Replacing my quartz countertop

old1880homeApril 12, 2008

I wish I knew about this board before I decided to buy a countertop from Cambria! Fortunately I only did my island but it was still $1500! There's a large orange resin pool in the center betweeen the size of a half dollar and a quarter. It's very ugly! Today I'm going to pick a granite slab. We're redoing doing the island and completing the rest of my cherry kitchen. This time we're going through Lowe's because I know they will guarantee my happiness. Anyone else have a similar experience or have good advice? I hope to do it right this time.

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Just a thought - our Lowes quoted us double ($11K NOT installed) for granite over what our KD and 3 other granite yards quoted us ($6500 installed)
It is a HUGE misconception that Lowes and HD are a better deal.

Please shop around, ask on here etc. Even the girl looking after us at Lowes was stunned at the pricing.

Same situation for laminate ($1800 at Lowes, $7-800 elsewhere...)

And the installation fees at Lowes are ridiculously high...

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 8:37AM
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My sister works at Lowe's but lives three hours away. Too bad because she would oversee my project if I lived closer. Not only that but granite in the Detroit area is $41 per square foot and here in Grand Rapids they charge $59 for the lowest price group. Lowe's actually makes a small profit. The installers set the price and they compete with all the other installers in whatever town they're in. Even if I did pay a little more I'm buying an insurance policy. I have to eat the $1500 for my island that we're replacing. If I bought at Lowe's I wouldn't. Now I just have to choose my granite wisely. I don't want to go through any more misery than I already have.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 8:49AM
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Can you post a picture of your island? I am getting Silestone and am aware of the pooling but would like to see what you are talking about.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 8:54AM
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I'm thinking of getting Cambria for one of my bathrooms. I thought it had a warranty against defects like that!

What is pooling?

I hope you have better luck with your granite.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 8:59AM
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How do I post a picture? I'd really like to share!! I wonder if anyone else with Cambria has experienced what I have with the resin pooling.
ps..thanks for your advise, planning nut. Even though my sister works at Lowe's it doesn't mean I haven't shopped around. I really think the installers set the price. I suppose you have to be aggressive when shopping within a budget.
Busymom....they told me it wasn't a defect!!!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 9:01AM
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Will Lowe's let you pick out your actual slab? People on this board have reported that some of the big box stores don't let you - if that's the case, you won't know what you're getting until it shows up. Most people find that they do better working directly with a fabricator, but if you happy with Lowe's, then good luck.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 9:12AM
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I haven't posted a picture before so I'm not sure. There is a thread that tells you how. If you have it on Shutterfly or a site like that, I think you can put the link to that in your post.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 9:32AM
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I've heard through Expo, and I'm sure it's the same as all big box stores that you pay for the slab in advance but then can go pick out the actual slab at one of their several suppliers. My problem with that is what do you do if you don't like any of the slabs their suppliers have.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 9:42AM
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RE our area Lowes has contract with a fabricator. We priced a countertop with Lowes, then decided we might want some other granite than what was displayed at Lowes. In our case, we ended up talking directly to the fabricator who offered to either to with us to the granite yards or simply let us go to the granite yards alone and look around a bit. We had his cell phone number to call with questions on pricing (why does the eye go to those exotics?) I'm guessing Lowes is making about 10%. Fabricator told us whenever we wanted he wanted to be sure to meet us at the yard, eventually to help choose our slab....from the point of view of a person who knows a heck of a lot more about granite that we do, and also to talk about how the slab would lay out in our kitchen. Don't know if this process is consistent across all of Lowes...but it is where we live.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 9:51AM
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I spent $6000 on Cambria countertops for my kitchen and have not been pleased with the results. One seam is practically invisible, but the other seam which is in a very conspicuous area is very obvious. The two pieces that meet don't match well with one piece having lots more white than the other. For that amount of money, I expected perfection but was disappointed. We have since sold that house and the counters need to be replaced in our new home. I won't be buying Cambria again and am seriously considering going back to Formica.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 9:41AM
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What is pooling?

the resins that act like glue to hold the quartz together can 'pool' up and show up as blobs or blotches in quartz countertops.

for this reason, most fabricators insist that customers go and ok and tag their specific slab before it's purchased and cut. that's what ours did.

i'm not sure why anyone who's expecting perfection wouldn't take the time to go and sign off on the actual slab you're going to get. i've done that with all three remodels. obviously, that won't prevent all problems, like the seam and matching issues the previous poster mentioned, but it would've saved the OP $1500 and a lot of headaches.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 10:06AM
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I had complete trust in the fabricator (Lakeside Solid Surface in Muskegon, MI) over my Cambria top, in fact, I was never offered the option of "tagging" a slab and never even thought to do it. I am not a perfectionist to a fault but I do believe that you should get what you pay for. Good thing I didn't have to deal with any seams because now it's obvious that the fabricator had no sense of artistry or they would've cut around those large blobs. I think they saw a sucker in me and they figured they'd dump a poor piece of quartz my way. Shame on them!

here's the old cambria top...

and my new beautiful top in granite!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 1:42PM
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That granite is much, much nicer!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 1:50PM
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yep. you certainly had a legitimate gripe. that resin pooling is really ugly. i cannot believe that any fabricator worth his salt wouldn't just reject that slab the minute it got to his shop. i can only imagine what the portion that he cut out for the range must've looked like.

that's really too bad. well, at least you've got something that you like now!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 2:25PM
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Remodelfla--for my granite, EXPO sent me around to local granite yards when their regular suppliers didn't have the granite I chose (not their fault, the quarry was no longer producing it). It took us several weeks but we eventually found an acceptable substitute. EXPO still has their regular supplier do the fabrication...they pickup the slab from the granite yard.

I don't know what would have happened if they had the granite I chose but I didn't like any of the slabs.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 10:39PM
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The spots on the Cambria countertop occur often and are not considered defects. FYI.

But I can see why you wouldn't like it.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 10:04AM
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you've got to be kidding me. that's not considered a defect?

does it show those orange blobs on the samples? does any of their literature or website photos show them?

if that's their company line, that's just weak. a reason not to patronize them, imo.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 10:52AM
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old1880home are correct. Cambria's position is that these are not defects and they have the disclaimers to support it. However, (edlakin) those orange blobs are NOT in my samples, NOT on their website and NOT on any of the slabs that my (new) granite fabricator has in his warehouse. In fact, my new fabricator tells me it is the most extreme case of resin pooling he has seen. *sigh* Live and learn.

At any rate, I am so incredibly happy with my new countertop! There's not one thing I can think of to complain about. My Lowe's experience was SUPER!!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 1:56PM
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