Repairs in new Soapstone countertop!

plum_creekNovember 27, 2013

Our new soapstone vanity top was installed today. We were not there when it arrived and my mother's eye sight isn't great.
When we got home we discovered what looks like pieces right around the sink cutout that flaked off during fabrication and were epoxied back on. Is this common for soapstone and acceptable? The fabricator agreed what is there is not acceptable when we texted him pictures, but he is not offering to replace it. Instead he says they will grind up some material into epoxy, fill the patch, and grind it down.
Should we accept this? This was not a cheap piece. Is this common and expected in soapstone? I don't know if I should let them repair it? When we choose an expensive material and choose to buy from a slab rather than choose a remnant we were expecting a lot better... but if this is a common thing I don't want to find out I was being unreasonable. If this is the way things are I would have like to have been told in advance to expect this.

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I think that looks bad. They may be able to fix it so that it isn't showing but maybe not. And since it is just installed I would think that they should install a piece that is intact. In my opinion the repair they are offering is something that would be acceptable next year if something fell on the slab and broke off a section.

Post this over on the kitchen forum and you will get a lot of support and opinions of how to approach this issue.

Best of luck to you and a satisfying resolution.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 11:01PM
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plumb creek:

Have them apply Tenax Pectro for dark stones. It will make it nearly disappear, but won't make the surface smooth if it isn't.

There is no epoxy with ground material that is going to be stuffed into that crack. This makes me believe your fabricator shouldn't attempt this repair as he is clueless.

This post was edited by Trebruchet on Thu, Nov 28, 13 at 11:58

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 10:40AM
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Cracked sink rail before Pectrol: (note the magic marker)

This post was edited by Trebruchet on Thu, Nov 28, 13 at 11:57

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 11:55AM
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Cracked sink rail after:

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 11:56AM
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Plum_Creek - If they can't repair it so it is almost impossible to see I think you will always focus on it. I can understand they don't want to replace the entire piece but it would be nice if they would offer a discount along with a great repair job. I had a situation with the fabricator/installer of our granite counters and finally got a discount. The counters weren't what I selected or paid for but I didn't feel taken advantage of after I got the discount. The fabricator was not happy giving me a discount though. You have paid a lot so please do whatever will not cause regrets. Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2013 at 1:13PM
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We just had what seems acres (actually around 120 sq ft) of Cruz Azul Soapstone installed in the new kitchen and master bath. Given the size of the slabs there were a couple cracks that had to be repaired in fabrication. There is so much action in the stone that the very thin black lined repairs disappear.

In your case the fabricator may not have been hamfisted and it could simply be the grain of the stone. That said, the repair has to be well done.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2013 at 10:57AM
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I've got soapstone counters all through my kitchen............large expanses of it. I chose a soapstone dealer that only deals with soapstone and therefore is an expert at it. My counters are flawless.....well, except for the patina I'm developing, which I was aware of happening with use and doesn't bother me. The installation and quality was (is) absolutely perfect. No cracks, no chips, no ugly repairs, and the veining is matched perfectly from counter to backsplash, to windowsills.

I would not accept what these people have done to your counter. Good luck dealing with them. You have my sympathy.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2013 at 12:48PM
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There's no way I would accept a repair. That gorgeous sink is a statement piece and should not be installed in a hack job of a counter.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2013 at 2:11PM
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I had issues with my quartz counter top installation in my kitchen last year and what an ordeal. The seams were completely botched and there were visible chips and scratches in the countertop deck. I do not have any experience with soapstone are paying full price for a supposedly professional installation. Do NOT accept shoddy workmanship!!!! You have the right to have your vanity top installed correctly and without issue. Tell your fabricator that he can attempt to fix the problem, if it is not up to your specifications then you require a full refund...or whatever makes you happy.

I am a business owner and simply cannot fathom the way some contractors feel they can bully clients into accepting below par workmanship.

Educate yourself and make them responsible! I ended up taking my installer to BBB for remediation and won the case...but I used the good people/other fabricators information from the kitchen forum to help educate myself.

Good luck and don't back down.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2013 at 12:58AM
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Were you able to come to a resolution on this? We had a soapstone countertop in our bathroom installed two days ago and are seeing similar issues. The fabricator epoxied in the flakes/chipped and they almost look like water spot marks around the edges. I told them I was not happy with the look and they are supposed to sand these areas down and rework them. They noted that it was a slab issue and some areas are more prone to this than others.

Where did you get you soapstone from? What variety of soapstone is it. Ours is from dorado and soapstone type noire. We also had the noire installed in our kitchen without any issues at all. The kitchen slabs were from the same bundle, but the bathroom slab was a remnant.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 10:42PM
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Hey dextru,
Can you share what part of the country you are in? We have been to a Dorado yard near where we are and have had some issues, too. Ours were not with the yard, but the fabricator they recommended.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 4:22PM
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I am in north Texas.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 9:22PM
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Thanks, Dextru!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 12:52PM
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What is that? Why is that so white? When soapstone chips shouldn't there be dark soapstone underneath, not white powder? Shouldn't sanding and oiling restore it back to normal?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 2:34PM
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