WWYD? I'm ready to cry. Quartz counter trouble.

abqdebMay 9, 2013

Long story short... I ordered Zodiaq Crema Botticino counters and now that my kitchen is well underway and we have been waiting for the slabs to come, we are now told that they are not making that color now and only have 2 cm slabs in stock. It has something to do with the slabs being produced in Italy and now they are shutting down that plant and will be producing it in Canada in the near future. I could just scream! Per the GC, my choices are: get the 2 cm or wait till the end of June and hope they produce that color again (mind you, we have no kitchen right now) or change colors completely.

Luckily we haven't bought the sink or BS tiles yet (whew) or we would really be up a creek. I'm now looking at the Caesarstone London Gray and Frosty Carina or Dreamy Marfil, but I'm afraid they might be a lot more money. Samples and prices are on the way. I will have to change paint colors which have already been selected, and which was a major PITA to choose. I'm also looking at Okite's Marfil and Botticino colors.

So... what would you do? Our cabinets are a dark cherry color, floors are a neutral color porcelain tile. We are going for a transitional style and want a contrast, but not stark white. We are on a time crunch now and this will delay the whole works. All suggestions (and pity) are welcome!

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I'd wait and pick new colors, or see if they come through with the originals.

Why does this hold you up? Counters are the 2nd last thing to be installed, right before backsplash.

You need your sink before you can get your counters made - I'm guessing you're not doing stainless and choosing a sink of some sort of colored material, hence the need to match to the counters or something?

We lived for a few weeks with plywood counters. I even installed my undermount stainless sink temporarily (just cut a hole and dropped it in like a normal sink).

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 10:40PM
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Why not get the 2 cm thick in your color and do a laminated edge? The laminated edge makes the counter top look thicker.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 10:41PM
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gpraceman, that's exactly what the GC said he'd do, but somehow I feel let down by that alternative. Seems like it cheapens the kitchen to me. He said there would be a seam on the edge and is going to make me a mock up to look at.

Toronto Tim, I live in a place where all of these take some time to ship, but I do have about 2 weeks. I have to make a decision though so that they can paint and I can order my sink. Yes, I was originally going to get a Siligranite in Truffle but luckily had not ordered it yet or I'd really be backed into a corner. GC also suggested living with plywood, etc, but I'm afraid I don't trust Zodiaq to be up and running any time soon and don't want to keep delaying things. I am so sick of making decisions that this just gives me more stress and one more thing to lose sleep over. Sorry, just needed to vent !

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 11:41PM
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I'm not so sure that the average person would even notice that you had a laminated edge, as long as it is done correctly. With a quartz countertop it is much easier for a seam to be hidden, due to the uniformity. It is good to hear that your GC will make up a sample for you. That should help you decide.

Our last house had a laminated edge to the granite (plenty of movement to it) and you really couldn't tell unless you went looking for the seams. It certainly didn't keep us from selling that house in a single day this last summer.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 11:57PM
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You must not be in California; 2cm slabs wih eased edges are standard here.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 12:07AM
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gpraceman, Since this quartz has very little movement and is a "marble like" color, do you think the laminated edge will show?

tmunson, nope not in CA. We see 2cm here as well, but I'm in the real estate biz and I can tell the difference. Maybe I'm too picky?? If so, it's because we've been saving and waiting for this reno for a very long time and this is just a disappointment.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 12:11AM
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If the fabricator is worth his salt, it should be hard to see the seam. They should color the epoxy resin to match the quartz and the seam should be very fine. You should see some laminated edge examples from your fabricator to help you decide.

As I mentioned, our last home had a granite counter with laminated edged. The granite had a lot of movement to it and it was still hard to see the seams unless you were looking for them.

I think that the average person really does not notice a laminated edge, unless the fabricator has done a poor job at color matching the epoxy or doesn't get a tight and smooth seam.

This post was edited by gpraceman on Fri, May 10, 13 at 0:25

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 12:23AM
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Here's a nice example of a laminated edge on a quartz countertop. I can't see the seam at all.

This post was edited by gpraceman on Fri, May 10, 13 at 0:31

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 12:30AM
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Some fabricators will do a mitered laminated edge, which is supposed to be even less noticeable. You might want to ask your fabricator if they offer that.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 12:40AM
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I would use a plywood counter until June.

They aren't sure if they will produce that color again??? I'd make some calls.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 12:55AM
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If you don't like the sample of the standard laminated edge, consider a mitered edge. It costs a little more in labor, but the 2 cm material should cost less than the 3 cm, so it may be a wash.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 12:56AM
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Circus Peanut

For what it's worth, thinner countertops are the hot cutting edge in European kitchen design right now. :-)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 9:05AM
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The end of June isn't that far off. With the typical kitchen remodel, the counters will return to availability, but your kitchen won't be far enough along to do the counters. If you're just beginning the process, you may not have experienced the first of the many delays that are a part of the process. If the counters are the only issue, you'll be lucky! If everything goes according to schedule, then it would only be a couple of weeks with plywood counters. Not a big deal in the big picture at all. Plenty of people have lived with plywood for months and months. It will be fine for you, and you will end up with what you really want.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 9:09AM
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Don't compromise - get what you want. I lived with old hollow core closet doors for counters while I was waiting for counters for about 5 weeks.

Had all my appliances but no sink. Used a dish pan and double bathroom sinks :).

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 9:37AM
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The laminated edge pics look great. I'd probably go that route to make sure I had the color that I wanted... now. What if something else screws up and the factory in Canada is delayed, blah de blah de blah. Pooh happens as you just experienced.

What is that saying? A bird in the hand....

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 10:16AM
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Every company makes a Botticino type quartz, so you should shop around. I wouldn't do the laminated edge. I have Pentalquartz Botticino and couldn't ask for a better seam, but you can see it slightly on a solid color quartz.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 10:27AM
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Wow! You guys are the greatest. Thanks for the support. Praceman, those pics are really good. I can't see the seam at all. How do you know there is one?

Truth is, the new Caesarstone colors weren't out when we chose our stone, so I'm anxious to see the samples. I have a bad feeling about the price though.

GC is supposed to be bringing a mock up laminate edge for me to see today, so I will look at that and consider it. Samples of Caesar arrive on Monday.

I'm worried about waiting until Zodiaq starts production again. What if the color or pattern isn't exactly like my sample? What if they keep putting me off and delaying, yada, yada.... too many variables, but it may be something we have to do.
Mayflowers.. I've never heard of the Pental Quartz and I've looked at a LOT of products. Maybe it's not distributed here. I have looked at other botticinos and we liked the zodiaq product best of all we saw. The Okite was nice too and I will revisit the sample of that.

Livewire, we are a few weeks in and have experienced our share of anxiety (mold!) so far, but I thought the worst was over. Walls have been removed, electrical done, lighting in, drywall up, etc. Monday the floors go in. This is just one more snag that deserves an extra glass of wine!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 10:50AM
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Someone recently posted a picture of their laminated edge (can't remember if it was the decorating or kitchen forum) and it was very noticeable. It was an eased edge though, so I think I'd go with something with a curve if you do the laminated.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 12:17PM
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@abqdeb - If found that laminated edge photo on a fabricator's website. Below is the link to the site.

As msrose pointed out, there are examples of bad laminated edges that you will find. It really depends on the skill of the fabricator. That is why it is important to see examples from the fabricator that you will be using. Preferably those should be with your particular quartz or something close to it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Laminated-Edge on HanStone Aurora Snow Quartz

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 12:39PM
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FWIW, although it is a different color, here is my mitered, laminated edge with a slightly eased profile in a Caesarstone quartz. The height (or thickness) of the miter can be made any depth. The seam is basically invisible.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 12:48PM
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gooster, was yours a 2cm slab? I'm not exactly sure what view I'm looking at, but I sure can't see your seam!

Thanks for the help!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 1:04PM
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Is your kitchen traditional or modern? If traditional, I like the 2cm pieces offset like the Dupont edge. HIdes the seam completely! I've seen this edge and it's gorgeous.

Also, if you're doing inset cabinets....2cm thickness alone with an eased edge looks good too!


    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 1:14PM
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abqdeb: Yes, it is a 2 cm edge laminated and mitered just like the drawing gpraceman posted above. The total thickness ends up being 1.5" (or 4cm) thick. You can make the length (or virtual "thickness") any depth you want/ The edge is also very flush, it sticks out only 1" from the front of the cabinet face, unlike some of the other edge profiles. The seam is at the point where the top piece and side piece meet, but is undetectable.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 1:15PM
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We're going more towards the modern look (but will prob be more "transitional" than anything). Shaker style cabinets in a dark cherry color. Thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 1:31PM
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I am the one who has the laminate edge disaster. Our slab is (nature) quartzite with color and pattern variation.

Do NOT believe photos from website, or any statements from anyone except from very experienced fabricators who produce high quality work.

There are too many factors that would determine the outcome. The only way to prove the edge would be done right, laminated or mitered by your fabricator, is to see a sample your fabricator makes with exact the type of material you choice.

This is what we will do for our other remodeling projects.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 1:50PM
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azmom, Thanks. I remember your original post and it's one of the reasons I'm worried. I will be seeing an example of the fabricator's laminated edge, but obviously it will not be made from my same material.

For those of you that have the 2cm. quartz... is there a reason that you went with that instead of 3cm?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 1:55PM
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I was just hunting down that thread. It sounds easy enough to build up an edge and they make it sound benign. I know I would never imagine it could look like stacked stone and that someone would consider acceptable what happened in azmom's beautiful and stylish bathroom that she obviously worked so hard on (I hope you will have them redo that edge).

The other thing is if you have an undermount sink. Apparently they think nothing of and do not warn about having a thin edge around the sink but doing the thick slab look along the front edge.

Just a heads up for anyone else who did not follow that thread.

Here is a link that might be useful: Laminated Edge Problems

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 2:36PM
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I have a piece of laminated counter with a sink (with GD) mounted that has been through at least more remodels over the past 20+ years than I can remember.

It is put on 2x4 framing if cabinets are not available to leave customers with a working kitchen.

When the cabinets are available it goes on the base cabinets.

When the counters are ready it comes out and the counters go in.

More than one customer has just abut feinted when they saw it installed following a day of demo on the old cabinets.

The stove stays, the refrigerator stays, and there is a working sink.

Counter space is tight, but at least you can cook.

I just store that same old piece of counter, sink, and GD between jobs leaning against a wall, sometimes with the GD removed (since they are easy to attach and detach from the sink drain collar).

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 2:58PM
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abqdeb, you are welcome.

The material used on sample does not need to be exact, but it needs to be extremely close to the one you pick. For example, of the same type quartzite, granite, marble, or man made hard surface.

Handling solid, consistent material is not the same as handling material with lots of elements that are easily to break off or having various Mohs scale in the same one slab. Using a sample as close will tell you how well your fabricator handles the material with either mitered or laminated edge.

The color and pattern variation should be very similar to your choice. Using eproxy on similar or solid color, is not the same as on ones with pattern and color variation. Our slab has big light and dark variation, it has built in challenge to pick matching eproxy.

The opinions on the thread may not all represent real life examples, some make it sounds so easy. Seeing an sample is the only way to assure you the edge will be done right.

Based on what I know now, I should not take GC's advice to use build up edge. Our GC is a perfectionist who delivers fantastic work. But now I wonder may be he is not as well versed on the quality of stone work as on other aspects of a project.

I veiw the cabinet counter top the waterloo of our project. We decide to live with it, since it is in a hall bath, and everything else is well done in term of material and labor. Ripping out everthing and redo may present other potential risks that we are not willing to take.

A side note, when I showed friends the new bath, everyone loves it. A friend thought we paid extra to make the special edge.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 3:02PM
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Wow, I really wanted 2cm non-laminated edge countertop in my kitchen. It is the trend in Europe and starting to come here. It is primarily for modern kitchens, but I think really stunning looking. I tried to convince my GC to put in the 2cm, but he said it required some extra support, or something. I didn't quite understand, but it didn't seem worth it in the end. You may do some googles or houzzs and see - maybe you would like that look, and maybe your contractor can do it without issue.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 3:17PM
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With the 2cm countertops, they put down a layer of plywood on top of the cabinets to provide the extra support. The laminated edge hides the edge of the plywood from view. Not having a laminated edge would pose a problem.

Someone mentioned about the thin look around the sink cutout. I wonder if a fabricator would laminate that edge as well so all edges have the same thickness. I guess that it couldn't hurt to ask.

This post was edited by gpraceman on Fri, May 10, 13 at 15:34

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 3:32PM
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As gpraceman describes, I have a 2cm quartz countertop with 5/8" plywood underneath for extra support. You need that laminated edge or else the plywood would show. My quartz is dark and mottled and you cannot see the seam unless you make an effort to get in close in the right light. It feels perfectly smooth. It's true that it's only 2cm surrounding my undermount sink, but I never noticed or thought about that discrepancy until I read this thread. It's no biggie.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 3:50PM
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You don't need a laminated edge to cover the plywood.

You could put a 5/8" molding matched to the cabinet material over the plywood edge. That's what a friend of mine did with theirs and it looks very nice.

Another friend just left the plywood edge. Their granite overhang hides it in shadow. I noticed it because I put my head down to that level and looked carefully. I doubt that anyone not looking specifically for it would notice.

Mine is built up around the outer edge but not around the sink edge. I wouldn't want it built up around the sink edge because at 10" our sinks are deep enough already and I wouldn't want another 3/4" of depth.

By the way, for plywood supporting a seating overhang, I'd suggest getting plywood with a veneer facing the bottom exposed side. Our GC just put plain plywood there as I didn't think to ask for veneer and it bothered me when I looked under the overhang and saw a foot of exposed plywood. Plus if you reached your hand under it didn't feel totally smooth. Fortunately, my talented DH got veneer and skinned it so now I'm not bugged by the thought of it. Nobody but me and any toddlers looking up at it would have seen it but it still bugged me.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 9:22PM
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I've just seen a number of showroom kitchens. Many had 2cm material, with built-up, mostly mitered edges. The 2cm edge around the sinks looked wonderful...less clunky and sleek. I liked the combination, and so did the friends I took with me. Think I'll do it that way.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 4:50PM
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We are in the midst of remodeling a kitchen in a second home. In that area of the country 2cm is the norm, with the built up edge and plywood described above. I was initially worried, because where we live 3cm is the norm (all of our counters are 3cm granite, limestone or marble).

In the remodeled kitchen we just had Ceaserstone Dreamy Marfil installed (2cm with the built up edge over plywood). It looks fabulous. You have to look very, very close to discern any seam (and only because I'm really looking for it).

The Dreamy Marfil (you mentioned you are looking at that product) is beautiful!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 11:03PM
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I love your kitchen, and the dreamy marfil. Gorgeous. Is your edge mitered? I really can't even see a seam. Is your sink SS? I can't really see from this view what you paired with those beautiful counters.

Isn't it funny how every part of the country, and world, has different expectations for these materials?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 12:36AM
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Hi abddeb--it's actually the eased, laminated edge that is shown in gpraceman's pic. There was no additional charge for that edge, and I wanted the more contemporary look of the eased edge. I realized there was a mitered option before I had the countertops fabricated, and was tempted, because I too was worried about the seam showing, but I talked to a few people and decided to go with the laminated edge. I think, as others have pointed out, that the laminated edge would likely be more visible in a stone or product with a lot more variation/movement.

Glad I did the laminated edge--saved money and I think the end result is great. Funny, when I talked to fabricators in the area where this house is (CA), the assumption was 2cm--of course I could pay more to have 3cm, but that wasn't the norm!

The sink is a 30" stainless steel Krauss (a GW favorite--I sent back the first sink I ordered after seeing the reviews here). It's a deep single bowl sink.

It is fascinating to see the differences in regional preferences!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 8:17AM
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Anne, not trying to hijack the thread but can I ask what your cab wood is and the finish, too? Natural cherry? Really beautiful and the Dreamy Marfil is gorgeous.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 8:33AM
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I just read through this thread and now I am confused. I am about to buy my quartz countertops this week and decided to go with 2cm with plywood under, and a mitered eased edge to 1.5". Both my architect and my contractor said this approach is actually stronger than getting 3cm, and that 3cm is actually the less expensive option. (I also think 2cm with the mitered edge looks nicer).

I don't understand the idea that 2cm is a let-down from getting the 3cm option. I thought granite makers went to 3cm as a way to actually reduce expenses, not to create a better-quality product.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 9:28AM
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Calumin, I think you shouldn't dismay. The technique you describe is actually a newer one, one that is coming to us from Europe, which appears to be a design influencer we USA-ers often follow, sometimes slowly. I would bet money on it being a style norm very soon. You and I can be trend-setters (smiling).

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 12:23PM
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Jansin, we went modern in our kitchen remodel and I also wanted the thinner counters I have been seeing in pictures of European kitchens. It was no problem because we have custom cabinets and planned for it in advance. Because the cabinet guys knew we would not have a built-up edge to hide a separate plywood subtop, they built the cabinet boxes with solid tops. I really like how the 2 cm edge looks on our perimeter counters. We went with a 2.25" mitered edge on the island, both for variety and because I wanted a taller work surface there.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 12:44PM
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Thanks Kaysd, that's what I figured had to be done, but wasn't sure. Good to hear it in person from someone who did it. As I said, neither here nor there for us, but I do love the look.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 1:01PM
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Deedles--thank you! The cabs are actually IKEA if you can believe it. This is a remodel in a second home--not sure if this is the "forever" remodel, so wanted to economize. They are the ADEL Beech cabs. I have to say, after having custom built cabs in my current home (maple in kitchen, cherry in dry bar, and walnut in basement kitchen) I am pretty impressed with the quality of the IKEA cabs.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 1:23PM
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Just to follow up on what we decided since so many of you were so very helpful. We ended up ordering the 3 cm Okite Crema Botticino, which actually looks exactly like the Zodiaq and is produced in the same plant in Italy.

The samples from Caesarstone never arrived as promised and they never got back to us with a price quote either. So much for their customer service. I really considered the 2 cm slab and love the photo that Anne posted of her kitchen, but at this point we decided to stick with what we originally wanted. Truth is, we just don't see too much 2cm around here. I was really fascinated to learn that some areas prefer it. I needed to get the order placed or hold up progress on the kitchen.

So, thanks to everyone for the ideas, suggestions and info. I'll keep it in my brain for the next reno (which I hope is NO time soon)!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 9:32PM
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