Redroze's Granite install - Bad seams and all

redrozeAugust 9, 2008

Okay, I am so over my last post of whining. I'm here to share my experience with all of you, just as I've absorbed tons of good information on this forum.

The granite install only took 4 hours. That's short considering there were 4 pieces to bring in, including a 3x8' piece for the island. We did all of the prep work thanks to GW - removed counters below main and prep sinks and cooktop, saran wrap and painters tape on glides. We also rolled out paper to give them a path on which to walk. They were awesome, I didn't know whether to tip them at the end but I gave them some home-baked brownies (from my mom) and bottled waters and they were so happy.

What went well:

- The fabricators were awesome. One experienced guy, two less experienced guys, but the lead guy was so good at directing them.

- They brought a vaccuum so there was barely any granite dust for us to clean up.

- The edges look great - square and chunky, and polished just like the tops. It's 1 1/4" and looks really good around the sink reveals.

What could have gone better:

- Our granite doesn't have a defined movement, but the seams could have been done better. As you can see, they don't quite match up well. Especially the grey splotch in front of the cooktop seam that looks like grout (or whatever you call the granite material to fill in the seams) but isn't. The short story behind this, the guy measuring for us was a complete a$$ to hubby and I, I think partially because we look young, and rushed us when we insisted on coming for the templating. He told us to specify where the island would go, but all the rest was too difficult for him to explain. We had to come in after work one day as he messed up on the Saturday we were supposed to come in, and even though we were half an hour early for our appointment, he intimidated us and rushed us out before our appt was even supposed to start (claiming he had another client)!! We had a sick feeling and asked the cleaning lady to let us in, and we taped up our slabs as best we could to show areas we wanted to avoid and areas that we wanted facing the wall. In hindsight, we should have just rebooked another appt. He said they would phone before the cut it so we could look at it marked up, but when I phoned to follow up the woman said they already cut it. Maybe he was pissed that we marked up the slabs without him.

Lesson learned, demand that you approve all templates before they cut it. You certainly pay enough money to justify coming in.

Look near the top where the grey splotches are. It makes it very obvious where the seam is. This seam is to the left of the main sink, they wouldn't do it in the center of the sink. This is also at the main corner so they should have done a better job of making it flow, as it's an obvious spot to put a seam.

On the edge, to the left of the seam, notice the grey splotch that looks like grout but is actually a chunk of quartz. Looks worse in person.

- Our GC friend comes in, and the first thing he spots is one small crack to the left of the sink!! Argh, we ran our hands over the surface to check but somehow we missed thsi one. We need to fill it in - any tips? Can we do it ourselves or need to bring them in again?

Notice the crack to the left of the red area, smack in the middle/bottom portion of the photo:

What I love (in a giddy kind of way):

- Our granite, Bianco Antico!! One one hand it has a very neutral base, is elegant, understated and has a vintage feel to it. On the other hand, especially in the evenings with the potlights shining on it, it sparkles and shimmers like nobody's business! It has bits of red garnet, silver leaf "sheets", black mica, and taupey grey quartz. LOVE it. It feels like having a jewel in my kitchen, thus its other name, White Diamond.

- My giant main sink and my tiny cute little prep sink! I wanted as small a prep sink as possible as I wanted tons of counter spce on the island.

Here are a few more photos:

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Very pretty grantite! Mine was installed the day before yours. I have a smaller kitchen. I needed only two pieces - and didn't have to get a seam. I too noticed something - a sharp edge -after they left.

Only you'll notice the seams. Anyone else who comes into your kitchen will be blown away with how beautiful the granite is, as is the rest of your kitchen!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 9:17AM
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Gorgeous, gorgeous gorgeous!!!! I think the beauty of your kitchen will knock off the socks of folks before they even notice or think about seams!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 9:29AM
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Really lovely, Redroze! It's all coming together and is going to be beautiful.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 9:32AM
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That looks sooo beautiful! I love the edges on the granite. I was really distressed about my seams too - but it's been in a week now and I hardly think about it. It did help a bit to do larryl's magic marker trick!

Here is a link that might be useful: larry's granite seam

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 9:45AM
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Redroze -

your project looks terrific!!!!

The stone you have had installed is one of my personal
faves (for use in my own home).....

The depth of the colors and the quality of being able to
"look INTO" the Stone is so...

"Rammma-lammma-ding-dong..." aka "Oh Baby, Oh Baby, Oh Baby!!!!!!"


This is why (personally) I LOVE working with NATURAL STONE -

God Made It - We as Fabricators simple embellish it a bit....

Great Looking Installation!!


    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 9:49AM
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That is one beautiful piece of granite!!! Nice choice!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 10:41AM
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Gorgeous Granite! I'm guessing you are doing the *happy dance*! Congrats. I agree, no one but you will be noticing the seams, and if they bother you, do the larry trick. Beautiful kitchen!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 10:55AM
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It's gorgeous, and only you will notice the seams. I like your sink and cooktop, too!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 11:02AM
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I think it looks great. Everything seems worse post-install.. once you get to use your kitchen, these little dings and imperfections will become less important to you. We had a few crises (or things I perceived to be crises)... a month after we completed our kitchen they didn't even bother me anymore.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 11:30AM
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Oh Red! It's perfect!!!! You might recall, I had Bianco Antico installed in a bathroom... and it is my FAVORITE! I can totally understand your love for it. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 12:04PM
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I absolutely love it! Looks perfect with your cabinets. Not too much movement, but not too less. PERFECT! I will add this to my list of possibilities for a granite choice ;)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 12:29PM
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First, I love your granite. It looks so pretty in your kitchen and I am having such a fun time imagining the sparkle. It must be incredible!

danielle00 summed it up best for me -- right now, when that gorgeous granite is your focus the "problems" are most of what you'll see.

I don't want to sound as if I'm minimizing your feelings because I am NOT -- I totally support you. But based on my (albeit limited) experience in my kitchen, based on what I'm seeing in your pictures and based on what I know to be true of life in general, no one else will notice or discount your kitchen based on them.

There are a few areas where I would have done things differently than the fabricator (I mean, if I knew what I were doing!) and yes, I still on occasion notice them. I wouldn't say they bother me but yeah, I do notice them. My husband doesn't even notice them (and he uses the kitchen a lot), and not a single person who has come into our house and whom I've had in our kitchen has noticed, not even our fastidious and eagle-eyed cabinetmaker! To some of these people I've pointed out our "problem areas" and to a one they've said either "yeah, I don't see it" or "oh, now I can see it, but if you hadn't pointed it out I never would have noticed."

I do think your fabricator sounds sketchy and I don't like the way he hustled you out of there, but I really do like seeing your gorgeous kitchen with your gorgeous granite. Thank you so much for the pictures!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 12:57PM
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Your granite looks beautiful!!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 1:14PM
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mustbnuts zone 9 sunset 9

Well I tried hard to find the bad seams and cracks. Couldn't see what you were pointing out. All I could see was the absolutely beautiful, gorgeous granite, cabs and kitchen. So, so pretty! I love it. Love the appliances as well. Great job!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 1:46PM
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That is one pretty granite!! And I say that as probably GW's most "anti granite" person (except that hotmurderinggranite dude)! :-)

Oh, it is so frustrating when things don't go the way you are expecting! I'm sorry! I think you should definitely try the markers. They work really well! Unless you are an obsessive-compulsive neurotic like moi, you will probably move on and soon enjoy your gorgeous kitchen.

If you are an obsessive-compulsive neurotic like moi (and I hope you aren't!), then things will likely go like this (this is how it went with my 20 inch crack):

Month one: Dang it. I can't believe they messed this up. [Immediately show the problem area to anyone who comes in the kitchen] This stinks! Why did this happen to me! [feet stomping, cursing, etc. Lots of work with sharpie markers, etc. to improve the appearance.]

Month two: Same as month one, but less intense. No longer showing the area to visitors. Instead waiting for them to find it.

Month three: Resignation sets in. Learning to live with it. Still a little bummed, but there are bigger fish to fry (at least at my house).

Months four through seven: Chuckle as I wipe down the problem area. Sometimes make a barely audible tsk sound. Usually don't think about it. So glad to have a counter after not having one for 2 years. And too focussed on other things that still need to be done in the kitchen. [Obsessive types like myself just need something else to obsess over]

Soooo, if you are the obsessive type, then my best advice is this: Do Not Redo Your Hood for at least 4-5 months. You will be so busy obsessing over the hood, that you will forget all about the seams! Then, by the time you fix the hood, something else in life will take over, and you should easily be at the "chuckle as you wash the seams (which are now invisible thanks to the marker)" phase.


Now go stroke your gorgeous granite!!! Those red inclusions are so beautiful!!! And don't forget to take your lithium. [Oh--wait. That last one was a reminder to myself.]



    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 2:31PM
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Congrats Janran - Isn't it great to have granite?

Mcps - I wish I could do Larrylwill's magic marker trick, but unfortunately it wouldn't help. The seam itself looks good, very thin (maybe 1/16"?) and a good colour. The problem is that the pieces on either side don't match up so I'm still in the same boat. It's okay though...too late to go back now!

Kevin - wow, that's a great compliment coming from a stone guy! I remember when I was first looking at Bianco Antico, I posted on the Stone Advice forum was I was worried it was a "blacklisted" granite in terms of durability. I had read that both Bianco Antico and Delicatus crumbled easily. They assured me it could be fabricated by a competent fabricator (like yourself) and to go for it! I know, the Bianco Antico has all of the things I love about granite!!! So much visual interest and it's great that it's all natural stone. The fabricators were terrific, it was the measuring guy that gave us a bit of trouble. But it all works out.

Claybabe - When it first went in I was stunned, then I had this moment of a sinking feeling a day later (thus my previous post) probably from the reality of having it, and now that I've calmed down I am definitely doing a wonderful happy happy dance!!

Danielle - Good to know that the feeling goes away!

Tsdiver - I still remember us a few months ago talking about the Bianco Antico! =) The stone you chose for your wowee of a kitchen looks amazing (soapstone if I remember correctly), but I know it also looks great in your bathroom. A very versatile stone in terms of working in different rooms.

Twogirlsbigtrouble - That's great! Enjoy the granite choosing process...for us it was instinctual (this granite just did it for us) careful as I saw lots of other Bianco Anticos that were quite different in colour. Some had swirls, some had lots of yellow and black. All depends on what you want.

Rmkitchen - I'll try to take a photo at night for you so you can see the sparkliness. My husband didn't notice the "seam issues" or more accurately, the issues of the slabs matching up. Our GC/good friend admits that anytime he walks into a room, all he sees are the flaws, which gets kind of exhausting sometimes. Again, the fabricators (three guys) were great, it was the guy who measured who was really impatient with us. Actually, you were one of the people (from the other post) who made me brave enough to post the photos. I was afraid of being open for judgement...but I know how it is here on the forum, people generally give help if the OP asks for it. So I don't know what I was thinking!

Francy - I can't do the magic marker trick for the reasons I mentioned above. I am...occasionally obsessive-compulsive. I will claim that GW has done it to me...when it reality I was probably bordering on it all along. ;-)

And everyone else - THANK YOU. I hope you all enjoy the photos.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 3:57PM
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Love your granite! It is absolutely beautiful, and the seams are probably only noticeable to you. Anybody else who walks into your kitchen will only see the stunning countertops, which look so perfect with everything else.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 5:22PM
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Your granite counters and everything else are GORGEOUS!! I agree that the "flaws" are going to be most noticeable to you, nobody else will see them at all :)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 6:38PM
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Beautiful! That granite was actually high up on my if-I-can't-have-blue list. It is a truly beautiful rock. Again, no one else will notice, especially with your relatively busy swirls.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 9:07PM
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looking good!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 9:12PM
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Love your choices. Everything looks fantastic together!!! Would you mind telling us about your hardware? Looks great with your cabinets!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 9:51PM
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Jwm211 - You must be new here, I've never seen you post - welcome. Sure, all the hardware is from Restoration Hardware. I looked everywhere for hardware and these were the ones I liked best! The pulls are called Aubrey, the knobs are Hanson. There's also a glass cabinet that will sit on top of the granite, and it has two glass knobs, also from RH.


Here's a better look at all the hardware. Not a very good pic of the glass knobs but you get the idea:

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 10:17PM
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Oh redroze, see we are ooohing and aahhing! It is sooooo beautiful, it turned out even better than when you were trying to decide on your cabinets and you had that little sample of your granite. Your kitchen is amazing and you are almost there.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 10:39PM
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I know Pluckymama, it makes me feel silly and spoiled for whining in the first place. I need to is not can't go down three different can only have one style of main sink, can't do both Blanco super single AND apron front...keep the vision in mind...almost there. Still a bunch more choices to make but it's supposed to be fun! Thanks for enjoying the ride with me.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 10:45PM
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Gorgeous Granite!! Your kitchen is looking spectacular and

both cabinet colors match beautifully with it!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 10:48PM
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Absolutely gorgeous!

What bad seams? Everything I see is simply beautiful!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 1:07AM
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PERFECTION!!!! That granite looks so perfect with both colors of cabs in your kitchen--I mean, it's gorgeous on its own, but I really love how it sets off (and is set off by) both the white and the stained cabs. With those yummy matte backsplash tiles you're getting, it will be a match made in TKO heaven!

FWIW, with regards to seams, our seam is far from the best (too wide by far, a little chippy, and after being re-done twice because of lifting, appears to have lifted a bit yet again--I can feel the edge on one side again). My sister, who is so NOT TKO even commented on it the first time she saw our kitchen ("they did a better job on my seam" she said, without my even pointing it out).

Yes, it's still annoying that this is so, but it is what it is, and eventually you stop worrying (aka obsessing) about it. This is saying a lot, because I am the queen of obsessing! I do find myself hoping that it doesn't lift any further (each time they open it up to fix it, it seems to get wider), but beyond that, and the occasional twinge when I see all the nice tight seams on this forum and IRL, I don't think about it much at all.

To paraphrase someone on this forum, "only we know where the bodies are buried..." Way too many things in many of our kitchens have stories behind them (in my case, the corner that had to be cut back onsite, the window sill that didn't fit, and so on), but pretty much nobody but us will ever see or remember them.

That said, from what I can see, your seams are far, far from terrible, really, and I am very excited for you that this is all coming together so beautifully!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 12:48PM
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redroze, congrats, your kitchen looks amazing!! Those floors are to die for (thank you for posting your photos over in flooring). It just all works so well together, so gorgeous.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 9:51PM
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Hey thanks, Dalcolli! If you knew what we went through to get these flooors - let's just say 3rd time's a charm!!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 10:23PM
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Wow Redroze, I do sound like you!!LOL Im glad to know Im not alone in my obsessive compulsions about my kitchen. I really do think it sucks that your fabricator rushed you out of there like that. I't easy to get bullied by these guys sometimes and then after the fact you realize what you should have done.

Despite this, your kitchen ROCKS!!! OK Im giving you a screamin' ride on the hot tamale train (like mary murphy on so you think you can dance...WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

That granite was one of my top 3 choices and I love it so much. YOur entire kitchen looks gorgeous. I know the seams bug now, but i agree w/ pp's that it will not be a big deal in the long run. Niiiiiiiiiiiice work!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 11:06PM
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Your granite is WOW! Please don't take this the wrong way but you are probably too sensitve about your seam. As long as it is not rough to the touch I think it is good. You know with a natural stone which has its very own unique pattern there is no way the fabricator can match each side. If it means anything at all to you I think you stone is drop dead gorgeous! I didn't even notice your cabinets or if you had any appliances. Really. Enjoy it, and don't feel obligated to point out the seams! No ones going to focus on it if you don't!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 12:08AM
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Stunning kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 7:08AM
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The hot tamale train!!???!! That rocks Mrsandrews!!!!! Thank you. Which granite did you end up with?? I know, I know. I need to calm myself down before I freak out again. I mean, soon the appliances are going in, then window treatments. I can't post another "oh no, this is too XXX" everytime I frickin put something new in my kitchen!!!

Thanks neesie! I didn't realize I was being too sensitive. To me, from a technical perspective, it just doesn't match up. I've seen some kick a$$ seams on GW where they match perfectly, and we had two big slabs for them to choose from, so I was just expecting that they could do a better job. But maybe my expectations are too high. And no, my mother-in-law has told me before, for goodness sakes, don't point out the flaws!!

Thanks Patricia!!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 9:14AM
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Hello Redroze, I very beautiful kitchen you have. It inspired us to finally pull the trigger for our remodel ! If you don't mind could you please post a closeup of your flat pannel door profile. thanks from a new member!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 11:51AM
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Welcome Canlawn! I am flattered and hope you enjoy all the twists and turns that come along with a reno.

I have photos from when the cabinets were not yet installed. They're dusty though. Here's a close-up of the side fridge panel. I will take another photo when I get home.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 1:09PM
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Canlawn, here are some more close-ups.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 10:41PM
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Beautiful, beautiful granite. You and my sister would have a ball finding things wrong that no other living soul will see. LOL Believe me, those counters are so gorgeous no one will notice any flaws.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 11:05PM
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