Achieving a perfect joint on granite and quartz worktops is a highly skilled task dependent on a number of factors, beginning at the template stage when the exact sizes are determined. If this is done incorrectly, the problems carry on all the way through fabrication and into final installation.
In the case of granite and quartz worktops, joints are essentially two pieces of worktop butted up against each other. When on site your fabricator should discuss where the joints need to be placed. Generally with granite and quartz worktops the maximum length for a single piece without jointing is 3000mm.
If the worktop has a cut-out for a hob or sink, the length of the top may need to be shorter if made out of granite, as once the cut-out is made the worktop becomes weak at the points either side of the hole. The longer the length the more likely the granite worktop will fracture on those points when moved during fabrication and installation.
Once made, all the fabricated worktop pieces are placed on the base units in their final position, without adhesive. They will be checked for the correct size, shape and direction in relation to the cabinet and walls. All exposed edges and corners are checked as well as the surface level with a spirit level and long ruler. Any discrepancies found then need to be rectified using wedge packers to make the surfaces 100% level. A space of 1mm should also be left between the surface edge and the wall, this allows for expansion and contraction.
At Cheshire Granite Worktops we endeavour to make the joint as inconspicuous as possible with a coloured matched epoxy resin used between the two pieces. In general, our joints are less than 3mm wide. Silicone should never be used to seal seams, although this is bad practice with some fabricators as it’s a quick and easy way of sealing and highly ineffective.
The worktops are checked for any dust or debris and only then is the sealer applied to both sides of the seam. They are closed with professional seaming clamps. When the adhesive is completely dry the clamps are removed and excess adhesive removed with a sharp blade. Final cleaning is with alcohol and a clean cloth. If the worktops are having upstands installed, flexible adhesive is then used between the wall and worktop, such as 100% silicone. This prevents water from entering the back of the cabinet.
Always ask your fabricator how they will template and install your worktops, as workmanship and quality levels can vary across the stone industry. Remember not all joints are created equal!
If you have any questions about how we manufacture and install granite and quartz worktops, call into the Knutsford factory and we can discuss and show you examples of our work. Contact Donna on 01565 300065 to arrange an appointment, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.