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Seam in granite counter top

HU-362434778
3 years ago

Hello All,

I'm new to posting on houzz but I figured this would be the place to let me know if I am incorrect about what I think of the seam on granite countertops I just had installed. They were installed yesterday. The installers were leaving as I was just getting home (I have other workers in the house when I am not at home) and the installers commented as I was arriving that seams are normal.

I looked at it more closely this morning and I thought this can't be right. It looks chipped and dirty already. I have attached a picture and I apologize for the quality it's tough to get a good focus.


I don't think this is acceptable. Am I out of line?

Your thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks




Comments (50)

  • hummingalong2
    3 years ago

    From a color point of view, it's too light. Hard to comment further on your picture.

  • cpartist
    3 years ago

    Please try and get a better photo.

    How wide is the seam?

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  • HU-362434778
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    I tried multiple times to get better pictures. This is probably the best I'm going to get with my phone. It shows what one sees when looking downward on the seam


    As you walk up to the counter you can see the chips.


    The seam at its narrowest points is 1/16 of an inch.


    I looked on the web and it appeared that in general the seams were a little wider but were cleanly filled in.



    Your thoughts are appreciated.


  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    3 years ago

    Run a black Sharpie down that thing; it'll be perfect.

    HU-362434778 thanked Joseph Corlett, LLC
  • HU-362434778
    Original Author
    3 years ago


    Sorry for the reflections and all but this is what one sees walking up to the counter top.

  • bichonbabe
    3 years ago

    It looks pretty bad to me. Beth has given you good advice. And no sharpie!

    HU-362434778 thanked bichonbabe
  • HU-362434778
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Joseph Corlett, LLC: Yeah, a sharpie. You betcha.


  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    3 years ago

    sure joseph. let me pay 4K or 6K, or whatever they paid for slab/install, only to have me touch up their shoddy work w/a sharpie. seriously? Hey, here's a thought, how about the fabricator/installer use a nice, fresh blade that won't chip the stone, and learn how to match up the epoxy color for a nice seam? Homeowners should not have to use a Sharpie.

    Honestly, if no one calls them on their crap, then how are they going to learn to do it correctly? after a few times of having to eat their profit, they'll get the big picture.

    now if OP wants to accept the work at a discount, then sure, he can use the Sharpie.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    3 years ago

    Beth is correct. Poor cutting blade for this type granite. I've done the "Sharpie" fix and it is OK, but not after I just paid for something new. And mine was from a "spec" house install. So, if you paid for a good quality fabrication and install, I would discuss with Manager to see what they can do to improve this or give you discount.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago






    Duh.

  • smileythecat
    3 years ago

    I have used black and brown sharpies for years, for all sorts of touch ups, floors, furniture , and so on. Great tool I always have with me.

  • live_wire_oak
    3 years ago

    The Standard distance to judge snything is 36” back. From that distance, a sharpie is all that’s needed. Nothing looks good close up.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Hey Joseph, smartass? Seriously? Long time no hear. Take a vacation? Apparently not long enough.
    The fact that you would advise someone to use a Sharpie to disguise poor install doesn't say much about your expectation. If this was a DIY project then great. But paying a pro thousands of dollars for crappy work and accepting it sounds like bs to me. Read my statement again, if they want to receive a discount and use a sharpie, great. Better yet, have the installer use the sharpie. That way when it’s done and it still looks like crap, the homeowner won’t be blamed for it.


    I've posted 5 diff pics of dark granite with great seams and no Sharpie. Is it too much to ask that all installs look like that?

    you all are missing the point of what I'm saying. If people pay to have a proper install w/a properly done seam then one should not have to use bubble gum and baling wire to fix it. I know that seam could be done properly. If you all want to pay for sub-par work, that's on you.

  • HU-362434778
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Thank you all for your responses. From the information provided here as well as web searches I've found there are two schools of thought on this topic.

    One is that chips can be avoided at seams by utilizing certain sawing techniques, sawing direction and through saw blade selection.

    The other is that chips at seams cannot be avoided.


    Looking at the Terms and Conditions of my granite supplier, it appears there is a sharpie in my future. It's been a learning experience.



  • Kathi Steele
    3 years ago

    We actually used a sharpie on our floor tile because I can't find a black grout that is black enough!! We don't have a lot, just a small bit and it looks great. I have only had to touch up a couple spots in our master bath after a few years.

    So, it looks like Joe may be right!! And he usually is!!


  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    kathi, if you had paid to have that floor tile and grout installed by a pro, and it didn't come out right, would you have still paid him the full amount and used your sharpie? (picking a black grout that isn't dark enough for your liking is not the same as having a poorly cut granite seam and the wrong color epoxy) Quite a diff from something needing touching up years later, and something you have to touch up after paying a pro to do it correctly, no?

    This is what the question was from the OP: I don't think this is acceptable. Am I out of line? we're talking about principle here, not products to cover up goofs. Of course the sharpie will work. I never said it wouldn't. I said the OP shouldn't have to use the sharpie if paying for a pro install. geez,,you people and your sharpies!


    HU3624,,,Sorry you have to resort to the sharpie. and absolutely chips at the seams can be avoided. people that tell you no have obviously never seen it done.

  • Kathi Steele
    3 years ago

    True.

    But, we used my husband! Works dirt cheap and puts up with my "helping" him!!!

    I think a pro would have told me that the black would not come out black enough??? Maybe??


    But, you are right about the seam. Chips are not okay. I assume it is because the blade was not sharp enough or not the right blade. And the seam really should not be "visible". Ours in our kitchen was not. Here is our seam.


    kathi_steele's ideas · More Info


  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    3 years ago

    that's a nice job joining the edges. there's no gap like OP had on his/hers.

    which black grout did you use? I used Mapei black w/my black marble and it's pretty black!

  • Kathi Steele
    3 years ago

    That was done by a professional!! Cambria quartz.

    We used the black sharpie on the floors in the bathrooms!! We used the black Mapei, but it still looked grey with the black floor tiles. So, we got the sharpie out and colored in between the tiles!!



  • HU-362434778
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Kathi Steele: I wasn't clear enough. The learning experience is that I will avoid anyone who would say use a sharpie.

    Take care.


  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    If you weren't at home during the "fix", and your INSTALLER ran a Sharpie down the seam, but told you some otherwise arduous grind and fix?? And it looked "perfect" ? What then hon?

    Get the Sharpie out. Don't get hung up on self righteous indignation and what should or should not be. If a thing looks perfect, it is perfect. Grout, caulk, etc. It's a filler. When it looks good, it's good. The only reason that seam doesn't is a phone pic highlighting a too light colorant. Just as a very fine/ minimal wrinkle on your face ......glares like a CRATER in the Rockies with an i phone. The main reason only twenty somethings take selfies 24 /7.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    3 years ago

    "The other is that chips at seams cannot be avoided."


    Nonsense. CNC or here's a picture of a seam finished with a Seam Phantom:





  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    "Nothing looks good close up."

    Depends on the cut quality, material, particulates, and movement. I fix other guys' screw-ups:









    Avonite^





    Engineered stone.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    "The learning experience is that I will avoid anyone who would say use a sharpie."


    The learning experience for your fabricator is to use the damn Sharpie before you see the seam.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    3 years ago

    "And the seam really should not be "visible". Ours in our kitchen was not."


    Kathi:


    You have an excellent seam, especially considering the movement in your estone, however, it is important, as they taught us in Corian school, to set customer expectations at "inconspicuous", not "invisible".


    Even in solid color Corian, with factory color match adhesive, seams can usually be detected if you know where to look. "Highly inconspicuous" occasionally, but no one gets invisible. Ever.

  • zellenpat
    3 years ago

    For your piece of mind ask for a site visit by a manager. But I think that sharpie is in your future.

  • Kathy
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Joseph—-the granite installer must have sent you to fix my granite. The seam was the first thing I saw when I walked in the room after they installed my granite. I thought I was stuck with it but they sent out a specialist and he colored the seam with some type of colors to match the pattern, sealed it, and as you say it is detectable but not obvious.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    3 years ago

    Joe, so true. Just as no designer give back the yard or three left from curtains, A necessary insurance policy for a flaw, skipping a cut if necessary.........but the end user will be convinced you over ordered and that yardage could have covered planet earth. Your steak hit a floor in that five star restaurant? Don't think for ONE second it goes anywhere but back on the grill, kids.

  • Chessie
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I don't think even a Sharpie would be enough to make ME happy with that cut - it IS rough. And yes I am damn particular. I would have discussed the seam, and my expectations, before I ever hired the guy.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    3 years ago

    What I'd like to know is where is that seam relative to a larger picture. I see a dishwasher.......stand BACK and post another photo. Where's the sink?

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    3 years ago

    Don't hold your breath Jan. We haven't even gotten a picture of the Sharpied seam.

  • GreenDesigns
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    A closeup is NOT how to judge any seam. 3’ back, and it will all disappear. Which is why there has not been a pic from that distance. It invalidates the complaint. If someone has princess and the pea syndrome, they’ll be best served by engaging the best quality fabricator in their area. Not the lowest priced one.

  • Kathi Steele
    3 years ago

    Joe, I think my seam is excellent also! That's what I get for having a GC, cabinet maker and countertop people all on the same page!!!


  • M
    3 years ago

    I am quite particular about the work done on my house. But I also realize that mistakes will be made. On any sufficiently complex project that's inevitable. It doesn't actually bother me all that much. What does bother me is how mistakes are dealt with. If the contractor steps up to the task and fixes things, then honestly, I have higher regards for him than for the contractor who just got lucky and didn't make a mistake on my particular project (but probably on somebody else's).


    Some fixes look more solid to me than others; possibly because I don't know enough about the particular trade. And it took me years to accept that Bondo, wood filler, and yes, Sharpies are actually all entirely appropriate tools when fixing things. These days, I am more excited to watch the contractor fix things, because that's a great way for me to learn something new.


    On the other hand, I have had contractors who made mistakes and then quickly covered everything up with sheetrock instead of fixing the underlying problem. That gets me really upset, because in the end I still have to deal with the problem myself.

  • HU-362434778
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    "The other is that chips at seams cannot be avoided."

    Nonsense. CNC or here's a picture of a seam finished with a Seam Phantom


    Please re-read my post. Two schools of thought.

  • HU-362434778
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Here's the best photo I could capture with my cell phone. It is taken from 3 feet away. The resolution is 1960 by 4032. The full image is compressed and scaled by the upload so I cut the seam section out (in Paint at 100% resolution) and pasted it in a separate image which I also uploaded. This is the second image.


    This is what you see from 3 feet away:

    The installer is coming out Friday. I'll see if he uses a sharpie and let you know.

    Thanks


  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Even less pretty is making a whoo hoo of something that most likely isn't. :) a whoo hoo at all.

    There are tolerances in nearly every facet of design. Might be a perfectly level floor, the 32 nd of an inch variation in custom curtains, or a hair trapped in your floor finish. You can make a really imperfect mess chasing absolute perfection.

    Wheres your sink? And why isn't the seam at the sink? Unless your DW is an odd locale and not adjacent?

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    3 years ago

    Unless I'm seeing things the seam locale is far worse than the seam itself!

    A non issue would have been the result if seamed at SINK MIDDLE.

    Unless I'm blind, that's a faucet reflection in the window, and a seam just right of sink????

  • PRO
    The Cook's Kitchen
    3 years ago

    Seaming at the sink would make that piece to the right the max width of a slab. It would have created a need for more overall stone to be used, which would have required an increase in the budget.

    With a darker color filler, it will be less noticable. Seams in very dark and very light homogenous stone show the most. This visibility is not helped by the light source shining directly across it. A seam in a dark stone will always be highly visible in that spot, no matter the color of filler, or the skill of the fabricator. Dark stone is a mirror. It amplifies everything. Every fingerprint, dust mote, or seam, always stands out more.

  • Skil367
    3 years ago

    This isn't a big deal. The photographs show a tight, competent seam. Use a sharpie.

  • HU-362434778
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    The piece to the right is the peninsula. The dishwasher is underneath it.



  • vinmarks
    3 years ago

    Why not try the sharpie on a small little test spot?

  • Bri Bosh
    3 years ago

    SHARPIE FOR PRESIDENT!

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!! Make America Sharpie Again!!

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    How to Sharpie a seam:

    Using a fat wet Sharpie, run about 5" along the seam. Quickly push a paper towel perpendicular to the seam to remove the excess from the stone. Repeat.

  • Kathi Steele
    3 years ago

    How did things turn out?? Any resolution??

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    3 years ago

    Kathi:


    I'll bet the fabricator came out, Sharpied, the seam looks great, and HU doesn't want to admit it.

  • Kathi Steele
    3 years ago

    BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    As always, you crack me up!!!

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    3 years ago

    Sharpies RULE!