Granite Seam Opinion - is this seam something to be "proud about" ?

Itza Gonzalez
March 26, 2019

When we mentioned how bad it looked - the color seems much lighter (because of the natural aspects of the stone) it the seam very very obvious and in a prominent location, right in the corner where the peninsula meets the counter AND there seems to be an "arrow" pointing to it!

When we told the installer that it looked terrible - pictures were taken and reviewed. The response was that - they "felt the installer did a great job given what he was working with". Furthermore we were told that: "There is no matching veins to that end piece because of how long your counter top is. The slab was not long enough. So we had to take a lower part of the slab underneath where we cut originally for the sink run, and try to find the best piece to match it. There is no matching piece, so it wouldn't be matching anyway. " ....and also " Any fabricator I think would be very proud of that job." and they were "proud of the job and they would take pictures and post them. Which is what I would like to do"

So I ask are they right? It's a source of pride and post-worthy?

We were unaware that there was any issue at all. We were not told that someone was going to do the best with what they were working with. Had we been told there was any issue - we would have chosen another slab or at least known about the shortcomings. Am I being to picky ? Is my disappointment unwarranted? Is this the best we should expect?

Comments (55)

  • PRO
    Carolina Kitchen & Bath

    I think it looks just fine. Stone is a natural product and this is part of the package.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked Carolina Kitchen & Bath
  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio

    I do think that there could/should have been some consultation with you about the layout and matching of pieces -- so at least you would have been aware of what you would end up with, or could have had some input on what mismatches would be acceptable to you with this stone. Sometimes the templaters don't see things that pop out to the eye of the homeowner (like the "arrow"), sometimes even the homeowner won't see them until the cuts are made and the pieces fit together.

    I wonder where would have been a better location for the seam -- this seems like a more natural transition spot.

    I don't think this looks awful at all. It seems that at the rear there is good flow across the seam, and at the front there is some matching up of streaks also. This is a difficult stone IMO to piece together without noticing -- I don't know if another slab could have been better, maybe so, maybe not. (I think that is true of most granites with movement that I have seen). Also the seam seems tight and narrow. If the filler in the seam isn't quite the right color, that can possibly be fixed.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
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    I can't speak to a redo as I don't have enough information regarding what the fabricator had to work with. It would be unfair to comment on that without all the information. Did they physically lay out templates onto the granite and tape them on for you to see? We have seen times with granite that has movement that there is no way to get a good match on all the corners/turns. You might be able to get one but not another. If a client is willing to buy an extra slab just for matching it becomes easier - but 90% of our clients could never afford to do that. The fabricator can't make the stone something it is not or change it's characteristics. They can't stretch it to get more out of it. So there has to be reasonableness when looking at options - which is why it is important to go look at the templates on the stone as you did. The fabricator, however, does have 100% control over making sure that what you saw at layout is what you get. It may do no good and might not change the ultimate outcome, but if it were for my client I would be in the fabricator's office for a serious discussion if I approved the layout and someone in the shop chose to change it without calling me back for another review. I do not know of anything that could be done to change the appearance of stone. I think it is certainly worth a discussion with the fabricator.
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  • Itza Gonzalez


  • Sammie J

    Even with the close ups, I think it looks like a nice job.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked Sammie J
  • Itza Gonzalez

    Sina Sadeddin Architectural Design - We were not contacted about the issue ahead of time, they did not contact us during the template process or prior to cutting.

  • K R
    The seam is good, yes, it’s a little lighter in color and not in an ideal spot, but it matches well. The “arrow” is so crazy though! It does seem like an arrow pointing right to the seam!
    Itza Gonzalez thanked K R
  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio

    In the first group of pictures, in the one at the bottom, there also appears to be a "seam" with an abrupt change in the stone -- but that is the in stone itself, there is no seam, is there? It really doesn't look much different that the stone match at the seam.

    I think (hope) that after a while you won't notice either.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
  • PRO
    Main Line Custom Kitchens, Ltd.

    I would not be happy with that at all. Based on that first picture, it looks like they changed the direction of the stone rather than keeping everything going in the same direction. While there is not a very strong linear veining to your stone, the flow seems thrown off to me with the change in direction. The seam might be tight, but I don't think the layout was well done. They really should have offered you the opportunity to see the layout on the slab before it was cut.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked Main Line Custom Kitchens, Ltd.
  • H202

    I think the seam looks very good - it is thin, and the color match is very good (given that the stone has a variety of shades). I also like how they matched darker patches with darker patches on the two sides. That said, the high level match between the two pieces is not great, because as Main Line noted above, it looks like they swapped the direction. Which I think is what is bothering you. That's a pretty standard issue with stones with movement, unless you pay to buy twice as much stone. It would have been nice if they'd asked you in advance, but i don't think it's abnormal not to have asked. Also, even if they'd done a template, i don't think this "issue" would have been particularly stand out in a small scale template.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked H202
  • PRO
    The Kitchen Place

    Itza, depending on the granite supplier it's usually not required that the fabricator contact you prior to cutting. This slows down the process for them. For them, time is money. Unless people ask, they likely won't offer it. You, your kitchen designer or the granite salesperson needed to request extra service for this. If you worked with a designer or salesperson, they should have educated you on the process and expectations for the material. And possibly offered an additional service (ie. slabsmith photos---simulated pics of your slabs as constructed (Usually only the largest fabbers offer this) or allowed you to be on site during the cutting (both could add $$). Some fabbers don't offer on site slab's not allowed due to insurance issues and liability. What services were available to you by your company, only you know. If you ordered directly from a fabricator, then no one was at bat for you to ensure your complete happiness. They sell slabs and cut 'em and install them as fast as possible. When my clients order tops with me, I will always recommend a slabsmith service with a busy granite or complicated layout. This ensures the homeowner knows what they are getting. Or I would recommend looking at a quartz with less variation.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked The Kitchen Place
  • Rachel Nye
    Is there another seam next to the sink? We have a similar layout and our fabricator was able to avoid the seam at corner junction. We just have one small one at sink. That arrow is crazy! I do wonder if once backsplash in all of that will be less noticeable.
    Itza Gonzalez thanked Rachel Nye
  • patriceny

    I think it looks fine. It's a natural stone with a lot of variation.

    I have a similar white granite with a similar seam, and once you get the rest of the kitchen done and "decorated" the seam will fade into the background.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked patriceny
  • Itza Gonzalez

    Rachel Nye - this is the only seam

  • PRO

    Any stone or quartz with a lot of movement in the pattern will never "match" where there is a seam. Your's is neither fabulous or a disaster. It's yet another reason I love Corian - one has to look VERY hard to find a seam.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked Anglophilia
  • eandhl2

    when the stone went in a different direction it picks up light differently. Kind of like a knap in some fabrics. The seam itself is good.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked eandhl2
  • new-beginning

    my last kitchen had granite - counters were an "L". granite had obvious directional lines in the slabs - I specifically told the fab shop I needed the two pieces to 'flow' the same direction, and that is exactly what they did. Not everyone is aware of how the different slabs will 'react' with each other and like a couple of the above posters, I do think that your two pieces are flowing in different directions.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked new-beginning
  • flopsycat1

    Can someone explain the rational for French mitre seams? I have heard that that would be the preferred method for this type of granite installation. Thank you.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked flopsycat1
  • Jora

    I have a very strong astigmatism in my eyes, even glasses don't help me see better, I saw both the seam and the color variation right away.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked Jora
  • Itza Gonzalez

    Thanks all - while we are at it any suggestions fro back splash tile and paint colors - pictures will be appreciated !

  • DrB477

    Seen better, seen worse. You may not be thrilled but going to be tough to do anything about it short of you paying for a redo. If you have a coffee maker or other countertop appliance, that's going to be a good spot for it...

    Itza Gonzalez thanked DrB477
  • Rachel Nye
    Are there any scrap pieces left? You can have them make you a cutting board and keep it on top of it.
    Itza Gonzalez thanked Rachel Nye
  • M Miller

    You should have gone to the templating layout at the fabricators, before any cuts were made. That way you would have seen this in advance. However, there was likely no help for it unless you bought another slab. That’s why they said “The slab was not long enough. So we had to take a lower part of the slab underneath where we cut originally for the sink run, and try to find the best piece to match it.”

    Perhaps though you would have been willing to purchase a second slab if you’d known in advance that the pieces would not match exactly (had you gone to the templating layout before fabrication). Would you have been willing to purchase a second slab?

    Itza Gonzalez thanked M Miller
  • dan1888

    As mentioned, this is another example of completely avoidable problem. It's infinitely important to be involved with templating and seaming. You can OK these before you agree to let the stone be delivered. Doing it this way takes all the pressure off that you otherwise feel at installation and puts it on the fabricator where it belongs. This is a good lesson for anyone.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked dan1888
  • bkeithaz

    LOL, Flopsy! I was just thinking about how Sophie would have weighed in about a French mitre seam here... As I recall, the rationale for a French mitre is that it guards against the seam material cracking due to the natural movement (expansion) of the cabinets which support the counter.

    Although, if the OP is wondering my quartz counters were installed with butted seams and are doing fine going on three years. And others here have reported the same.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked bkeithaz
  • shead

    Give it six months and you'll be far less bothered by it than you are today. As someone else mentioned, you'd have had to purchase another slab for a small section of it. Frankly, I don't think I would have purchased a second slab just for it to match up better. Maybe at templating, the template could have been moved to have gotten a better "match" but at this point, you'll never know.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked shead
  • sprtphntc7a

    i think the seam is fine.

    with natural stone, variations are inevitable and this is why you must be there when templating occurs - as stated above

    Itza Gonzalez thanked sprtphntc7a
  • midcenturymodernlove

    It bothers me. The "movement" of the stone should at least be going in the same direction even if you can't have a match. This appears to have changed directions and be a different tone.

    I have seamed counters like that and you can't even tell where the seam is without looking closely. And I did exactly what designers hate - I "hired a guy" who did a side job for me. Stone isn't perfect but the seams are nearly invisible.

    I'd get used to it (if the price were right).

    Itza Gonzalez thanked midcenturymodernlove
  • Shannon_WI

    On my screen it looks fine. The stone itself is very beautiful, and most people would be thrilled. The two pieces in that one area don't match exactly, but it IS a natural stone, right? Oh, the perfection that people seek! The dissatisfaction when Mother Nature doesn't comply! It's a stone. Quarried from the Earth. If the goal was to have uniformity, the OP should have picked Quartz.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked Shannon_WI
  • silken1

    I think once you get the back splash finished and get settled into your new kitchen, you will begin to "not see it". Your stone is beautiful. Right now it is the focal point because it is likely one of the most recent things you installed.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked silken1
  • acm

    (as for backsplash, I'd pick a solid tile in a tone taken from the stone, something like a pale gray or taupe.)

    Itza Gonzalez thanked acm
  • Itza Gonzalez

    I can't thank all of you enough for weighing and helping me see all sides of this issue - I LOVE the stone - the colors in it are perfect in my kitchen - I do understand about color variation and we can't make what nature creates fit into a neat little box. I do understand that there has to be a seam "somewhere". I am not happy about the change in the direction - I also know that the slab was only but "so big". I also know that it was over 50 square feet for my kitchen needs and they had set aside a slab and a half - how they get the other half is a mystery to me BUT I do know that someone else purchased this type of stone AFTER me and they had theirs cut/installed at around the same time and I am wondering if that affected the "availability" of what I may have needed for a "better" match. I do know that another stone in this lot was not suitable because it actually looked like it had purple in it. So a lot of variables. Can anything be done with the color of whatever is used to fill in the seam to make it less obvious. It only looks really, really bad in one spot, now that I am getting used to it.

  • ldecor54

    I see what your saying. Actually the seam itself looks good just not a great match. They are not going to redo your countertops I’ll guess. And unfortunately they did not involve you in the process and you didn’t get yourself involved. Hard lesson. Keep backsplash plain, enough movement going on with your pretty countertops.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked ldecor54
  • barncatz

    Yes, they can adjust seam color a bit. Before they come out to take their photos, you could ask them to send someone out and modify the portion of seam color that you hate.

    I'd talk to them about what can and can't be done for you. And think about it after that conversation - there's a lot of variation in that top and you may not like the fix.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked barncatz
  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio

    I had a quite bad match of the seam to the granite, and also the seam was not tight. I did tell the installer that it had to be fixed (after he told me that it couldn't be made better!) and he did fix it, making it tighter and a better color match.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    "Is my disappointment unwarranted?"

    Absolutely. If you wanted inconspicuous seams you should have chosen Corian.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked Joseph Corlett, LLC
  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    Of course the stone changed direction unless you bought two slabs and requested the layout to look lik eone piece there needs to be a seam and the stone needs to run in another direction when it turns a corner. I am puzzed by the statement you don’t know where they got the 1/2 slab you should have seen both pieces and signed off on them. Slabs can vary a lot one from the other they are a natural material

    Itza Gonzalez thanked Patricia Colwell Consulting
  • PRO
    JudyG Designs

    That’s why I love quartz!

    Itza Gonzalez thanked JudyG Designs
  • barncatz

    JudyG, couldn't resist. This is quartz. One of many Houzz threads about quartz matching issues.

    Itza Gonzalez thanked barncatz
  • Kari Nielsen

    I just had my (Caesarstone Cosmopolitian White) quartz installed and was devastated by the seam...

    1. I was there for template and insisted on one piece, even signed off that it would be one piece - then they showed up with 3 pieces and did a seam at the sink (!!?)
    2. The long seam appears dark. When I questioned them they said it would lighten up. It’s been 4 days and if anything it seems darker. Perhaps I’m just fixating in it!
      Need opinions and advice if anything can be done. Perhaps “changing the color in the seam”, as I was reading earlier in this thread? Would that help?
      Have spent so much time and money on my kitchen it’s a real let down to have a seam at the sink....

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC


    There's nothing wrong with your seams.

  • Lynda

    Kari - I also would not be happy with the seams UNLESS they do lighten up. The darker color is the issue.

  • ldecor54

    Kari: if you signed off on one piece, then I too would be upset. They don’t look so great to me either.

  • live_wire_oak

    Nothing wrong with those seams.

  • PRO
    Bohemian Stoneworks

    I don't see anything wrong with the seams at all. Right now you are fixated on the seam because you know it's there. The back seam at the faucet hole will be barely visible once the faucet is installed. The front and side seam are perfectly fine.... there are so many 'so called professionals' that install counters with seams much more apparent then the ones you have.

    Most important is that they are leveled at the seam and the seam is completely filled with epoxy.

  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio

    They do look like nice narrow seams, but I wonder why they have that dark appearance when the epoxy (when looked at closely) is light? Joe Corlett and live_wire_oak, is there some sort of reaction between the epoxy and the quartz?

    More importantly, why was she promised no seams ("one piece") and ended up with 2? I would be focused on that, myself.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan

    The fundamental problem here is the slab choice is from two different "bundles". Did you see these in person at the fabricator location? Did you make notes of the exact slab numbers on the side of the slabs. Did you work on site with the fabricator to ensure the "templates" were done to your satisfaction? I would bet these are two slabs are from two different bundles and hence two different tones of stone. So, if they think they did great, and you answered "no" to most of my above questions, buy some interesting wood cutting boards, and a couple colorful appliances and get them on the counter and the stone will become "background". If it will drive you crazy, go to another stone yard and select three slabs from the same bundle and take the steps I described above. I wouldn't be happy at all because I demand much more involvement in this process. They just did the job the cheapest way possible. If the stone was from the same bundle it would be better but you would still have visual issues. Sorry. This is a big investment for most people and it is a shame they didn't raise the potential issues with you. That is worst part.

  • live_wire_oak

    Travel and install logistics also factor into the number of seams. What is possible in theory on a slab at the yard may not be possible in fact given the weight, travel path, or transport distance. You can’t get some large pieces into a home without cutting them in half. Freight elevators have size limitations. Doors do too. Stairs. Think of a piece of stone as a king size mattress but with no flexibility.

    Some pieces with cutouts would be too long and unstable for transport, even reinforced with suction cups and bracing. There may not be the physical room for 5 large guys to carry the stone. A lot more goes into having a seam other than if a section can physically fit on the size of the slab,

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    "... is there some sort of reaction between the epoxy and the quartz?"

    No, but lighter top colors like these are some of the most difficult to get good adhesive match.

  • Kari Nielsen

    Thank you for the responses! The company is coming out to “correct the seams” - still doesn’t make me happy that I have even HAVE a seam at sink when I signed off to have one piece along the back.
    I just hope that when they come to “fix” the seam they don’t make it worse. - Kari

  • shead

    Yes, making it worse IS a strong possibility. I had that happen in my last kitchen.

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