Customers are giving lot of attention these days to a granite or marble island with the aim of making it to be the focal point. The task of fabricating an island, specially if your island is more than 10 feet long, has few challenges which at times can be frustrating. We’re talking about the frustration you can feel when you’re forced to have a seam right smack in the middle of your gorgeous new natural stone island countertop. Nobody likes seams. They may not be blaringly obvious. But they can be seen, they can be felt, and you’ll know they are there even if your friends and family proclaim, “That? You can barely even see it.” So, what’s the key to avoiding annoyance for the lifetime of your kitchen? Advanced planning.
Project by Siemasko + Verbridge, Beverly, MA; Photo via Houzz.com
Since the average granite or marble slab is less than 10-feet long and fewer than 6-feet wide, if you want an island larger than this, you’re going to have a seam. Granted, sometimes a seam is a logistic necessity (for example, if your countertop is in a high rise, up a stairwell, or has a narrow hall or doorway), but the truth is nobody wants to worry about matching the color or pattern of two different pieces. The templating process is far easier to do without seams, fabrication is a breeze with a single piece, and installation can go 80-percent quicker without a seam.
Besides seams, there are a few reasons to think twice about the size of your kitchen island. Think about traffic patterns. Will there be enough space for people to move around comfortably? Will guests seated at your hulking island be in the way of appliances? If the middle of your island top is beyond your reach, how do you plan to clean it?
The earlier in the kitchen planning process you start to think about size and seams, the better off you’ll be. You can find larger slabs now and then, but be aware that you will have a severely limited selection. Slabs larger 130-in. long or 78-in. wide are exceptionally rare, and you’ll pay a huge premium for a special order. Even then, you’ll still have the transportation factor to deal with. Can the slab be logistically and safely transported?
Multi-level island by Metropolitan Cabinets & Countertops; photo via Houzz.com
So, what can you do if you’ve just got to have that gargantuan kitchen island? Marble and Granite, Inc. recommends a couple of solutions:
• Instead of natural stone or quartz, look into Neolith from The Size . Since it’s available in very large slabs (up to 144-in. long), you can have a very long, seamless run of countertops. And Neolith slabs are much lighter to maneuver.
• Consider a multi-level island. You can use the same color of marble or granite and slightly different shades or pattern movements won’t be as noticeable.
• Insert a wooden butcher block to serve as a chopping area or incorporate a marble baking area to reduce the amount of natural stone or quartz required.
Remember, once you’ve ordered your cabinetry, you’re pretty much stuck with it…or responsible for a pretty pricy fix. So keep in mind that advanced planning is recommended. And, as always, be sure you are working with an experienced and skilled fabricator who knows the ins and outs of the islands.