What is a seam?
Seams are the joins of two or more pieces of stone. Usually the joint area is epoxy glued using colored compound to match the stone color. The gap between two countertop pieces is usually no wider than 1/16".
Why to seam the counter tops?
- Stone slab size may be too small to cover entire run of the countertop.
- The size, shape and weight of the counter tops may require seams to avoid breakage of stone during the installation and later on when the tops are exposed to excessive usage forces.
- The cabinet layout, placement of sinks, undercounter appliances, cook tops, or other cutouts may require using seams.
- Access to the job site (kitchen, bathrom) may be limited by narrow hallways, staircases, elevators that would obstruct normal stone delivery.
- The type of material may require seams to avoid breakage during installation and use.
Are the seams visible?
The visibility of seams will depend on the structure, color and pattern of stone used. A seam on small, uniform grain stone will not be as apparent as a larger speckled stone. Typically dark color stone seams will be less apparent, than a light color stone. A dramatic pattern will show more seams than a uniform stone pattern.
Can seams fail?
Yes. Most common reason for cracked seam is an uneven or insufficient countertop support, foundation/framing settlement of new built homes, or countertop abuse.
Can broken seams be repaired?
In most cases the seam can be repaired although it's a good idea to fix the cause of breakage first. Once the root cause of cracking is eliminated, the seam can be repaired. The process will involve cleaning up old glue, proper counter top piece alignment and application of fresh epoxy glue matching the color of it as applicable.
Even though the stone is considered a hard surface, it still can chip. If a chip occurs, do not throw out the chipped pieces. They can be used to fix the countertop, in many cases no one will be able to tell it was ever chipped.
The chip repair procedure depends on the type of stone. While small chips on granite surface can be just filled with translucent epoxy glue, some chips may require stone dust to be ad-mixed to imitate the structure of underlaying piece.
The chips on marble or onyx surfaces may be little bit more challenging. The filler glue will require the color ad-mix to match the glue color to the stone as close as possible. On some very uniform or very dramatic patterns, the chip repairs can be well visible.
Almost every stone counter top is sealed after the installation. The role of a sealer is to protect the stone from stains and substances that may destroy the stone surface. Especially highly polished marble and onyx tops shall be very well sealed to prevent from surface etching that will normally result in loss of the finish and shine.
The sealer shall be ocassionally re-applied as it wears off while you use or clean the tops.
The procedure to re-apply the sealer involves 3 steps:
- Removal of old sealer
- Counter top clean-up and optional stain removal
- Application of new sealer
It's recommended to use good quality sealers for long lasting protection.
Re-attachment of the sink.
In some cases undermount sinks detach from the counter tops and recess causing the gap and water leaks into the cabinet.
Undermount sink is attached to the srone using the anchors that are glued into the stone underneath of the stone top. The anchors may fail if the sink with it's contents (dishes and water) weight is excessive. The water may then leak through open gap and damage your cabinet and floor. It's very important to address such issue as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
The re-atachement of the sink may involve installation of additional anchors or other support to prevent detachment in the future. Once the sink is re-attached, the gap in between sink rim and the stone top is being sealed with clear silicone.
Additional utility holes drilling.
In case you need to install additional appliance like filtered water valve or erator switch, we can drill appropriate sized holes to accept such fixtures.
Attachement of new dish washer.
If you have new dish washer, most likely it needs to be attached to the counter top to maintain it's alignment with the cabinets.
This may require removal of old anchors and installation of new to accomodate to new layout of dish washer mounting edge.
We can provide with such service on existing counter tops already in place.