Solid as a Rock

Stuff got the best of me last week (don’t worry, it was good stuff – an unexpected 3-day trip and fabulous weather) and I never got it together enough to show you the final piece of the counter-top puzzle.  A quick recap:

So, you know we had this desk we did not want:

So we took it out and  Russ built these in its place:

Meanwhile the granite spent the winter on the porch:

Until we cleaned it:

Yep, all caught up now.

Okay, so the plan was to take the piece of granite that once was the desktop and have the bullnose edges cut off that piece and the adjoining piece next to it.  Then, we’d (well not us, but you get the idea) seam them together to make one level, uninterrupted counter that would wrap around the corner of the kitchen where the new cabinets were.  Sounds good in theory, right?  Granite guy said it was totally do-able.  He came, measured, and took away two of our four counters and for a week we worried a little wondered  if it would really work.

(OK, for me probably more than a little wondering. I kept thinking we were going to have this GIANT seam that would be the new focal point of the kitchen. As in, “Welcome to our home, would you like something to drink?  Oh dear, don’t set your glass there, it might fall into the giant crevasse in the counter!”)

Alright, I wasn’t that worried.  What I was more concerned about was that the whole piece would look like an addition, instead of something that had been part of the original design.  More along the lines of “Hey these folks were too cheap to buy a new slab, so they just super- glued these two pieces together and called it good!”

Yes, Mama, I worry too much.  In this case, at least, I didn’t need to worry at all.

So Granite Guy brought the two pieces in question in and laid them out, just as a dry fit to make sure all was well.  I knew as soon as he laid it out that it was going to be great:

Both these edges were cut:

The dark gray line in the picture above is the remnants of the old caulk from where the backsplash had previously been. They just scraped it off with a razor blade.  They had to shim one spot (Russ would like for me to point out that it was the old cabinets that were not level, not the ones he built!) and then they got out this interesting device:

Note: the following description is highly technical not written by a stone fabricator or an engineer.  You want more exacting language?  Google is your friend!

So that machine is some sort of magical (and loud) vacuum pump that lifts up the adjoining granite pieces so they are perfectly level (checked by running a razor blade back and forth across the seam) with each other.  Oh, and we’re talking teeny-tiny fractions here, the big leveling was already done.  Then, the machine crams the pieces together.  Prior to the cramming stage, Granite Guy mixed up some very stinky epoxy resin stuff (color matched very nicely to the stone) and shoved it in the gap.  Obviously the goo had some sort of chemical reaction going on because it and the dixie cup it was in got pretty toasty.  There was also a small amount of smoke involved.  Science!

So after 20 minutes or so of the goo hardening and the machine cramming the pieces together (and idle chit-chat about various types of countertops) everything was solid.

Granite Guy dry fitted the old back-splashes into the new configuration and went out to his truck to lop off the excess with a 4″ saw I KNOW my husband was quietly coveting. Backsplash going in:

They installed the backsplash and away they went.  Magic.  Look how much counter space that gave us!

See, no GIANT CREVASSE to swallow up your wine glass. Good thing too, since there’s no telling what red wine would do to these precious counters.

What’s that?  Oh, I’m cheating, you say.  Of course you can’t see the seam from that distance. Fine!

Still can’t see it? Perhaps your retinas are still damaged from this post.  Or maybe they just did a really nice job. Look closer:

Hardly the epic crater I was worried about.

One pointer about seams I got from Granite Guy – granite slabs with small, random yet tightly spaced patterns (like ours) will hide seams far better than slabs with large patterns and lots of movement (think big swirls or waves).  Just another point to ponder if you’re in the market for new counter tops!

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5 Responses to Solid as a Rock

  1. Emily says:

    Manifique!!

  2. Lisa says:

    The new counter configuration looks gorgeous! Good job redoing it all!

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