Quartz Countertop placement/quality...your opinion

momdr1010June 19, 2014

Hi Everyone,
I'm new to this forum, and I need some advice/perspective on my situation. Thanks!
A week ago today, I had Sileston Lagoon quartz countertops installed. I chose to go to a certain business on the recommendation of my contractor. I trusted his opinion, since he's seen many a countertop in his time.I visited the showroom, gave a rough estimate of the size of my "U' shaped kitchen, which came out to be about 40 sq. ft. I was told that because of the size of my kitchen counters, they might have to use 2 slabs instead of one, doubling my cost. They mentioned that Silestone had jumbo slabs in certain patterns, and one was "Lagoon". They "played" with possible configurations on the computer to see what could work, seemingly trying to place any seams in an inconspicuous place. A configuration was never actually finalized. I said would I think about it, and let them know. I had ordered a sample of Silestone Lagoon so I could test the durability and stain resistance before I made my final decision. After my testing, I returned to the showroom, and confirmed that I wanted the Lagoon. They sent out someone to template with a laser and take pictures of my kitchen earlier in the week, and they gave me a quote based on 41.5 sq.ft. on a jumbo slab. On this estimate it read on the bottom, "Estimate only. Need actual drawing to quote. Will review after template." I never got to review anything further. I never saw a final drawing. This is what I signed. A week or two later, I called to see what the status of the countertop installation was since I hadn't heard anything, and they said they had me scheduled for a week from that day for installation. In retrospect, I should have asked what happened to the final quote, and drawing. Anyway, the crew was scheduled to come between 1pm and 3pm. I had hired my contractor for some other things to do around my house that day and wanted him to be on hand for the installation. The crew finally arrived at 5pm. My contractor was long gone by then.
I left them alone to do the job, since it was already so late, and I was already perturbed that no one called to tell me they were running so late. When they were finally done, around 7:15pm, I entered my kitchen, and there, right in front of me, in the middle of the "U", is a seam! A very evident seam. The seam itself didn't look good to me either. They tried to make one "chip" in the seam look less obvious, but in general, that didn't make me particularly pleased. Meanwhile, I've smelled too much construction adhesive and am stressed, and sign off on it, reluctantly giving them a check, the last half of what we owe. (I asked if I could pay by credit card tomorrow instead, and they said there would be a 4% surcharge.) My husband comes home and is not happy. He doesn't like where the seam is or how it looks. We put a stop payment on the check. We call, send emails the next day to the showroom. No real response.The next day, Saturday, my husband and I decide to pay a surprise visit to the place and talk to the owner. He says he will send a crew over to try to correct the seam. We ask the question as to why the seam was placed there in the first place, and he says it might have had something to do with the "pattern" in the Lagoon. (There may be a "flow" to the Lagoon, but I see no detectable pattern.) He assures us this will be resolved by Friday. Monday no one calls me. Tuesday someone tries to set me up with an appointment for Friday, and I told them the owner told me it would be resolved by Friday, how about Thursday? She makes it for this afternoon (Thurs.) between 1 and 3pm. I just now get a call, at 2pm, that the crew has gotten tied up and cant get here today, could they come tomorrow at 9:30am? Unreal. (I have attached a pic of the seam in the kitchen.) I mentioned as to why I could not have had just one seam at the sink, and was told that it would have been heavy and hard to maneuver. Really?? My kitchen is all open on one side. Thanks for being patient and reading my saga. Am I being unreasonable to expect better service for $4,000? How does this seam look to you???

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Momdr1010, I am just a mostly lurker, lay person on GW, so I do not feel that I can speak to the quality of the seam. However, it does seem the color they used to join the slabs is too white, if you will. I am so sorry the seam was put in a place that you did not officially approve. I had Silestone installed in December and at templating I specified exactly where I wanted the seam. If I'm not happy, it's my fault. Fortunately it worked out well. I hope you will get some attention and support as you work toward an acceptable solution. So sorry...commiserating with you. By the way, the countertop is lovely...

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 8:40PM
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Your seam appears to comply with most manufacturer's specifications. Place a 4' straightedge over the seam and see if it rocks or if there are gaps below it. A picture of the inside corner radii would be helpful too.

If you sketch your layout with dimensions, I could review your seam placement.

This post was edited by Trebruchet on Fri, Jun 20, 14 at 14:39

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 10:33PM
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Sum5463, Thank you for your response and kind words,
I appreciate it. We shall see if they can do some "smoke
and mirrors" tomorrow when they try to fix it. We shall see!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 10:34PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Looks 90%. Tweaking the color slightly should get it the rest of the way.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 10:53PM
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Thanks, hollysprings, and Treruchet, I appreciate your input. Thanks for offering to go through seam placement, but I am going to wait and see what happens with the "fix" they are currently doing on the seam. If it is not to our liking it may be that we will have to go back to the drawing board with owner.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 9:19AM
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Hi Everyone, Here's a picture of the "fix". It's better, but for $4000.00, the seam needs to be in the correct place to begin with, in our book. Since we never saw where it was to be placed during this process, I think we have a right to do this over correctly. Any thoughts???

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 11:23AM
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It seems strange that they would put the seam in the most obvious place. Were they unable to put it near a corner because the slab wasn't large enough? Trebuchet asked to see your layout with dimensions, so we'd want to know what other choices they had.

I don't know if they can recut one slab back to a corner and buy a new slab and do a better seam. They need to be able to cut a clean edge and use the device I mentioned in your other thread to pull the slabs tightly together. Color-matching of the epoxy isn't really the issue. Unless they feel responsible for making a poor choice for seam placement, chances are they won't do anything since the seam looks okay--hard to tell from the photo though. Is it still visible 8 feet away? A quartz seam should only be the width of a razor blade.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 11:43AM
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Be prepared for them to tell you that you will need a second slab based on your seam request, and you would be responsible to pay the difference if that is the case

" but for $4000.00, the seam needs to be in the correct place to begin with, in our book."

How do you come to that conclusion? If the yield is such that you need the second slab to get the seam in the "correct" place this top is going to be $6000

If you did tell them that you would need to sign off on seam location before production and they ignored that request..then yes I would agree that you have a complaint, but I think that the only thing they would offer was to remake the top but you buy the added slab and they would provide a new slab to replace the original

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 12:13PM
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I think you're going to get absolutely nowhere with your request, and do not have a legal leg to stand on. Even if you did tell them you needed to sign off on seam location before installation, so what - you didn't have to let them in your house for the install, but you did. Sorry to be harsh, but unless you have a contract where it says where the seam will be, or a template you signed off on that they didn't follow, I think you're out of luck on seam placement.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 12:44PM
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Yeah I don't think you're going to get much out of them - best bet is to keep tweaking the color until it matches. Beware, you'll probably have to replace that filler eventually - in my experience it turns yellow.

Either way, you have a beautiful counter top! Don't let it get you down - nobody will notice the seam once the rest of the kitchen is done. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 1:14PM
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Sorry, but I liked the "before" picture especially on the edge. It looks like they've jammed some contamination in there or created a void. I'd hit that with some #40 hydrogen peroxide.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 2:45PM
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Thanks, everyone for your comments. I will consider it all!The only thing I signed was a quote based on one Jumbo slab, and it was an "Estimate Only. Need Actual drawing to quote. Will review after template." I paid half of the estimate, and never heard from them again until they gave me my install date. During the signing, we had discussed the positioning of the seam(s) and that it/they would be put in the most inconspicuous place possible....never saw the final drawing. I guess, it was our mistake to trust that they would call us, if there was an issue, like pulling out another slab, if the seam needed to be in a more inconspicuous area. We never got that opportunity to make that decision, or if there were other issues in installation. Their templater had taken numerous pics of the house, etc. to show any problems that might lurk to make the installation difficult. Also, I trusted my contractor''s recommendation on these people, so I was more confident that they would do a good job. He was surprised when he saw where, and how they did the seam.

I posted my "saga", in part, so that others could learn from my naivete. There are many places where this process can go very wrong. Thanks again, everyone who responded. I'll keep you posted!!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 2:51PM
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Fori is not pleased

Do you think you even got the jumbo slab you paid for?

I don't know if you have any options after accepting it, but I certainly don't think that business did the right thing. You were treated shabbily, whether it was intentionally sleazy or just a mistake.

Maybe it was a clerical error on their part but if they don't fix it, I would not be at all shy with sharing my opinion online and anywhere else.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 3:00PM
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fori, Thanks. I think I probably did get the slab that I paid for, but I do believe I wasn't treated right at all. Part of that was they didn't follow through with the process. After we spoke with the owner last week, I got the feeling he was going to work with us to make it right somehow. Now, after my husband just him called today, he's conveniently on vacation, and we ended up talking to the second in charge. Not at all happy with this outcome. Their professionalism leaves a lot to be desired, that is for sure. There should be a process in place, and the steps were not followed. I will be online with MHO very shortly, believe me. Thanks, again.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 4:02PM
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re the seam placement, it is possible that they thought it was the best place for it to be. as an explanation, my fabricator came to template and showed me his 3 seam options. i thought in the corner was the best but he pointed out that the corner or near the dishwasher was my prep zone and not what he recs. he recd it being toward the end of the sink run, far away from the sink. his reasoning was it was where the coffee pot/toaster etc would be and the seam would blend with the counter clutter.
at first it seemed so crazy obvious and now after 2 months, i don't notice it at all.
granted you didn't have this discussion with your fabricator but maybe he was doing what he thought was best?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 5:14PM
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For that color of quartz, the seam should not be visible enough that it even mattered where the seam was. If it were a hair's width like mine is, I'm sure you'd accept the seam in the center of the U and be more forgiving of its poor placement. So why couldn't they do a tighter seam?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 5:45PM
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"So why couldn't they do a tighter seam?"


Because here you're looking at saw-cut edges butted to make a seam instead of CNC or Seamphantom edges butted to make a seam.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 7:14PM
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I was called to reinstall this quartz countertop. When I butted the pieces together, this is what resulted. Not quite up to my standards.

This is why the pieces won’t butt. They’ve been cut with a drifting saw blade instead of a CNC machine, nor have they been run on a Seamphantom. When the pieces are laid level, the bottom of the seam touches before the top as you see in the first picture.

Fortunately, I was able to relieve the bevel freehand with a grinder and got the above seam out of the deal.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 8:47PM
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Great job, Trebuchet! Thanks everyone. My husband contacted the owner today, and lo and behold he's on vacation! Surprise, surprise. So he had to talk to #2 in charge, who was the guy I originally talked to when I signed the estimate. They gave my husband many excuses as to why the seam had to go there....mainly that the countertop is heavy and it would not have been possible to maneuver it over the half wall with the moulding that sticks out an inch, or some such nonsense.. I could have had that moulding easily removed, if they had taken the time to call and ask me, He never said why they did a poor job on the seam in the first place. I think you guys are awesome, and many of you were "right on" with the end result. I've learned a lot. Hopefully, my backsplash will outshine the seam and make it less of an eye sore. Put a fork in it, ladies and gents, 'cause I am done!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 10:19PM
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Thanks for the story and sorry about all of the aggrivation! But your experience definitely will be in the back of my head when we do our template :)

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 3:43AM
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I hope you will learn to love it! I do not know much about proper seaming technique, but I did do a lot of reading before I had my quartz countertops templated and installed. It made it very easy to know they were doing a good job, and gave me the confidence to say "Hey, is this right?" about a surface imperfection that they quickly and easily filled.

It is always useful to someone when we post our experiences good and bad, thanks for being forthcoming and sharing. Knowledge is power!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 7:27AM
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Thank you everyone. Think I will have to learn to love it. :) green haven, sounds like you really did your homework! Had the crew arrived on time my contractor would have been here to oversee the process. In the past I have had Corian....the seam was truly invisible. I knew quartz might be somewhat different, but not that different! Guess I should have done my due diligence and really done more investigation like you did!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 5:35PM
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So sorry you have been put through this ordeal. On a related note, I am having Cambria Torquay installed in my kitchen in a couple of weeks and they will be laser measuring in the next couple of days. They have already notified me that based on the slab being 119 inches and my countertop running 147 inches, and to the angle of the counter where the L shape angles out at 125 inches, they will have to put a straight seam somewhere. Sad there needs to be a seam at all, but grateful they gave me a heads up. Now just not sure which side I want it on. Photo is showing my old laminate.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 7:29PM
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