Help! My perfectionistic tendencies are getting the best of me!

BlackChamoisFebruary 14, 2014

So I just had my counters installed (for the 2nd time) - Caesarstone Raven.

For the most part, they are pretty perfect. However, there are two areas with slight flaws. I'm wondering if I should just overlook it, or if there is anything that could be done to fix it.

They are both pretty minor, so I think I know the answer but ... I'll share anyway.

The first is the corner of the peninsula - it appears that maybe it was chipped a little and they smoothed it over which makes the corner more beveled/angled. It is not sharp or rough, but looks sort of rounded. (see pic)

The second is the sink edge - which is fine until the upper right corner which around the curved part the edge is a little beveled. Visually it's not that noticable but when you run your finger along the edge you can definitely feel the bevel. (Will post pics in the next message).

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BlackChamois

Here is pic #2 of the peninsula corner.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 10:51PM
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BlackChamois

Here is the sink edge. Where it appears dull is where the bevel is.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 10:52PM
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BlackChamois

And one more of the sink edge ...

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 10:53PM
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BlackChamois

What I AM happy about is that they were able to get my long stretch of counter (119") in without a seam!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 10:59PM
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xc60

Very beautiful, but I would not be happy with those corners or the uneven sink edges. I think they could do a lot better. I would tell them your concerns and see what the options are.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 11:19PM
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BlackChamois

xc60 - The first two pics are of the same corner, just from different angles. So they don't all look like that :) ... thankfully.

Because of the fact that I am TKO and a bit hypersensative to details these are disappointing revelations. The average person probably would not notice them.

Also because this is my second time around with this kitchen remodel, a part of me just wants to be done with it already!

Just not sure how it can be fixed. Guess I won't know until I ask.

Still hoping others will give their 2 cents.

Thanks!!!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 11:31PM
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Trebruchet

It's not a big deal to reprofile the sink; tell them you want a consistent edge.

If I were them I'd hope I could talk you into creating matching radii on the peninsula corners, again with a consistent profile.

Made sure the gloss of the profiled edges matches the top pretty closely.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 11:38PM
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BlackChamois

Trebruchet - Should they be able to reprofile the sink edge without removing the sink and counter? Can they do that in place?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 11:42PM
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Mags438

Your title attracted me, as I am the same. NO it would not work for me and would want it fixed. It would bug me every time I saw it, which would be daily.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 11:48PM
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jellytoast

I wouldn't like that corner ... it looks broken or damaged. The sink ... is it like that all the way around or just in one area?

I always wonder why they don't repair things like this in the shop as the chances are pretty good that a customer is going to notice and it seems like it would be a lot easier to repair BEFORE it is installed. I don't get it.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 12:10AM
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BlackChamois

jellytoast - The sink is just like that in the upper right corner ... the rest of the sink edge is fine. I agree with you on repairing at the shop. Unless of course, they did it (the sink issue) when they were drilling the holes for the airgap and/or faucet. I guess they could have knicked the edge and tried to disguise it??? I observed most of the installation, but not every second of it, so I'm not sure.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 12:26AM
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romy718

I guess there must be a whole bunch of people out there that accept flaws/damage, because it seems to happen quite frequently. It would bother me & I'd want it fixed, especially the corner of the peninsula. And doesn't it always seem to happen on Friday, so you can obsess about it all weekend. Don't obsess-you've had one of the experts tell you it can be fixed.
Your Raven is beautiful!
Edit: oops, spelling error

This post was edited by romy718 on Sat, Feb 15, 14 at 10:37

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 1:57AM
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Trebruchet

None of this stone or faucet has to be removed to be made right. Less than an hour of work.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 7:37AM
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BlackChamois

romy - Thank you! It was actually installed on Monday and tho' I noticed the corner was slightly more "rounded" than the others I didn't look as closely as I did last night. AND I thought everyone would tell me I was crazy and being too picky - at least that's what some of my friends woulds say! :) I didn't notice the sink edge until last night. I am going to call them today.

Tre - Thank you for the expert advice and reassurance! I did also notice that some of the mitered edges aren't very tight (see pic). This is something that can be filled/fixed with resin? epoxy?, correct?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 9:48AM
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BlackChamois

Another of the mitered edge.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 9:50AM
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Linelle

I could probably live with the sink as is. But not the corner or the mitered edge.

I have Caesarstone with an eased (built-up/laminated) edge. My peninsula has one radius (curved) corner and one that's square like yours. I actually prefer the squared angle. I'm drawn to feeling up my counters. :) When I'm on the phone or just talking to friends, I run my hands along the edges. I'm amazed how smooth my built-up edge is. You cannot feel the seam and by sight it's nearly invisible. I know a lot of people think a mitered edge is better, but I would be super unhappy with how yours turned out. And I am not overly perfectionistic.

The corner would drive me up the wall. It ain't a corner anymore. Going with a radius on that corner would at least look intentional.

I had to have the edge abutting my stove on once side ground back (not sure of terminology). One guy did it with minimal mess.

Like others have mentioned, where's the quality control? Would they just shine this on in their own kitchens?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 10:22AM
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BlackChamois

Linelle - I too perfer a more square corner ... especially with the clean lines of the eased edge.

It's funny ... on the previous counter - the one that had to be ripped out and couldn't be salvaged - there were issues too, but different ones. That one had the seam at the sink that they messed up and the little white flecks of what looked like paint splatters. But they did a better job with the corners and mitered edges.

The new counters have no seams (yay) and no paint splatters, but the edges and corners are sloppy.

(These were done by different fabricators.)

Yes, where is the qaulity control? Does the average customer really accept this? I guess they do! Like I mentioned earlier, the majority of my friends would say they'd never even notice the things I pick up on.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 10:44AM
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Trebruchet

Redoing the miters is going to be interesting. Were I doing it, I would find the methelmethacrylate adhesive that is recommended for your top color (Glue and Sink Warehouse), then Dremel out the existing with a diamond wheel, refill, and refinish.

The second picture looks like seam contamination or adhesive voids. It's not that difficult to miter edges so I'm not getting why these look the way they do.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 10:44AM
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BlackChamois

You know what ... I just went back to reinspect the sink and the corners (which are curved) all have that bevel. I don't get why they would have to do that. The cut is straight up and down regardless of whether you are doing a straight line or a curved.

Tre - You're the expert, I know, but wouldn't dremeling out the existing adhesive make the gap even wider?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 10:59AM
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may_flowers

My sink corners have very slightly unpolished edges. You can't see it and can barely feel it, but maybe it's more visible on a dark color. It looks like they went too far onto the surface of your counter, which is polished in the factory and can't be repolished by the fabricator to my knowledge. Yet they are able to polish the cut side of a slab, so maybe there's hope. The chipped corner is totally unacceptable.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 12:06PM
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BlackChamois

Trebruchet - Is the issue with the mitered edge just cosmetic? i.e. Or should I also be concerned about the structural integrity of the edges?

Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 7:22PM
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Trebruchet

"Tre - You're the expert, I know, but wouldn't dremeling out the existing adhesive make the gap even wider?
Is the issue with the mitered edge just cosmetic? i.e. Or should I also be concerned about the structural integrity of the edges?"

The gap may be made microscopically wider, but that's a small trade off for a much better color match. They might want to make an attempt in the shop first. It is cosmetic, not structural, with a qualifier of the possible contamination.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 10:23AM
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jellytoast

I noticed the gaps in that mitered edge right off in the picture, too. I thought the whole point of a mitered edge was to make the edge nicer and less noticeable. I don't have a mitered edge on my granite, but the edges fit together so tightly that you really have to look closely (VERY closely) to see that there are two different pieces. I don't think I'd be happy with a "solution" that made that gap between your mitered pieces even wider.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 11:29AM
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BlackChamois

Tre - Thanks! What causes seam contamination? Also, would any of this be considered failure to follow installation procedures - such as the mitered edges?

mayflowers - Hoping they can fix the corner ... but not sure how they would and have it still be a corner ... as in a square corner.

I did reach out my contact at the dealer/fabricator and sent him a few pictures. He said he would call me to discuss. That was yesterday and I haven't yet heard back from him. I will call him on Monday if I don't hear from him today which I doubt I will since it's the weekend.

Thank you . I will keep you posted.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 2:57PM
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Trebruchet

"I don't think I'd be happy with a "solution" that made that gap between your mitered pieces even wider."

jellytoast:

It isn't the width that's the problem, it's the appearance. You would prefer a tight high contrast seam to a wider inconspicuous one?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 4:20PM
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jellytoast

Haha, Tre ... no, I would prefer a tight low-contrast seam if given the choice! I just thought that the edges, if done correctly, would fit together better than that, but maybe I'm wrong ...

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 7:13PM
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BlackChamois

Just got a call back from the fabricator. He acknowledged receiving the photos and said "that is not what we do or how we want to leave it" so they will be giving me a call tomorrow to schedule someone to come down and take care of it.

Will continue to keep you posted. Thank you.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 7:31PM
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jellytoast

Fabulous! Please let us know how it works out.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 10:32PM
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oldryder

I am a fabricator

all the issues; the sink edge, the island corner, and the mitre gap, are all evidence of poor craftsmanship. the seam for the mitre should be invisible unless it's looked at very closely with good light.

the other two problems could be fixed on site relatively easily but IMHO the poorly done mitre should be replaced. Trebruchets repair option would be better than what you've got but not the same as a well done mitre.

my 2 cents.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 11:20PM
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BlackChamois

Oldryder - Appreciate your "2 cents" :) I take it that replacing the mitre would require removal of the slabs, correct? Not something that can be done in place/on-site?

It's such a shame. I understand that mistakes happen, but things can be avoided by doing it right the first time. Don't businesses realize that having to come back to correct issues is costly and a waste of everyone's time??? UGH!

It's interesting too, that both Angie's List and Yelp gave this company glowing reviews.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 12:08AM
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jellytoast

" ... It's interesting too, that both Angie's List and Yelp gave this company glowing reviews."

IMHO, there is no substitute for actual real live referrals from people that you know and trust, who have examples of work that you can see with your own two eyes. Online reviews are too easy to fabricate. Plus, you really have no idea if other people's standards are the same as your own, and this is especially true for those of us with "perfectionist tendencies."

If removing those slabs is what it takes to make those edges look like they SHOULD look, that is what I'd want done. Horribly inconvenient, for sure. I sympathize!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 12:28AM
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Trebruchet

"Online reviews are too easy to fabricate."

jellytoast:

I must respectfully disagree. It depends on the review site. Yelp allows anyone to say anything about anyone. homeadvisor requires reviewers to be actual customers of its contractors, making it virtually impossible to fabricate reviews.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 8:42AM
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Mags438

Reviews I believe can be accurate at the moment they are written. Things change. I am going thru my own personal hell, having selected a vendor based on tons of positive reviews...2 years ago!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 8:55AM
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Trebruchet

Mags438:

I have a few poor reviews and I wouldn't remove them if I could. The credibility they bring is amazing. If you're looking at a contractor that has all perfect reviews, his brother-in-law probably wrote them.

When a guy has over 160 reviews and has 4 turds in there, you know he's the real deal. You can't please everyone.

I just wrote an article about this very subject. I'm too paranoid to link (they are really strict about advertising here) but I'll link to anyone who emails me.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 10:04PM
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Mags438

Trebruchet:

I think you misinterpreted my post. If a vendor has several older good reviews and then the more recent reviews are poor, yes, I'm going to wonder what happened for things to change. (It also works the opposite way too.) So for me, it is about the timing. YMMV

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 11:57PM
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BlackChamois

They are sending someone out on Weds to see what can be done.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 1:18AM
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Mags438

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 9:20PM
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BlackChamois

Well, Jose is here now.

On the sink, he is going to try to reprofile it. (I just hope he can do this without scratching my sink!).

On the mitre, he said it looked like voids. I asked if he was going to use a dremel and he said, no, he'd use a razor blade (???) to get it out and redo it.

Regarding the corner, I guess he is going to try to add some filler or epoxy to "buld up" the corner. I don't know how they can "replace" a piece that is clearly chipped off and not really happy about that solution. He had me talk to his supervisor by phone and I agreed to let them try that but I am doubtful that I will be happy with it and also would be concerned about the strength of it - especially being an exposed corner.

Thoughts????

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 4:44PM
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Linelle

I would have the same concerns and doubts as you. I guess at this point you have to let them try to fix it. Then decide if it's acceptable to you. I would also worry about the strength of that exposed corner, but the GW fabrication experts are the ones to listen to.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 4:54PM
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jellytoast

Did you see oldryder's recent post "what an edge should look like?" His picture of a mitered edge is what I would expect it should look like when he is done. The edges should fit together tightly. They shouldn't have voids that need to be filled with anything.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 4:56PM
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BlackChamois

Linelle - Thanks for your comments and morale support. Yes. hoping Tre and Oldryder will chime in.

Jellytoast - No, I did not see that post. I'll do a search for it. Thanks! I would prefer a nice, clean, tight mitre that's done right the first time. As oldryder suggested - "replacing the mitre" - which I think would involve removing the counters and entirely redoing them. That would be fine with me, just not sure that the company will feel I am justified in asking for that.

I guess I will see how the "fixes" turn out. The corner repair is questionable for me.

I have not paid in full and I won't until I am sure I'm satisfied.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 5:08PM
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jellytoast

It is my understanding that the edges of the miter should fit together tightly and oldryder's post confirms that. From what I could gather from Tre's post (my understanding) is that cleaning out those "voids" and filling them with an epoxy is a "fix." IMHO, the "voids" shouldn't exist in the first place. Personally, I wouldn't be happy with that fix. I'd want those edges to meet tightly.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 5:19PM
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jellytoast

Oldryder's post is "what a good edge looks like." I'll try to link it but I don't really know how to do that.

Here is a link that might be useful: what a good edge looks like

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 5:21PM
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BlackChamois

Corner fix in progress ... :( From 2014-02-19 From 2014-02-19

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 5:45PM
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jellytoast

Ouch!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 5:47PM
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BlackChamois

jellytoast - I agree! I'll let them finish tho. You can't duplicate the patterning (as subtle as it is) in the Raven with some gray epoxy.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 5:55PM
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jellytoast

BlackChamois, you expressed some doubt as to whether or not the company would feel you were justified in expecting the repairs to be done correctly. I imagine that you paid an extra charge for having the mitered edge, so there is your justification. Of course it is inconvenient and cuts into their bottom line, but you shouldn't have to live with (and pay for) their obvious mistakes. Sometimes stress can make us expect a battle and imagine the worst case scenario but it doesn't always play out that way in reality. I hope that is the case for you and that they make it right without an argument.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 6:50PM
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BlackChamois

The corner "fix" ... not only does it look horrible (even worse than before) but the top finish is dulled now too. (They guy that came out was not the original installer, and I guess did his best to make it better. He was very nice and understanding and I couldn't really get mad at "him", but I think he knew that the end result would not be acceptable. I have to talk to another guy now. They need to replace it in my opinion.)

I'll post pics of the mitres and sink edge next. From Bestway From Bestway From Bestway From Bestway

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 9:01PM
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BlackChamois

jellytoast - sorry I didn't see your last post. I guess I paid extra. I say that because I went in telling them that I wanted a mitred edge so I don't know what the price would have been doing it another way. They didn't price it out with a different option.

They all have been very pleasant to deal with and have not pushed back thus far. Also, I would hope that knowing I will need to post my review on Angie's list with photos of the workmanship - that they would not want that type of PR and would have even more reason to correct the issues.

But I do always anticipate a battle, and it does stress me out. I guess I need to channel Steven Covey's win-win attitude and anticipate best case turnout!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 9:14PM
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BlackChamois

The sink edge doesn't really look any different to me, although they did scratch the counter in two places while trying to fix it. From Bestway From Bestway

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 9:25PM
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jellytoast

Well, that was kind of a waste of time. Have they already done the miter and sink edge repairs yet? Seriously, I would think they should be able to give you a VERBAL indication of what you can expect the repairs to look like, without making you wait all day for them to attempt it only to come up with an unacceptable result. For instance, cleaning out the gaps in the mitered edge and filling them with epoxy will still result in a mitered edge that is not tight. If that isn't acceptable, why would they waste your time and theirs?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 9:31PM
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Mags438

Oh my, that corner doesn't look nice at all. Actually, repair job makes it looks worse and more noticeable. Maybe it will look better in 24-48 hrs, hope so.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 9:42PM
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jellytoast

You have the patience of a saint.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 9:47PM
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BlackChamois

mags - I agree. I feel like everything they did made things worse. The sink area got scratched and the mitre, while it looks like the voids were filled, it feels bumpy in areas and just not smooth, and a bit dulled in terms of the shine.

I'll post pics of the mitre shortly.

I don't think time will change the way it looks, unfortunately.

jelly - Who me? Patient? If anything I'm just beat down. And I'm traveling next week so it may have to wait whether I like it or not.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:00PM
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jellytoast

I guess I'm just not understanding the whole "voids" thing. Why are there voids? Is that normal?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:41PM
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BlackChamois

jelly - I don't think it's normal... I don't know if it's caused by not enough adhesive, or the angles of the mitres being off, or when it's clamped together (I doubt that's the correct term, I'm just imagining) that it's not "clamped" tightly enough.

Maybe Trebruchet or Oldryder can educate us :) I would love to know!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 11:07PM
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Trebruchet

The only way to realistically fix that corner is to make the radius large enough to eat the chip the other corner of the peninsula will have to be done to match.

The scratches on the deck near the sink are a real problem. The only way they're coming out is with Steve's Polishing Pro System. That costs about $400.00. (I'm spending $600.00 and going to Tennessee for training for three days by Steve just to learn how to undo crap like this.)

These guys are clueless. Rip it out and get your money back. Sorry.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 9:17AM
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Linelle

BC, I'm so sorry their "fixes" have been so awful. I admire your composure, as I would be utterly unhinged. Although in a way the worsening of the situation makes your next step (rejection) clearer and more obvious.

My peninsula has a radius on one side and a 90 degree angle on the other. I'm not sure why we did it that way, although the original tile counter had one angled corner and we just followed that pattern. It's neither aesthetically nor functionally necessary. I prefer the square corner but having two different treatments doesn't really look wrong to me, esp. since the radius curve is on the overhang side where people can sit.

I know people rave about mitered edges. I've seen them done well and they're fine. I have a built-up edge with a slightly busier quartz and the seam is virtually invisible while the edge feels as smooth as a baby's butt.

You paid good money for a good counter. This company didn't deliver and you deserve a replacement or your money back. Be strong.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 10:40AM
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BlackChamois

Trebrucet - Thanks for the feedback. I feel a battle coming on :( So I just say "The fixes aren't acceptable and I'm not confident in your ability to deliver the level of craftsmanship I expect. So I'd like the counters removed and my money refunded."? Sorry I am so not good at this.

Linelle - Thanks so for your comments and the moral support. I am really tired of do-overs and would prefer just getting my money back and finding someone who can do it correctly the first time.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 3:22PM
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Mags438

Everyday when you walk into kitchen, will you be seeing those mistakes and can you live with that? You'll be living with and in the kitchen much longer than your downtime.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 6:00PM
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BlackChamois

Mags - No I could not live with this as is. I'm not so much concerned about the downtime - tho it's a bummer - just not looking forward to trying to negotiate the resolution/refund.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 6:09PM
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BlackChamois

Regarding the mitres - this was a "good" corner

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 6:13PM
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BlackChamois

Uploading from my phone so sorry if these are wonky ... Another mitre shot

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 6:15PM
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BlackChamois

And one more. You can see chips along the seam.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 6:17PM
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jellytoast

Ideally, THEY would be the ones contacting you to propose a solution which you could then counter with a yes or a no. Has anyone from the company contacted you with a proposed next step? You might want to try to get it settled before you leave to go out of town.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 6:24PM
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Mags438

I would prolly reach out to dealer/fabricator as before, with the repair photos (esp the first one, it's horrible). Then I'd just add, 'you know this is not acceptable' or something along those lines. State the obvious. I'd do that before I went away. Put the owness on them. Since you're going away in a few days (?), that will give them time to come up with some solutions. And give you time to step away and clear your head and think about what you are willing to accept and how you want to handle.

Also regarding Angie's list review, it would look better for them that they appropriately handled an unhappy customer. Problems happen, but it's how the problem is handled that makes the difference, IMHO

However, I'm curious on others responses/suggestions on how to handle. But I definitely think you should let them know that it is unacceptable ASAP. They may get the false perception that you are okay with repair.

Just my .02 though.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 7:27PM
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BlackChamois

Jelly - no they did not reach out in follow up to my satisfaction with the repairs (which I thiought they would/should) so I guess I was supposed to ... which I have. To Mags point I did not want to give the perception that I was ok with the fixes.

Mags - I agree with you on all points and I did contact the dealer with follow up photos and let him know the repairs are not acceptable. He responded and said he would come by on Sat. My concern is that even if they did offer to replace them (and I hope they would at least do that) they don't seem to have the skill to do any better job.

Will keep you posted. I appreciate any/all advice! Thanks!!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:28AM
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Mags438

I seem to have lost the long post I just wrote, but in essence, I suspect they know what the resolution is. Coming to visit is the last ditch effort to save things.

Based on install and repair, I don't have the faith that outcome would be any different. L-o-n-g Pause. (They know what's coming). The only acceptable resolution is to refund all monies. At least my Angie's list review would reflect how you handled my problem acceptable to the customer.

If stuck, say you'll write review now on current work and how another install is not acceptable. (Include, I'll keep you posted in review). I would lay odds that dealer will view you as more trouble than you are worth and your review could hurt any future business. Sometimes it's best to just pay you off to make the problem go away.

Then when all said and done, write that review and how resolved. I'm an Angie's list user and how the problem is handled/resolved is more important to me.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 8:41AM
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detroit_burb

ah yes, skill.

the elusive quality.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 8:43AM
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jellytoast

I, too, would request a refund. You can show them Oldryder's pictures as an example of the type of work you find acceptable.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 9:54AM
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BlackChamois

Thanks for all the advice. I will post an update after his visit tomorrow.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:49PM
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Mags438

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 12:01PM
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BlackChamois

Update: The guy came out and looked at the issues.

chipped corner - He agreed that the corner was not acceptable and said they should not have been installed in the first place. He said they could "redo" it (which I don't understand how this is possible, as in order to remove the flawed area they would have to shave that entire side down - thus changing the size of the top. And if you notice in the photo, it wraps around a wall, so there would either be a gap in the u-shaped cut out for the wall, and/or the overhang on the bookcase side would be non-existent. I don't see how it is possible to account for that.)

miters - He also said the miter in someplaces (inside corners) was not done well and said they have since addressed the quality issues at the shop. He said to fix, they would remove the edges (valance part) and do them over. He felt the mitered edges in general "looked pretty good". I pointed out the so-called "good" corners and he said he didn't (did not) think they could do a better job.

sink profile/scratches - On this he said they would try to do a better job on the profile and COULD remove the scratches.(hmmm)

All this would require them removing the tops (both) and taking them back to the shop. He told me I could view them before they were reinstalled to ensure I approved and was satisfied with them. Or if I was unable to come view them in person, he would video everything so I could look at it that way. (I personally would not trust this and would find a way to see them in person if that's what it took. They are not THAT far away.)

I told him that (in Mags words) based on install and repair I was not confident that the workmanship would be any different. And said the only solution in my mind would be to refund the money and start over with someone else.

He said "and do it a third time?" (Heck, with his solution the counters have to come out anyway so what does it matter to me!)

He told me to think about and let him know what I wanted to do.

I know I need to be stronger in these types of situations :( I said I would get back to him.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 3:43PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

If I were in this position, I would not allow this company to attempt to repair it again. I think they have shown the level of their ability to date and I would firmly put my foot down and explain that you want your money back. I just would have no confidence that they can provide you with a quality job or they would have done it already.

I think you have been more than patient and you have to do what is best for you. If they have to take the counter out to repair, what is the difference of going w someone else and starting over? And what if they repair it and it still is not acceptable, what a waste, a lot of stress and having to be firm and ask for a refund anyway.

And if you go with someone else, I would ask to see their work 'installed' if possible before hiring them. And make sure they had the best reputation from multiple sources.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 4:29PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Oh and one other thing. I just noticed the heading of this thread and wanted to say that perhaps your friends have sold you a bill of goods, thinking that you expect unreasonable perfection. This example should show you, you are not unreasonable. Don't let someone make you feel bad about a quality you have to see details and to know when something is done right. It is an ability you have and can use for your own good and the good of others. And I can't imagine you being anything but nice about less than perfection, so stick up for yourself and have confidence to use your abilities without apology.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 4:33PM
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jellytoast

Don't let him make you feel bad and responsible that the countertops have to come out and be re-done a third time. That has nothing to do with you. You gave them the chance to fix it. I don't really see where you owe them repeated tries.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 5:36PM
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kksmama

So he might need to look in the mirror in the morning and say "Blackchamois was unreasonable. We messed up that job but we would've eventually gotten it right, which is really super nice and wonderful on our part. Blackchamois is a bad person for not giving us the chance". He might even tell himself that better quality workmanship doesn't exist, that blackchamois will never be happy, and that he is better off for moving on to profitable customers who appreciate his work.
I say you let him have those thoughts: you aren't responsible for helping him to become Oldryder or Trebuchet. You are responsible for doing what is fair and right for your family and your kitchen. Working with this guy any more isn't smart or fair to anyone.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 7:44PM
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BlackChamois

prairemoon2 - Thank you! I agree with you - and after speaking with him and him seeing the issues in person and still saying on some points "it looks pretty good" ... it is clear that our ideas of acceptable are vastly different. I have already contacted another fabricator and made sure they have quartz mitered corner examples in their showroom that I can come see. And I will definitely ask to see installed work in someone's home as well.

Thanks too for your 2nd post comments. I do try to "pick my battles" so to speak when it comes to detail and "perfection". But I really do admire good craftsmanship and people that pay attention to detail in order to deliver a quality product. I inspect my own work to the same degree and would do the same if I were producing something for someone else.

Jelly - Thanks! Yes, I am tired of giving second ... and THIRD chances. Can't do it again!

kksmama - You are totally right! Thank you for that reminder. Too often I am concerned about what other people think instead of doing what it fair and right for me.

I am planning to contact him tomorrow and telling him I would like my money back. I haven't paid in full so that's a good thing.

Can't thank you all enough for the support.

I'll keep you posted until this chapter is closed! Have a great weekend all!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 9:33PM
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romy718

The last picture you posted of your countertops...stunning. Once this is all resolved, everyday, you'll look at those Raven tops & think "I love them."

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 10:56PM
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may_flowers

You're always going to see the repaired area around the sink because it's in direct light of your window. The resin can't be brought back to its original sheen, no matter how well they try to buff it out.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:27AM
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BlackChamois

Romy - Awww thanks! Yes, I am looking forward to that day! :)

may - Yup, I agree with you! I can already see what results the "buffing out" leaves since they dulled that damaged corrner by doing the same. The window area will be even more noticable.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 11:37AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

BlackChamois - Having an eye for detail and knowing when something is done well, is a great ability to have, but like any ability, your greatest strength can become your greatest weakness. You have to be able to 'turn it off' and accept less than perfect, because we don't live in a perfect world. So I agree, it's quite necessary to 'pick your battles', or you drive yourself and everyone else crazy. :-)

Look forward to updated photos when you get the counter installed finally.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 11:39AM
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BlackChamois

prairie - Couldn't agree with your more. Gotta be able to turn it off or you'll rob yourself (and others) of a lot of JOY! :)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 11:55AM
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may_flowers

Well, there's perfection and then there's obvious damage. There's also the tiny chips along the seam. I think oldryder discussed about this happening when they use an old blade. Your pattern doesn't have big chunks of quartz to chip out like some quartzes and granites, so I'd blame it on the blade. I would think a bigger shop might be able to afford to change their blades more often, so maybe bigger is better in Fabricatorland.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 12:12PM
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Trebruchet

"The resin can't be brought back to its original sheen, no matter how well they try to buff it out."

Yes it can. It's just that the guys who do it are few and far between.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 3:52PM
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may_flowers

I had that guy, trained by Caesarstone. On counters backlit with a light source, you will see a duller area. You can show us your samples after your training you mentioned. Will look forward to seeing it, though I know it's almost impossible to photograph that type of thing.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 4:46PM
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Trebruchet

may flowers:

Please click on the link below then go to "Portfolio" then "Engineered Stone". I'm certain that if Mr. Lenzini can remove a deep scratch back to factory finish, a small sink scuff will be no problem.

Here is a link that might be useful: Estone

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 12:06AM
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susanlynn2012

BlackChamois, your Raven counters are beautiful but I would not let them have a third chance as the damage is not acceptable. They do not have the skills to redo this.

I am also a perfectionist and have learned to sometimes accept less than perfect but this is a poor job and you are not being picky. You paid for a quality install of your beautiful new counters.

Please keep us updated and please post new pictures.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 12:56AM
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may_flowers

Tre, his sample is on a small piece of quartz, not an entire countertop, which is all that matters. It's shiny, but I don't know if he brought it back to factory finish. He should have shown his repaired sample next to a factory sample.

My fabricator caused a 3 x 4" rub mark from Barkeeper's Friend. After polishing for 2 1/2 hours with the Caesarstone method, that mark was blended in. However, it had less sheen than the original, and it was visible because it was in the path of my dining room light. Maybe that would be okay for a repair to damage I caused, but not for a new countertop. Caesarstone is a very reflective quartz, more so than the Pentalquartz that I replaced mine with, so I believe any repair will show, unless you polish the entire countertop.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 9:40AM
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BlackChamois

Update: I emailed and thanked the guy for coming to see the install and attempted repair issues in person and acknowledging the problems with fabrication and quality control. I told them the only acceptable solution would be to refund my money. I also mentioned that I would put a fair and honest review on AL including our agreed upon resolution.

They said they were disappointed that I chose this route but would refund my money and "in turn would prefer that I didn't not submit a review"

My intention is not to tarnish anyone's reputation or throw anyone under the bus but I feel that I am obligated to other AL members to review honestly and fairly. If others had done so I may not be in this situation.

Thoughts?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 11:36PM
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Trebruchet

BlackChamios:

These guys should be bragging about how even when things go bad on their jobs, they still resolve to their customer's satisfaction. It's easy to work with folks when everyone's making money. I want to know what's going to happen if everything starts spiraling down the toilet:

Contractor review websites are a hot topic among the contractors being reviewed and some have even made the news with a contractor suing a homeowner over a bad review. I’m not sure this is the tactic I would take.

For contractors considering joining or participating on a site that allows customer reviews, make sure that you’re allowed to respond to complaints publicly. Certain cites like Yelp don’t always allow this. I’ve found out how important this is through experience. A bad review isn’t always a bad thing.

I’ve been a member of www.homeadvisor.com (formerly servicemagic) for over 5 years and have over a 160 customer reviews. You have to be my customer to post a review; 1 is bad, 5 is best. If homeadvisor called me tomorrow and told me they were removing the couple of 2s and 3s I’d received over the years to boost my 4.68 rating, I’d tell them they’ll do no such thing. My less-than-perfect reviews are pure gold and here’s why:

Years ago, I was reviewing my credit report. I’d scored 1 after 1 after 1 and then a repossessed car. When you read this you have to think one of two things. Either I’d been paying my bills perfectly for years, stopped making car payments, then resumed paying my bills perfectly for years again, or, there was a mistake on the report. (There was.) This is the same choice that potential customers have when they read my reviews. They read page after page of 5s and 4s and then hit a 3 or a 2. Either I had my brother-in-law write all those glowing reviews (impossible because each review has to come from a referred customer) or I’d run into a few folks that were impossible to please, but I really was that good.

Fellow contractors, I know this is highly counterintuitive, but when you get a bad review, LET THEM SPEAK. Often, the louder and crazier, the better. Do not underestimate your potential customer’s ability to kook-detect; they are remarkably good at it. Time after time I arrive at a job, the customer looks me in the eye and says, “I read your reviews. What was with the lady with the caulk?” Eye roll. Shoulder shrug. I never say anything bad about former customers; I don’t have to. My new customers have seen right through them; yours will too.

The most important thing about these reviews is how they change what I’m selling. There are plenty of guys that can fix your countertop but can you trust them? I’m selling trust and value, not top repair. Trust and value sell for a premium for which customers are delighted to pay. I am no longer competing on price. If you haven’t read my reviews, if my reputation has no value to you, then you get no free estimate. We aren’t right for each other. I qualify and book 95% of my jobs from my Laz-E-Boy, and that can only be accomplished when your customers are completely comfortable.

You can’t buy the credibility that consistent good reviews bring. Customers are constantly searching for vindication that they’ve picked the right guy and good reviews earn the opportunity to begin that search. You’d better embrace it, because this is the way business is done in the Internet age, like it or not. Your potential customers are smarter than you think. Underestimate them and you both lose.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 7:44AM
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Trebruchet

"Tre, his sample is on a small piece of quartz, not an entire countertop, which is all that matters. It's shiny, but I don't know if he brought it back to factory finish. He should have shown his repaired sample next to a factory sample."

may_flowers:

Your criticism is fair and I agree. The real test can only be in the context of blending a repair into a larger top. Removing scratches is relatively easy; it's the blending that is so difficult. That said, I wouldn't picture it on my web page if I couldn't do it in your home.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 7:49AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

BlackChamois, Happy to hear you have resolved your issue with the counter installer. I would have to agree that an honest and fair review is helpful for others. I'm sure if you add how they responded to the problem by admitting the error, intentions of improving quality control and willingness to refund your money, that will help them.

Hope you can quickly find the person you need to get your job finished!

I agree with what you report Tre. I read reviews a lot and I have found that to be the case, that if I read the bad review and have the opportunity to read the response to the complaint, sometimes I can figure out whether the complaint was reasonable or not, and even if it was a reasonable complaint, if the service provider fixes the problem with a good attitude, that is what I am looking for too.

I have to start finding a lot of companies to do some repairs and renovation and I'm not looking forward to it. I have a subscription to Angie's List, but haven't tried to use it yet. I have this nagging thought, that if a contractor or tradesman is really great at what he does, he has so much word of mouth business that he doesn't sign on to a service like Angie's List or Service Magic. But I don't know anyone that has had work done that can refer me to someone, so I think that is the best I can do.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 10:51AM
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may_flowers

If I were looking for a fabricator, I would mainly care about the workmanship, so that's what I would review. It doesn't matter to me so much of how they handle problems after the fact. I'm not going to think, "Oh, this guy does a crappy job but he'll refund my money, so I'll give him a chance." Your countertops were damaged and installed anyway, so if you only say that, it speaks volumes of what one can expect from them. I also don't see that an honest review is an effort to tarnish their reputation, so I would get off that guilt trip.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 11:20AM
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jellytoast

If I were in this situation ... they honored my request, I would honor theirs. I do care about workmanship, but I also care about customer service and how well I am treated by a company. Giving me a refund for a product that I feel is inadequate is, IMO, good customer service. Sure, they should never have installed your countertops in the first place, but they did, and they paid the price for it. Hopefully, they'll learn from that mistake and apply that lesson to their future customers.

My relationship is with the person I am doing business with, not random people on the internet. If a business treats me well, I would feel no obligation to tell any unfortunate details to the rest of the world. The way I see it, they treated me well, they will likely treat their other customers well. If people choose to rely solely on online reviews as their means to choosing service professionals, they should be willing to accept the risks of doing so. Again, this is only MY opinion.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 11:47AM
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Trebruchet

" If a business treats me well, I would feel no obligation to tell any unfortunate details to the rest of the world."

Unfortunately, the inverse isn't as often true.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 8:15PM
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Mags438

As an Angie's list user, I would want to know if a job didn't go well. The reviews on my Angie's list has a couple of sections that I often take note: did they perform the job (yes/no). I scan right past the - they didn't call me back or no; they didn't perform the job. I do read ones where they performed the job. Not all happy customers on my Angie's list version.

Isn't this how you got burnt? All great reviews from happy folks only. I'd hope that if another customer had a bad experience, they would share; whether on Angie's list or even here on GW. If not, why not just call it a 'vendor promotion' site? If I read about an unhappy customer, my first thought is how they resolved problem; that's where customer service comes into play for me. Can't say I always get the details from reviews...it just didn't work out and he/she refunded my money.

The vendors gets copy of reviews and they also have opportunity to respond to a review, good or bad.

I would still do a review. 'I'll give you your money back, if you don't put a bad review on the website I/vendor participate in' and for which, I as a customer pay to be a part of (for the sole purpose of getting reviews), is just plain silly. Not writing a review, is a disservice to yourself as an angieslist user and the rest of the Angie's list community. What's the dealer going to do - write in their response - 'oh I said I would give them their money back if they didn't write me a bad review.' Of course not; one has nothing to do with the other.

Of course, I'd write it, after I got my money back and the check cleared. ;)

Just my $.02

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 9:32AM
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BlackChamois

They are coming tomorrow to remove the counters. They haven't yet refunded my money - I assume they will after the counters are removed. I am not concerned that they won't ... boy then they really wouldn't like my review!

Speaking of reviews, I do plan on writing one. I owe it to the other Angie's List users as that is why I joined the site in the first place - to give and receive information that would be helpful in selecting a competent and service oriented vendor.

So here I go again trying to salvage my sink without damage to the sink or the cabinet. Wish me luck!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 9:20PM
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Mags438

Good luck. You'll prolly be seeing this kitchen daily that your current downtime and frustrations might seem worth it all in the long run. Good luck, I think you'll be happy in the long run (that's what counts, right?).

My Angie's list has reviews a yr from the date of job performed, so I don't think there's a rush to get the review done. My memory could be a little fuzzy if I waited that long though. :)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 6:49AM
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Trebruchet

I wouldn't let them touch the counters without payment, preferably in cash. No way.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 9:21AM
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BlackChamois

Update on the job above: They did remove the counters and refunded my money.

Update on the NEW job: Found another contractor/fabricator - a well respected and reputable one. Visited the showroom (twice), was given refernences and had extensive discussions regarding craftsmanship, my prior experiences (including pictures) and my concerns.

They templated a few weeks ago and installed yesterday. While they "appear " fine, there are a few things that disappoint me a bit:

1) At templating, I had talked with them about the projection past the face frame and we agreed on 1.25”. However, some areas are 1.25” and others are 1.5”:
- The short ends of the sink counter (to the left and right of the sink ) - the projection is 1.25”
- The sink edge is 1.5”
- The counter to the right of the range projects past the face frame 1.25” while the projection of the counter (peninsula) to the left of the range is 1.5” (My cabinet maker and I did check and the cabinets are plane so the variance was not to accommodate for unevenness of the cabinets.) Hopefully with the range in between the variance won’t be noticed.

2) The peninsula overhang over the bookcase end varies by almost .25” from end to end. And about .25” of the subtop at the range opening is exposed.

3) We also discussed the thickness of my tile backsplash (with a sample on hand), however, the gaps between the wall and counter are almost twice the thickness of the tile. I’m hoping that this will be a non-issue once the thinset is factored in.

(see pic for general layout: The large piece is shaped like such '[' and the counter in the lower left is the peninsula and is bascially a big square piece)

Not sure why the variances if the template was done accurately and followed during fabrication.

As I said, it "appears" okay ... but WHY is it so difficult to get something done right?!

I REALLY REALLY don't want to go through another tearout and redo ... is it justifiable to ask for a discount?

Advice? Thoughts?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 8:25PM
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Mags438

How's the sink area?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 8:35PM
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BlackChamois

Hi Mags! The sink cutout itself is "fine". Is that what you mean?

A little strange though is that the miter edge on the peninsula is silky smooth all the way around, but on the other piece not so much. It's not "rough" but doesn't feel as smooth.

This post was edited by BlackChamois on Sat, May 10, 14 at 20:57

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 8:54PM
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BlackChamois

The sink edge is straight all the way across but projects 1.5" past the face frame, whereas the two shorter side pieces project 1.25" past.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 9:00PM
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romy718

Was the person that you spoke to regarding your expectations & concerns part of the install crew? I don't know about the 1/4" difference in projection. Is it noticeable? I never measured mine. If I wasn't out of town, I'd be in there measuring right now. As far as the mitered edge in some areas not being smooth, I'd ask if they can fix that. It may be a simple fix.
I'd want an assurance from the tile installer that the gap between the wall & the countertop is not going to be a problem.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 9:44PM
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Mags438

Yes, meant the sink cutout. I would think that is harder to do well.

When you see these various areas from the different angles, is it obvious something's off? I ask because I live in an old house and I was asked by a contractor - do you want it level or do you want it 'to look level'? It was an ah-ha moment for me. There is a difference.

BUT, I know how you feel. I have those perfectionist tendencies as well. Pretty bad at times. :)

I would try to live with it for a few days and see how I felt. From the stage these pics look, you're almost home! In my current kitchen reno, I don't like how parts of the floor look. I've been trying to live with it for a while since I had to get cabs in and keep project moving forward. I've been at mine since jan. so I have that 'it's dragging out' feeling. (Poor planning on my part).

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 9:49PM
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jellytoast

BlackChamois, I was very specific regarding the overhang on my counters, too. Yet they are different on either side of the range. I had planned to get a slide in range with the little flange that would fit against the countertop edge ... the different overhangs would mean one side wouldn't fit like the other. So I nixed that range and got a free-standing instead so the difference isn't noticeable.

There were a few other things that I was somewhat disappointed with, but for the most part everything looked really good.

The one thing that really bothers me about these sort of posts is why are the customers discovering these things? Why aren't the installers checking all these tolerances while they are still on the job?

If I were you, I would check the opening for the range carefully to make sure it is the correct width all the way back to the wall. The range I ended up getting fit in without a fraction of an inch to spare! They messed up on the overhang in the front, but at least they got that part nice and square and it looks great.

My advice would be to focus on the good things about the installation and don't make a fuss over the small things if you decide they are acceptable enough to live with. That gap between the wall would concern me, though, if the tile wasn't going to cover it. You are also going to need a line of caulk between the countertops and the backsplash, and it can't just hang there in midair ... the backsplash will have to extend a bit over the countertops. IMO, there is no good reason to be that "off" ... isn't that what templating is for???

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 10:06PM
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Mags438

Jellytoast post: Yup.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 10:30PM
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BlackChamois

romy - No, she was not part of the install crew. We spoke mainly about my previous issues (sink cut out, mitered edges, mitered corners) and overall craftsmanship/quality. But she is basically the owner of the business and should know what her crew is/isn't capable of.

Good idea about checking with the tile installer. (I am kicking myself that I didn't just tell a little white lie to the guys and say that I was not having a backsplash and therefore they needed to minimize any gap. But I "trusted" that they knew what they were doing. Ha!)

Romy/Mags - The difference in the overhang is not necessarily noticable, however, I don't have any of the drawers/doors on, and also don't have the slide in range in place so I may not have the best perspective yet. The rest of the cabinets are going in next week.

jellytoast - Maybe I will see if I can slide my range in place and see how it looks. Too late for me to switch out to a free standing one. Mine has been sitting in the box in the garage for over a yr! AND... they cut the counters SHORT of the cabinet and subtop (on the left side). At least with the slide in, there should be the part of the cooktop that sits atop the counters.

In terms of the gap between the wall and counter, they did fill it with white caulk. My issue is just that it's so wide and I had wanted the tile to extend over the counter as you state. In my case, I am concerned that it will look like the backsplash is sitting on a surface of caulk.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 1:41AM
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angela12345

GAPS IN BACK OF COUNTER IN REGARDS TO BACKSPLASH

We had the same problem with a gap between the counter and the wall. If I ever get another countertop, I will also tell them there will be no backsplash so they need to minimize the gap. I was ABB for 3 years, so it wouldn't even be untrue !!

You do need to caulk on any change in plane (for example, vertical to horizontal, or vertical corners) which means you will caulk between the backsplash and counter. You would have caulk at the base of your tile anyway. Plus there will be thinset on the wall that the tile adheres to which will make the tile+thinset be a little thicker than just the tile alone. I wouldn't want the caulked area to stand out from the wall that much past the face of my tile though. And I certainly wouldn't want white(!) caulk. My granite guys used black caulk. It wasn't very noticeable that there was a caulked gap at the back of the counter for the 3 years it took me to get my backsplash installed.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 6:14AM
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Trebruchet

Black Chamois:

It appears from your picture that you have no filler on the right side of your dishwasher opening. I'm hoping it just hasn't been installed yet and that you will have 24" when it is. If not and since your cabinet doors are overlay, the overhang and gap problems are going to be the least of your worries.

This post was edited by Trebruchet on Sun, May 11, 14 at 8:17

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 7:55AM
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julia42

Re: dishwasher

Even if the doors are inset, the DW door will interfere with hardware if there's no filler. This was our kitchen layout for four years, and one of the the big motivations to remodel. Every time we wanted to open the dishwasher, we had to shift it around in it's opening - very annoying!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 8:39AM
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BlackChamois

Angela - thanks! I will suggest that the tile guy use dark grey caulk if it's an issue.

Tre - yes, there will be a filler. Currently the opening measures 28 inches.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 8:49AM
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jellytoast

" ... AND... they cut the counters SHORT of the cabinet and subtop (on the left side). At least with the slide in, there should be the part of the cooktop that sits atop the counters."

Seriously? I would not be at all happy about that. You are always going to be limited as to what range you can get should you need replacement in the future.

I will say that the difference in my overhang is not noticeable at all with the free-standing range as the front of the range sticks out a bit past the countertops. I had a KA range picked out previously and the way it was designed to fit against the front edge of the countertops would make the difference very noticeable.

I sure hope you get all this worked out to your satisfaction.

This post was edited by jellytoast on Sun, May 11, 14 at 12:09

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 12:00PM
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polkadotz

Ack, I have to admit this thread is sending me into a panic mode!! We are about 2 months from needing the countertop. If I could interrupt with an aesthetic question, BlackChamois, how do you like the color of the Raven? And how did you resolve the projection issues?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 12:49AM
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function_first

I really like the individual components you have picked out, from a pure tonal perspective, they go fine together. However, tile is tricky, and the amount of “noise” it makes is never fully realized until the entire backsplash is installed. While it seems you have picked a neutral tile with calm, well-behaved colors, the busy-ness will come from the pattern/grout lines, both the asymmetrical arrangement as well as small tiles (more “noise”), and the noise will be amplified by it position next to a countertop with a lot of noise. This is commonly referred to as the “too many clowns” effect around here. If I were you, I would take a look at the thread linked below where someone tore out a backsplash right after it was installed due to the too many clowns problem. Your choices, while seemingly benign when considered individually, may produce a harsh and noisy result that could lead to either buyers remorse or a costly do-over. Another thought is that you slow down the choice process, and invest in some color photocopies after the countertop has been installed. Cover a wall with color photocopies of the tile, and see what you think --- someone did this here (forget who, but she got great results with her tile, so it clearly works!) color photocopies cost about a dollar each at Kinkos -- $50 could save you a few thousand in tear out costs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Not where you want to end up

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 6:19AM
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BlackChamois

Update!

The installers did come back out and only wanted to focus on the projection issue, which they basically blamed on the cabinets being "out of square" (according to them).

On cutting the counter short, they kept saying it was so that the range would fit. (Apparently it extended into the range opening and they had to trim it. Okay, fine, but they didn't have to trim it too SHORT. Had they cut it in line with the base cabinets it would have been just fine. Afterall, how else was my range going to fit if the cabinet opening was too small?!) Finally they admitted that the guy who was trimming it took too much off.

On the gap between the counter and the wall, the one installer (who claims to have tile experience) said, "I assumed you were installing backer board to tile over. You shoudn't tile directly to the wall." Not sure why he would make an assumption on someone else's project. Since when is he responsible for my backsplash installation?

At the end of the meeting, they said they would remove and replace the peninsula if I wanted to go that route. I did consider it, but was concerned about my cabinets being damaged and loosened from the base with the force required to remove the counters from the subtop.

In addition, after I got the doors and drawers on and the range installed, the projection issue was not noticable. I also decided that since I don't plan to replace the range anytime soon, it would hide the section that was cut too short.

Lastly, I had my tile installer take a look and he thought he'd be able to compensate for the big gap.

So ... instead of replacing the counter, I asked for a discount. They only took $300 off, which they said was what it would cost them to replace that portion of the counter. (I was a bit surprised, but I guess they have a pretty big mark-up).

Polkadotz - I LOVE the Raven. Glad I stuck with that color. It looks great! (I will post some pics after I get a couple other elements completed.)

Function First - Thanks for your feedback. I am familiar with the post you referenced. Neither my tile, nor my counters are that noisy. I plan on doing a white subway tile and white grout, so I don't think I could go any more calm than that! :) Also, the Raven, though it has some pattern - more like a mottled effect, it is very subtle. I wouldn't consider it noisy at all. Point taken though regarding the assymetrical arrangement/grout lines but I think that the white grout will counteract any "noise" there.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:09PM
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Mags438

Glad to hear that the countertop will soon be in your rear view mirror. :)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:22PM
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snookums2

I think Function mis-posted. There was a noisy backsplash thread going on yesterday.

What happened with the bad corner repair and mitered edges?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:24PM
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BlackChamois

Mags - Yes! Me too!

Snookums - The bad corner and mitered edges was the first install with a different company. They took them out and fully refunded my money. This is install #2 through another place.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 12:07AM
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snookums2

Oops! I did read all that the other day. This has been a tough counter! Very pretty though.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 12:22AM
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Mags438

Glad to hear that the countertop will soon be in your rear view mirror. :)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 2:48PM
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