Countertop Seams - Affect Perceived Value?

 
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:13 PM   #1
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Countertop Seams - Affect Perceived Value?


Hi folks.

I ordered a Silestone countertop with installation for a kitchen renovation in a condo in Boston. The location is excellent - within a short walk of Harvard University - but the old place was so bad and rundown looking. The client will be selling the place, so it's for increasing the value.

I paid $2160 for the countertop with installation - that is just 25 sq ft in one main section and one tiny section. The long piece is about 8 feet long with a tiny L only 2 inches coming off it. I really wanted it one piece. I am putting an undermount sink in it.

So, the installer comes and makes a template and then comes back up and says he wants to put a seam in the center of the sink. He says they won't be able to carry it up the stairs.

I take the template and show them that it's possible to move it up the stairs, keeping the piece vertical (never laying it flat). But the counter itself will be 250 pounds and pretty delicate with the sink cutout leaving 3 inches on front and back.

So my question is, how much do you think a seam in the middle of the sink would affect the perceived value of a counter? Am I being a hard ass to even consider saying I want them to keep it one piece?

What would you do? I'm leaning toward saying "Okay cut the seam".
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:22 PM   #2
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Re: Countertop Seams - Affect Perceived Value?


Better a seam than a snapped countertop....it's barely noticeable anyway, when placed at the sink opening.

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Old 06-19-2008, 06:24 PM   #3
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Re: Countertop Seams - Affect Perceived Value?


I would never allow a seam in a top that was able to be done without it. It is more likely lazyness on the installers part. Also, most stone guys I know would not put the seam at the sink. They say it is more likely to be broken during transport and install.
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:25 PM   #4
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Re: Countertop Seams - Affect Perceived Value?


seams are a unfortunately unavoidable, silestone seams, IF done properly are tight a clean, dont sweat it, trust the installers, IF they are pros
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:58 PM   #5
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Re: Countertop Seams - Affect Perceived Value?


If they know what they're doing, they should be able to bring it up in one piece. They can reinforce the thin sections with steel rods.

When they bring it up, a long bar & clamps will keep it stable until it's ready to lay in place.
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Old 06-19-2008, 07:14 PM   #6
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Re: Countertop Seams - Affect Perceived Value?


If I'm the installer I'd just let you sign off on the liability and let you carry it up just like you did the template,wham=no seam no poor installer paying when the odds weren't in his favor anyway. Otherwise Silestone seams when done right are almost invisible. Atleast he asked first instead of just showing up. This isn't Homer D by chance is it? That would change things a little.
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Old 06-19-2008, 07:16 PM   #7
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Re: Countertop Seams - Affect Perceived Value?


I would put a seam down the middle of the sink as a total last resort, and I mean very last, dead last, I can't even tell you how last that would be. Ugly, I don't care how well they match it, still ugly, still in the most used section of the counter top and therefore the most visible and also the weakest point. No way.

Tell them to bring a couple of extra guys or screw them. That's ridiculous to me.

They used to bring pianos up to the 5th floors of buildings in NYC on ropes outside the windows. These baffoons can't get silestone in?
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:42 PM   #8
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Re: Countertop Seams - Affect Perceived Value?


I'm not familiar with this particular product,
so this is a legit question.
Can't they cut/rout the sink c/o on site?
I've had more than one stone or solid surface
top cut out in place for just this reason,
sometimes the fabricators choice.
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:53 PM   #9
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Re: Countertop Seams - Affect Perceived Value?


Like granite, they can cut self-rimming range tops in the field (makes a huge mess though)--but undermounts require wet polishing of the exposed cutout edge.
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:56 PM   #10
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Re: Countertop Seams - Affect Perceived Value?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrWright View Post
Like granite, they can cut self-rimming range tops in the field (makes a huge mess though)--but undermounts require wet polishing of the exposed cutout edge.
Aaah! Missed the "undermount" bit.


In that case, give them a 24" rip of plywood
and a few 6" QuickClamps
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:30 PM   #11
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Re: Countertop Seams - Affect Perceived Value?


No way any granite/silestone countertop fabricator-installer will ever convince me that they need to cut it in the midlle of the sink (never again).

I've finally found some true professionals to install on my easy and problematic counter tops/bath tops... the last bathroom redo we did involved precise measurements and special details, my guys handled and muscled-up a 200lb of granite upstairs while I was down stairs talking to my clients assuring them that these guys are real pro's they had all the granite covered with drop cloths, clamps all around the cut-out for air tub, holes drilled for fixtures.Time took to install was 1 hour to secure to rough top,square up and level along with taking the other counter tops for the custom cab's.

To make a short story my LAST installer cut the silestone in the middle of the sink area and I went ballistic WTF you didn't tell me that in advance.

Your clients and your eyes will go to that seam joint like it had a bad disease.
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Old 06-21-2008, 06:55 AM   #12
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Re: Countertop Seams - Affect Perceived Value?


I sent you a PM.

If you don't want the seam, they can do that if it's possible to make it up. You could be given a weight charge for it though.
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:29 PM   #13
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Re: Countertop Seams - Affect Perceived Value?


umm two things. One if i was building that top and you told me i couldnt cut then i would make you let me do the cut out work in the kitchen. Second, there is no way on a solid top i would put the seam through the sink. I can see he is trying to make the seam less visible by making it shorter. But that is just a very weak spot and most likely to create a leak because of the compouded seams. I think he would do better to put it somewhere under the uppers where a seam is in shadows. Some of those silestone guys CAN make seams disapper depending on the color and pattern of the top. All that to say if the work is done well i doubt the percieved value would drop. Do you percieve less value in a house when there are seams in a long stretch of base?
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:33 PM   #14
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Re: Countertop Seams - Affect Perceived Value?


Under no occasion would I allow a seam in any cutout. Sink or otherwise. I think it is time to find another Silestone guy.

At $86.44 / ft they should bring lunch for you and the homeowner during the install.
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Old 06-24-2008, 05:44 PM   #15
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Re: Countertop Seams - Affect Perceived Value?


Nothing like corian seams, Completely Invisible.
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:06 PM   #16
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Re: Countertop Seams - Affect Perceived Value?


You can make the cutout not quite complete. You leave two 1" sections on the left and right side of the cutout and one 1" section on the front and back of the cut out. Then remove the sections with a jigsaw and then belt sand it flush. The way most of the strength is still there while they carry it and it only takes a few minutes to remove the cutout with minimum dust.
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:35 PM   #17
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Re: Countertop Seams - Affect Perceived Value?


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You can make the cutout not quite complete. You leave two 1" sections on the left and right side of the cutout and one 1" section on the front and back of the cut out. Then remove the sections with a jigsaw and then belt sand it flush. The way most of the strength is still there while they carry it and it only takes a few minutes to remove the cutout with minimum dust.
That won't work with an undermount sink.
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:38 PM   #18
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Re: Countertop Seams - Affect Perceived Value?


Why? You don't think they could polish the cuts to look good enough. I've seen them polish stone on sight without any problems.
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:50 PM   #19
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Re: Countertop Seams - Affect Perceived Value?


I'd love to see that. It's bad enough when they field cut a cooktop drop in....even with a shop vac it makes a holy hell of a mess.

An edge polish for an undermount sink is only going to look right with a wet polish which can't be done in the field.

And there's no way you're going to cut it with a jig saw.
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:07 PM   #20
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Re: Countertop Seams - Affect Perceived Value?


Just strap it to a piece of plywood. It won't add that much weight & will get the job done.
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