help: should I replace granite slab at my cost

renomama1April 24, 2014

We picked granite, after weeks of looking and then all the lots were sold out where we were sent until the last one....So we get it, but didn't do a tapeout, (wasn't suggeted at the time and didn't think about it, doy! anyway granite was installed great, very consistent (unfortunately, they didn't do us a favor by doing that! except they put two dark spotty and speckly inclusions, the only noticeable ones in the whole kitchen including island right in the corner L. see photo. I've been trying to adjust my eyes to it, but it keeps looking like something spilled on that corner. If it was one or the other it would be ok but the two are very distracting. I see it as soon as I come in the entrance to the kitchen. Fabricator will retemplate and install for free. Contractor won't eat it, because he says that's granite, we picked it, blah, blah..... We want to sell the house one of these days, I'm afraid it would affect sale, though I had a realtor come over and didn't think it would deter reason we the did kitchen reno was to help sell the place. Please tell me what you would do. We spent a lot of dough on the reno, so hate not being happy with it. Am I being unreasonable? Unfortunately not enough leftover to do the whole run (left and right of sink. The leftover has more busy spots left and right of sink. Told not possible to replace a portion without damaging cabinets or If they do to sink seam only seam won't be good....and then I still have to do a tapeout to make sure it doesn't come out worse. Don't want to put expensive blacksplash on until resolved. We connected sink plumbing becuase I was really trying to be reasonable, so that will have to be disconnected/reconnected. What a nightmare....DH is ok with whatever I decide, as long as it's quick....OMG...

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Up to you. I can see how it would bother you, but I'd not replace at my cost. It is fine. It is natural stone. It is what natural stone does...

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 3:23PM
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It's a prehistoric rock and the discoloration may be T-REX poop, cherish the experience.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 4:01PM
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Sophie Wheeler

That's the prettiest part of the stone. I would have wanted it as a feature in a more prominent place.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 5:01PM
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I actually see your point, but I definitely would not rip them out and replace them at this point. They'll "fade" from view soon enough.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 6:20PM
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Counter tops always stand out when empty. When the rest of the kitchen is done and there is stuff on your counters you may not even notice.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 6:49PM
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Thanks for the input everyone. I don't mind these natural inclusions themselves, I just wish they had left more of them on that countertop or on some of the other counter tops so that those two don't look so awkward or look like a spill. The piece of granite left over had more inclusions. I wish that they had turned the piece around on that run, so that there would have been more of them and blended in. I'll keep trying to get used to them, before backsplash goes up! I have one other option, which is to use part of the leftover piece with more spots to replace a smaller counter on other side of stove that might make the corner in question less noticeable, and would be done for free.....

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 8:20PM
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"Am I being unreasonable?"


It's natural stone. Get over it. Move on.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 9:02PM
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When reading your post, I expected to see something entirely different in the picture like a huge quartz-like inclusion or something mineral that looked like red Kool-Aid. I wouldn't think twice about those areas. At. All. Your counters look great so get to work on the backsplash so you can get your house on the market! :)

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 9:07PM
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my "eyebrows" from a distance

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 10:27PM
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Nope. Still fine. :)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 1:42AM
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Agreed. Move on! :)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 8:08AM
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"We picked granite, after weeks of looking "

That should have familiarized you with the characteristics of the material. Natural stone is not homogenous. Fake stone is. You could have opted for a cultured stone like silestone. You picked the slabs. You picked them with the inclusions.

"Fabricator will retemplate and install for free"
"DH is ok with whatever I decide"

That's not true. Nothing is free. And a spouse is not ok with whatever the other spouse decides unless it is a dictatorship. These sound like concessions of defeat someone makes when they are tired from an irrational discussion.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 8:15AM
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Yes, you are being unreasonable. It really is a feature, not a bug. It really is worth the last trip to the stone yard to look at your templates laid out on your slab to be sure you are happy with the choices the fabricator made. The non-uniformity of the stone is what makes it interesting and worth investing in over laminate tops.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 9:09AM
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Thanks again everyone. I'm not a dictator, just a Virgo and my DH knew that when he married me. He isn't thrilled with that corner either but can live with it. Want to re-emphasize that I don't mind the inclusions themselves or wouldn't have chose those slabs, I just mind that they are the only obvious inclusions in the whole f-ing kitchen, not on the 7 ft island or the other 4 counters, making it look like a defect rather than character. There were other similar inclusions in the slab that they chose not to include on that counter, thinking they were doing us a favor--not! The silly thing was, contractor, after the fact, said we could have done a tape out! Gee, thanks, I'll think of that next time I (don't) install granite. I wanted quartz but was trying to be reasonable, due to extra expense, ha!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 10:00AM
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The colouration you don't like is not an "inclusion". Inclusions only occur in minerals and granite is not a mineral.

Only you can decide if it's worth it to replace the tops. It's certainly not an error of the fabricator or contractor. You chose the granite and didn't ask for a template.

If you wanted uniformity, you would have been happier with manufactured stone or laminate.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 10:48AM
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Fori is not pleased

I agree it looks kinda weird to have the only two blotches right there. It was not a well-planned installation.

But.....listen to Debrak. Once the kitchen is done and you put a few other things on the counter, it'll fade.

On the other hand, if it still will bug you, the time to do it is now!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 11:39AM
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I would go for a redo ... especially since you're a Virgo! I think it will always bother you.

Okay, you didn't do a template or a tape-out, but you are not the professional here. If only they had put the blotches toward the back of the countertop ... then hiding with canisters would work. This way they do look like burn marks or something accidental. (Even to a non-Virgo like me.)

This post was edited by troff on Fri, Apr 25, 14 at 13:24

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 1:22PM
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BTW, I only called them inclusions as per contractor's terms for them. Call them what you like, they look really great now, with a bottle of gin and tonic on top of them, lol... $1500 will buy a lot of booze! Decided to leave as is, put up $1200 backsplash and wait for realtors' customers' comments to see if you guys were correct! see backsplash pic.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 2:26PM
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You've gotta be kidding. Your granite counter top looks great!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 9:07PM
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I think you are correct about their placement being poor. While the variations are beautiful features of natural stone, good design/planning is an important aspect that was overlooked here. Some people get the artistry involved, some don't. You certainly do, as would a lot of other people.

Too bad you have to drink, lol. The darks in your backsplash might help blend them in (although it will be quite busy), along with countertop items, as debra suggested.

Agree they should have shown you the templates first. Should be SOP, not placed on your learning curve as a layperson. So much easier for all to be proactive. Now next time around you can be. Although there always seems to be something else you wish you'd known or discovered beforehand, no matter how much research you think you've done. That's why we hire pros with years of experience and know-how.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Sat, Apr 26, 14 at 6:58

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 10:32PM
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The most modern stone fabricators photograph each slab in inventory and when those slabs are selected by a customer, the digital template can be superimposed on a monitor so the customer can see and approve the finished kitchen, including seam placement, before the slabs are even cut.

There are only so many ways a one or two sheet job can be sliced, so it's not always fair to blame the fabricator.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 10:18AM
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On a positivie note, the fabricator did learn from my experience and said they would show the customer the layout (either by photo or in person) before cutting in the future. Lucky them!

Thanks again everyone for your input. Nice to have this board for third party opinions. Friends aren't always honest. I will try come on here more often now to reciprocate.

Lucky us, now we are having another issue that will make me forget about the granite issue, with our busy crown molding, it isn't working due to different ceiling heights throughout kitchen, like 3/4 to 1.5" in some areas! The worst area due to a lower board sistering joist holding toilet pipe between floors (opened the ceiling). Never noticed before because cabinets didn't go all the way up... And now will have to try a simpler crown molding that won't look like accordion in some areas due to height differences, or no crown molding on the high cabinets, ooh.... So looks like we won't be getting kitchen back for a while longer, as we have to raise the sheet rock about 3/4" (that's all we got) in that one area. Now I know more questions to ask if I do another reno job before hiring a contractor. Like, will they measure the room from floor to ceiling for oddities to plan for surprises? Shouldn't that be a norm?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:30AM
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"Like, will they measure the room from floor to ceiling for oddities to plan for surprises? Shouldn't that be a norm?"

Even the untrained eye can detect the differences you state, by simply observing the plane of a surface.

How many days have you owned this dwelling?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 12:12PM
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Even the untrained eye can detect the differences you state, by simply observing the plane of a surface.

I lived with my new kitchen (previous home) for 7 years before I noticed that the aisle widths were different on the two ends. I doubt I'd notice a change in the plane of a surface, unless my food and utensils were sliding away from me as I worked.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 12:37PM
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Well, I'll be honest - that looks squirrelly as h@ll to me. My eyes would be pulled to it every time I was in the kitchen. I don't like it. At all. (And I'm a Taurus.)


But hey, it's your money.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 10:37PM
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Is the back splash already purchased? I think it will be too similar to the granite and too busy with the busy granite. Perhaps the undertones will clash in some lights. Are you sure you don't want a simpler, less expensive back splash in more of a solid colour?

Sorry for the granite blotches. I think it would bug me too. However, I agree that items in the kitchen will distract from those spots when you have settled in. The cabinets look great!


    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 10:46AM
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I think OntarioMom has an excellent point about the backsplash. I think a simple color ceramic might be better than the one you show. I could even see a nice dark brown with that granite, about the color of the "stained" area. It might help balance it out. But I would get samples for sure, before I made any decision. The travertine mosaic you show would look better on a solid colored counter IMOH.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 10:44AM
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Keep the granite, it's lovely and variations in color are a natural characteristic. I agree with the other posts though, the backsplash might be a bit too "busy". I'd go for something simpler, maybe a light beige or cream subway tile? Just my opinion though. I like a simple backsplash that doesn't compete with the counters.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 11:59AM
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Interesting thread (and funny, too, thanks sjhockeyfan and littlebug5!). I agree with those that say the layout could have been better, but given that repairing it might make other things worse, I'd leave well enough alone. I have one area on my granite that looks like a cigarette burn on the edge of the countertop and wondered why in the world didn't they just put that on the wall side instead of the edge, or cut it off completely ... ? It was doubly confusing considering that I had almost an entire slab left over! IMO, all these problems could be solved if all fabricators hired a Virgo to oversee quality control.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 5:35PM
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