Are granite seams visible to the naked eye? Are the joins seamless?
This is a question that a lot of our customers often ask. Our answer is simple: they are there, you can see them, but only when you stare at them up-close, otherwise, they naturally blend into the worktop setting.
By no means are the seams jarring, especially not if you’ve opted for mineral-rich colours, whereby the seam is practically invisible. You can see for yourself either by visiting one of our showrooms or giving our GALLERY a browse, where multiple projects are showcased.
But how do we do this? How do we create joins that are obscure and almost unnoticeable? Find our for yourself:
Why are granite worktops joined? What’s the need for gluing?
Almost every worktop project we carry out is made up of at least two pieces of granite, quartz and ceramic that need to be cut out from the slabs. Whether it’s an L-shape or U-shape kitchen, 9/10 times the worktop pieces need to be joined together – same as with the cabinets themselves. The reasons for that are threefold:
- An average length of a worktop is 1.3 metres. If two or more pieces like that are joined at the butt, or cut out straight in an L-shape from the slab, it’ll be unfeasible to bring them into the kitchen. Nevermind the lack of space – the damage to cabinets, fridges and flooring would be worst, not to mention the worktops themselves could be severely chipped. It’s always the safest option to bring in the pieces in one by one, slowly and gingerly place them upon the cabinets and then glue the sections together.
- Slab size is yet another restriction. An average slab measures 3m x 1.4m. That means cutting a kitchen in a single, unified worktop will rarely be possible. Unless your L-shape kitchen measures 1.3m on one side and roughly 0.8m on the other. Therefore very small kitchen surface area can be cut in one piece, but then again, small kitchens tend to be defined by lack of space. With lack of space come manoeuvring restrictions . . . and we end up referring to the argument made in the point above.
- If sided kitchen worktops were all cut in one unified, solid way, it would not only be impractical to safely move in that tetris-like puzzle into the kitchen, it would also be very dangerous to us, the fitters. After all, this amalgam of shapes would be dreadfully heavy. A single 1.3m x 0.6m granite piece can weigh as much as 60-100kg. Now imagine this, with uncomfortable, heavy shapes sticking out from the sides. How to grab it safely? How to carry it safely? How to ensure nothing is damaged? All those questions make this process simply unpractical and therefore unfeasible. Not to mention it would be costly . . . a lot of manpower would be needed to carry this out safely – not to say we’ve never done it, because we have. But speaking from experience, if judged possible, opting for unified, unbroken worktops is very expensive. More manpower, more insurance, more labour.
As such, unless your roof and ceiling are open, and you’re planning to crane-lift an unbroken, singular worktop piece into your kitchen, it’s best to simply accept the joins. Which, by the way, are very innocuous, barely visible. And even OCD people won’t be disturbed by their presence.
Our advanced granite gluing/joining methods allow for well-nigh seamless seams.
When we glue / join granite, we use a special mix to ensure the joins stay nearly seamless. It’s a blend of epoxy glue with special pigments that are individually tailored by our skilled fitters to the colour of your worktops. For example, if you have the Aquabello quartzite (a green-mineral granite looking stone), our fitters will prepare a special green dye to add to the glue to exactly match the stone’s colour. Therefore the tones are always identical, there’s never a striking nuance in colour nor shade – it’s a perfect match, allowing the seam to smoothly blend into the worktops.
These epoxy-pigment preparations can only be achieved by our fitters who have had at least 10+ years of experience in the field. At this point, we can call them artists who are the experts on colour-matching techniques.
A lot of people dislike the joins because they assume it spoils the unity and patternwork of the distinct marble-lookalike materials when rendered into worktop surface. For example, that the vein system running through the worktop is broken, and therefore the seam becomes jarring to the eyes. This assumption couldn’t be farther from the truth. When we cut out the individual pieces from marble-looking slabs, we always ensure we cut them with the flow. That means if one side of an L-shape has veins or other patternwork running in east-direction, the piece abutting it will also be cut in a way so the veins on it run eastward from a given perspective.
We always therefore re-create the kitchen plan using computer programs and place that plan on a stone slab, then play around with everything until we get a satisfying result. The marble-lookalike stones aren’t problematic to us, and they neither should be to you. Even with the most profound patternwork, the use of pigmentation, correct cutting techniques and incredible skill of our fitters, a granite seam will be well-nigh seamless. On other colours that are more uniform in colour and patternwork, we can assure all that the seams truly become nearly invisible.
Where a worktop join might not work:
The only place where we would dissuade our customers from joining worktops is on an island. An island should indeed be a unified piece of stone, without any breaks or joins – on an island they may look unnatural. An L-shaped, U-shaped or J-shaped kitchen is an amalgam of angles anyway, so it seems natural to glue the pieces together at the corners. An island is either a rectangular or square sheet of unbroken pieces – so placing joins on islands