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Expensive Granite Install - Chips and Seam Very Noticeable

Ginie
5 years ago

Hi,

I wanted to get some advice from granite experts and people who've had experience with bad/good seams, chips, cracks, etc. in their installation. Is the seam in the picture above acceptable? I can see it from 10 feet away. Since the rest of the counter-top is highly polished, this ugly gray seam looks even worse in person. I tried to cover with sharpie but it's still visible.

When we had discussions about measurements and layout, I was told that the seam will be in the sink area which is 12 inches from the corner (so its not a large "L" shape that can break). But they sent installers who spoke no English, without the guy who we discussed the layout with. They couldn't answer me when I asked about so many separate pieces of granite (we paid premium for two whole big slabs of granite so we can reduce seams). They also installed the island without brackets on the overhang even though I was told that brackets are needed and they will bring during installation.

Aside from the seams there are chips and scratches left that they didn't polish and these too are visible from far. The seam bothers me the most as it's in a highly visible area of the kitchen. I have been getting a run around from this company for weeks now - they charged us quite a bit for the stone and install too. I feel that they were trying to save pieces from the big slabs of the granite that WE paid for to make money on other jobs.

Unfortunately, we have already paid them and they have no incentive to address our concerns.

Can it be fixed and made to look less noticeable by another installer?

Comments (65)

  • mayflowers
    5 years ago

    So it appears you have an L, which does need a seam unless it's a jumbo slab. Then you need a slab for the island. They should redo the seam for you but it might mean recutting it with a new blade so it's not chippy. I'm not sure about the process for that and if it requires taking the slab back into the shop. Do they use a CNC machine for cutting?

    Scratches should be polished out. Did they use a white epoxy for the seam? It looks like that's what was used for the chip. Epoxy should be color matched to the granite.

    Did the owner ever say he'd come look at it? It seems odd that he won't address these issues which should be fixable.

  • Ginie
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Beachem: I can't find a category in Yelp under which to review this business.

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  • Ginie
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    No, the owner is not at all interested in helping us. And the two slabs that were chosen and paid for were 10' X 6'. They seems to have used the left overs from the slab for the counter tops after doing the island (6'X4'). After we bought the two slabs, shouldn't those be ours? They told us that we can't have the pieces back.

    Is it typical to have the edges broken and glued back or should they use another stone?

  • beth09
    5 years ago

    I can't offer any more advice than has already been given, but I echo stopping the check/calling the CC co. if still within time frame.

    I really wanted to post just to say, I am SO sorry you have ended up with this. It is what decorating nightmares are made of, not how our decorating dreams should end. :/

    I hope you end up with a good outcome.

    Ginie thanked beth09
  • Ginie
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    I have already made the full payment unfortunately as I didn't realize that a company as big as this would do such bad work.

  • barnaclebob
    5 years ago

    If you paid for the slabs then the remnants should be yours but what does your contract say. Mine said they wouldn't be delivered unless requested before cutting. Did you happen to pay by credit cards?

    You also need to tell your story more clearly. "You said so many seams" in the original post but then clarified it to be one seam in a very common location for seams. These kinds of exaggerations undermine your credibility. Also how long has it been since you voiced your displeasure to the company? You went from this post to writing a negative review in like 11 hours.

    PSA to anyone getting counters. Insist that you see how the slabs will actually be cut before they are cut.

  • Ginie
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Barnaclebob: I paid by credit card. And I have been asking them to fix the issues (I requested to seam to be polished or repaired) and after almost a month of calling and emailing, I voiced my displeasure to them and told them that I will be posting negative reviews online (I have no other recourse than public shaming for such terrible work and not standing behind their warranty). I posted my review on Google, then on Houzz, and complained to BBB. Is there a certain timeline for doing these things in order?

    I agree that I should have proofed my original post for the extra "s" but Houzz won't let me go back and edit unless I delete the whole post. However, nowhere did I talk about more than one seam that should have been at the sink.

    Anyway, you do make some pertinent points, especially about insisting on seeing the layout and cuts as well as about getting clarifications on getting leftover pieces back.

  • cpartist
    5 years ago

    call your credit card company and file a complaint. That's one of the advantages of using a creditcard

  • mayflowers
    5 years ago

    I'm not sure that that seam is done correctly. Usually it's not directly in the corner. This diagram was posted by cookncarpenter in another thread. The first example is called a Euro miter or a dog leg miter. It's actually a smooth curve off the corner, not angled as shown. My counter is done like the second example--4" in from the corner.

    They should not have just glued back a broken edge. I thought you posted a photo of that? Is it a mitered edge on the island?


    Usually Joseph Corlett answers counter questions but he's in Florida and probably preoccupied with the hurricane.



  • Ginie
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    The edge is of the 3cm granite slab and not mitered. And I agree about the seam, a well cut and attached seam is almost invisible and then too they polish over it.

  • PRO
    Carolina Kitchen & Bath
    5 years ago

    It's time to switch from angry/complaint mode to scorch-their-hide-with-bad-reviews mode. Carpet bomb social media, file with the BBB and maybe even contact the local chamber of commerce if you can.

    You may also try going to their showroom and stopping everyone who comes in to tell them about what a bad job they did. Tell them you'll stop when they make it right. When someone gives me an extremely bad job, I will give them an extremely hard time if that's the only option left.

  • suzanne_sl
    5 years ago

    DO NOT forget the bracket issue. That's actually quite dangerous. This island slab needs to be removed, brackets installed, slab replaced.

    As for the chips, people on here who do this for a living would tell you that the chips and scratches can be made invisible and are not an issue, either structural or cosmetic.

    Call your CC company. They can and will suck your payment back from this company. It takes a little hoop jumping, but not too bad. The owner may develop some interest in your job after being notified by MasterCard or whoever.

  • PRO
    Carolina Kitchen & Bath
    5 years ago

    What she said!

  • Chessie
    5 years ago

    Absolutely call credit card company. They offer protections against this sort of thing - that's one of the benefits of using them.

  • Ginie
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    I just got a text from the owner saying that he will call me tomorrow. Hoping they will fix these issues.

  • chispa
    5 years ago

    This is one of the reasons why I go to a stone yard pick out and pay for my own slabs. I then hire a fabricator to pick them up and make my counters. I prefer to keep materials and labor as separate as possible.

    Good luck, I hope they make things right for you.

  • barnaclebob
    5 years ago

    Many stone yards in my area wont sell directly to a consumer or even give a price. You just go there to pick out the stone and then the fabricator gives the price.

  • Ginie
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    Yes, the stone yards don't sell directly here too.
  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
    5 years ago

    Also many fabricators won't work on stone that you purchase independently.

    I hope that you have reviewed your contract and are now clear on whether you own the remnants, and that you have some written documentation of how the counters were to be laid out, seam placed etc.

    Wishing you luck -- I had a less than great fabricator, although he did attempt to correct the seam and sealer issues. I posted on Yelp -- don't recall that I had to choose a category, I just posted under the company name.

  • Chessie
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    chispa, most of us don't have that option. We have to go through a fabricator to pricing information. The stoneyards here will tell you that as soon as you walk through the doors. No selling directly to you - the fabricator is the customer.

  • chispa
    5 years ago

    Every stone yard I have been to in the greater LA area will sell to any customer that walks in the door. The fabricators actually don't seem to want to be involved with that side of the business here. I give my fabricator a deposit, sign a contract, and he has insurance when he transports and works on the slabs I purchased. Over the last 7 years I've worked with 4 fabricators and as many stone yards and no issues so far.

    I wouldn't like being forced to go through one source like some of you are.

  • beachem
    5 years ago

    For me in Orange County, CA the yards only sell to the fabricators except a couple but you get to pick your slabs and the fabricator get the quote to you with their markup.

    Ginie. you would search Yelp under their business name and city. Since you paid by credit card, it gives you the option of filing a complaint with the credit card company to get your money back.

    With your two slabs, one would be used for the island with no seams and the second slab would be cut into two pieces and have one seam for your L shape counter.

    Since you have eased miter edge, they need an allowance of 3-7" for the edge depending upon the height and style (curve under).

    Depending on how long your counters are, they may only have long narrow pieces left.

    Getting your remnant is something you have to negotiate up front. The policy differs with each company. Here, all of them keep the remnant to resell for profit. A few like my fabricator is willing to give me my remnant with up front request. Out of 5 quotes, only one was willing to give me the remnant even though I paid for the slabs and they picked up.

    @suzanne, the support you show on the island photo is fine as long as the support runs the entire length/depths of the cabinets. Brackets are not necessary.


  • mayflowers
    5 years ago

    Ginie said:

    The edge is of the 3cm granite slab and not mitered.


  • suzanne_sl
    5 years ago

    beachem - that kind of support runs the whole width of the peninsula/island. The granite installers routered slots in both rails of the cabinet top, placed the bars flush across the entire cabinet plus the extension for the overhang, and then placed the granite. You can see what the top of the cabinet looked like before either the supports or the granite went on. Sorry, but I don't seem to have taken a picture of the supports post-bar, pre-granite, but you can see the structure they went on, and then after it was finished. The photo above is what it looks like from underneath.




  • Chessie
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    chispa, you are in the minority, as far as I can tell. Most folks here state the same thing - no option to buy direct. Yes you certainly get to shop & choose your own slab, at any of the 4 stoneyards here you like, but you can only get pricing and purchase through the fabricator. Consider yourself lucky!

    Agree about the remnants too...you definitely have to negotiate that upfront. I decided to put in an island as I have to pay for 2 slabs, yet I needed just 1.5. The rest of the slabs would be kept by the fabricators, unless I had worked out some deal. That's how they make so much money.

  • Fori
    5 years ago

    We have a mix of both types of stone yard in the Bay area. I only now visit the stores that have prices right there on the slab--the other ones just irritate me. (I don't much care if I buy it or the fabricator does, but I don't want to have to go through hoops to get a price.)

  • PRO
    Carolina Kitchen & Bath
    5 years ago

    In my territory, if the granite overhangs by more than 6", it needs a bracket or corbel. If it's more than 6" from the end of the bracket to the edge of the top, raise that as an issue, too.

  • Ginie
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I am still waiting for that call...

    @Carolina,

    This overhang is 14" without support. Right now the island is not being used for the fear of cracking.

    @Beachem,

    Yesterday I drew a sketch of the counter top pieces placed on the 123"x 72" inch slab. The counter tops easily fit on one slab while keeping the "L" intact. I even took off 12" from all sides of the slab. The line at 27" (short part of "L") is the middle of the sink where the seam should have been. Let me know what you think. (The drawings are not great, for which I apologize).

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    5 years ago

    I spent 11 hours in a car on Wednesday, 12 on Thursday, and 9 yesterday fleeing Irma, so I haven't been able to keep up here.


    I like the credit card dispute advice; that's your biggest leverage here. They owe you a huge credit for those "repairs" to be acceptable. I'd look for a way to reshape the island to cut off the "repair" if possible. If the idiot installers had put black Sharpie on that chip repair, you probably never would have found it.

  • Ginie
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    @Joseph

    I am hoping the best for Florida. I heard it is one of the biggest evacuations. Hope your house doesn't suffer much damage.

    Thank you for taking the time to comment here. The owner is coming on Monday to take a look and I hope we can have this resolved.
  • Ginie
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    The owner came to our house today to address our issues and told us that he will take the stone back and repair the chips. He will also replace the countertop portion with the unsightly seam. Now we are looking forward to move ahead with the rest of our kitchen renovation!
  • Fori
    5 years ago

    I'm glad he agrees. (Make sure he gets those undercounter support thingies in as well.) I hope you will be able to post one of those "it sucked at first but they made it right" reviews soon!

  • mayflowers
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I would also talk to him about the location of the seam. I think the way he's done it creates a weak spot and the slabs can separate if the cabinets settle. It's more stable with the Euro miter or moving the seam in 4" from the corner. They should also be using a device called a seam setter, which pulls the slabs tightly together electronically with two pads attached to the slabs. With my quartz countertops, the seam is a hair's width so you can't even see any grout.

  • Ginie
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    He said he will have it at the middle of the sink as originally discussed. I asked him about that tool and he said that he has it but it doesn't work well compared to hand setting. He will also look for long flat supports that spans the whole island width. Fingers crossed!
  • mayflowers
    5 years ago

    It doesn't work at a sink seam as there's nothing to grip. The pads are wider than 4". And it works wonderfully. Not feeling too confident for you but I'll keep my fingers crossed. Let us know how the replacement goes.

  • beth09
    5 years ago

    Great news, praying all turns out well. :)

  • Ginie
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    Mayflower,
    Not sure if I understand your comment about the sink seam. That's where the good seams I've seen are.
  • mayflowers
    5 years ago

    The seam setter doesn't work on sink seams.


  • Ginie
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    Ah, I see. They don't use it anyway. Black Galaxy is so highly polished that every little flaw shows. He said that they can't surface polish black galaxy as the area that's polished will stand out.
  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    5 years ago

    The new Gorilla Grips grab @ 3" or so; a sink seam is no problem. I've got pics around here somewhere.

  • Ginie
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    The installers came today and brought black galaxy with even more surface scratches. Is this normal for granite installation? They are not huge but look like nicks and cuts on the polished stone. Installer said that he can't polish these off.
  • Ginie
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    Are these scratches acceptable in the business or am I being too picky?
  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    5 years ago

    Ginie:


    Reject those, please. Unacceptable.

  • mayflowers
    5 years ago

    I'm wondering if this is Chinese Black Galaxy that has been dyed. It looks white on the cut edge and the scratches appear to show white, so it stands to reason polishing the scratches would expose more white.

    See this thread. The advice here is don't buy it if it's Chinese.


    http://ths.gardenweb.com/discussions/2589187/black-galaxy-granite-opinions

  • Ginie
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    I specifically went to a stone yard that promised me that these stones were not dyed. I hope they are not. :-(
  • Ginie
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    Joseph,
    I did. I didn't let them install. I think I need to go and see these stones in person again. How do you know if it's dyed?
  • mayflowers
    5 years ago

    That info is in the thread I just posted. Buehl included a link to her Stone Advice thread.

  • cpartist
    5 years ago

    With a true granite, the color of the stone should go through the whole stone and not just be on the one side

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    5 years ago

    "With a true granite, the color of the stone should go through the whole stone and not just be on the one side."


    There is a proprietary stone dying system that does entire sheets throughout. It does not come in a can. I saw it at a trade show.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    5 years ago

    " How do you know if it's dyed?"


    Ginie:


    Let some acetone dwell on it for a few minutes.