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I have a customer I'm working for that had someone install some quartz countertops and the seams they made feel pretty rough to me. They went over it again today with what ever seamfil they use and it still feels pretty rough to the touch. I'm wondering if this is normal. There was some minor chipping on the edge of it when it was cut is were the roughness is coming from.
 

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I have a customer I'm working for that had someone install some quartz countertops and the seams they made feel pretty rough to me. They went over it again today with what ever seamfil they use and it still feels pretty rough to the touch. I'm wondering if this is normal. There was some minor chipping on the edge of it when it was cut is were the roughness is coming from.
It should be an epoxy mix that gets worked in with the correct coloring. After sanding and polishing, it should not be that noticeable.







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The seams are not polished. They are not invisible. Seams are typically put together with epoxy or polyester resin that has had tint added to it to color match the predominant color in the material. The adhesive is applied to the seam then the pieces are pulled together. Before the glue has fully cured you use a razor blade to trim it flush. This is where the skill is involved. Some installers are much better than others at color matching and making seams tight and flush.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The seams are not polished. They are not invisible. Seams are typically put together with epoxy or polyester resin that has had tint added to it to color match the predominant color in the material. The adhesive is applied to the seam then the pieces are pulled together. Before the glue has fully cured you use a razor blade to trim it flush. This is where the skill is involved. Some installers are much better than others at color matching and making seams tight and flush.
The joint that was made was pretty flush. It's just the corners of the stone had some minor chipping and was filled. The color the guy mixed was pretty fair but it feels rough. Perhaps the guy waited until it was too dry before he tried to shave the excess off and there was some chipping of the filler. This was the first time I was in a house when any of the counter top work was done so I haven't seen how it was done.
 

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I've only seen it done with the same polishers as are used on granite after razor blade trimming. The guy that I saw do it was pretty obviously using a lighter pressure on the polisher than I had seen used on Granite. Product was Silestone.

I looked for a youtube video, but couldn't find one for quartz. I did find this:

http://www.stoneworld.com/articles/85183
 

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It's very that rare any polishing is done on site. All the cutting and prep work is done at the shops, the material comes in polished slabs, the CT companies just cut and edge it. Normally, the company comes in and makes templates, then prepares the slabs to those. There are good companies and some that might not be so good. Chipped edges on joints are not common. I would guess their cutting was not as fine as it should be. Good companies don't rely on filler. Like Ttharp said, getting joints tight and in line is the art of the installer, the razor blades are used to feel if the tops are level with each other and to cut off the adhesive. The job was probably done by a discount company or a low bidder.
 

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The one time I saw anyone do the polishing, was right after quartz had come out. Maybe the guy didn't know any other way to do it, and had been used to doing granite. He was good at it. That was the only time I had ever seen a Silestone install, and have not seen it installed since.
 

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Tom King said:
I've only seen it done with the same polishers as are used on granite after razor blade trimming. The guy that I saw do it was pretty obviously using a lighter pressure on the polisher than I had seen used on Granite. Product was Silestone. I looked for a youtube video, but couldn't find one for quartz. I did find this: http://www.stoneworld.com/articles/85183

The issue addressed in the article is the only way to fix a high low issue in a seam. The method they used in the article is insufficient as well. Taking a 4" or a 3" alpha pad and trying to flatten the stones surface is something I have never seen anyone possess the skill to do. If the surface has to be repolished a 12" or larger planetary polisher should be used (an even then you will be able to tell it has been surface polished by hand). The larger surface keeps things flatter. Stopping at 1000 grit would still leave visible scratches that's why he used the buff pad I guess. If this process was done in someone's home, I would not want to clean it up. This is a wet process and the amount of water introduced into the room would be ridiculous. Smaller areas can be dry polished with some success such as a seam that meets at an inside corner. You would never get away with this on the surface of a slab. Silestone is a name brand of one of the SS quartz counter tops available today. This is a man made product that contains pieces of quartz.

I would suspect that what you observed was the use of a buffing Pad on the seam in attempt to give the adhesive the same sheen as the silestone.


From the posts it sounds like the installer used standard trade practices on the install. Without pictures it's hard to tell if he just did a bad job.

The seam may have been cut with a dull blade or at too high of a feed rate causing some small chip out. Could have been cut with a water jet also with the wrong settings. These days the fabricator doing the cutting and the installer are usually different people.

Just my 2 cents
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The stuff was different than anything I've ever seen before. I suspect looking at it the material it is more brittle than granite. What blew me away is when I went under the sink to re-install the plumbing light from the window above was coming through the 3cm countertop.

I doubt if the homeowner will every get the seams on the counter top fixed. They can't get the fabricator to come back out and the homeowner is too mild manored to even complain. His wife seem to think he was going to accept it like it was. His wife was going to just ask the guy if there was anything else that could be done with the seams.
 

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Bummer. I hate jacklegs that pass off bad work for good and drive the labor rate down for everyone else.
You can be sure that they have a pretty penny in those countertops too. Silestone prices are up there with the cost of upper mid to high priced granite varieties.
 

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Bummer. I hate jacklegs that pass off bad work for good and drive the labor rate down for everyone else.
You can be sure that they have a pretty penny in those countertops too. Silestone prices are up there with the cost of upper mid to high priced granite varieties.
Yea, I don't get it. They are unhappy with the seams and pointed it out to me. I told them I didn't like them and that it wouldn't be unreasonable to complain. Since I don't do that kind of work I couldn't tell them exactly what the problem was and a solution. I have passed along the info that was discussed here.
 
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