Granite Installation Success Stories, Please Share

suzanne_slSeptember 28, 2013

Peke's thread about her first lovely stone/bad fabrication and installation and how that eventually worked out got me thinking. Several people commented there that they were living in fear and dread of getting their own granite fabricated because of all the horror stories about seams and gaps and wrongness in general. It's true, we've had quite a few threads on gaps you could roll a golf ball into, seams with all the expertise of a 14 yr old shop assistant, sink cut outs done by someone with a hangover, and other unfortunate outcomes. It might well seem that getting your granite/quartz/whatever installed is a nightmare waiting to happen. I thought it might be helpful to gather a group of "ours came out right the first time" examples, particularly examples of areas that can be tricky. I'll start:

Splint to prevent breakage in transit:

Scribe to wall and adjacent cabinet:

Link to series of installation photos

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I am a fabricator. My shop, which is mid-sized, does several hundred jobs per year. We have a handful of jobs each year that encounter difficulty.

Sometimes it because our staff consists of people and people make mistakes. We have a formal quality management program so we don't make a lot of them and when one does occur we remedy the situation as quickly as possible.

Another reason a job can run into difficulty is that we're working with a natural material with an EXTREMELY wide range of physical characteristics. The softest stone we work with is a little harder than jello and the hardest is a little softer than diamond.

For example, not every edge can be put on every stone. Since there are 30+ edge profiles and thousands of different stones no shop can know the outcome of every combination. Occasionally even sn experienced shop like mine runs into difficulty with a particular stone or application.

A third reason is that a small fraction of the public is crazy. Ask anyone that deals with the public on a regular basis and they will have horror stories about people that are impossible to please and accept no responsibility for the problems they create themselves. (example: Mrs. Smith changes her stone selection 5 times and then, at install, says we have the wrong stone. Even when presented with documentation regarding the selection she insists the fabricator made a mistake. People like that suck.)

So... if you want a first rate job with with minimal risk of difficulty do your homework and find a good fabricator. It's not likely to be the cheapest one you can find but it doesn't have to be the most expensive either.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 6:01PM
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I'm a KD- Guess I've handled a few hundred counters.

Can count the problems on one hand. The fabricator I've used the most has had next to none -always on time, schedules viewing, have had one minor scratch issue handled next day, one stain handled next day.
There is only one other I trust and use occasionally.

I get a very small discount and don't add a markup. Keeps prices a bit in line but they are still not the cheapest. I will not do counters if I am not doing the kitchen. I will gladly offer the name of the fabricator to people though.

If I am doing a kitchen and client wishes to shop counters around that is fine with me but I will have nothing to do with it in that case.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 6:25PM
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Oldryder, you are wrong, a small percentage of the population isn't crazy. It's more like 75%.

I wish we could have afforded an independent fabricator. They were more than $2,000 more than the big box for the same exact quartz. About 75% more expensive. That said the guy that came out to temate seemed right on top of his game. I will check in me y Friday after they come to install!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 9:44PM
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Lol, I would certainly agree there are a decent number of irrationally crazy people out there, and it seems most of them frequent the pharmacy I work at!

My poor granite shop! I asked so many questions after reading GW for a year. I really think the template guy was caught off gaurd, I was concerned about items they do standard, just the way I wanted them, and don't think twice about!

They answered all my questions, gave me instructions on care, and were very patient. They were very accommodating when I was viewing stones too, and knowledgeable.

My install went very well, and the fit against the walls/cabinets is perfect. Minimal gap by the range, I actually was afraid it wouldn't fit, but it's perfect! The zero reveal sink cut is wonderful too. I have one small piece that tapers by about 1/4 inch, but I really don't notice it anymore. It's a small part of the short wall, I think it may be more related to the corner radius than the cut.

If I buy more granite, I'd definitely go there first! I considered granite for the FP surround, and I know they do a lot of those, but decided it would be a bit much for this house. After the expense of converting to gas, tile is more in line with the rest of the house.

Anyone in the NY Albany/Saratoga area can contact me off board if they want a name.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 10:13PM
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My granite fabricator was fantastic! When my kitchen was still in the planning stage, we took our plans to the fabricator for an initial estimate. I was having some trouble visualizing the unusual shaped island we were considering and the fabricator offered to make a full size paper template for us at no charge or a wood template for a nominal fee.
Having that template was fantastic.

The fabricator used laser measuring and CNC machining and everything "fit to a t".
A seam was needed in the counter to the right of the ovens in order to be able to get the piece in without damaging the walls or cabinets.

The tip of the pen is on that seam

He did put seams at the corners of the cooktop to avoid having a longer seam elsewhere on the run. The seams are almost undetectable.

The top portion of my china cabinet was already installed so the granite needed to be slipped in between the space left by the cabinetmaker between the two portions. The fabricator got it in perfectly.

Love the way the fabricator made all the curves in my counters just the way we planned and was able to do zero/flush reveal for the sink

I live in the metropolitan Milwaukee area. My granite was a level 1 granite and the fabricator charged by the square ft. I paid $64 a sq.ft. and there were no add on charges for measuring or cutouts. All cutting including holes for faucet, air switch and soap dispenser was done at their shop.

Wish everyone could have the great experience I had.

This post was edited by badgergal on Sat, Sep 28, 13 at 22:19

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 10:14PM
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I don't have any mid-install pics to share as I didn't take any but our last kitchen while small and simple went in no problem. We went directly with a fabricator. They don't have a CNC and we requested an arch on the peninsula. They did it by hand and it looked great. The shop we went with said well it's not the guys favorite thing to do but they can and will do it absolutely. I DID want it and I loved it all the more after we had it.

Conversely, another shop we talked to continually told me "I didn't want to do that" which translated to "WE don't want to do that" so they were out and I won't even consider them this next time around.

badger-love your curves! Not sure I have seen your 'hutch' cabinet before - ties in so nicely! Sorry a smidge OT.

oldryder - #3 - yes. Most definitely. There are some people that will happy...with anything. Quite sad really.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 7:53AM
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