Now what? Again! Painters broke granite at cooktop cutout

ruddycatFebruary 24, 2014

So last week I posted about how our fabricators showed up unannounced with our Leathered Titanium granite and told us it had already been sealed when they had previously told us it would be sealed on-site. That problem was resolved, we think, when the owner called the next day to check on the install and told us the slabs had NOT been sealed, only enhanced. If this is true (how do we know for sure?) then we're happy since we'd decided not to seal them. We also had a few other problems that he's coming to look at this week - a weird machine mark that runs along one side of the sink cutout and an area where they scrubbed to remove a white grease pencil mark from around the cooktop cutout that left a pale circular area. The edges are also not very smooth - perhaps because of the leathered finish - but we're starting to not mind them. We joked we could tell people it's a new edge profile called "Rustic" :-)

Anyway, the granite was installed Thursday night and our kitchen was painted yesterday. Last night, I was cleaning the counters so I could finally put out a few things, i.e. the coffeemaker, and as I wiped across the front of the cooktop cutout I felt something grab my paper towel. Upon closer inspection, the granite is broken in 2 places - as you can see in the photo. Both cracks go all the way through the slab.

We feel certain that one of the painters (a crew of 3 and the owner) must have somehow put some weight on the front edge of the cutout. The broken piece is lower than the surface of the slab so obviously the weight came from above. They were working on ladders painting over the cabinets and it was difficult to lean from the ladder to get to the wall so we think maybe someone used a foot to balance themselves or they leaned on that piece while painting the backsplash area.

Whatever happened, the fact is that no one came forward to report that they'd broken it. I guess it's possible that someone could have done it and not noticed it but I think it's unlikely. So we'll be calling the owner this morning to discuss this but we're certain it will be a surprise to him and that it will probably get awkward because we'll essentially be accusing one of his guys of being deceptive. Or of committing an "error of omission", if you will.

I assume that we'll be asking him to cover the cost to repair the crack and/or to replace the piece of granite. If the area can be repaired to our satisfaction, we'll be fine with that but if not, we'd want it replaced - which would be about $900. I'm not sure if our painter is insured or not because we hired him based upon the fact he painted for the previous owners for 15 years and has also done work for most everyone on our street. We've used him off and on since we started our whole house renovation last summer and we have a good relationship with him.

With regard to repair - is it possible? I'm sure they could try to epoxy it back in place but since the finish is leathered, how would they "polish" the rough edges? The fabricators will also probably say "I told you so" because when they were drawing the cutout for the cooktop, we had them move it forward to conform with the installation specs of the Thermador induction cooktop. They had drawn a 4" setback from the front edge and we had them change it to 3" because they had less than the minimum cutout in the back. They only had 1.5" which would have resulted in only .5" space between the cooktop and the wall and wouldn't have left enough room for our tile backsplash. Although we had some language issues, we believe they were concerned that the smaller setback would be more prone to damage.

Our greatest concern now is what happens when the owner speaks to his crew and they all deny causing any damage. He may very well accept responsibility anyway but what if he doesn't? We can't prove they did it but when the crew first arrived yesterday morning, we spent about 10 minutes with the owner as he admired the granite and we explained what it was and where we found it. Obviously, if we'd known of the cracks at that point we'd have told them to be cautious around them.

Anyway - any advice or suggestions as we deal with this today would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am a fabricator.

Unfortunately, this happens occasionally. when we install we make a point of showing the customer there are no cracks in the sink or cooktop rails before we leave since other trades (electricians and painters most often) are notorious for stepping on the countertops. I once went to a job site where the general contractor assured me no one of his workers could've cracked a sink rail. He changed his tune when I showed him the footprints on the countertop.

Your best bet is to INSIST the rails was not cracked prior to the painters work. Repair or replace is up to you and your fabricator. One option that sometimes is the best choice depending on a variety of factors is to cut out the broken rail and replace it with a matching piece. Of course replacing the cooktop piece is the best option IF it's not epoxy seamed with other pieces, if the fabricator has enough stone left, if the remnant stone matches, and if the splash isn't tile or isn't installed already.

good luck.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 9:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks Oldryder! We have a call in to the painter but haven't talked to him yet. I hope he has enough integrity to know that it had to be one of his guys.

If you don't mind, could you venture a guess as to what happened here? This is what we're thinking is some sort of mark caused by a machine along the sink cutout.

Also, is it normal for the edges of leathered granite to be lumpy and bumpy? They warned us that it was difficult to get a good edge and limited us to an eased edge. Like I said earlier, we kind of like the look but just curious if it was a fabrication problem.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 9:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Did you say the granite fabricator had come out to look at your original issues?
If so, you have a little more weight behind your claim. Not saying you are mistaken, but it's going to become a finger pointing game.
If your stone guy hasn't been out, I'd get him out before the call to the painter to have an estimate in hand to fix this damage.

It doesn't look like this could have been installed in its broken condition, so the painters do look like it's in their court. Try to do this without sounding accusative.

i.e. "I need to speak with you about the granite sink surround that was cracked during painting. I've spoken with my granite fabricator, who installed the stone, and the repairs will be $xxxx.00. Would you like me to forward the pictures on to you?"
See how that doesn't accuse, but makes an assumption he's going to discuss it? Words can make or break a situation such as this.

BTW. Your stone is really lovely.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 10:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well my husband just talked to the painter and explained our situation. After a couple of phone calls to his crew (who denied knowing anything about it) he called us back and said "let me know what you want to do". We THINK that was a commitment to take care of it but my husband told him we'd get back to him after the fabricator comes back out. He's a good guy so that response pleases us but we'll see what he has to say once he knows what needs to be done. If it's just a repair, I'm guessing he'll be fine with it but if it needs replacing, I'm not so sure.

The good news is that there's a sizable remnant of our granite left (we only used a 2'x3' piece of one of the slabs) so that's available to us if the repair doesn't work out well.

And thanks for the compliment CEFreeman!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 10:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh, how lucky.
For so many in this world, the first response to anything is Not Me! I didn't.. IOW, a gut reaction.

When first married I asked my DH not to put his hands on the walls as he kicks off his boots. Keeping in mind he was 6'5" and I'm 5'2".
His quick response was, "I don't touch the walls."
I looked at him and said quite sarcastically, "The let me get a chair and clean my giant hand prints off the tops of the archways."
He looked so chagrinned and never jumped like that again.

But that's what I mean, bean. :) I'm so glad you're not having to deal with the I didn't, but the Let's fix it guy.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 11:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"Also, is it normal for the edges of leathered granite to be lumpy and bumpy? "

There are number of stones, typically the exotics with lots of movement, that have a slightly rough texture in some areas after finishing. The various inclusions in the stone can have significantly different material properties making it impossible to get the glassy smooth finish you'd find on a lot of countertop granites.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 11:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Too funny!! And you're right - it's sad how few people own up to their mistakes anymore! We were cautiously optimistic that our guy would come through and he didn't let us down!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 11:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have White Spring granite which is leathered and the edges are as smooth as a baby's butt. And this is a granite with LOTS of inclusions on the surface so I think it's possible to get even rough granite smooth.

In my previous kitchen the granite rail at the front of the sink cracked during installation. What they did was cut out a piece of the rail that was as wide as the sink and pieced in a new granite rail. It was black honed granite and the repair was done so well that it just disappeared into the counter top. It was a nice repair and saved us a lot of grief since the slab was very very long and would have been horrible to remove!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 12:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

Hope it's fixable!

And it really is possible that it wasn't noticed when it happened.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 11:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think you would feel something like that crack and move under foot. Hope it can be fixed. How stressful!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 1:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Since we’ve all agreed that it’s only right to play fair, the following information should be turned over to the painter before he writes any checks. These are the cabinet shimming instructions as per the Marble Institute of America’s Residential Stone Countertop Installation Manual:

"10.3 Shims are commonly employed to level the stone countertops. Shim material may be wood or plastic. Shims must be placed over portions of the cabinet that are rigid enough to support it, not over some trim filler portion. Maximum spacing between shims is 2’ 0” (600 mm). Alternatively, longer spacing between shims may be used if the stone is supported with noncompressible filler material (usually epoxy or polyester resin). This practice is often referred to as “hard packing.”"

If inspection reveals the top was not properly shimmed, and this is particularly critical in weaker cut-out areas, this is fabricator/installer error and the painter should pay nothing.

Please have the painter check section 6.0 for cabinet installation requirements also. This stone may have broken on its own if it was installed on cabinets out of specification.

Let's check section 10.4 also: "When installing to the cabinet frame without a subtop, apply adhesive to all frame members that contact the stone slab." Since the stone was installed last Thursday, any continuous adhesive would have had time to cure and act as a shim providing continuous support, making a failure in tension much less likely.

15.4 Rodding. "A commonly seen method of countertop reinforcement is the technique referred to as “rodding.” Rodding may be beneficial to narrow strips of stone material, such as those in front or behind sink or cook top cutouts."

A painter's foot has no business breaking a properly installed stone countertop. He should be able to walk across it. Maybe if he's 300 lbs. and fell on it, but even then...

Here is a link that might be useful: Manual

This post was edited by Trebruchet on Tue, Feb 25, 14 at 19:19

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 2:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"The fabricators will also probably say "I told you so" because when they were drawing the cutout for the cooktop, we had them move it forward to conform with the installation specs of the Thermador induction cooktop. They had drawn a 4" setback from the front edge and we had them change it to 3" because they had less than the minimum cutout in the back."

While it's nice to have a neutral reference such as the MIA specifications, the quote above makes them moot.

The fact that the fabricators were going to make the setback 4" shows they were concerned with strength in this area. When they agreed to the change, they were presented with a choice. Make the setback 3", charge the customer for rodding the top, make sure the cabinets are flat, shimmed properly if required, and the top properly adhered, or, make the setback 3" and hope for the best.

They chose alternative #2 and lost fair and square. It's a cost of doing business, lesson learned, pay up and move on.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 8:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi! Just curious to see what happened?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 11:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Tre, I am not following your argument that the fabricator is responsible for the breakage for not shimming correctly. I thought shims are used to level a countertop, not to support the weight of a person. I don't think fabricators are under any obligation to make a counter strong enough for a 200 lb. man to stand on.

This post was edited by may_flowers on Thu, Feb 27, 14 at 11:37

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 11:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Granite, especially as compared to estone or solid surface, has little strength in tension. Cabinets have strength in tension. As soon as granite is properly installed, because of the strength of the cabinets in tension, the granite's lack of strength in tension becomes moot.

Shims are used to level cabinets and countertops. If cabinets are shimmed properly at their base, only small shims, 1/16" or so, are necessary to level countertops. A continuous bead of adhesive between the top and the cabinets, as specified by the MIA, provides continuous support in tension to the stone when cured.

The only way a painter is going to break properly installed granite is if he drops a sledge hammer on it.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 5:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There have been a few threads where the stone has broken. Some by standing/sitting on it. So I wouldn't propagate the idea that this is alright or safe to do. I guess if it caused him to lose his balance and break his neck, it would also be alright for him to sue.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 9:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"properly installed" ... those being the key words! I wouldn't want anyone standing or sitting on my countertops because I don't want to find out the hard way that my countertops haven't been properly installed. I already know that reading instructions is not a popular pastime in the trades, so I'm not counting on the fact that my installer has read and followed the MIA guidelines to the letter. I wouldn't stand on my OWN countertops, and I sure wouldn't want a workman on them. Better safe than sorry.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 9:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


You can sling your stereotypes at the trades, but ruddycat has paid not only for granite, but for the expertise to have it installed according to industry standards. When it is not, this is just like not getting the upgraded edge profile she has paid for, unfortunately just not as obvious.

This is why her installers have no right to say "I told you so." when she asked for the smaller setback. As the experts, they had an obligation to refuse or to offer a technical solution. You do not give customers what they want when they want the wrong thing.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 10:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Trebruchet, this is exactly what the problem is. People pay for the expertise yet so often that is not what they get. And further, as you say, that expertise includes advising what someone wants is not possible, in compliance or is a bad idea. That should be a given and is practiced in any field. It's not a stereotype as you describe. It's a common problem in the construction industry. If pros recognize it, I'm not sure why you don't. It seems you must get a lot of callbacks by "picky" customers.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 11:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I apologize for the generalization, but in my involvement in the trades and with the trades, I've seen it first hand. I assumed people would read between the lines and know that I didn't mean every single person on earth who works in the construction industry. Again, I apologize for hurting anyone's feelings. But seriously, half the people posting their problems on this site wouldn't be doing so if everyone was following industry standards! That wasn't the point. My point was that I wouldn't want anyone standing on my countertops just in case the guy who installed them didn't read the instructions, made a mistake, or whatever. And I stand by that.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 12:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"It's not a stereotype as you describe. It's a common problem in the construction industry. If pros recognize it, I'm not sure why you don't. It seems you must get a lot of callbacks by "picky" customers."


About a third of black males in this country have had a brush with the criminal justice system. Does this make all black males criminals, or is that an unfair stereotype? Does 1/3 make it a "common problem"?

Same thing here.

I have virtually no callbacks and the repairs I do aren't guaranteed. I have few callbacks because I don't allow customers to tell me how to do my job.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 9:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

" My point was that I wouldn't want anyone standing on my countertops just in case the guy who installed them didn't read the instructions, made a mistake, or whatever."


No one expects a Conga line of painters dancing on their countertops, but on the other hand, what about a child using a chair to get to the countertop to get to the goodies in the cabinets? How about a drunken brother-in-law leaning the rail? These are not unreasonable or out of the ordinary circumstances and granite, with its known lack of strength in tension, should be installed to withstand such use. Easily.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So - finally an update on my broken granite situation . . .

The day after I posted here, I received an email from our painter asking for clarification on how things had transpired. He said "let me know what you feel is needed to make things whole" and explained that he's never failed to make things right with his clients and never had a business insurance claim. He stated that he knew none of his crew would have knowingly broken it and not told him but that it could have happened by accident.

I explained how I had found the breaks while cleaning after they left and that they hadn't been present when I cleaned that morning prior to their arrival. I also told him we agonized over this issue before deciding to call him because our greatest fear was placing responsibility where it wasn't warranted. However, after much consideration, there was only one conclusion we could draw and that was when we knew we had to contact him. I went into much greater detail but that was the gist of it. We thanked him profusely for his willingness to take responsibility and told him we'd be in touch once the granite guys came out to take a look.

He emailed me back to thank me for my thorough response and stated "I'll do whatever you feel is needed. If I do pay out to replace the existing piece, I will want to take that piece with me".

Our fabricators came out on Wednesday morning to look at the broken rail. Upon closer inspection, there were actually 3 breaks - not just 2 - and they said the only way to repair it would be to cut out the entire rail and seam it. They cautioned us though, that due to the nature of our particular granite, we would not likely be happy with the appearance of the seams so their recommendation was to replace it.

Our hope had been that the breaks could be repaired, which would not have interrupted the pattern of the granite across the front of the cooktop. We were not, however, amenable to having seams because of the tremendous effort we made in the planning stages to avoid them. We made several modifications to the original plan and shortened the island by 1.5 ft. in order to accommodate the size of these slabs of Leathered Titanium. Because, not only does it have color & pattern as you look down upon it, it also has a pattern in the leathered surface when you view it from an angle. We were told by several of the granite distributors when we first discovered this granite that it did not seam well and accordingly, we're not willing to accept seams now. I feel bad in a way for being so adamant about it but we just don't see how we should have to accept them due to a problem we didn't cause.

As to "why" the granite broke, I guess we'll never know and I've been both amused & dismayed by the conversation this has generated on this forum :-) With all due respect Trebruchet, our personal feelings are that - even in a perfect installation - no one should EVER step on a client's granite countertops. Especially a 3" wide x 36" long strip of granite which - at least to our way of thinking - could have been shimmed properly or even reinforced with steel and still potentially broken. Like Jellytoast - we never even stand on our own granite - just in case!

Anyway, we've forwarded the quote for the replacement granite to our painter and we're waiting to hear back regarding how he wants to handle it. The cost for replacement is $1186 - which would have been much more (double) had we not already paid the upgrade charge for a 2nd slab because we needed a very small piece of it. We owe the painter $800 for the last bit of work he performed so he may want us to just keep those monies and send us a check for the rest. I would think the deductible on his insurance wouldn't make it worthwhile to file a claim for that amount but I guess we'll see. Plus, if he takes the granite with him, he'll be able to use it on other projects because there's approx. 33" of usable granite on either side of the broken cooktop.

I'd say we're happy with the resolution although it will delay the installation of our cooktop by a couple of weeks. And kudos to our painter for being such an honest and upstanding guy!

Thanks for your input everyone!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I thought the stereotype was that men don't read instructions. The fact that the construction industry is dominated by men is coincidental. Again, I did not mean to insinuate that NO ONE in the construction industry reads instructions ... that's ridiculous. Tre, you are not always so careful with the wording of your posts either. I apologized for offending anyone's sensitivities, so can't we let it go and let this thread get back on track? We are all entitled to our opinions here.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

" ... I've been both amused & dismayed by the conversation this has generated on this forum ... "

Gah!! My sincere apologies for contributing to your dismay. Hopefully you were more amused by it all. I'm so happy for you that your problem is being resolved. :-)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Acknowledging a known problem in the construction industry of not following manufacturer and industry specs, ie reading directions so to speak, or of taking shortcuts, using cheap materials or just being sloppy - is not saying everyone, that no one does. Those arguments are just silly, frivilous and meaningless.

It is very common and that is why consumers have to educate themselves in order to be careful. And why there has been the need to create consumer advocacy organizations and laws and regulations to protect the general public.

Instead of blaming customers for whatever happens, get after your peers.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 3:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


It saddens me that while you were hoping so much your painter would be fair with you, you apparently didn't share this thread with him.

This guy is paying $1,186.00 for a mistake that is not his. That is not fair.

While I appreciate that no one expects their stone to be tread upon, not a single person has articulated a rebuttal to my argument that this is fabricator error.

We've seen plenty of homeowners get screwed on this board, add a painting contractor to the list.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 8:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"While I appreciate that no one expects their stone to be tread upon, not a single person has articulated a rebuttal to my argument that this is fabricator error."

There are several reasons people may have chosen not to articulate a rebuttal to your argument that this issue was fabricator error.

1.) For me personally when an individual starts reaching in their arguments by drawing parallels to such issues as race, it turns a lot of people off. I do not believe racial stereotypes belong on a kitchen orientated message board.

2.) You regurgitated guidelines from the Marble Institute of America based on making assumptions that the countertop was improperly installed. Any experienced professional can make an educated guess as to what happened and may or may not be correct. However until an in person inspection of the installation is performed that is all you have assumptions and guesses.

Lastly since you asked I will rebuke your argument that this is fabricator error. There are no federal product liability laws, product liability is governed by individual states. However one common thread is present in the product liability laws of all states. The product liability laws clearly state that products must be used properly. No reasonable person can discern that the proper use of a countertop is for a painter to stand on. Thus the hypotheticals of proper or improper installation from a legal point of view become moot. Countertops are for table settings, small appliances, napkins and various other household items not painters.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 10:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Regarding a “rebuttal to your argument,” what is the point? You’ve already made up your mind that you are right, and even went so far as to accuse the OP of ripping off her painter because she didn’t agree with you. Any attempts to present an opposing viewpoint were met with a schooling and a scolding.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 10:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


If you reread the thread, you will find the issue wasn't race, but in fact stereotyping which I did not bring up. I never advocated for racial stereotyping, which would be inappropriate on a kitchen board, but used that as an example to show how stereotyping works which is completely appropriate.

Many times on this board when there is an dispute between a homeowner and a contractor, the homeowner is encouraged to go to the manufacturer's installation instructions or other standards of the particular industry. The MIA has been the standard bearer for the natural stone industry for about 75 years, if memory serves. If anyone should know how stone should be installed it should be them, don't you think?

I made no educated guess. I simply asked, in the name of fairness, for ruddycat to give the MIA standards to her painter. How can more information be bad? Well, when the painter says "Hey, wait a minute. These cabinets/countertops weren't installed correctly.", that could be bad for his willingness to shell out $1,186.00.

Personally, I'd like to see ruddycat, the fabricator, and the painter, all meet with the MIA specs and a 6' level in their hands while the fabricator removes the failed top. Let the proverbial chips fall where they may.

Lastly, you did not rebut my argument. Of course a painter should know to use a pad and plywood if standing on a countertop is unavoidable, but what about those too young to know better such as children after upper cabinet goodies? It's okay for a top to fail if the munchkins do it? It is somehow more understandable?

I maintain that he motivations/knowledge of top crackers is irrelevant. When weak granite countertops are installed per MIA, the issue is moot. And remains unrebutted.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 10:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

" ... you will find the issue wasn't race, but in fact stereotyping which I did not bring up."

You most certainly did bring it up when you accused me of “slinging stereotypes at the trades.” Discussing mishaps in the construction industry is the order of the day on this forum. We should be able to have discussions without being accused of perpetuating stereotypes. To compare the comments made here to racial profiling and saying it is “the same thing" is really out of line and insulting. While I apologized SEVERAL TIMES for any generalizations that I may have unintentionally made, I was not agreeing with you that I had stereotyped anyone. My apology served to acknowledge that my comment offended you and for that, I was sorry. But my comment was made more with the thought that many in the construction industry (notice I did not say most, all, or in any way indicate that I am making a generalization that would thus stereotype anyone) learn their trade on the job, not by reading instructions. I have already indicated that I am aware that my choice of words was unfortunate. Perhaps when you take the time to word your posts so as not to offend anyone you can cast stones at me with abandon.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 1:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The issue is very much that the painter's crew damaged the homeowner's property. Nothing more, nothing less. That makes them liable for the damage.

If the floor had been damaged, would we then be discussing the quality of the floor installation?

A professional painting crew should have ladders long enough to paint any room, even a completely empty one with no counters on which to stand.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 2:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow - I’m not even sure where to start . . . I was going to try to stay above the fray but when accused of intentionally scamming or cheating a contractor - I can't resist commenting.

For starters, can you just imagine what would have transpired if I’d asked the painter and the fabricator to come together to discuss who was responsible for the granite breaking?

The painter, I’m certain, would have washed his hands of the whole thing the very minute it was even suggested that the granite wasn’t properly installed. And the fabricator would have insisted that he installed it properly and dare us to prove otherwise. And once both of those parties denied any culpability, we, the homeowners, would have been left with no recourse at all.

The MIA standards are ambiguous at best. They provide a guideline for installation and suggest remedies in various situations, i.e. shims to mitigate cabinets that are unlevel, etc., based upon a fabricators assessment of what's needed - which is totally subjective. There are “tolerances” for everything so that a “range” of conditions is considered acceptable, which would make it nearly impossible to "prove" an improper installation based upon them.

They also speak at length about “stones of lesser soundness” due to fissures, hardness of the mineral matrix (whatever that is), etc. Our friends just installed Cosmos granite and were told to NEVER stand or sit on it due to its large mineral deposits and overall fragility, although I assume it was properly installed. Someone here on Gardenweb even posted that her granite cracked because she used her crockpot on it - was that a result of improper installation? Given the nature of stone, you simply cannot say that a properly installed granite countertop cannot be damaged “except with a sledgehammer” and there’s also no way you can say, sight unseen, that our granite broke due to improper installation.

We look at it as iroll said - the painter’s crew damaged it - nothing more, nothing less. It wasn’t broken when they arrived and it was broken when they left so we simply cannot be made to feel guilty for holding them responsible.

We also did everything we could to make sure our painter didn't have to pay any more than was necessary. When the original invoice the fabricator sent was for $2034 and included an $848 upcharge for the exotic stone, we spent half a day arguing that we'd already paid the upcharge for that slab when we originally purchased a small piece of it. They didn't agree and were adamant that the upcharge was valid, saying they'd only charged us a premium for the small piece we used, but we finally convinced them to remove it. So in essence, I guess you could say the fabricator and the painter are sharing the cost of replacing our granite - one paying $1186 and the other $848.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 10:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


You did apologize, I appreciate it, and please allow me to do the same for my part in any misunderstanding.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 10:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


If your fabricator is a member of the Marble Institute of America, he is obligated to follow their specifications:

Here is a link that might be useful: Code of Ethics

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 10:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

" ... please allow me to do the same for my part in any misunderstanding."

Noted, appreciated, and accepted.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 12:53PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Silgranit sink color for Alaska White granite?
In the ever-changing world that is my new build, I...
Is glazing stained cabinets going out of style?
It seems like glazing white or cream cabinets is already...
Help! White Kitchen, dark counter and gold/brass fixtures???
Actual kitchen; it's dark and dull! My husband and...
Azalia Speight
Quartz Countertop Color
We are going with quartz countertop for our kitchen...
Soapstone with runnels: How are they holding up?
If you have runnels in your soapstone, could you tell...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™