The natural, authentic look of stone kitchen benchtops is one of the main factors that draws in so many homeowners. However, using natural materials does come with one aesthetic drawback—seams.
To use granite and quartz as benchtop materials, multiple separate slabs of stone must be joined together, leaving visible seams where they're connected. These seams are impossible to avoid completely with stone kitchen benches, but it is possible to reduce their appearance. Here are 3 tips on how to do it.
Choose the Right Stone
One way to reduce seam visibility is to cut down the number of seams needed to create your benchtops. You can do this by selecting a stone type that can be fabricated in larger slabs. Some types of stone are more fragile than others, and while they may be able to last a lifetime in your kitchen, they're not hardy enough to withstand the cutting and shipping process unless they're produced in smaller sizes. These materials are usually labelled 'exotic stone'. If you want fewer seams in your counters, it's best to avoid them and opt for the more durable granite instead.
Choose the Right Colour
Another way to make your seams less visible is to choose stone that's dark in colour with a solid or fine texture. With light grey, beige and white benchtops, the dark line of a seam will appear more stark than it does with deep grey and black stone. As for texture, seams are always more obvious when the patterns of two slabs don't line up. Simple textured stones (such as granite with fine speckling) generally line up more inconspicuously than stones with strong veining (such as black and white marble).
Choose an Experienced Fabricator
Above all else, hiring an experienced and reputable company to provide your benchtops will go a long way in reducing the appearance of seams. For starters, experienced fabricators tend to stock larger quantities of stone than other companies. Having more slabs to choose from makes it much easier to find two or more pieces of stone that match well in colour and pattern. On top of that, a good fabricator will be able to advise you on the best type of seam orientation for you, taking into account the size of your benchtops, the type of stone you've chosen, and how the benchtops will be positioned. Finally, the better your stone is cut, polished and joined with epoxy, the more seamless the appearance will be.