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questionable fabricator of our soapstone counter tops

13 years ago

Hello all,

The last couple of weeks I've been researching my brains out about whether or not I'm in the right or the wrong with my knowledge on soapstone vs. my fabricator's knowledge on soapstone. My wife and I live in Boston and we picked out beautiful minas slabs from Dorado Soapstone in Shrewsbury. They couldn't have been more helpful with information on the properties of soapstone. We then arranged with our fabricator that we wanted a seam at the sink as we will have about a 90" stretch running under our cabinets that we wanted to make sure wasn't interrupted by a seam. We received no warnings or suggestions at this time other than the fact that we would have to use a crane in order to get the large piece up to our 3rd floor condo. We were fine with that since our fridge didn't fit either and we would have to use a crane anyhow.

To our surprise, and complete disappointment, the seam was not located at the sink as we asked when the counter tops arrived for delivery. This was a complete surprise to our contact at the fabricator. She insisted at least having the pieces installed to see if we like it before we just have it returned. She insisted that the seam will not be noticeable at all and we will be completely satisfied.

We aren't. The seam is truly obvious as there is a white line going all the way up the stone regardless on how much oil is applied at the area (which she said would help it disappear).

For starters, I would love feedback on whether or not this is actually a good seam. Furthermore, it is very obvious of the location just by running my hand over the stone as well. Since this is the only seam my wife and I have seen with our eyes, it's tough to know if we are in the right here.

So after our disappointment of the seam being moved, we decided to make them replace the two pieces of our counter tops and have the seam moved to our sink where we originally wanted it. We feel if we are paying over 10% of our overall cost of our kitchen/bath renovation on simply the counter tops, then it should be one of the pieces of the project that should be perfect. The fabricator has now changed their stance on the situation claiming that "soapstone it is a very porous stone and the water could make the seam softer causing maybe water penetration issues". They feel that if a seam is installed at the sink, then there is a good chance that it will crack or break over time. Now they want us to sign a letter to allow them to not be blamed for a poor job with installing a sink seam because they don't have the proper equipment to do so. All of this has come up AFTER they have already made a mistake with the seam to begin with. Also, they never had a problem with installing a sink seam until now (again, AFTER they messed up the first time). In this letter they also claim "ON SOAPSTONE SEAMS ARE NOT USUALLY DONE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SINK". (Yes, they caps-ed the whole line to ensure we saw this)

So my question is this: are they correct, or are they just inexperienced and aren't willing to admit it, but instead are trying to find a reason to be able to do a poor job? From what I've read and researched, sink seams are very common and are preferred by soapstone fabricating specialists. I do know that their theory on permeability is BS since people fabricate entire sinks out of soapstone, which we are only attaching a stainless steel undermount. Here's a picture of the sink area for anyone who needs a visual to help answer the question.

Thanks in advance to anyone who responds!

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