When planning the design of your kitchen, it is crucial to be aware of the limitations of the materials you use. For most kitchens, opting for stone worktops will mean you will have at least one visible joint where two sections of your worktop meet.
When will I need a joint in my worktop?
You will need a joint in your worktop if:-
A corner is classed as a significant change in direction, such as in an L-shape kitchen where two pieces will join together at a right angle.
While some slight angles may be possible to produce in one piece, designs will typically have a break for each corner. Breaking designs into straight runs both saves on material costs, reduces the chance of breakage during transport, and aids in maneuverability while on-site.
As shown above, typically any corner will be split into multiple sections, which allows more pieces to be cut from the same slab, reducing material cost significantly. To avoid such corner joints, these must be explicitly requested at the design stage, and additional costs will be incurred.
Material slab size
As seen in the picture above, each material will originally be cut into specific slab sizes, to aid in the worldwide distribution which is common in stone worksurfaces. These can vary significantly, but typical slab sizes are 2800x1800mm for Granite, 3000x1400mm for Quartz and Recycled Glass, and 3400x1500mm for Ceramicá. These slab size limitations give an effective maximum length for worktop sections.
Granite, which is a wholly natural material may differ significantly. Anything above 2m may potentially result in a joint of some kind, though the maximum length can vary between styles. As well as material variance, the type of cutouts can limit the maximum length a worktop can be supplied in. Unpolished cutouts, used for overmounted sinks, are weaker than polished cutouts. For example, River Valley White can be supplied in 2.3 metre lengths with polished cutouts. For unpolished cutouts, this is reduced to 2 metres.
Hob or Sink Slips
Slips are used when a worktop would normally have a joint anyway such as for length of support limitations. Rather than having a single long break throughout the entire width of the surface, Slips have two ‘slat’ like sections, resulting in four subtle and symmetrical joins, rather than a single obtrusive join.
What will my joints look like?
Stone worktop joints are typically finished with a small inwards ariss, as pictured below.
This small inwards ariss prevents chipping or cracking of exposed right-angled edges, ensuring a longer lifespan for your worktops. The same method of joining will be seen wherever joints occur, including on slips, right-angles, and straight joints.
What else might result in a joint?
Joints may also be necessary as a logistical requirement. During visits to your home from either the design team, or the Sheridan templater, decisions may be made to split larger sections to ensure they can be fit successfully. Factors in such a decision may include:-
This decision will usually be discussed and signed off with the retailer or kitchen fitter, or you may be notified prior to manufacture if this is recommended by our installation team.