The seam on a counter is an important detail that can have a major impact on the aesthetic of your kitchen. When you are looking for counters to replace or install, it’s worth taking some time to think about this detail and how it will affect your space, and how it’s going to hold up with time.
In this article, I will be answering the question about whether or not seams on counters crack.
So does seams on counters crack? Seams on countertops made from stones like quartz, granite, etc will crack if it has not been properly sealed. Also, vibrations from appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, etc, can also cause seams on countertops to crack.
There is definitely a lot more to this topic so keep reading to find out more!
What Are Seams On Countertops?
When I talk about seams on your counter, what am I referring to? The lines and joints where two pieces of the same material meet. This can be on the front of your counter, but it’s also possible to have seams along the edge.
Seams are put on counters for various reasons some of which are to hide imperfections in the stone, such as lines and veins. Also, they are put to make it easier for installers to join two pieces of stone together.
The only thing is that they require a great deal of expertise, tools, and adhesives to create either a seamless finish or a beautiful seam.
Why Does Seams On Countertops Crack?
The seams on your countertops will crack for various reasons. Here are some of the most common causes of cracks in seams.
1. Vibrations From Appliances
Vibrations from large appliances like ovens, dishwashers, garbage disposals, or washing machines can cause seams on your countertops to crack. These vibrations can be very rough on the seams and cause them to come apart.
This especially happens when the seams are not properly placed. Usually, for kitchen, bathroom, or island tops that have sinks, you would want to put the seam right in the middle where the sink is installed so that the seam would get some support from the sink mounting brackets.
This way, the seams do not give in to the vibrations from those large appliances that are installed with the sink.
2. Earth Quakes Or Gradual Settleing Of Your House
Earthquakes or gradual settling of your house can also cause seams to crack. Depending on where you live, it is possible that these earthquakes can be heavy enough to cause your house to shake in a way that will loosen up the seams of your countertops.
3. Normal Use
Yes! Cracks on seams can show up through normal use and wear over time. This means the more you use your countertops in the form of cutting on them, cleaning, and all the other activities you do on counters, the more likely the seams are going to crack.
While there is usually nothing you can do to prevent this from happening, there are a few things you can do to extend the life of your countertops.
For example, you would want to avoid banging or chopping with bigger knives and objects on your countertops especially if you have seams on them.
These can cause bigger and more visible cracks in seams, which is the last thing you want to see when your countertops.
4. Improper Installation
While the most common cause of cracks in seams is normal to use, this isn’t always the case. Another common reason for cracks in seams could be improper installation during the job.
Creating a seam requires the skills of experts, so it’s important to hire a company that knows what they are doing.
It is also essential to ask the contractor if they have experience installing seams on counters before you hire them to do the job for your countertops.
If they don’t, it’s better to find someone else who has the skills to do it, rather than risk having your seams crack later on due to poor installation.
Technically speaking, there are limits to how long seams on counters can last. They are not meant to be permanent installations, but if you get a good installer to work on your counter they will last very long and will be very resistant to wear, tear, and other environmental conditions.
5. Poor Quality Adhesives Used
Another cause of cracks in seams is the use of poor-quality adhesives. When you are installing your countertops, it’s important that they meet all the standards and guidelines in order to properly hold up.
One of these is using high-quality adhesives, which means that if you see your seams cracking, there is a good chance the adhesive used was of poor quality.
Also, if adhesives that have expired were used, this can also cause seams to crack months down the line.
So when you are installing your countertops, check with the contractor that they have used high-quality adhesives.
6. Using Too Abrasive Materials Or Scrubbers
Using too abrasive materials or scrubbers on your countertops can also cause cracks in seams to show up.
When you are using any kind of scrubber or abrasive material, it’s important that they don’t cause damage to the surface. You would want to avoid using abrasive scrubbers or knives from cleaning the seams of your countertops.
This is because the abrasive surfaces can cause damage to your seams, leading them to crack or chip off over time.
If you have a lot of hard-to-remove dirt and stains you could get rid of them by soaking them with warm water (not hot) and dish soap, rather than using a rough scrubber or brush.
You would also want to avoid exposing your seams to too much heat and moisture
7. Using Harsh Cleaners And Chemicals
Using harsh cleaners and chemicals can also cause cracks in the seams of your countertops to show up.
You would want to avoid using harsh cleaners and chemicals on your countertops, especially if they have seams.
This is because the harsh chemicals can cause damage to your seams, leading them to crack or chip off over time.
The best way to remove dirt and stains is by using warm water and mild dish soap, rather than chemicals.
8. Overloading Countertops
You would also want to avoid loading your countertop with too much weight. This is because the pressure can cause cracks in seams, which would make your countertops look unsightly.
I cannot count the number of times I have visited a neighbor, friend, or relative’s house and seen them climb onto their countertops in order to reach their top shelves.
You would want to avoid doing this or overloading your countertops if you have seams so as to avoid causing cracks in the seams.
9. Heat Damage
Heat damage can also cause seams to crack. This usually happens when the countertops are exposed to too much heat over a long period of time, causing the seams to crack or chip off.
If you are baking something in your oven, make sure it’s not placed directly on top of your seams. You could also cover your seams before putting your toaster, oven, or placing a hot baking sheet to avoid causing cracks in the seam.
Heat damage is usually irreversible, so it’s important to avoid heat exposure as much as possible.
What Happens If The Seams Crack?
Mold Growth In The Cracks
One of the major things that happen when you have cracks in your seams is that they could be a gateway for mold to grow. This can cause health problems and is why it’s important to check your seams regularly.
If you find that your seams have cracks and mold has grown, it’s important to contact a professional for repairs as soon as possible.
Otherwise, you could get some cleaning solutions and a scrubber to clean it yourself while waiting to fix the cracks.
The Seams Become More Difficult To Clean
When you have cracks in your seams, they become more difficult to clean and will require a lot of elbow grease.
This is because the dirt and gunk can be stuck deep in the seams, making it difficult to clean.
This is also another reason why you would want to avoid using harsh cleaners and chemicals on your countertops.
The Seams Could Start To Chip Off Over Time
Another thing that can happen when you have cracks in your seams is that they could start chip off over time.
This usually happens when the countertops are exposed to too much heat over a long period of time, causing the seam’s cracks to chip off.
Increased Risk Of Injury If Cracks Are Exposed
If your countertops have cracks in them, it’s important that you cover the seams to avoid injuries. This especially happens if there is poor lippage and the pieces of the stone slabs are not well aligned.
If the pieces are not well aligned and the seams crack, those exposed edges could become very sharp and dangerous.
Can You Fix Cracks On The Seams On Counters?
You can fix cracks on the seams of your counters, but it’s important that you take into consideration where they are located and how long they have been there.
If the cracks are located in spots that would be hard to access or can’t easily see, then you could just leave them alone.
The only reason you would want to fix the cracks is if they are causing an unsightly appearance or health problems.
You could also fill the cracks with epoxy resin and sand it down until smooth. Another thing you can use to fix the cracks is grout, which you would have to wipe off immediately.
Q. What is a lippage?
A. A lippage occurs when two pieces of stone slabs don’t line up properly. This usually happens when the marble, quartz, or granite stone slab is not cut or aligned correctly.
Q. What causes lippage?
A. There are many reasons why there could be a lippage on your countertops.
The first reason is that the countertop wasn’t properly cut or aligned, causing a seam to form on one of your pieces.
This could also happen because the marble, quartz, or granite was not properly glued together.
Last but not the least, you would have a lippage if the stone pieces were not properly glued together.
Q. Can I fix lippage?
A. Yes! You can easily fix a lippage if you follow these steps:
First, you would clean the countertops with a white vinegar and water solution.
Next, use an epoxy resin to seal in the lippage. Let it dry, and then sand down the area until smooth with wet-dry sandpaper.
Then you would use finely grated marble, quartz, or granite and fill in the gap.
Once that is dry, you would wipe away any excess grout and seal it with a polish.
If you end up having to do this for your marble, quartz, or granite countertops, it would be best if you hired a professional to do it.
Also, make sure you use an epoxy resin and grout that matches the color of your countertops as closely as possible.