Why does it have to have seam?
Often times countertop seams are discussed with a bad connotation – we’re here to bring the truth to light, and help our customers understand the WHYs. The truth is fewer seams = less work for us and less of a margin for error. However, seams may be necessary to ensure a safe installation that will also stand the test of time. In addition to on-site space constraints, there are slab size constraints or specific maximum length limitations. TLDR – Seams are OKAY – and if Rocktops is doing your work – they’re going to look really good. That’s our promise.
There are a few questions you can answer prior to a measure appointment to determine if seams may be necessary for your project. Or you could just ask us, that’s kind of our jam!
Below is a scenario we deal with often; MONSTER SIZED islands – for you advanced project researchers out there, the breakdown below will give you a little insight to what we do to make the call on seam locations, so you can be ahead of the curve a bit!
Let’s say you want your dream gigantic island seamless;
First off, let’s make sure this monster island can make it into your home while protecting our team members, your home, and the piece of the stone itself. This can be tricky for a handful of reasons that we’ll cover below;
- Weight! Stone tops can range from 12 to 21 lbs a square foot.
- Dimensions! Some manufactures or quarries don’t produce big enough slabs to encompass that monstrous island. Here’s some good news, we can get you the manufacturer’s slab dimension details, or, in the case of a manmade stone like quartz, the manufacturer’s website typically has the dimensions. One bit of warning though – the actual usable area of the slabs are 1-3” smaller than the stock dimensions. We go into more detail on this aspect a bit further down the page.
- Maximum Length! We try not to exceed about 90” on natural stone – Quartz runs can go much longer. We will make exceptions it a bit if it makes stylistic sense to “push the limits” a bit – but not if it puts your home or our team at risk.
So – to review… If you were Superman or Superwoman or Batman, or … well, you get it… and weight wasn’t an issue (you’re a superhero, remember?) and you’ve agreed not to use any special powers beyond your brute strength – could you and a team of other superheroes get those tops in your home? All while keeping them on edge, navigating them into the work area, carefully laying them parallel to the ground on cabinets without taking out a railing, walls, cabinetry, etc? If you answered “no” BOOM – you’re gonna have some seams. We can send 5 buff dudes (and our GM Brooke, who is very strong, too) to your install to help carry in a massive piece, but we’re still faced with obstacles in the home, and let’s not forget those slab size limitations. Basically, seams are normal, seams are okay.
Starting Off With The Basics
No matter what material you use there is always a chance for seams. The average slab for Granite is about 117” or just under 10’. They can be smaller or larger but when it comes to a larger slab, your color options are limited. Our jumbo slabs in quartz are 127”x 63,” but because they aren’t perfect rectangles we have to come in about an inch off the sides. This ends up giving you 125” or just over 10ft. The truth is, seams are there and you can feel them, but with all the technology we have nowadays. Our install crews are able to use seam setters that they put on top of the seams to get them as close as possible.
Seams don’t have to be seen as a negative part of your home. In fact, there are many ways to make your home much more unique because of them, and it can be completely up to the customer on where they’re placed. Below are a few of our favorite examples of how customers have got creative.
In the kitchen above, the homeowner chose to add a wood panel to make it look intentional, almost like a cutting board. This can also help if slab length doesn’t fit your island.
Below, the homeowner added a brass Schluter strip, which is a metal strip where the seam would be placed. They then continued on with a wooden waterfall edge to add texture without cutting into another slab.
At Rocktops, it’s our goal to ensure the best placement for seams. Our team spends their time matching the flow of your stone to get the most natural look. Quartz slabs are easier to make look continuous with the way that the veining matches up. We are very thoughtful on one, where we put the seam and two, if there is movement, to try to get that veining as perfect as possible.
Below is a good example of a kitchen that our team methodically planned matching up seams. How many seams can you spot? Scroll down to see if you are correct!
Seams with Granite vs Quartz
Like we’ve said before, no matter what material you use, there’s always a chance for seams. Due to the manufactured compounds in quartz, it’s much easier to seam since it can bond with the engineered materials. Natural stones have many more elements and it’s harder to get that perfect seam look. That being said, some granites that are busier can actually hide the seam better than materials that don’t have that much…which seems like an oxymoron.
Islands are getting larger and larger these days. There are people who are totally fine with the fact that there are seams in islands. Some people are still afraid of seams, but it’s a natural part of the stone. We should embrace all of the beauty and uniqueness it can bring to your home. Schedule an appointment today and see how we can rock your home.
How Many Seams?
Did you guess 6? Most of the time, with a big island such as the one down below there usually is a seam. However, in this case, we were able to get away with not having one for this project! All of the seams are located within the surrounding countertops as well as part of the backsplash.