antique brown granite installation (please respond to this one)

efsMarch 3, 2013

I have antique brown granite, in leathered finish installed on Friday and it confirmed that my stone choice was exactly what I wanted- it is absolutely my dream stone, but the installation is lacking in quality and I feel like the beauty of the stone was ruined. I do not like the cuts and seams. The cuts are all "chipped" with small pieces of granite missing.

It is especially visible around the cooktop, which is a drop in, flush installation and around the Blanco composting bucket.

The seam has maybe ~ 5 inches of very nice fit and the rest (out of 27 inches, since I have deeper cabinets) looks rather chopped.

I would really appreciate if somebody who has antique brown granite installed in their kitchen can send me or post here pictures of how their seams look like.
My guess is that the cuts around flush installation should have been smoother than they are. I know this is a difficult stone to work with, but I would have expected that straight cuts can be straight and not missing pieces and if they had not come straight they should have been smothered somehow.

If there are some installaers here, I would appreciate your input as well- am I being unreasonable?


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badgergal

I think everyone on here will confirm that your granite install is not good at all. If you have already paid for it, stop payment immediately if you can.
A GW member by the screen name repac had similar issues just recently with his seams and cooktop area. He did get his issues resolved but his granite had to be redone with new slabs. Search for his posts and maybe he can give you further advice. You are going to have to be very assertive in this matter. Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 11:31AM
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debrak_2008

no matter what the color/type its bad. Stand your ground.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 11:36AM
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efs

thank you. I need to depart now, but will check the forum in the evening and read any new post and search for the posts of repac.

If anyone has antique brown granite in their kitchen and could post/e-mail me pictures of their seams it would be extremely helpful to me.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 11:48AM
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debrak_2008

There are a few on gw who have antique or leathered brown. You may want to google to find them. mpagmom? is one I can think of.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 11:52AM
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oldryder

I am a fabricator. I would reject that work completely. If the fabricator is unable to do any better find another.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 1:52PM
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chispa

My granite guy did an on site cut/trim for an outdoor kitchen granite counter. We needed a few more inches to fit the bbq grill. He did this cut freehand with the small saw and it looks perfect compared to your cuts. I would not find the chips on your counter acceptable from cuts that were made at their workshop, where they should have all the tools and quality control to do a good job.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 4:08PM
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cbusmomof3

I have brown antique granite. I would be happy to post pictures but I don't think it will help because I don't have any seams and I don't have any chips that I've noticed. I can only echo what others have said, do not accept that work.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 7:38PM
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ginny20

Nope, this is bad. In case you haven't found it, here's the thread from the last granite disaster. They had a happy ending.

Here is a link that might be useful: Granite disaster

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 7:47PM
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vsalz

I had it, with seams and cut-outs, and it looked perfect. I know this material fractures easily, but this looks completely unacceptable to someone who has had it.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 11:33PM
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islanddevil

That's terrible and completely unacceptable. Another blaming it on the stone? Really, if certain stones were that difficult to work with they wouldn't be used.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 12:08AM
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efs

vsalz: any chance you may post or e-mial me a photo?

thanks.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 12:08AM
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mpagmom

I have kodiak brown leathered, which is similar. My seam isn't any better than that. I pointed it out to the builder, but I have been ignored so far. I think they need to polish the cut part to get a tight seam, and they obviously didn't. I only had cutouts for the sinks, and they were fine. I'm sure if you get the fabricator out there he will agree that it needs to be redone. Good luck, and keep us posted.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 8:25AM
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efs

the owner asked whomever worked on my stone to fix the edges and the seam with epoxy. Not ideal, but I will update you how would it look when done and go from there.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 2:25PM
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badgergal

Did the owner of the shop see the pictures. I am no expert but those edges are terrible. Trying to epoxy them is not the answer. That is like applying a bandaid when what's really needed is major surgery. I think the owner is just playing a game with you. Why would he send the same incompetent person back. Insist on a new slab and re fabrication at no additional charge.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 4:30PM
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efs

They are already glued to the cabinets... I am afraid they will damage my cabinets when they will try to get them off.

The option of taking them back was not even on the Table. I was told that it is impossible to cut that particular stone without chipping. When I ask for a cut of my stone with a brand new blade there was no answer.

This is why I am looking desperately for somebody who can send me pictures of their seams with Brown Antique granite so I can prove him wrong that this is not the stone, but the fabrication.

Anybody who can share pictures?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 4:36PM
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vsalz

I don't know if this is going to help, but this is my counter. The seam runs behind the sink, but you can't even see it. I don't live in that house anymore. Let me see if I can find more pictures.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 5:30PM
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efs

thank you so much... yes I saw this picture- would have never guessed that you had a seam there...

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 5:38PM
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debrak_2008

The granite is not glued on. Its just silicone. Should be able to just slice it with a blade. Attached is a link about a seam issue that looks like yours.

Here is a link that might be useful: antique brown seam issue

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 6:03PM
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efs

after today's visit it have epoxy at least at the surface- this is what the workman was suppose to be working iwth today.

Would having leathered finish make a difference in seam repair option?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 6:39PM
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repac

Efs: I feel your pain; my Volga Blue had similar issues. I was fortunate to have the backing of the kitchen company who does a lot of business with th
E fabricator. With that impetus, the fabricator decided to cut 2 new slabs of granite, as others have told you. The new seams were better (one excellent, two OK) and the flush mount cooktop area was much better.

IMHO, the fabricator should start over on your cooktop installation with new granite. This is completely unacceptable. If they thought it would be so difficult to cut antique brown, they should have warned you ahead of time. This is not your fault, it is theirs! Make them take responsibility for their. error.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 7:17PM
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loves2cook4six

I have the same granite and I can tell you I wouldn't have paid a penny for anything that looked like that. I have some slight pitting along a small section of one seam but the fabricator installed it so well and filled it with perfect colored silicone that you would only notice it if I pointed it out to you. There are NO chips around the cooktop, cleanup sink or prep sink.

We did have an issue with one piece being cut at 90 degrees to the original layout but the fabricator came back a month later, removed the old piece (with no damage to the cabinets) and installed a new piece. The damage to the seam occurred when they removed the original countertop.

I would insist on new counters if that were mine.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 8:37PM
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efs

thank you...

any pictures of the seams from the antique brown owners?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 9:12PM
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efs

thank you...

any pictures of the seams from the antique brown owners?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 9:17PM
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mic111

Just keep after them in a cool, polite but persistent way. I just had a 4 month granite install (took 4 mths because the initial was so bad). The initial had so many problems that it was pretty unbelievable. The shop manager suggested they fix it with epoxy. You can let them try their fix but you don't have to accept it. Also they can get it off without damaging the cabinets if they are careful so don't give up on them completely re-fabricating it. They may say they don't have another slab but don't accept that either. If they try that then tell them you want a complete refund and they can come get their granite.

I took pics. of their fix and sent them in along with the originals. I also documented everything wrong with the install including:
A half inch gap between counter and back splash.
Middle section of granite pattern going opposite of right and left sections.
Back splash not templated properly and not as high as needed to cover where the old back splash had been.
Chiseled edge corners not as rounded as I would like.

Push to have the owner come out and see the installation. I kept asking for it and it took a while to get him there (the installers tried to fix the problems three times) but there was no way he could argue the install looked OK when he was there in person. He agreed to do all the fixes I asked for and the next time the installer came they brought a new center piece and a new back splash. They also ground down my corners a bit to give them the rounded edge I was looking for. All looked good after that.

Don't give up hope. This is not going to be your new counter tops. I've never once had a granite install go well and I've always gotten them to pull out the bad pieces, recut the ones that don't fit, find extra pieces to correct mistakes and get it all fixed.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 9:34PM
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efs

thank you for the support...

I already called the supplier that they have 11 more slabs from that lot, which came ~ month ago with 22 slabs. I already booked one- the previous lot of antique brown was VERY different from the one that we got the slabs from.
I will try to remain calm but it got to the point that I do not want to go to visit my house since I am afriad there will be another disaster that I woul need to handle.

Will take new pictures tomorrow, to document "fixing" progress.

Mic111 I admire your persistance. I had so many things redone on the remodel since I had not liked them that I feel like I do not want anything done for a while so I can recover... and not worry that there will be another problem that I would need to deal with...

the one in the link below, is sitll not fixed.

.

Here is a link that might be useful: my shower floor fiasco

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 10:57PM
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efs

oldryder: sorry I missed your message somehow- you would ask for everything to be done again? well I am trying but I am afraid I may not have enough energy...

When I mentioned that option, it was rejected on the spot...

As a side note: I saw a great bumper sticker when driving to work after the "granite disasterâ meeting: "Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut, that held its ground"..

it brightened my day.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 11:12PM
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mic111

I feel your pain. In my bathroom refresh I would have replaced the tub and installed new cabinets if I felt I could have done it without some disaster happening. But I have home fix-up fatigue. It is simply too difficult to hire good help. I don't know if it is because I live in CO and all the people in construction probably have medical marijuana cards (now legal to get it without a card) or what. I do know for my previous house that I bought 20 yrs ago here in CO I did not have the problems that I do now with getting good work done.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 11:20PM
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efs

here are pictures after the first attempt to repair the installation.

The cutout for cooktop looks much better now,still a few areas that need attention, but they can probably be fixed as the other were already but I do not think the seam can be repaired? any tricks that I amy not be aware of? I believe this should be taken out and cut at the cooktop and at the prep sink to make shot seams rather than one long one and insert a new piece in the middle so my working area would be a solid piece to avoid seam along the entire 27 inches of counter.

Any thoughts form professional how they would template such counter with cooktop and prep sink ~ 5 ft apart? I thought seams should be as short as possible and one should avoid seams across the entire counter if possible, but this is just my idea and maybe I am not aware of other restrictions etc...

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 8:18AM
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efs

loves2cook4six: could you post some pictures of your seams? That would be extremely helpful to me. Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 11:12AM
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SmartDesignerGirl

Attached is a link to MIA for the homeowner guide to stone installations. It has drawing and spec showing seam placements.

"For over sixty five years, the Marble Institute of America (MIA) has served as the authoritative source of information on standards of natural stone workmanship and practice and the suitable application of natural stone products."

Here is a link that might be useful: Marble institute of America homeowners guild to granite and stone installation

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 11:51AM
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efs

thank you for the MIA link.

It was also suggested by another out of state fabricator- I am in the process of calling a third party fabricator to come and assess the job and give me suggestions about my options in terms of fixing it.

The current fabricator is claiming that the stone cannot be taken off the cabinets as the stone will be demaged in the process.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 11:09PM
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repac

efs: just fyi, when the fabricator removed my granite countertops after a similarly poor installation, all tops were removed without damage or breakage. So it can be done, but maybe not by your fabricator?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 7:06AM
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cbusmomof3

Maybe these help? Like I said in an earlier post, I don't have any seams in my kitchen, but I do have two sinks with faucets. All cuts looked perfect to me at install. My granite is polished, not leathered/honed.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 9:35AM
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cbusmomof3

And another one of my main sink and faucet.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 9:41AM
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SmartDesignerGirl

efs ....If you don't mind me asking...how did you decide and/or find the first fabricator? Why did you select them on your project?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 9:52AM
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efs

he was the only one from the three that came recommended who could get me the stone that I wanted.

The one that was highly recommended that is a member of MIA (now I know) could not get me leathered finish on Antique brown and I was set that I only wanted that granite.

The one who did the job has A+ rating in BBB.

When my husband called stone suppliers for recommendations for a fabricator this company was recommended on the first spot amoung the three they suggested.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 12:38PM
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efs

We have a member of MIA over to evaluate the install and he pointed to us what we already knew, but we were told we are lucky the owner is willing to work on it and is trying to fix it. He said many in our area will not even bother to work on improvements- I am guessing this is happening because we only paid for material thus far.

That said, we discovered yesterday (after the MIA memberâÂÂs visit) that the granite is not attached to the cabinets- or at least not along the entire perimeter. I think it is not attached to cabinets at all, but I cannot say for sure except for the peninsula, where there is a visible air gap between the cabinets and the stone. The granite is sitting on a shim that is placed in the corner of the peninsula (next to the power strip visible on the photos below) and the entire countertop that covers the 52 inch by 30 inch peninsula is above the cabinet tops connected to the cabinets only through that shim in the corner.
The âÂÂair gapâ is caused by the difference in slab thickness between the two pieces of granite that sit on this chains of cabinets running along the wall and ending with the peninsula- the one lifted in the air is skinnier, so it is shimmed above the cabinets to be in level with the other piece ��" these two are connected by the seam shown above. There is also shim next to the seam.

I will get back to the MIA member who was here to have him give me feedback, but would like to hear other fabricators ideas whether such situation is normal?
ShouldnâÂÂt the stone be sitting on the cabinets along the entire perimeter ?

the shim is next to the power strip- hard to see because it is black as the power strip itself.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 4:32PM
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doonie

efs, So sorry to hear about your troubles! So stressful.

I just recently checked my email and saw your question about seams. I have attached a picture that shows the seam in our counter and the cut out around the mocket. The flash is on so the color is more saturated than it should be. But you can see I have no chips, nor have any appeared around the sink cut out in the 2 or 3 years since we redid our kitchen. I sure hope you are able to get this fixed to your satisfaction!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 3:58PM
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