Urgent question about granite fabrication and seam placement

washergirlAugust 24, 2014

We are in the middle of a kitchen renovation with granite scheduled for installation this week. It is a fairly large project and the planning process took several months. During the entire process I was told the granite countertops would have one seam - located at the sink. I personally selected my two slabs (don't recall the name, but a fair amount of movement and pattern like Delicatus) and was present for the templating. I requested to be allowed to be involved in the mapping of the granite. I had to make an appointment for this and was charged extra. When I arrived at the mapping, I was told there would be two seams but there was no explanation given as to why - just "we have to"

Below is a picture of my layout - apologies for my poor artwork. I cannot understand why this installation cannot be accomplished with one seam, and, if it cannot be, I don't understand why I was not given this information from the start. I would have chosen a different granite or a different countertop material as I think the seams and the pattern matching will be impossible to accomplish with this particular stone - especially with two seams on the same run of countertops.

My questions are: is this possible to fabricate with one seam? Am I unreasonable in expecting that I should have known the correct number of seams prior to selecting the stone? I'm not sure I have any recourse at this point as I would imagine the fabrication process has begun. Appreciate any guidance.

Edited to correct my terminology errors - originally said I was present for the fabrication - I meant I was present for the templating. Ugh - losing my mind with this project!

This post was edited by washergirl on Sun, Aug 24, 14 at 17:28

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What are the dimensions of your slabs? There would be no sure way to know about seams until your actual slabs were chosen. With the first slabs we thought we wanted, we definitely would have had seams (I know now...but we didn't get that far in the process before we switched.)

My slabs were large...I think almost 11ft wide. I had one L with the long side being 10 feet with the sink in the middle. When they came to template, they were as excited as I was that we didn't have to have a seam. They said it was going to be a bit tricky because the short edge of the L was going to have to squeak in between the outside masonry wall and the end panel on my fridge. The end panel wasn't installed yet at the time of templating, only a piece of wood to simulate where it would go. The fabricator asked if they'd leave the end panel loose at the bottom so they could create a little space if they needed it. When the cabinet guy put in the end panel, he just put a couple screws at the bottom and said the granite guys could remove and replace them as necessary.

Then when they brought it, they were a little leery of bringing it in all in that one big piece. They said because there was such a heavy piece to the left and right of the sink and the parts in front of and behind the sink bowl are so thin, that it could break. I'd come to trust them by then. He asked what I thought about, if they had enough room to do it, cutting it and making a seam. I said I'd prefer not, but if he thought it was the best thing to do, that I'd initially thought I'd have one and I could live with it. In the end, they decided to go for it. So I don't have a seam.

Another reason they would have ALMOST had to have done a seam is the corners they had to turn to get into the kitchen. I have a door directly into the kitchen through a breezeway between the house and garage. But it's a narrow-ish breezeway and they weren't sure if the 10 ft would make the corner. Again, in the end it did.

Just trying to illustrate there are several reasons that I wouldn't have thought of.

This post was edited by cal_quail on Sun, Aug 24, 14 at 13:29

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 1:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"My questions are: is this possible to fabricate with one seam?"


I'd have to know the dimensions of your slabs to answer this question.

"Am I unreasonable in expecting that I should have known the correct number of seams prior to selecting the stone?"

Seam amount and placement depends on slab size among other factors. You can't know the amount of seams until the slabs are selected for a particular layout.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 1:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sophie Wheeler

They might could do it with one seam, but not be able to maneuver it into the house. You were the one there for the layout of the template on the slabs. Do you have a pic of that? Without seeing that, we have zero way of judging anything about the potential seam match. An without a layout of the house and the kitchen, we can't know how difficult getting that super difficult and awkward one piece into place might be. This is a case of you have to trust the folks that were on site, because none of us were. And if you don't trust them, then why did you select them as your fabricators?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 1:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

sure sounds like you had the slabs chosen. they should have advised, at any point - including when they could not know seams yet without specific stones.

Maybe the pattern matching threw things off. Those things happen. You are templating for approval. You disapprove. So get a larger slab or another slab or something else entirely.

You're making a purchase. Don't buy it until you have what you want.

There is no point in going through all that deliberation if you have to accept something you don't like anyway. You even paid to be present. (Have never heatd of that)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 1:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Snookums2 - when I read the OP, it sounds like they advised her at the templating that she'd need 2 seams. She is upset they did not give her that info "from the start", but that would have been impossible for them to do without her design plan, specs and the templating. I don't think it's unreasonable for them to advise her of the 2 seams at the templating.

It would be helpful for us to know the reason the fabricator has for needing the 2 seams - is it due to the size and pattern of the slabs, or is it that bringing one large piece into the kitchen would not be possible?

Washergirl - as others have said, we need more info about the size of the slabs, and photos of the slabs if you have them. I will say that having 2 seams in a kitchen is not the end of the world, and a good fabricator can make the pattern fit and flow at the seams.

This post was edited by shannonplus2 on Sun, Aug 24, 14 at 14:25

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 2:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I appreciate everyone's feedback. Unfortunately I don't have the dimensions of the slab as that information was not provided to me. The slabs were selected a few months ago so it seems there has been ample time to have realized a second seam was needed based on the layout.

I didn't select the fabricator - it is who my contractor uses. I obtained bids and interviewed several contractors. I had glowing recommendations from multiple people. The contractor raved about the fabricator and showed me several examples of their work that were very high quality. I started to feel less confident when I arrived for the mapping and felt rushed through the process and they could not provide an explanation as to why a second seam was necessary. I recognize that sometimes there are considerations that the average homeowner might not take into account, so I would have liked it explained to me with sufficient time to change to something different if necessary. If I hadn't insisted on attended the mapping, I would not have known of the second seam until installation.

If the countertop was fabricated with one seam as originally planned, the largest piece would be 7'6", which doesn't seem unusually large to me, but there may be information that I don't have.

Thanks again for the feedback. It's been a tough process and I spent alot of time planning and researching and am upset to think of being disappointed in one of the most visible parts of the kitchen. Thought I had done adequate due diligence and planning.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 2:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"She is upset they did not give her that info "from the start", but that would have been impossible for them to do without her design plan, specs and the templating. I don't think it's unreasonable for them to advise her of the 2 seams at the templating."

She stated

" the planning process took several months. During the entire process I was told the granite countertops would have one seam - located at the sink. I personally selected my two slabs " (months ago)

They shouldn't have been telling you all along it would be one seam if they had no information. Who is 'they'?

it seems maybe you were told by your contractor and/or designer it would be one seam, not at the stone shop? Did you talk about seams at all at the stone selection process with the stone shop prior to templating?

It's good you learned at the templating. That's what that meeting was about. You don't approve the layout. So what is the problem? Are they forcing you into it anyway? What did you think of the corner seam?

You are still in process. Don't sign off. Find out your options from them.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Sun, Aug 24, 14 at 15:03

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 2:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've done two kitchens and been at two granite templatings, and at each one, there were glitches that arose, which is why it's good to be at a templating the way the OP was. And for both kitchens, there were weeks of prep work/design/discussion, but it's not till you are at the templating, that issues can arise. At one, the pattern that I wanted to capture in the granite was instead part of the sink cut-out - I made them re-arrange, and it took a while, but was accomplished. At another templating for a different kitchen, we actually had to reject the slab because there was a fissure which was undetectable by me, but the fabricator had the expertise to see it.

My advice to the OP is to find out why the two seams are needed. It could be something that truly the fabricator cannot do anything about, and is telling you in good faith the need for 2 seams. Having said that, I do not understand why they won't tell you; that seems strange that they are keeping it secret. If they won't tell you, walk away. But it could be something that is out of the fabricator's hands, like some of the reasons mentioned above.

Also, I have never heard of being charged to be present at the templating. Who charged you extra? Unless it was your designer; designers do charge for their time. But I am hoping it wasn't the fabricator that charged you. That would be unusual, and a reason to walk away from this fabricator.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 8:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


If you reread the OP's first post, you'll find she was charged for attending what she's calling "mapping", not templating.

State-of-the-art fabricators take pictures of each slab and are able to superimpose templates on them on a monitor in the office. This is what I'm assuming the OP is calling "mapping". This allows written documentation of the fabricator and customer's agreement on movement, seam placement, etc.

This fabricator probably doesn't get many requests for this confirmation and most customers probably just trust his judgement. There are only so many slabs and so many configurations; math is cruel like that. If some customers need and want more hand-holding, they should be expected to pay for it.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 9:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am no expert, but our slabs were ~126" long, which was about the longest we could find (10 1/2 feet). Since your long run is 144" it makes sense you might need 2 seems, unless they could potentially just do 1 seam by the sink and none in the corner. It sounds like they haven't cut the slabs yet, so you could still try to find a different material that is either longer or a color which you wouldn't notice the seams.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 10:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm sure this has been said a dozen times, but most slabs are only 10" so your sink wall has to be more than one slab. It's that simple.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 1:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

With the "movement and pattern" you say your stone has, a 45 degree (vs) 90 degree angle seam in that corner MIGHT have provided a much better visual result. We have typhoon bordeaux with lots of flow, but with the 45 degree in the corner, we were able to avoid an abrupt change in direction.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 2:31PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Need help on storing root vegetables
Can anyone help me with ideas to store my root veges...
Liebherr cs2062 door badly scratched
Hi everyone, I am considering the purchase of a "scratch...
Chris Treadwell
Sexist or Fun?
Trouble from young feminists over this billboard.
Joseph Corlett, LLC
Quartz or Dekton/Neolith?
I know all about the wonders of quartz countertops...
Kitchen/House Reveal - DIY with Scherr's RTA. Better late then never
I have been meaning to post here for years but I really...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™