Q. Dear Fred, do you recommend polyester or epoxy glue for seams on granite?
A. I’m sure you can talk to many fabricators and find arguments for both types of glues. In my opinion, I prefer polyester for the following reasons:
• Polyester is easier to work with and sets up faster.
• Polyester does not have as strong of a bond as epoxy, which can allow you to break the seam if necessary to remove the countertop at any point.
• Polyester is easier to color match since you can use standard artist oil colors to tint.
• Polyester is easier to trim, cut, grind and polish than epoxy.
• If you make a mistake with polyester, it is easier to remove than epoxy.
Everyone has their opinion as to which glue to use. If it works for you then my philosophy is: If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.
Q. Dear Fred, several times we have run into a bowed countertop and when we try to seam it, one side is higher than the other. We have tried several different seam setters and still can’t get them even. We would like to know how to correct this problem.
A. Fortunately, this is not a common problem but, when you run into it, can really be frustrating. Here is how I correct the problem:
1. First, determine which side is bowed. This is the side that you will be adjusting.
2. You will need to place an anchor in the middle of the bowed seam. A T-31 anchor works well here. Make sure the anchor is placed under the counter and not on top.
3. Place the T31 anchor in the anchor hole and wrap a heavy gauge wire around the anchor.
4. Next, drive a heavy screw into a stud on the wall under the cabinet and attach the other end of the wire.
5. You are going to slowly twist the wire and pull the countertop down. I have found it helpful to use a toggle adjuster which makes it easier to twist. If the bow is really bad, DO NOT twist it down all the way right away. Twist it down over several days.
6. Once the pieces are flat, you can try to glue them down with a strong epoxy and hope the piece does not spring back or you can leave the wire in place permanently.
Q. Dear Fred, I have run into several issues with customers who want seams placed in areas that I don’t feel comfortable with. For example, one lady wanted a seam placed directly over a dishwasher. Are there any standards or documents I can use to show them the proper seam placement as well as where seams should not be placed?
A. Yes, as matter of fact, there is. The Marble Institute of America (MIA) design manual (www.marble-institute.com) has a section on seams you can refer to.
About the author: Frederick M. Hueston is a worldwide expert on stone installation, failures, fabrication and restoration. He is the founder of the National Training Center for Stone & Masonry Trades (ntc-stone.com) and Stone University (stoneuniversity.org). He can be reached at Fhueston@aol.com.