Quartz is a beautiful, durable material and is one of the most highly-touted, in-demand countertop materials in the market today. It is available in a wide variety of patterns and designs that mimic natural stones such as marble and granite so well. There are also multiple edge styles available that you can choose from that will suit your every need.
Despite Quartz being an engineered stone, the sizes available to the stone are still quite limited. Of course, this has to do with the preservation of the quality of the stone. In order to get larger sizes, two separate stones will have to be molded together to get the right size, which leads to the formation of seams.
What are seams? Are they a cause for concern? Do they affect the quality of the stone? Here’s everything you need to know.
Your Quartz Countertop and Seams
As mentioned above, seams are formed when two separate stones are molded together to create a larger countertop piece. In a perfect world, seams wouldn’t exist since you can find your favorite stone piece with the perfect size, shape, and configuration. But in reality, nothing like that ever happens. What stone manufacturers do is to simply minimize the addition of seams, or simply make the seam as inconspicuous as possible.
Now, do seams actually affect the quality of your Quartz countertop? Not necessarily. Industry standards are in place to make sure seams in countertops are tight and durable. Add to the fact that stone manufacturers will do everything to make the seam less visible and you’ve got yourself a pretty high-quality stone countertop.
Countertop Quality Checks and Tips
Seams are inevitable in many cases. The best way to enjoy your new Quartz countertop is to just accept the seams and to never be afraid of them. But just because they’re inevitable doesn’t mean they’re all good. Here are a few tips on how to check the quality of the seams on your countertop.
Colors and Veining Patterns
While seams can never be truly invisible, they can still be made inconspicuous. Your choice of colors and patterns will dictate how visible the seams will be. Light colors with less patterns create more contrast between the stone and the seam, which makes it more visible. That is why it is best to select darker colors with more patterns when seams are inevitable.
When manufacturing stone countertops, you have to make sure that stones used have the same properties, especially their width and thickness. Both stones should be even. After all, even slabs create an even seam. Different slab thickness, varying elevations for cabinets, and a warped material may cause a seam to be even more visible. Even minor lippage due to damages on the stone can cause seams to pop out.
Location of the Seam
When seams are formed on the stone, manufacturers use very durable materials to ensure that the bond is strong. However, the seam is still a vulnerable spot on the stone. That is why it is important to first understand the configuration of your countertop inside your home to carefully plan the location of the seam. The best way to make sure the countertop remains strong is by adding the seam on the supports so the stones are still supported on both sides. Never have the seams placed in the middle with no support whatsoever. That’s just a recipe for disaster.
Quality of Adhesive Used
Check for the quality of the adhesive that was used to bond the two slabs together. Stone manufacturers typically use epoxy to ensure that the strength and durability of the seam is there. Also, make sure that the color of epoxy used in the seam is the same color as that of your stone. That way, the seam won’t be easily noticeable.
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Before giving the go signal to begin the countertop manufacturing process, make sure that you ask for a sample. Also, ask for a sample of the materials that will be used to manufacture the countertop. Viewing the seam on a finished stone allows you to gauge the skill of the manufacturer as well as two other things: seam quality and how visible it is. That way, you can rest easy knowing that your stone is in good hands.
Set Realistic Expectations
Above all, the best thing to do is to manage your expectations. While stone manufacturers will do everything in their power to make sure the countertop will look great, it would be helpful to remember that in some instances, seams are inevitable. They are also integral to the strength of the stone. Furthermore, while seams may be inconspicuous, they are still not invisible. The best thing to do is trust the manufacturer and set realistic expectations when deciding on countertop designs.
What to Expect during Final Positioning
The seam doesn’t have to be perfect during the earlier stages of manufacturing your stone countertop. Typically, fabricators lay out the tops and carry out a “dry fit”. Later on, they make adjustments based on the dry fit, which is repeated until they achieve a perfect seam. The best thing you can do is to be present from time to time so you can communicate concerns you have during the process
The quality of the seam for each countertop will depend highly on the skill level of your stone manufacturer. Experience matters in such cases. When looking for the best quality seam, look for a stone manufacturer, look for consistency and experience.
Granite selection is your perfect partner for everything stone. We are a manufacturer and installer of beautiful Cambria, Caesarstone and MSI Q Quartz countertops. With a combined experience of over 50+ years, we have been manufacturing countertops with perfect seems that are subtle but effective.
If you are in the Chicagoland area, be sure to stop by our depot. We are located in Elk Grove Village, IL. We serve a 70 mi radius. Schedule a consultation and give us a call at (888) 906 3317. We’ll be more than happy to assist you!
Paul Batashev is the owner and CEO of Granite Selection. The company began in 2011 Pay Less for Granite and has been transforming homes since 2011 with its expertise as a kitchen countertop company and manufacturer of fine custom granite countertops.