What are the chances I can salvage my counters?

blackchamoisJuly 17, 2013

I haven't posted here in a while as I've had to take a mental and emotional break from the madness.

I previously had posted about some of the issues I was having with my GC and cabinet guy but to bring you up to speed, I fired my contractor midway through my cabinet install. In a nutshell, I was tired of being jerked around, going weeks at a time with noone on my job and trying to get them to address a long list of quality issues.

The cabinet boxes (lowers and uppers) were installed, as well as the counters before I realized the boxes were not done to spec (just ONE of the many issues). The doors/drawer fronts were installed, but then removed because the finish was so poor. They said they refinished them and brought them back, but there was NO improvement whatsoever (I am SURE they did absolutely NOTHING to fix them) so I did not let them reinstall.

So .... I currently have the boxes and counters ... that's it.

I am now in search of a cabinet maker (I would prefer not to use a GC - I "think" I can act as my own) to redo my cabinets, but I am hoping there may be some way to save the counters. (They are Caesarstone).

I know this is probably pretty risky but wondering if you have any advice or words of wisdom?

Thank you!

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Sophie Wheeler

If you're only replacing the doors and drawer fronts, the counters can stay right where they are? Or am I missing something about why the counters need to be removed? If they do, it's possible that they can come off without cracking, but if what's underneath isn't straight and true, then putting them back may require that they be different measurements than what's there.

You need to contact the fabricator who originally did them and get them on board with whatever the project turns out to be. Pulling and reinstalling may come down to being about half as expensive as replacing them entirely as labor is always the big component in the equation anyway. If any do crack, then you'll need them to fabricate replacement pieces, so you'll need a Ceasarstone authorized fabricator. And you might as well dance with the one who brung you one this one unless they were a source of the issues.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 7:34AM
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Hi Holly thanks for your response. The uppers and pantry need to be ripped out for sure. I was hoping to possibly keep the lowers in tact, but the challenge is finding a cabinet maker that is wiling to work with the existing boxes/frames.

I have already talked to one cabinet maker and he didn't like how these were done and didn't seem like he was crazy about working with them. He does his boxes different (framed vs. frameless) and had several other concerns about the quality of the workmanship. I am guessing I may run into this with other cabinet makers as well, and just trying to prepare myself for all possibilities.

There is not an issue with them in terms of being straight and true ... to my knowledge.

The fabricator was not the source of the issues ... that was mainly with the GC and cabinet guy.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 9:39PM
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Caesarstone counters can probably be removed and resinstalled without breakage. Unfortunately you can do everything right and still get a crack in a sink rail when removing tops particularly if the seam(s) are epoxied which is typical today.

Most fabricators won't remove installed tops unless the customer accepts the possibility that breakage can occur during removal and holds the fabricator blameless in that event.

If you have a cooktop cutout that was completed on site (normal procedure) it is unlikely that piece could be removed without cracking the thin rails in front of and behind the cooktop. Fortunately the rail(s) could be sawn prior to removal and then epoxied for reinstall. Not ideal but not really noticable if it's done correctly.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 12:46PM
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Oldryder - Thanks for your response.

They installed in 3 pieces: I have a squarish piece for the peninsula. The other 2 pieces were seamed at the sink.

There *should* be a narrow strip in back of where the range will go (connecting the peninsula counter to the counter on the right of the range) but they never installed that.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 3:55PM
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