Chipping and edge detail issues for granite and quartz

oldryderJuly 20, 2013

I am a fabricator.

Recent posts and comments about chipping motivated me to provide some information that may be of help to people making a countertop purchase.

The edge profile has a significant impact on any materials susceptibility to chipping. Sharp corners chip more easily than rounded ones. At the very lowest quality levels a "free" edge is polished on a CNC* and untouched thereafter. Noticably sharp edges at the top and bottom of the edge profile are left by the CNC tooling. Flat edges and the Ogee profile are examples of edges that will be easily chipped if the sharp edge corners are not worked by hand after the CNC. (Note: generally, in the industry an untouched CNC'd edge has come to be accepted as "good" quality. It's not.)

A lower quality shop will give you edges with sharp corners because it takes less fabrication labor. Worst case is probably a flat or Ogee with a sharp corner on top. Best if it's a shop that doesn't handwork after the CNC would be a bullnose or demi-bullnose (radius = stone thickness)

If you are dealing with a typical "granite" or quartz surface then chipping should be an uncommon event that takes a considerable blow from a dense object. Some countetop materials like schist, slate, and ones with mica inclusions can be chipped relatively easily. A good fabricator will educate a customer on this as appropriate.

Softer materials like marble and limestone chip more easily as you'd expect.

Fabricators fix chips all the time so a chip in your top, even a relatively big one, need not be a cause for panic. A competent fabricator can usually repair a chip such that you'll have to look close to see the repair. A good fabricator will fix a chip, even in a countertop installation that is a few years old, for free as it's worth the good PR value.

CNC - a computer controlled machine that cuts and polishes stone using diamond tooling per a user supplied program. roughly $300,000.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Holly- Kay

Thank you so much Oldryder. I appreciate the information you are kind enough to post. You have helped me to expand my knowledge base and it is much appreciated!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 12:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
may_flowers

I wish we could sticky your posts.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 1:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
srosen

I always tell folks the fabricator you chose will be more important than the choice of stone.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 1:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Ott2

Oldryder - Thank you!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 2:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rkb21

Great information! Thanks for taking the time to post it!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 6:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Connie K

Thank you Oldryder,
What about the edge around the undermount sink? If I am understanding you correctly, that edge needs to be finished by hand in order for it to hold up against chips. Am I correct?

My sister had Hanstone installed, and has a huge chip along the edge of the opening to the sink. I think I love Quartz, but want to avoid this issue. So if I understand you correctly, it really comes down to the fabricator.

I'm also not sure if I know if the fabricator is different from the installer. So much to learn.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 2:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
loislanedc

Thanks for the information. I am one of the people who has complained about chips. But mine are on the flat surface, not on the edges. Unfortunately, I didn't deal with a good company - the fabricator was a subcontractor for a local store - and I can't get any response to my pleas for help fixing it. SO if you know any good fabricators in the DC area who might be willing to fix chips on counters they didn't install, let me know!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 3:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
psyohe

OldRyder,

What do you think of this 1/4" gap? Only the back and half the middle is like that. The front goes all the way to the cabinet. They just measured wrong. 101' on front and 100 3/4" on back. Peke

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 9:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
psyohe

In the previous picture you can see that he cut the sheetrock to try to make the slab closer to the cabinet. Now it is off on the sink and by the coooktop. Sort of sideways....

This picture is the sink seam. I didn't need a seam because the slab was long enough. The fabricator wanted to put a seam there.

What do you think? Peke

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 9:33PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Looking for stainless steel sink recommendations
Hey GW - I am looking for a single bowl SS sink for...
swatyreno
Need good granite fabricator in KS City area
Our contractor essentially uses 1 fabricator (4hrs...
tea4all
Your longest stretch of granite counter w/o seam?
Our counters will be re-templated later today. It...
tea4all
Why is a backsplash so hard to choose?
Got the counters in place today...love my Taj Mahal...
ssg7741
Odd Shaped Kitchen Remodel
I cross posted this in the Design Dilemma forum, but...
sdp123
Sponsored Products
Americh Nadia 6632 Tub (66" x 32" x 22")
Modern Bathroom
Tesla 2 LED Square Trim 26 Degree
Lightology
23'' Gray Andesite basalt Concrete look Stone Vessel Sink - BALI MOON
Living'ROC
In Good Company Gift Basket - 7502
$182.93 | Hayneedle
Carson 36 in. Signature Series Wind Chime-Bronze Fleck - 60216
$41.99 | Hayneedle
Americh Madison 6032 ADA Tub (60" x 32" x 18")
Modern Bathroom
Rail Brackets
Grandin Road
Mont Blanc Kitchen Waterbrook Dual Mount Composite Granite 33x22x9 5-Hole
Home Depot
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™