“Will my job need a seam?”
Seams are placed in countertops for a variety of reasons, the main one being due to the size of the material. Material slabs come in many different sizes and shapes, if your countertop is larger than the slab selected, a seam will be needed. Seams may be needed for other reasons as well, another reason being job site limitations. These include ease of access, elevators, stairs, and the ability for the material to be installed in a safe manner. Although in many cases seams are necessary, at Hard Rock Stone Works we take every step to limit seams as much as possible.
“Will my seam be noticeable?”
At Hard Rock Stone Works we take every possible step to ensure your seams are visually appealing. We take caution to make sure the grain of the material is going in the same direction and that the pieces seamed are from similar sections across the slab. When dealing with natural stone however, many slabs vary in shading and color so some seams will be less noticeable than others due to the type of material.
“Why are some seams not ‘perfectly’ smooth?”
A “crowned seam” (also known as “lippage” as used in the stone industry) is the planar offset of the finished surfaces of two adjacent stone units. Due to the relatively tight seam used in countertop installations, even minor amounts can be noticeable. Crowned seams may be unavoidable due to permanent wrap in the slab stock. They should not be detectable at the front or rear edge of the countertop. The maximum for a crowned seam at the center of the countertop is 1/32” (0.8mm), Countertops will not be replaced nor will any financial compensation be allowed due to a crowned seam within acceptable industry standards.
“Is it normal to have small chips along the seam?”
Chipping will occur, particularly in the igneous stone varieties, as a result of sawing operations. The exiting portion of the diamond blade used to cut granite will create many small chips. A small chamfer, called an “arris”, of approximately 1/16” x 1/16” can be used to eliminate most of these small chips. The use of an arris will make the seam appear wider than its actual dimension when filled. Larger chips may be repaired with epoxy or polyester resin if the completed repair is consistent in color and texture with un-repaired areas of the slab. Hard Rock Stone Works does not use arises when installing granite countertops, as it makes the seams appear much wider. Seams are assembled and small chips are filled with polyester resin. Countertops will not be replaced nor will any financial compensation be allowed due to chipping along the seams of granite countertops.