Stone Attributes and Installation Issues

Stone attributes.  Slab thickness, clarity, inclusions, and consistency of color and pattern are a few attributes that drive the cost of stone. If you are comparing multiple quotes, make sure you are comparing apples to apples.

Direction.  While granite is often nondirectional, many stone types have a visible direction that should remain the same throughout the entire kitchen or bathroom.

Patterns.  Inclusions in stone sometimes create patterns, referred to as movement, and should flow consistently from one piece to another. For example, patterns in the stone are typically run up the backsplash as well.

Seams.  Some companies piece together scraps of leftover stone and create more seams than necessary to minimize the amount of material used in fabrication. Though this decreases cost, it is considered poor workmanship. You should not have multiple seams in a short run, which is a run shorter than approximately 100 inches, unless the installer is working to keep the direction consistent. If your stone does not have a direction, you should not have multiple seams in a short run.

As part of the installation process, quality stone countertop installers will seal seams with polyester resin, which can be colored to match the stone. Known as a hard seam, this method is more durable and lasts longer than the cheaper soft seams used by some installers.

Edge profile.  In addition to straight, squared edges and rounded edges, a wide variety of more detailed edge profiles is available for stone countertops. With computer-controlled CNC equipment, custom edges are also available.