Confused about seams - what to expect re continuity of pattern

beepsSeptember 27, 2012

I'm not sure I'm going to be able to express my question clearly, but I'll give it a shot. I'm confused about what to expect (and accept) with re to seams in granite, marble, or any stone that doesn't have a consistent pattern.

So, leaving bookmatched pieces and stone with a very consistent pattern out of the discussion...

Scenario 1: Let's say I have a 10x8 piece of stone. But a 12' run of counter. For the sake of this discussion there is no range, sink, or break of any type in the 12' run. There will have to be a counter-depth seam. I would not expect the two sides of the seam to show perfect, or even close, continuity. I would love it if they could, I hate seams and pick them out annoyingly quickly (it's the curse of being the child of an amazing seamstress). But, I don't see how continuity could be expected. You are going to have two pieces 6 ft and 6 ft (or whatever) and they aren't going to match at the seam because they will be cut one below the other. No?

Scenario 2: With that 10x8 piece, if I have an "L" 6 ft long on one side and 4 ft on the other, I would think that could be fabricated without a seam. The only reason it would seem like there would have to be one would be to make the stone easier to move and maneuver. In that case I would expect the seam to have continuity from one side to the other as there would just be a cut but then the two sides would be placed next to each other.

If we take this to a "U", or kitchen that requires 2 or 3 slabs, I would expect seams that don't show continuity. Sure if the breaks can be where there is a range, or sink, or whatever that would be great, but I'm sure that can't always be done.

I've seen lots of seams with a change in direction or continuity in showrooms and would think if they could be avoided they would be avoided there. Am I missing something? Are my expectations too low? (That would be a shock to anyone who knows me! :o)


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Scenario 2: You can ask if you can pay a premium to avoid a seam. I always thought it was just the transport to the home, but I learned that extra manpower was needed to move it from machine to machine at the shop. Case in point my big old honkin' island. They wanted to do a seam and swore it would be perfect since it was in the same slab. I insisted that I wanted no seam. I paid for it. Money well spent.

As far as the other things, I would think a good fabricator will try to make the stone's pattern be continued, even if not perfect they should try to do their best. In my last kitchen, there was a piece in the boneyard from another job that was the perfect piece to add on to my counter run. It was not perfect, but you had to look to find that seam.

Also, there is the part of the brain we need to train that says "this is a rock, therefore it is not perfect. Otherwise I would have chosen a man made product".

But I agree, the swirls and stuff should continue in the same direction so as not to make it obvious where the seam is. I saw a piece in a fabricator's showroom that was horrible. Needless to say, that was pretty much the first nail in his coffin for not doing our current kitchen. Jacking up the price after the initial quote was the final nail.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 4:25PM
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It depends on the fabricator and the amount of material available. With a good fabricator and adequate material seams variation in pattern should not be noticeable from a distance. I have 3 in mine- two at one corner to keep the grain running in one direction in the room. One of those people have missed while standing over it. Stone has a lot of movement.
I have a job going in soon and the fab had an extra slab brought in "just in case".
Note that the showroom is NOT always a good indicator. Where I used to work we had one top that was a straight run with a seam that was overly obvious. (Same fab that did my kitchen) but that was all taken from a single slab and we got it free.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 8:07PM
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Thanks for the feedback and info. Sounds like maybe my expectations are too low! Or were.

Def money well spent in your fab kitchen Bee. If there were a seam in that lovely island if I were you I would see nothing but the seam. (Sounds like maybe I should be getting man made - but I'm not. Love the look and depth of the real deal.)

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 11:53PM
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