granite installation issues - please help

Rose1614September 11, 2012

Hello! My uba tuba granite was installed on Friday. There were a few issues: the seam near the sink was noticeable from a distance (probably at least 3/16" wide), there are gaps behind sink between 3/16" and 5/16", they left a glob of cement on the side of a cabinet which when removed took of an area of my cabinet finish (can be fixed with the touch up paint, but this seems sloppy), sink cutout was lopsided by 3/8" (noticeable to me, not to others) and the island was not exactly what I ordered (it was off by 1/2" and I realize now that this issue was minor compared to the others.) The installer returned yesterday to look at the issues. My GC said if they could fix the seam, he could deal with the gap. They did something with the seam so it looked much better. Not sure what he did, but it is less noticeable now (our plumber even said it looked better). But now, the area around the seam is a bit duller than the rest of the counter. So the installer came out again today and apparently polished it with a wax (this is what they told my GC - I'm not home... trying to work with all this going on!) GC said when he wiped it down, the surface is not as shiny. I'm concerned they're trying to put a bandaid on the issue and that it will look awful in a week. Is it appropriate to put a wax on the granite to make it shiny, and if so, will it last? This area is right by the sink, so I'm concerned that I will be wiping it down a lot and the shine will go away. The installer also told my GC that the uba tuba needs to be sealed, but everything I read on the web says that uba tuba doesn't need to be sealed. BTW, I put a stop payment on my check that was the final payment, and won't pay them until they've fixed the issues. Thanks for your help!

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Sophie Wheeler

Typical low budget no skills work. You did the right thing putting a hold on the check, but the bigger issue is that they just may not have the skills to make it right. If they tried to field polish with a handlheld, then no wonder it's not shiny by the seam. You've got to use water and much finer abrasives than you can do dry to get an acceptable edge polish. Uba Tuba fabricators are everywhere though. So I'm sure you can find someone else to replace it if you can't get these guys to. I'd expect a decent quality fabricator to charge you $45-$50 a square foot for UT and not leave you with that mess. But you have to actually view jobs that they've done and the seams that they did before you pick them.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 6:21PM
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Thanks Hollyspring, We did pay $50 sq ft. Looking at the dull spot this morning, it's on both sides of the seam (on two pieces of granite.) We're still left with the gap between the wall and granite and now this issue of the dullness around the sean. Is it possible to get a full refund? I don't know if I trust them to take the granite out and replace it.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 8:58AM
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I'm sorry to hear about your problems with the granite install. I can share a bit about what happened with mine- At the time of our install of absolute black, everything looked great to me. But by the next day I found several small scratches in various places. I called the company and they sent the guys out to fix it. I asked if they could buff the scratches out somehow and they said there was no way to do that without taking the shine out of the granite. They used a couple different solutions and they worked to hide the scratches. Since you weren't there you really don't know what they did to your seam. I'd ask for a detailed description of what they did and ask how they are going to shine your granite up again. I doubt they will refund all your money, but keep on them to get it fixed!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 4:08PM
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Thank you for your thoughts. I'm on day 3 (wed, thursday and now friday) with the company not coming out or returning my call. I still have 1/2 of their payment, so they're losing out by fixing the problem. I understand they have other jobs to do, but just return my call and tell me how and when they're planning to fix it. Unbelievable.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 10:41AM
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Call repeatedly. Go to the business location. They want you to give up.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 11:04AM
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you might have a better option than a tear out.

it does sound like the fabricator tried to top polish the seam. On darker colors it takes real craftsmanship to restore the factory polish after grinding a seam but is is possible. If you (or the GC) can find another fabricator with the skill to top polish then your problem could be resolved without a tear-out/re do.

Wax should not be considered as an option as it won't last AND it's not acceptable (or legal) for a food prep area anyway.

It's a little late for this but in general it's a bad idea to locate a seam immediately proximate to the sink.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 12:02PM
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