply wrong.)

With rodding and proper care during install most granites can have an undermount sink without a seam at the sink.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 2:19PM
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Thank you, oldryder (and all). The pressure to "sell" this plan is on me, since my fabricator is my GC is my cabinet maker/installer/electrician, etc. I'm trying not to be a difficult client, but I'm sure we TKO GWers are never the easiest clients.
Would you rod a run that was 115" by 29" if it had a cut out that was 28 x 18? It must help that front and back rails will be a combined 11", doesn't it? Would the type of stone affect your decision?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 3:11PM
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I am glad I don't have a seam at the sink. IMO, seam work is art work and there's alot of starving artisits. And even the best artists make mistakes. It's an expensive purchase, so be sure you get it the way you want it.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 3:53PM
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Allow me to stir the pot,
Our granite countertop is seamed at the sink.
It's been 3+ years and to date, no problems whatsoever.
Maybe we just got lucky, but I have to say, that for us, it has worked out perfectly.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 5:01PM
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Deleting double post.
Why does this happen?

This post was edited by willtv on Sat, Aug 10, 13 at 20:24

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 5:02PM
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