Is this granite countertop AWESOME or AWFUL? There's a obvious seam.
alabamalibrarian83
February 25, 2013 in Design Dilemma
The final stage of our master bathroom renovation took place today - granite counter top installed. But when I walked in tonight, the first thing I noticed was the SEAM very obvious, about 4 inches to the right of the tall wwhite cabinet. Is an obvious seam a sign of shoddy work, or is it normal?
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Studio Homes
no pic in your post
February 25, 2013 at 7:18PM     
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alabamalibrarian83
Forgot to attach the pics
February 25, 2013 at 7:18PM     
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alabamalibrarian83
Pics are attached now, please weigh in & tell me if this is acceptable work in your opinion.
It's not so much the seam as the fact that the pieces don't align visually; yes it's a busy pattern but the 'flow' of the pattern is obviously interrupted. Artistically these 2 pieces shouldn't be bumped up together in my opinion.
February 25, 2013 at 7:21PM     
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elvis1963
Not loving the piecing together sorry
February 25, 2013 at 7:23PM     
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sayboone
I would definitely ask my contractor to address the granite. Beautiful bathroom though!
February 25, 2013 at 7:24PM     
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ginale
That should NOT be!! Where did you buy it? I would call them tomorrow!
February 25, 2013 at 7:24PM     
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vixynkitty
The seam has to land somewhere. Mine is in the middle of my double sink.
February 25, 2013 at 7:24PM     
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Lori Wallace-Roberts
I'm not a designer, but I would not be happy with this. It's really noticeable, especially up close. I'd be complaining!
February 25, 2013 at 7:25PM     
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kimdee24
Mhm... Seems like they could have found a better place to make the seam... not crazy about it.
February 25, 2013 at 7:25PM     
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Mary Chang
It looks kind of obvious that someone mis-measured. The seam should have been in the corner.
February 25, 2013 at 7:26PM     
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Robin
Absolutely!!
When we built our house we had a seam smack down the middle of our two basin granite countertop in the bathroom. We had them remove it and put a single piece in it's place. It's unacceptable. If the seam was required because of the 90 degree corner it should have been at the narrowest point. I hope you get it sorted :-(
February 25, 2013 at 7:28PM     
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patti mcnab
needs to be re-done
February 25, 2013 at 7:28PM     
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alabamalibrarian83
I've loved everything else up til now... I hate to throw a fit, but it just seems so obvious that the pattern could have been aligned better with a better 'flow'. Instead it looks like somebody put the pieces together in the wrong order. The seam is in a strange place, 4 inches to the right of the cabinet? Would putting the seam directly on the corner not be an option, & look better?
February 25, 2013 at 7:29PM     
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kimdee24
I hate throwing fits too, but sometimes... you just have to speak up. Otherwise it will drive you nuts every time you look at it.
February 25, 2013 at 7:33PM     
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ginale
It's not that there is a seam.....that has to happen. The problem is the way they cut your granite. It is suppose to be cut so that the movement of the granite fits together perfectly at the seam so that it flows and you can barely see the seam. It looks like they cut a patch from another section and pieced it onto the end. You have a right to say something.
February 25, 2013 at 7:35PM     
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Robin
there's no aligning patterns in natural stone. They won't have to replace the whole thing. They can re-cut at the corner and replace the right side only. You don't have to throw a fit...just ask your contractor if he/she would connsider this acceptable in their own house. Maybe they're hoping you'll just accept it. If you don't say anything you'll hate it forever.
February 25, 2013 at 7:36PM     
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carolinesothern
I agree with you. That will drive you nuts every time you look at it. It's too bad but I suspect you have paid good money for this so ask for them to fix it.
February 25, 2013 at 7:38PM     
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Studio Homes
oh come on installers! that is just terrible!

Anyone that installs granite knows better but they were hoping you didnt. Get them to fix it. I know it feels terrible to ask but its your money, your investment and your house that you have to look at every single day.... and if you did a job that wasnt up to par and you knew it wouldnt surprise you if someone called you out on it ....so I am pretty sure it wont be a surprise to them.

you will be glad you did after its fixed.
February 25, 2013 at 7:40PM     
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Interiors International, Inc.
Get it redone.
February 25, 2013 at 7:43PM     
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ginale
Btw....although they did a terrible job with the seam, the granite is very pretty. Once they fix the problem, you will love it and be glad you said something. :). Good luck!
February 25, 2013 at 7:44PM     
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Ironwood Builders
I think, from a contractors point of view, your granite choice is more the issue. ANY top that large needs to be seamed and corners are not the place to do it. Houses are almost always a bit out of square, especially after the drywallers get done. Attempting to do a perfect corner seam is just as fraught with problems...and would have cost a lot more $$ up front. ANY slab with that much pattern is going to show seams...no matter where they are. You have a crisis of communication. No one told you up front that the variation in your slab would make seams very noticeable....but communication is a two way street, isn't it? Did you ask what the difficulties would be in getting the look you want correct or even think to ask how they would make such a big "ell" shape from a 5X9 slab? Or did you just trust that a lack of communication meant a total understanding of your design goals? Sure, the contractor and his slab fabricator are at fault for not making sure you knew this stuff, they need to mitigate the issue and get you happy...
February 25, 2013 at 7:46PM     
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grandmalucy12
I would address this before they keep your extra granite like they did mine . Then couldn't find it
February 25, 2013 at 7:51PM     
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alabamalibrarian83
@Ironwood Builders we were told by our contractor that we needed to use Carols Carpets (of Montgomery AL) for selection & installation of granite. Inside their store they ONLY have 6"x12" pieces of each granite type that they sell. He gave me a little 4"x4" chunk to bring home & test against my bathroom colors, & the little silvery chunk I brought home was homogeneous, gray & sparkly. So I agree that there was a breakdown of communication somewhere, because I fully expected the finished countertop to resemble the piece in their store, & the piece he let me take home.
February 25, 2013 at 7:51PM     
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Ironwood Builders
OK. Valid point! I never allow a client to decide a counter top from a sample (especially figured slabs). All slabs are selected by the owner, usually with me or a trusted sales person present. As I said, communication is the key ad the contractor and his carpet people(?) are at fault for not giving you this information upfront. They need to mitigate the issue to keep a happy (thus far) client. It is up to you what that mitigation is! Replacing the tops over the seaming is not unheard of. Make sure you are happy with the end results....whatever you negotiate them to be!
February 25, 2013 at 8:00PM     
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alabamalibrarian83
This is all the customer gets to see when making a selection. I chose the one on the next-to-bottom row, far left.
February 25, 2013 at 8:02PM     
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Lizabeth
Larger patterns will show more seams. So you never saw the slabs?
February 25, 2013 at 8:02PM     
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Studio Homes
I have granite installed several times a year for new construction....always the same installers. There is no such thing for them having issues with corners....a good installer can take the piece right out to their work vehicle and trim it to fit an out of square corner....with ease. It happens to us once in awhile and its amazing how quick and precise they can do this....maybe they are just reputable and well equipped.

they shouldnt have showed up to the site with these pieces. ...even if they did plan to use these shapes they should have tried to find a better piece to blend.

they would have thought it through better if it was going in their house.
February 25, 2013 at 8:09PM     
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Ironwood Builders
Studio...a true 45 degree absolute corner cut would need to be made perpendicular to the cabinet sitting on the seam (terrible waste of material too). If the room is even 1/16" per foot out of square in both directions the net difference over 8' is 1/2". Any attempt to close it down opens the 45, closing the 45 means a gap at the end walls..the top is trapped! when the top was templated, a seam location was decided on by the installer/templater. The communication breakdown was way earlier.
February 25, 2013 at 9:39PM     
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Jayme H.
I can see your concern. I would address this with your contractor and go from there..good luck! Hope you are able to work out a solution.
February 25, 2013 at 10:18PM     
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alabamalibrarian83
No I wasn't shown our specific slab, just these little sample chunks in the showroom. The slabs were stored somewhere across the street.
February 26, 2013 at 4:56AM   
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rawketgrl
Sorry for the hassle you are going through.
However, thank you for posting this to warn the rest of us to:

1. Pick the actual slab you are buying.
2. Discuss the counter layout, seam placement, and what to do with any extra pieces with builder/installer prior to cutting the slab.
3. Consider solid surfacing materials if you do not like the look of seams.

Good luck.
February 26, 2013 at 6:35PM     
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Amy Stanley
Even if you didn't see the slab they should have discussed the seam with you when they came out and did a temp plate? The bottom line is you are not happy with the job, you are paying for this and I would address it. It appears to be two entirely different pieces seemed together not good!
February 26, 2013 at 6:46PM     
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alabamalibrarian83
@Amy Stanley my husband met them at our home when they came to do the template, but they said they didn't need him to do anything but let them into the house. They never asked his opinion nor gave indication it was anything that required our input. So we were pretty clueless.
@rawketgirl Glad you can learn from our disappointing experience!
February 27, 2013 at 8:57AM   
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finndian
You could have them cut little square pieces of granite and bond them to the surface of the counter along the seams and the front edge of the counter to create a custom built-in "tray" for fragrances or other items that are grouped together.
February 27, 2013 at 9:21AM     
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alabamalibrarian83
@finndian What a creative idea. Do you have any photos of that type of thing?
February 27, 2013 at 9:58AM   
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finndian
I don't have photos but I did something similar on a job when I didn't like the seams along the sides of a counter. I just had him make a 3/4 by 3/4 inch square strip and place it against the wall and bond it down. The added benefit was you could rinse the counter without wetting the painted walls. It looked good. If I had your situation and didn't want to redo the counter I'd make the tray as long as he can polish the strips he makes and make it look intentional.
February 27, 2013 at 10:07AM     
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Stoneshop
I'm sorry that you were left in the dark about all of this, alabamalibrarian83.

When we do seams, we always try to do them at the sink when possible. This way, you are only seeing about 2" in the front and 2" in the back. When a full seam like this is required, they DEFINATELY should have talked it over with you. Since your granite has so much movement, they should have called you in so that you could see the layout as well. Laying out natural stone is an art form, and there are usually ways to do it so that it looks nicer than your situation.

I would speak to your contractor and the fabricators about it.
February 27, 2013 at 1:14PM     
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0825sam
Just wanted to chime in that you have a legitimate gripe when you go back to the installer about not going over the seam with you. We just had kitchen counters put in and they made me initial in 10 different places about where the seam was going to be, I sat there with the guy and measured with him to make sure it was going in the only place I thought it was acceptable and they still emailed me after to make sure.
February 27, 2013 at 1:21PM     
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DIAspoton
sounds like finndian has a workable solution. be absolutely everyone is clear on the desired end result before they start cutting. the carpet people have no business selling granite that way. i've never heard of not choosing your own slab. don't be nice and settle for less than you want. it would be terribly wrong to have the seam bother you on a daily basis for years to come.
hope finndian's idea works for you.
February 27, 2013 at 2:02PM     
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ginale
What happened alabamalibrarian83?
February 27, 2013 at 4:42PM   
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alabamalibrarian83
@ginale They are coming back Friday at 9am to assess the situation. #fingerscrossed
February 27, 2013 at 4:54PM     
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kimdee24
I didn't pick my own slab either, I just saw a sample. But I don't have any seams (except the bridge behind the slide-in range) and my granite has a pretty regular pattern to it.

Good luck alabamalibrarian83. I hope this gets resolved to your satisfaction without a lot of hassle.
February 27, 2013 at 5:20PM     
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alabamalibrarian83
We were told this was an example of high quality, perfect work, there's nothing wrong with it visually, and it couldn't have been done any better.
They did not see my point and it was a disappointing conversation.

I was required to even choose the grout color used in our toilet room, so there would be no surprises once it had been finished. It does not make sense to sell customers on a small piece of granite a few inches wide, giving them a total shock once it's already been installed.

My Thoughts:
A. When the showroom sample varies that much from the finished product, it is misleading. It's like an obese unattractive person using a misleading tiny thumbnail photo of their 'best feature' on MATCH.COM, then their date shows up and realizes wow this is not what I expected.

B. They should REQUIRE the customers to lay eyes on the actual slab, and give them the chance to choose their own slab.
(I did go across the street to where Carol's Carpet gets their granite-- Robert F Henry Tile-- but I got sent over there to look at vessel sinks.)

C. If they are unable to actually let you see the slabs, they should have large photographs in the store to show what it's going to look like once installed. I was googling "creama typhoon" and searching for pictures on Houzz, trying to get an idea of what this little 4x4" sample would actually look like in a bathroom.

D. They should involve you more on the whole process, not just sell you in the showroom. If our piece of granite looked this drastic and unusual, we should have been involved in the process for template, cutting, how it was going to 'fit together.'
March 1, 2013 at 9:04AM   
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ASVInteriors
I'm so sorry that your conversation when in the direction it did. Thank you however for posting some very valuable advice to other people who will doubtlessly encounter similar situations: forewarned is forearmed!
March 1, 2013 at 9:07AM     
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alabamalibrarian83
One last pic.
March 1, 2013 at 9:08AM   
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alabamalibrarian83
"Showroom quality work"
March 1, 2013 at 9:11AM   
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finndian
They are bluffing you, they know it is sloppy unacceptable work. They are hoping you don't push it. I'm finding more and more that threats of bad reviews online (yelp, etc) are transforming some vendors into honorable men.
March 1, 2013 at 9:11AM     
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JDM Countertops, Inc.
I'm very sorry alabamalibrarian83. This is not exemplary work. We are a granite/stone fabricator, and I have all my customers go select their specific slabs, especially with material that has that much movement and variation. In many cases, we will even have the customers come to the shop to go over the lay out when seaming and flow are tricky (or just when the customer wants to). If your fabricator is limited to one slab, you may not have much choice on your lay out, but the seam location could have been more strategic.

This was a problem with communication, and poor decision-making with cutting and lay out. I wonder if the carpet store does not like to have their customers go to their suppliers to select slabs....sounds like they are trying to hide something.
March 1, 2013 at 9:18AM     
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chrisroh
When I selected my granite, I looked at a big slab. I had the entire back splash done in the granite and it made the kitchen so much brighter even tho the granite was dark.
March 1, 2013 at 9:32AM     
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Granite Grannies
Perhaps it would have been ok if they had let you know that it needed to be done that way, but I would definitely ask them to do something about it. That could be done a LOT better.
March 1, 2013 at 11:03AM     
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Amy Stanley
That is bs that work looks like an amateur did it. As the fabricator they dropped the bomb. If your granite had too much movement to hide a seam you should have been informed of this ahead of time giving you the option to pick a different style. You should have been present and signed off on a final template prior to any cutting of your granite. Do not accept this answer- if you are not a satisfied customer they should be doing something to fix it. I ended up using Home Depot for my granite purchase instead of a local granite company because of a similar situation. My BIL is a contractor, his clients went and chose their slabs of granite- after the installation it was very clear that the slabs did not match even though they were the "same" granite. He had to fight tooth and nail to get this taken care of. They as the fabricator should have recognized this and directed them better but did not. Thankfully in our case the only mishap I had was they cut the faucet holes wrong, I changed my faucet after template- called let him the same day to let him know this and he said he was putting the change in his final plans but when it arrived it was wrong. I got money credited back and they made a piece to cover the holes, the faucet sets up a bit higher looks really good and intentional- I had the option of a whole new slab as well. This person stood by their work..sounds like yours are not. So sorry!
March 1, 2013 at 11:53AM     
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judianna20
Just a comment on your purchasing your granite. Having finished 4 kitchens this winter, I cannot imagine that you were not directed to the granite yard to choose your slab. Read this yahoo article. It may help you with how you phrase your complaint. http://voices.yahoo.com/what-look-buying-granite-countertops-1027315.html?cat=69
March 1, 2013 at 12:19PM     
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Cusano Construction Company Inc.
The seam would probably always end in the same location no matter what, but those are 2 different slabs thats why its so noticeable.
March 1, 2013 at 12:37PM     
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
NOT normal - I don't like the seam - it should have been planned before cutting from the slab.
Unless you purchased a remnant piece - then, you get what you paid for - is this Azul Iran Granite?
If you paid full price, then the fabricator should have templated before hand and given you a solid piece there. I'd complain.
March 1, 2013 at 12:39PM     
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Mary Dancey Interiors
Have you made a final payment? If not then don't until it has been resolved. If it was made by credit card you may be able to file a complaint with them. If a cheque run like heck to the bank.
March 1, 2013 at 12:50PM     
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kimdee24
Absolutely unacceptable, and I am angry for you. Stick to your guns, and make them do it over. They had a chance to save face and it sounds like they're choosing the low road here. Don't let them!

I'm sorry this has been such a disappointing experience.
March 1, 2013 at 12:58PM     
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alabamalibrarian83
@Marie Hebson's Interiors No it's not Azul Iran, it's called Crema Typhoon. http://www.tateornamental.com/stones.php?p=6
@Mary Dancey No payments were to be made directly to them; the cost is built into the price tag of our overall renovation that has been going on for 3 months now. Our general contractor was going to pay them 'for us' from his payment, I believe.
March 1, 2013 at 1:35PM   
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bdennison
What a beautiful bathroom. Obviously not your run-of-the-mill reno. If your contractor can't stand up for you there is a problem. He must have some clout with his own installer. I wish you luck because that has to be fixed. They didn't even try to match the movement.
March 1, 2013 at 1:57PM     
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lovliny
Just had granite installed in my kitchen and I must say the contractor studied the flow of the granite and spent quite a bit of time in matching its direction. I have one seam which is really not visible and the granite flows together beautifully. You are not being picky. The installation was just not good.
March 1, 2013 at 2:25PM     
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mikejo
Nothing to do with granite but I am beginning process of renovating my bath. I spent last night looking for a photo of a 2 sink vanity rounding a corner and putting a tower in corner. Then I saw your post.
Did you have tower custom built? I haven't found one. Is tower sitting on top of granite ? Thanks much.
March 1, 2013 at 3:14PM     
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ginale
We had our granite installed the day after you posted the photo and I admit it made me a little nervous. But not only did I pick out the slabs, but they emailed me a photo of the slabs with the exact template so that I could approve the cut before they made one cut. There would be two seams and they guarenteed I would not see them. They were right....the pattern matched perfectly and I had to run my hand across the stone to find the seam. That's the way it is SUPPOSE to be. You deserve that. Google some granite installers and show your people how professionals install granite. Your contractor needs to go to bat for you. If it doesn't work out, you will have to creatively disguise the seam and let everyone in your area of this carpet store's shoddy work.
March 1, 2013 at 4:47PM     
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hwinteriors
When the granite company came to template the granite, whomever was doing the template should have told you where the seam would lie. That being said, the granite company most likely did this to save waste. This doesn't look like a huge project, so, it shouldn't have been an issue unless someone was trying to skim. When they come out to re-template your counter, you can also have the grout where the counter meets the wall darkened so it blends better.
March 1, 2013 at 4:56PM     
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alabamalibrarian83
@mikejo Yes it is a custom tower & it's sitting atop of the granite. 3 months ago this bathroom was actually a dining room, so the entire project has been a custom project. Good luck with yours!
March 1, 2013 at 8:23PM   
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Ironwood Builders
'bamalibrarian, Did you have that meeting with the contractor today? How did it go?
March 1, 2013 at 10:06PM   
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Matt Patterson Custom Homes
Depends with what the fabricator had to work with. They might have done better if they had bought two slabs. Were you looking for the cheapest deal? If I'm spending 20-30/ft on granite you squeeze the max out of each slab. If I budget 50-80 I expect a lot of waste. What is that? Cafe Imperial?
March 1, 2013 at 10:31PM   
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finndian
This is your typical seam at a sink
March 2, 2013 at 12:45AM     
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OnePlan
It's a shame that it makes you unhappy. I guess it might be disguised by placing a towel bayle there or a soaps basket etc - maybe, because it's a natural product, someone should have pointed out that this was a possible problem before you ordered?! With composite work tops ( corian, siltstone, ceasarstone etc) you get a less prominent join. So perhaps ask for that type of top when you do your next project . Or if they offer to replace it - choose something like that as a replacement !

Hope it all works out for you ! :-)
March 2, 2013 at 1:40AM   
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alabamalibrarian83
@Ironwood, Meeting went not so great, they didn't see anything wrong with it & said it's up to high standard & their wives would be happy with it. They are going to talk it over & call us though.
@Matt Patterson This definitely wasn't a penny pinching cheapo deal. The color I picked was one of their "upper middle" tiers. Thecolor is ccalled Creama typhoon.
March 2, 2013 at 8:09AM   
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hwinteriors
Anytime the "wives" opinions are mentioned, they are trying to make you feel like you don't get it. So, there are 3 pieces of granite seamed together? Shoddy work. Your gc rec. them, your gc can deal with them. Just tell the gc you won't pay for it until it is fixed. You will see those seams every time you use that bathroom and you will resent the entire project.
March 2, 2013 at 9:06AM     
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kimdee24
Where is your GC in all this? What does he think? Because if you're not happy, he's the one who should be working hard to make it right with his subs.
March 2, 2013 at 9:08AM     
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eggfoosushi
Can I chip in?
People are coming up with different names for the colour of granite. Retailers will make up names for their granite to make the colour sound attractive (it also makes it more difficult for a customer to shop around for quotes from different places)
From your photo they did a nice job on the install the issue is with the natural granite pattern not joining perfectly. The graining on the two joined pieces is poles apart but that specific type of granite has such huge variance of graining over a small area that unless they had a whole array of large remnant pieces left over to choose from then you're not realistically going to get a close graining match when two largish pieces have to be cut and joined.
You can see from the photo you provided of the small chip they have in their showroom that even this tiny sample piece shows a completely uneven graining.
The cut can't go under the counter unit due to difficulty joining the angle precisley, which is a shame as it would be hidden. Rather than rip out and start again and hope for two pieces that may match closer can they not blend the two pieces together by widening the seam (in places) and filling with tinted granite fillers which can be cured and then it's not one straight line that you eye's drawn to.( the cream from one piece blend into the cream on the other then the brown on one side will blend with the brown on the other more. The artistically filled bits can be cured and will look like the rest of the polished granite surface. I'm sure this can be done (I read granite and surface covering magazines)Sorry I'm pretty C**p at explaining things.
ALSO, when my husband designed his previous house he chose to import his own granite rather than go with the homebuilders options.(Few people would have this option, I know) He used blue pearl for the L shaped kitchen counter and large island, butlers pantry and bar and then galaxy black, paradiso, and a mahogany granite for bathroom counters. To avoid issues with large expanses where two pieces would be required he used even grained granites that would have near invisible joints.
For anyone else thinking of investing in granite counters please bear this in mind. Even grained granites such as blue pearl and galaxy black are quite a bit more expensive but you shouldnt have joint issues.
March 2, 2013 at 9:32AM     
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Granite Grannies
@eggfooshui, I'd like to respectfully disagree. Saying that you should go with even patterned (granite does not have grain) granite is like saying you should only use dasies and buttercups in your yard because it might be hard to landscape a wide variety successfully. The problem with this bathroom is not the granite. If you look at our profile, you'll see dozens of examples of wild patterns with near invisible seams. Of course, it's not always possible to get an exact line up of the pattern, but this picture shows a very poor seam that suggests the fabricator was piecing together remnants from different slabs. We would have cut these two pieces out from one slab so that the seam was merely a slice in a continuous pattern. Consistent or tight patterned granites are not more expensive. Quite the opposite. They are much less expensive. Blue pearl and Black Galaxy happen to be medium priced stones because black and blue stones usually are. Most stones with small patterns like Uba Tuba, St. Cecilia, etc are less expensive because they are easier to quarry and fabricate and there are much larger deposits in the quarrries.
March 2, 2013 at 10:05AM     
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alabamalibrarian83
I would like to mention that I really like the granite bench seat they did in the shower/tub room. :-)
March 2, 2013 at 10:21AM     
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eggfoosushi
"We would have cut these two pieces out from one slab so that the seam was merely a slice in a continuous pattern"
Maybe I'm just assuming that the carpet place she went to doesn't have a block saw hidden round the back to slice up slabs.
March 2, 2013 at 10:24AM   
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PRO
JDM Countertops, Inc.
I'm not sure if everyone who has such strong opinions are actually fabricators, but rather than a fabricator feud over the way things should be done (because everyone has different approaches, esp. regionally)...the REAL problem is the lack of communication. It is sometimes impossible to make a continuous seam when you're limited on material and have strange shaped or angled pieces. The fabricator or GC should have communicated the issues to alabamalibrarian83 when they arose. Perhaps a new material choice would have been made or there were other seaming options she may have chose....

Issues happen in construction, and it's how the company deals with them that counts.
March 2, 2013 at 10:37AM     
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Cusano Construction Company Inc.
you are picking this apart way to much, you cant compare samples to the stone in your home. granite is a natural material not fabricated. Yes the seam could have been handled differently, but ultimately you should have been warned of possible problems before the project got this far. I cant believe how much chatter this has created!
March 2, 2013 at 11:13AM   
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alabamalibrarian83
@Cusano The chatter & opinions is what Houzz is all about. When I asked if I should paint my front door red, I had nearly 100 comments. Viva Houzz!
March 2, 2013 at 11:30AM     
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Cusano Construction Company Inc.
At some point it needs to stop. Egging it on is not what this about.
March 2, 2013 at 11:56AM   
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calikym
They seams DO look bad. I took photos of my granite seam for your reference. Yes, it can be seen but the pattern is matched. Hope this helps. From a distance, it can barely be seen at all.
March 2, 2013 at 12:36PM     
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bdennison
very good example of matching motion in stone. thanks for posting
March 2, 2013 at 2:11PM   
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ginale
I agree calikym....you show the pattern CAN be matched. Thanks!
March 2, 2013 at 6:08PM   
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Ironwood Builders
Bama, any progress?
March 4, 2013 at 6:16PM   
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alabamalibrarian83
@Ironwood Have some good news finally. Carols Carpet has offered to give us half our money back and leave it as is, or re-do the job, with us incurring the minor cost of having our General Contractor have to take off the cabinet tower then re-set it. I'm leaning towards the latter. The granite company who actually did the work -Henry F Tile Montgomery AL - is standing by their work and says it's industry standard; they offer no concessions.
March 5, 2013 at 5:55AM     
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DIAspoton
henry f tile co montgomery al is on houzz. you can pull them up and review them and post pics. you'd be doing a service to save other houzzers from this drama.
March 5, 2013 at 6:35AM     
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PRO
Ironwood Builders
'bama, I like the resolution. The carpet company is taking full responsibility. I suggest you email Diaspoton's' comments to the slab guy and get him some social media pressure too. From a GC standpoint...I'd be bending over backward to help out too. Show my post to your GC and gently suggest that some effort on his part will ease your pain...and release his final payment. You should not have to pay him for the fubar. He is the main issue...poor communication at a crucial juncture...MY JOB is communicating...as much as I love woodworking, I get paid to communicate...maybe that shows? He dropped a neophyte off at a random vendor and shrugged his shoulders. Pulling and resetting the cabinet is the least he can do.
March 5, 2013 at 7:01AM     
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Grace Reed
Granite Grannie's is dead on and they are giving expert advice. Remnants were used to save them $ at your expense. The placement, quality of the seaming and lack of continuity are unexceptable. Glad that the situation is being dealt with. My advice? Have it replaced. In similar situations, I've found that people are rarely happy with $ in the long run. Good luck.
March 5, 2013 at 9:00AM     
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figureskating22
I am really annul so my opinion is to fix it. If this is your dream kitchen then try to make it right.
Hope this gets sorted out.
March 5, 2013 at 9:40AM   
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poorgirl
Unacceptable workmanship. looks like they may have had 3/4 of a slab and didn't want to waste a new slab. That piece should never have had a seam right there. Also all the material should have been booked matched. I would also replace it, you will never be happy with it and it will alway be noticable.
If you do replace it, make sure you demand to pick or see the slab and make them do a layout on the slab so you know what it's going to look like. It's not wise to have the seam in the middle of the sink since that is the weakest point of the countertop. Your granite comes in long slabs 10'. The seam should be over by the cutout.
Personally I don't think you should be paying anything for this mistake.
Hope they make it right for you. Good luck
March 5, 2013 at 9:43AM   
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ginale
glad the carpet store is working with you alabamalibrarian83!!! I would choose the 2nd option and choose another granite installer. :)
March 5, 2013 at 4:58PM   
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tt67
Someone didn't measure right. Seams are for large space that one piece couldn't be cut...not for a 4 inch slat. Sorry.
March 6, 2013 at 8:00PM     
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Bobbie S
Def does not flow from size to side. I would talk to them about it. Nice bathroom! Good luck!
March 22, 2013 at 5:27PM     
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GG
Hi Everyone,

First off, thank you for initiating this discussion Alabamalibrarian83. The postings are extremely helpful for my husband and I who are new to the world of granite!

Several contributors mention that a customer should discuss seam placement with an installer beforehand. My husband and I have a meeting with our installer this week to agree on our granite templates, but it would be nice to go into that meeting knowing how many seams would be reasonable and where the best spot to place these seams is according to our kitchen layout.

I am therefore attaching our kitchen layout (dimensions included) and a picture of our granite. Can you please advise:
1)How many seams should we expect?
2)Where should these seams go?
3)Can we expect any complications with flow based on our granite choice?
4)Any other tips.

Thank you in advance for your reply. We want to make sure that it is done correctly the first time ;-)

Sincerely,
GG
July 7, 2013 at 2:19PM     
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PRO
JDM Countertops, Inc.
Hi GG, it would be helpful to know if you are working with one slab or two. Also, are you going to need any stone back splash out of that? It was difficult for me to read the dimensions. Do you have a better quality drawing?
July 8, 2013 at 9:49AM     
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GG
Hi JDM Countertops,

Thank you for taking the time to help me with my question…I was worried my husband and I might be on our own with this decision ;-)

Here is the information you requested:

1) We have two slabs.

2)I do not need any granite for the backsplash.

3)Please find attached a better quality picture of the countertop layout, which contains a few more dimensions.

Thanks again for your help.

Sincerely,
GG
July 8, 2013 at 11:06AM     
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JDM Countertops, Inc.
Thanks for the info. I should've also asked what your slab dimensions are. That can play a big factor, especially only working with one slab. Obviously, your seam will need to be on the sink side, but the question is can you get your peninsula length out of the height of the slab, since you need to worry about directional flow matching.
July 8, 2013 at 12:41PM     
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GG
Hi Again JDM Countertops,

I spoke to our granite place this morning and we have two slabs. Each slab is 9'-1" x 6'1". They seemed resistant to let us see the template before install, but I insisted as per everybody’s advice ;-)

They are suggesting two seams: one piece that goes all the way down the left side of the U-shape, one that goes all the way down the right side of the U-shape, and a shorter piece that goes across the back of the U-shape (this one would flow in a different direction). I was told the only alternative is to have more seams in order to get the flow right, or I need to pick a new stone with a larger slab.

Thoughts?

Sincerely,
GG
July 9, 2013 at 9:46AM     
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PRO
JDM Countertops, Inc.
Hi GG,

While I think I understand why they are saying that, I'm not sure that's the best way to do it. Since you are working with two slabs, you should be able to get each 7+ foot side of the U-shape out of the width of the slab (109"), and the sink side could be cut in half so that each side could be taken out of the height (73"). Essentially, you would have two L-shaped pieces cut out of each slab and one seam in the middle of your sink side. That way all your grain is going the right direction as well (provided you have two consecutive slabs). I may be missing some details, but that's how I would try to do it....

Best of luck!
July 9, 2013 at 6:19PM     
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finndian
Yes, the single seam created by bringing the two L-shaped pieces together wouldn't be in the center of the sink but at least the overall flow of the stone would be in the same direction.
July 9, 2013 at 6:42PM     
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GG
Hi JDM,

Thanks as always for your posting, I think you’re right about the L-shape template plan being the better alternative. However, I remember our granite place mentioning that they don’t like to do seams by the sink because a large sink places too much stress on the seam. Have you heard of this?

Sincerely,
GG
July 9, 2013 at 8:06PM     
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finndian
I personally think that if thats their concern then a couple upright two by fours attached with screws underneath the countertop plywood sheet that surrounds the sink (inside the cabinet) to re-enforce and keep it from flexing under the weight from a sink full of water would be fine.
July 9, 2013 at 9:31PM     
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PRO
JDM Countertops, Inc.
Well, there are two schools of thought on seaming in sink cut outs. Some fabricators won't do them, and others do them all the time. One isn't necessarily right. I would rather seam in a sink cut out than near it, personally, for visual reasons, but you can seam near it without issue. I don't know what your measurement is to your sink center, but if they can make it work to seam it in the sink cut out somewhere (even if it's not in the center), that would probably be better. If we were fabricating this project, we would try and make one of these options work vs having three seams and unmatching flow.
July 10, 2013 at 9:19AM     
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GG
Thanks so much, JDM and Finndian. I really appreciate all of your advice, and I feel much more knowledgeable going into the templating stage. I can't thank you enough!

Sincerely,
GG

ps. JDM - My brother has a place in Phoenix, so I'll let him know about your company.
July 10, 2013 at 10:48AM     
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annie912
I read all of these comments.. I fabricate all types of Stone and Marble pieces. THE CORRECT WAY is after you pick the slab visually...on site, they come and template, after that, the client, should go back to the yard or store, with the fabricator and the template pieces. The pieces get put over the stone, so as to avoid any
insane seams.. at this moment you can say yes or no, to placement. After you approve, they MUST CUT accordingly as placed. This is what I do and this is how it should be done. The problem with your job, is that aside from the seams, they did not match the stone. I think this, They cut the heck out of the slab,Good Luck
By the way. I would not have put that corner cabinet in that space.. that whole center cut should have been one triangle on the slab.
July 10, 2013 at 11:10AM     
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7768
Glad that Carol's Carpet offered to replace at their cost minus the removal of the cabinet tower. Since you are paying your gc to oversee the job and he apparently has not stepped in to help out much, removing and replacing the cabinet is the least he can and should do if he expects to be considered a valued professional.
As far as you granite people, I would not use them to replace their shoddy job. I hope their lack of responsibility is known since they are on Houzz. As far as Casio Const. They probably lost a lot of business with their remarks. Good luck, the bathroom looks beautiful!
July 11, 2013 at 7:13PM     
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Marsha Price
It looks like to different slabs.
July 11, 2013 at 8:28PM     
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beachrunner5
needs to be redone. I would have expected the seam to be in front of that corner cabinet. with the seam where it is, it'll be a pain to keep it clean!
July 11, 2013 at 8:44PM     
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Jackie P
It does look like someone mismeasured to me. Why put a seam that close to the end of the piece? If they had to make a seam there would have been far more discreet places to put it. It could have been done on the diagonal at the V where the 2 cabinets met. I am glad you are finally getting some sort of concession. Sounds like they were trying to convince you of some nonsense when they were saying it was a high quality job & their wives would have loved it. I've had similar "teamwork" when I had a disastrous cut & color. Every beautician in the studio stopped by the chair to ooh & aaah about how LOVELY my hair was. It was a disaster & they were trying to convince me that blue was green, or some such. Stand your ground. You really shouldn't have to pay diddly for their mistake.
July 11, 2013 at 8:48PM     
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Joseph Hartley
They don't even look like the slabs came from the same stone quarry. Did you go to the distributor and pick the stone yourself? I only ask because I didn't trust the sample he brought, I wanted to see a whole slab. There can be some variation between slabs but not that much! It looks like the used remnants from several slabs. Make them replace it.
July 11, 2013 at 8:52PM     
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alexisever
Seams should be addressed like two matching pieces of a puzzle-originally, the puzzle is whole (like the slab of granite is whole)- then, the puzzle is sliced to make pieces, (just as the granite is cut) - and then the pieces of the puzzle should be matched back together so the picture looks right (the two pieces of granite that are seamed together should have been one unified piece originally, before they were cut, and then placed back together during the installation). This is how top granite fabricators/ installers arrange it.
October 22, 2013 at 1:39PM     
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jafrin420
Hello.
I am very much happy by learning about your post and agree with you. The pic ( bathroom ) you added is really nice. I am from www.granitecountertopsdenver.co and offer supply and fabrication of a variety of products.
I would really introduced my client to this address of the granite.
November 27, 2013 at 3:10AM     
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8newhouse
alabamalibrarian -- How did this turn out for you? I have the same problem now and am sick over it, only I think mine is even more noticeable than yours. I hate to contact them about it, but I think I need to. I can't have my entire granite kitchen redone, so I'm hoping they can just pull out the two bad pieces that don't match. Would love to know your outcome. Hope you are happy with it by now!
February 5, 2014 at 7:38AM     
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DIAspoton
@alexisever : great explanation above. i've been going thru this with slabs of Greek marble called Volakas. they arrived at the fabricators and he called to say they wouldn't look right because the weren't book matched. frustrating to say the least but i'm glad he told me before cutting.
February 5, 2014 at 8:35AM     
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PRO
Arturo Shivers, A.B.R. | REALTOR®
Excellent subject matter! Sorry that it had to be at someone's dismay. I searched this topic because I am looking at a lot of flipped properties and happened to come across a kitchen that had an awesomely striking granite with a strong pattern. The L-shaped counter top seam was cut so that the pattern took a sharp 90 (perpendicular) degree change of directions. I thought that the continuity of pattern was key to installing granite! So sad that the art form is being replaced by cheap looking installations.
March 5, 2014 at 7:45AM     
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Arturo Shivers, A.B.R. | REALTOR®
Here is a pic...I think this is a remnant installation. Agree?
March 5, 2014 at 7:51AM     
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DIAspoton
@arturo. agree. that looks soooohh wrong.
March 5, 2014 at 8:05AM     
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PRO
JDM Countertops, Inc.
This may not necessarily be a remnant installation, but a good example of trying to squeeze this particular kitchen out of one slab. When you are limited on material, you are limited on the lay out. I would warn my clients of this outcome if they told me they weren't willing to purchase another slab. If this is a property flipping situation, then it makes sense why they wouldn't be as concerned. It's unfortunate.... when material has this much directional flow, we typically work with a 25-30% waste factor.
March 5, 2014 at 8:15AM     
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alabamalibrarian83
@8newhouse Just noticed you commented to me a little while back. It turned out fairly well for us.... they offered to re-do it all, or give us 50% of our money back. We ended up taking the 50% reimbursement, and to tell you the truth I usually have makeup and jewelry all over the counter so the mismatched seam job doesn't bother me near as much as I expected it to. :) Good luck getting your own issue resolved.
March 5, 2014 at 8:31AM     
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PRO
Refresh Interiors Design.Com, Inc.
when templating you should then be able to show where the seams are gonna be..if they arent there send a picture of the templates taped to the slab and say..excuse me...to save you from buying more material..we need to put the seam here..are you ok with that or would it be better on the other side...sorry..but there are two sides to every story maybe you guys can come to an agreement
June 9, 2014 at 5:43AM   
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adivra
This is why we novices need help. My contractor nixed my first three choices because of the movement of the granite and the location the seam had to be. We did find one both of us were happy with. The seam is barely visible, even in person.
June 9, 2014 at 12:58PM     
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