After finding that perfect countertop slab, many people begin daydreaming about how it will look in their kitchen. Those visions typically do not involve a seam in the worktop, yet even very large slabs will often require one. You can’t always avoid a seam, but understanding the reasons for them can alleviate any anxiety you might have over them.
Factors that Determine Seams
Seams are sometimes necessary for a variety of reasons. For example, certain materials like marble and granite are very heavy. So, depending on the layout of your cabinets, your slabs could need to be cut into smaller pieces for better support.
The layout of your home and/or kitchen matters too. If you don’t have a door big enough to carry a large slab through, you might need to cut it into sections instead. The same is true if your kitchen has obstacles such as an island or pantry that would make it difficult to maneuver an oversized counter.
With natural stone, color variations can differ greatly within each slab. As such, we sometimes need to cut slabs into sections to maintain the integrity of the design. Truly, in certain instances, not cutting the stone would result in a less-pleasing aesthetic than having a seam would. A knowledgeable designer is the key to providing great visuals while at the same time keeping seams to a minimum.
Minimizing the Appearance of Seams
It’s true that countertops often require seams. Even so, there are some things you can do to reduce the number and appearance of them, such as:
- Locating the seam in an inconspicuous spot whenever possible.
- Providing a level surface on which to place the countertop. This will ensure that even slight variations in veining or grains are virtually unnoticeable.
- Reducing seams to only 1/16” or less, which is in keeping with industry best practices.
Some projects will require countertops to be fabricated from more than one slab. With natural stone such as marble or granite, choose materials that were mined and cut as closely together as possible. This will allow you to match the unique patterns of your stone more evenly. Your countertop company should be able to advise you.
There’s a Countertop Seam. Now What?
Don’t fret if you discover a seam during the installation process. This gap will eventually be “filled in” with an epoxy compound. Not only will this hide the seam, but it will also provide a tight seal against moisture. And the epoxy will also bond the two sections together so that they essentially become one.
Your installers will create an epoxy resin that carefully matches the color of your countertops. Once it’s applied, the material is then smoothed out so that it blends perfectly. After the resin has cured, others will not be able to tell where the original seam was. In fact, the only reason you might know is because you saw the opening for yourself.
Hiding countertop seams is something of a fine art. Accordingly, the difference between a skilled and unskilled countertop company will be very apparent in the finished result. When choosing a contractor, ask for samples of their seam quality as well as their completed work. And find out about their experience with epoxy and the process used to create an exact match.
The Right Company is Essential
When it comes to countertop seams, the right company can make all the difference. Here at Aphrodite Marble and Granite, we carefully construct counters to minimize the impact of seams. Ensuring your worktops are attractive and durable is what we do best, so we invite you to contact us first if you are looking to upgrade.