Many homeowners are interested in quartz, porcelain, and granite countertops for their homes. Both types of countertops offer a durable, elegant finish that can last for many years with proper care.
However, one thing to consider when choosing between these two materials is the seams. Seams are where the countertop material is joined together, and they can be more visible on certain types of stone than others.
Here are our top tips for making your quartz or granite countertop seams as inconspicuous as possible.
- Realistic Expectations – Have realistic expectations of the material. Although a good seam should be inconspicuous, do not expect it to be invisible. A seam in granite and quartz countertops will always be something that you can both see and feel. (Seam quality in picture to right is unacceptable.)
- Color and Pattern – The color and pattern selected can make a difference in the appearance of the seam. Light colors (white, beige, light grays) with a solid or small pattern will have more conspicuous seams than a material with multiple colors and patterns.
- See a Sample – Be sure your fabricator shows you a sample of their seam quality. A fabricator should either have a showroom that you can go to and view a seam, or they should provide a list of past clients willing to let you come to their home and see the quality of work installed.
- Seam Location – There is some controversy about whether a seam should be put in the middle of a sink or cooktop cut out. Some fabricators feel the seam is more vulnerable to breakage in those areas. However, if you prefer to have a seam in one or both locations, ask your fabricator if the material can handle such a small seam.
- Seam Layout – Seam layouts should be done before cutting material. Your fabricator should know the length and width of your material and should determine the exact position prior to cutting. If you prefer, discuss the seam location when the fabricator is making the pattern (template) for your countertop. Be sure to be present while they are doing final field measurements, so you can discuss seam location.
- Epoxy Seams – Countertop deck seams should be bonded with an epoxy similar in color(s) to the granite / quartz material. Deck seams should not be bonded with silicone.
- “Industry Standards” – This is a fancy term used to say the seam is “Good Enough”. Industry standards recommend deck seams can be up to 1/16” wide with a +/- tolerance of 1/64”. Veteran fabricators work to achieve a much tighter fit.
Lippage – A good seam should be level. Many times, fabricators encounter un-level cabinets, varied slab thickness, and bowed or warped material. This requires the fabricator to shim the countertops or modify the material to get a quality seam. Even minor amounts of lippage are noticeable and sometimes unavoidable due to permanent warp in the material.
- Final Positioning – When your fabricator installs your countertops, it’s not typical to have the seam fit perfectly the first time. Most fabricators will layout the tops and do a “dry fit” the first time, and then take the tops out of the house to make slight modifications. This may need to be done multiple times to achieve a great fit. This is normal, and you should not be alarmed.
- See It Yourself – Be sure to be present on the day your fabricator installs the countertops. If you have any concerns about the appearance of the seam, it can be addressed immediately before countertops have been permanently set in place.
Quartz, porcelain and granite countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners. When selecting a countertop, it is important to consider the seams. These are our top 10 tips to help you choose the best quartz or granite countertop for your home.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or text today. Our team would be happy to help you find the perfect countertop for your home.