Granite install issues. How should expect to resolve?

ZivmanMarch 8, 2014

If there was one thing I was confident in, it was my granite choice and install. after selecting the fabricator, the lady I worked with selecting the stone said I made the right choice. it was the company they used for their showroom. She said " there are installers and then there are craftsmen... they are in the craftsman category"

fast forward to install day -> this past weds (3/5). I'll try to keep this short so hang with me. They install and had to do some grinding to the piece behind my range top to get it to fit right. not a big deal except they didn't grind it evenly. there is a gap as seen in the pic below. I'm fine with the gap, just the inconsistency of the piece. This pic picks up the gap, but I feel it looks worse in person.

When they left I expressed I was not happy with that piece and it would need to be corrected.

I was advised to wait a few hours to install my faucet. so later in the evening I do so. afterwards, I am standing at the sink and the entire sink looks severely crooked. I checked to make sure the sink didn't slide away from the base; it did not. The install was off by 5/16" from side to side. I send them an email and the manager I am working with comes out to look at the issues thursday morning. She agrees it is off and it needs to be corrected. They don't want to break the only full seem they put in because she felt it was too nice to mess with. I advise them, the piece to the right of the sink was installed 5/16" too far forward as well as being cut 1/4" short from the dimensions I was sent. being cut short isn't a big deal because my drywall and back splash will cover the gap, but speaks to their attention to detail.

so installers attempt to correct the sink issue and put a heat pad on the piece behind the sink to break small seams and adjust the larger pieces as a whole. he puts the heat on for 45 minutes and breaks the smaller cross piece behind my sink. not a big deal, they cut a new piece and bring it out, but they chip the larger piece to the right and have to fill it.

Here is where I start getting mad. installer advises he has hesitation about correcting the piece behind the range top out of fear of chipping the larger adjoining pieces. My wife says she wants it corrected and I say not if it makes it worse. installer says well if I leave the heat pad on for 4+ hrs it should just lift right out without issue... hmmmmm if that was the case, why did you only leave it on behind the sink for 45 minutes and end up chipping the stone?

so here we are a few days later. they did improve the sink area, but it is still off by 7/32nds. I have a couple 'avoidable' chips in the area behind the sink, I still have the area behind my range that I told them to hold off with for now.

The stone is awesome, very happy with it, but I am not happy with the install. the pics below are as it sits now.

here is the corrected install and the chips that were filled behind the sink. You can see the piece on the right was cut 1/4" short

notice in this pic how the curve looks odd... it feels off, not polished, don't know if it is fabrication issue, or if the nature of the stone??

this is a pic to show how "off" the piece is behind the sink. You can see how the piece is further back on the left and tapers forward.

here is the one full seam they did. it is decent. just wanted to include for reference:

so now how do I progress from here? if you asked me right now what I wanted done, I would say I want the whole thing removed/new piece cut/ installed. that said, I don't feel like I would necessarily be happy with that. all I know now is that I am 'not happy' every time I walk into my kitchen.....
and it isn't about the money. I don't want a discount. I want the job I expected for the money I was quoted. not a half@ssed install for a discounted price.

I feel like my expectations are too high. everyone I spoke with said I made the right choice. even spoke with the lady at the stone yard since and she says we got you the right stone to the right people, it's very disappointing this is happening

please give me some insight...

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I'm sorry you are having to go through this. I'm having install issues, too. Mine are a bit different, as I'm totally happy with my seams. It's the gap on both walls they are going to address today.

I would not be happy with any of the seams you posted. First, prefer solid cut outs for sink and cooktop. Was that not possible with your slabs? IMO separate rails behind two focal points is an eyesore, especially with poor quality seams.

I'm no expert, but I don't see how this can be remedied without removal and refabrication. Maybe Tre will give some advice, as he's one of out experts.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 12:33PM
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They need to fix it, even if it means replacing the slab with another approved by you.

Sounds like they were playing dominos with your counter.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 12:36PM
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I was fully aware of the seams. I have an apron front sink and range top that just have the pieces on the back side, not front.

I am fine with having the seams, just not how things have played out. I have the remainder of my cabinets coming tomorrow. I plan to talk to my cabinet guy about what he thinks. Seeing things in person gives much better perspective than pics online... for better or worse.

it seems like we are on the same page. It should be done to my liking and if not, it needs to be redone

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 1:02PM
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Very pretty stone. How dissappointing it is not going well. I can't tell much from the photos, but it does look like a bit of a patchwork with seams and color changes. Good thing they sent you their best man. There was your first clue. Hope you have other yards around.

I also hope you have paid by credit card and can get a full refund. They can use the pieces for something else.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 1:07PM
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Sophie Wheeler

No reson that the backsplsh won't cover that. Not an issue at all really. I'd also suspect that perhaps your range isn't fully pushed back. Especially if they had a copy of the manufacturer's specs. What may be complicating things here is the missing drywall??? What is up with that? That should have been completed before you ever called for the template.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 1:19PM
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the stoneyard gave me more than a dozen fabricators to select from. I researched on my own and selected from there. They didn't send me "their best man" . Lady from the stoneyard just confirmed I made a good choice when I went back to look at the stone and tell her who I had chosen for fabrication. She informed me that is who she would use for her installs. it might be complete BS, but I didn't blindly select the fabricators based on their recommendation.

I don't feel like it will be a hassle for me to get them to completely redo the install with another piece. The manager has been working with me.

The way we laid things out I have no issues with having the seems or the placement of them. I was fully aware of where they would be. If I were willing to pay another 50% (for a second slab) I could have gotten away with one less cross piece being seemed in, but would have had to have a second full seam. I have a U-shaped setup and just the way it played out. didn't seem worth it

here are more pics of my setup:

range top and sink:

during install:

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 1:24PM
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Holly, I don't feel the lack of drywall is an issue at all. They should be working to keep the front side overhang consistant along the cabinets, not worrying if it is completely square to the walls when the backsplash will cover the gaps. the piece being cut short is not an issue, I mentioned that... simply wanted to point it out as it speaks to their attention to detail.

the range top gap is not the issue. the piece is wavy because they ground it by hand. it can be replaced, not a huge deal if they really "can leave the heat pad on for 4+ hours and replace it". My main issue is around the sink area. They tried to fix it the following day and I am still not happy with it.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 1:30PM
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That's a nice layout. Mine is U-shaped, as well, but not as much open area in the center. Being smaller, they were able to do mine by cutting one large L out of each slab. I have one seam joining the two L's, and solid pieces around the cooktop and apron sink.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 1:33PM
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Zivman, out of curiosity, is there a reason that you didn't do the drywall before doing the templating and the install? It seems like it will be difficult to attach the drywall below the countertop edge with the granite already in place.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 3:17PM
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What's the concern with the drywall not being there? They measure based on cabinets. I was advised by multiple people it was not an issue and would be even helpful to the installers if the walls were not even. I cut the old back splash out and left it open on purpose. I'd drywall and tile to the counter top. Not sure how this impacts anything. They should be installing to a set overhang to the front of the cabinets

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 4:48PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Ther's an issue involving vapor sealing the space properly as well as insect infiltration. That can lead to moisture issues as well as bugs. As well as getting things that are supposed to fit flush with the drywall to fit properly----like cabinets and counters. It's the wrong order of operations. The counters couldn't even be templated properly without drywall.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 5:09PM
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No concern on my end. I just hadn't seen it before and was curious as to why it hadn't been done first. Didn't mean to strike a nerve. Moving on ...

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 5:41PM
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holly, there is drywall behind the cabinets. just cut out the old backsplash that was there..

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 6:41PM
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"They should be working to keep the front side overhang consistent along the cabinets…"

"They should be installing to a set overhang to the front of the cabinets."

Granite must be installed with the front edges of separate pieces (between appliance openings) on plane. If the cabinet installer has not installed the cabinets on plane and the fabricator follows keeping the same overhang, the reveals at each side of appliances will be off. If the granite installer keeps the front edges on plane, the overhangs may vary but the reveals will be equal. Don't blame the granite man if the cabinet man has screwed up.

Range and slide-in openings should be square to the rear wall, not parallel to adjacent cabinets. This may be what's going on here.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 7:00PM
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I would hope the granite man would let the homeowner know there was a problem that needed to be fixed or else the counter would have issues, not just template and install anyway.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 7:43PM
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if there is one thing that has been done correctly thus far it's the cabinets. there is no rear wall behind the range, so they have to go off the cabinets.. regardless, the cabinets were in and they laser templated everything-> twice for that matter. I asked the guy if there was issue, he says no, but I was on his drive home and he wanted to make sure it was done right before they cut the stone.

if there was an issue with the cabinetry install or the drywall those issues where never brought to my attention. I even asked the installers about the cabinets and they said they were installed very well.

Whatever is going on, it doesn't take away from chipping the stone by rushing a repair... it doesn't discount cutting a piece short from the dimensions I received.

FWIW, they started with the large piece on the near side of the pics when they installed. In my novice opinion, they should have setup around the range and sink and set that piece in last to ensure everything looked as it should around the appliances.... if there was something that was going to 'have' to be off, it should have been that large piece. It wouldn't have an opening/reveal to catch your eye. I feel they rushed the install without laying out the pieces and making any needed adjustments before seaming. they seamed the main seam and behind the sink before knowing where they were going to be when they got the range. By that time they were up a creek with half a paddle

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 7:44PM
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snookums, that is my thought as well. If they had any concern about what they saw when they came out I would expect them to voice it. I asked them about what I needed for them to do their job properly. I specifically asked them about the drywall and about the cabinets -> if either were a concern, or if anything they saw when they were there was a concern.... by the manager, by the template person, by the installers -> NO

so if they had concern and didn't inform me about it, that's on them...

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 7:56PM
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"The (sink) install was off by 5/16" from side to side."

The Marble Institute of America specifies that sinks should be centered in base cabinets. (Drawing 17-D5 of the Residential Installation Standards). I just saw a 5/16" off-center sink on a consult. It doesn't sound like much, but it looks really bad.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 7:59PM
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Don't add words to my posts.. my sink was centered on the cabinets... the counter tops where installed 5/16" off. The counters were so far off I though the sink somehow came off the base cabinet..

and yes 5/16" is a TON

This post was edited by Zivman on Sat, Mar 8, 14 at 20:03

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 8:02PM
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Set a level over the seams and see if they dip or rock.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 8:06PM
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none of them dip, but in terms of rocking

The one on the back right of the range does...

the one on the back left of the range does not

Both behind the sink do ever so slightly

the main seam does not

This post was edited by Zivman on Sat, Mar 8, 14 at 20:10

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 8:09PM
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