Issue with Granite Countertops installation...

hollrOctober 30, 2013

I need advice with an issue with our granite install. There is a 1/2" gap where the countertop meets the wall. The installers claimed they didn't notice it, but they had to have because they put the 4" backsplash piece right on top of it. They attempted to fix it by adding a patch and filler, but I'm not liking the look. I've researched online but can't find any example of this practice being done at all. I'm wondering if anyone can give me any insight on this or opinions. They still have to add a "darkener" to the seam and polish it more, but I'm not happy with it right now. Had they realized it when they put it in, they could've notched out the drywall and it wouldn't have been noticed. The worker admitted he got in a hurry while dealing with the seam at the sink and didn't realize it. They claim it will blend right in, but we just spent a lot of money on the granite to not be happy with something. Anyone have experience with this sort of thing?

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Oh my. There is no way they "didn't notice" this. And it looks like they messed up your wall when they tried to "fix" it. Looks to me like someone mismeasured. They really need to do it over :(

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 2:48PM
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I would NOT be happy with that! They obviously made a mistake in measuring. Right? I'm no expert but that is an awful fix.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 2:50PM
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You have got to be kidding!!! That is the worst looking "fix" I've ever seen. That is absolutely horrendous.

So what is their reasoning ... "We didn't notice it, therefore we are not responsible?"

I wouldn't give them a dime until that countertop was removed and replaced.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 2:50PM
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They say there is a wave in the wall. This is true. There is a very slight wave in the wall... but not to that extent. My husband will figure the exact amount of wall fluctuation tonight. They said themselves that no walls are perfectly straight. From what I've read online, all installers have to expect some fluctuations with the walls. A 1/2" just seems extreme. The patch also seems odd. I can't find an example of anyone online doing something like that.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 2:57PM
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omg. That is ridiculous. Do not give them any more money until that is resolved to your satisfaction, even if it means a new slab.

Even with a crooked wall, the templating process should have had it covered.

P.S. They think we are stupid and they can push things like this over on us.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Wed, Oct 30, 13 at 15:01

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 2:59PM
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"Even with a crooked wall, the templating process should have had it covered."

Ditto that!! A crooked wall is no excuse.

So first they said they didn't notice it, and then they blamed it on a crooked wall? It's fairly obvious that they are trying to shirk responsibility for shoddy workmanship. Screwing up is one thing, but not taking responsibility for obvious mistakes is inexcusable. And claiming that it "blends right in" is just nuts.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 3:10PM
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I am a fabricator.

The gap is a mistake and the "repair" is completely unacceptable IMHO. Properly done a small filler piece might have been acceptable but the repair pictured is horrible. When a mistake is made (which happens occasionally even in the best shops becasue people make mistakes) it is Ok for the fabricator to offer a repair if it can be done to the customers satisfaction.

If there is a wave in the wall (which is quite common) a proper measure coupled with a professional installation would have eliminated that unsightly gap. Make them fix it.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 5:13PM
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I have yet to see the wall that doesn't have some waviness - it's in the nature of walls built with wood studs. Every day granite countertops are installed adjacent to wavy walls. That's what the templating is for. Here is the industry standard for installation of granite counters next to walls, wavy or otherwise:

11.6 Joints at Materials Transition.
Visible joints between the stone units and other materials (e.g., cabinetry, gypsum wall board) shall be 1/8â nominal, with a tolerance of ñ1/16â (ñ1.5 mm), and filled with a low modulus elastomeric material.

That translates to a gap at the wall of less than a quarter inch (actually 3/16). So they blew that. How about that seam on the patch?

11.2 Joint (seam) Widths.
Unless otherwise specified, joint widths between two stone units should be a nominal 1/16" (1.5 mm), with a tolerance of ñ1/64" (ñ0.4 mm).

Blew that too. I hope the one at the sink looks better. They need to fix this to your satisfaction. If they tell you that this is perfectly normal, you could tell them that this is what it's supposed to look like

Here is a link that might be useful: Marble Institute of America installation standards

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 5:56PM
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No wonder you chose the UN "Hollr"; I'd be yelling too.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 6:03PM
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The attempted repair demonstrates just how little your "fabricator" knows about repairs.

In this case, you have to make it worse to make it better in the sense that the radius must be removed, not filled with gray crap.

Were I called to fix this, I would cut the radius off and make a nice butt seam. Polished and profiled, it should be inconspicuous.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 9:20PM
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If only a repair is made to that corner, should the OP ever decide to remove that granite splash and install a tile backsplash, they are going to have issues because the slab sits 1/2 inch away from the wall!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 8:43AM
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hollr, seeing these pictures actually HURTS. :( Shame on the 'fabricators' for trying to pass this off as a quality job. If it's possible the 'fix' is almost worse than the actual job with gap.

Please do not feel as though you have to accept this. Insist that they start over and ask for their most experienced fabricators to template and install (if that's possible). Hang in will be glad you stuck to your guns when everything is done correctly. You'll never see those people again but you WILL be looking at those beautiful tops for a very long time. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 10:07AM
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There's nothing wrong with a properly done "sliver repair" or chip repair. The issue is the horrendous workmanship on that sliver repair.

2 of 3 of the below photos have a stone repair to them. Done properly. And it's NOT an issue. See if you can even see the repair. (Apologies for the poor photos.)

IF they can't do a better repair with a better color blend, then it's do over time.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 11:17AM
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Wow, that looks really bad. I would not be happy with that filler. They simply did a very bad job measuring and cutting that piece. I'm sorry. For a distance I'm sure it looks "ok", but for all the money you don't want "ok". Do you still owe them money?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 11:36AM
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They mis-measured and made that countertop too short. Notching the drywall is one way to deal with a "wavy" wall, but that only works if the countertop is long enough.

They may be able to hire an expert to fix it in the manner Trebruchet described. If not, they need to buy you a new slab and cut a new counter to the proper size. There is no way I would live with their repair.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 12:37PM
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I see two problems with this installation resulting from the mismeasure:

1. the poor glue job of the notch to lengthen the end

2. the backsplash to hide the 1/2" gap on the top which is not to industry specs.

It sounds like there may be a fix to problem #1, but for problem #2 was a 4" granite backsplash part of the original spec of just added to disguise the mismeasure? As I do not see a granite backsplash on the back wall, it is not clear if that was part of the contracted design or not.

If the OP did not spec the backsplash then it would seem unavoidable that a new piece of granite would need to be cut.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 12:47PM
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There is a backsplash on the back wall. The installer had to of noticed that gap when he added that end piece though.

The Sales guy is coming this afternoon to add the darkener and polish and seal it... Yes, you heard that right... The sales guy.. NOT the installers. We're going to let him do it to humor me if nothing else. I know I'm going to hate it, then we're going to tell him to fix it. He should've caught the wave in the wall when he templated for the tops. Now, he's wasted 2 more trips to the house as well as the time it's taken to cut that piece and fill in the gap and whatnot. He should've cut his losses when I pointed out the gap and redone that piece. Now that I've researched and realized that there are no perfect walls out there and that installers should pretty much expect slight variations with walls.... It frustrates me that the sales guys kept throwing it up that the wall is wavy. When all in all he should've caught that when he templated then we wouldn't have had this problem. Instead he made me feel like we were in the wrong. I told my husband he'll have to be there to deal with this guy from here on out when he steps foot in that house. I don't like him, and I don't trust him.

We have not paid the last half of the total. I refuse to until they do something. After hearing from everyone here, I'm just mad.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 1:19PM
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Deleted... Duplicate messages.

This post was edited by hollr on Thu, Oct 31, 13 at 13:31

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 1:29PM
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Please keep us updated on how this works out.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 1:54PM
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I don't blame you for having your husband deal with him. I'm curious to see the quality of his fix job. Glad you didn't pay the balance yet. Just breathe for will be ok.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 2:31PM
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Well, he came out and applied the darkener. Here is a side by side before and after:

I really don't see what the point of adding it was because there isn't much if any difference at all!

Here is another pic showing just how bad that corner was off by comparing it to the other side of the kitchen:

After he put the darkener on it, my husband told him he wasn't happy with it at all. He then started pointing out just where the installers went wrong and what they should've done to prevent the problem. He then pointed out a few other inconsistencies with their measurements that really doesn't hurt anything at all but shows that he taken everything into account and knows what he is talking about. He asked him if he had ever seen a perfectly straight wall, and of course he had not.

He said it was like the air just left him and his tone changed completely. It went much better than either of us thought it would! Thankfully construction is what my husband does for a living, so the salesman really couldn't talk his way out of fixing this one. They will have to reset that entire 12' side including the sink and all. It will happen sometime next week. I'll have to update again after they fix it.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 4:15PM
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I hope it works out! Because I agree, you are not being unreasonable! That is a big gap and a shoddy fix! :(

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 4:30PM
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Jeepers. I wonder if that guy felt stupid trying to 'fix' that in front of real people. Almost feel sorry for him.

Let's hope the real fix is better!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 5:30PM
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I'm glad to hear this, hollr. I know that some of the fabricators here have said that a "fix" is acceptable, but if it were me, I wouldn't have been happy with a countertop that was sitting that far away from the wall, even if they were able to hide the big gap by putting the granite splash over it. Being able to adequately make something "look" right when it isn't is not an acceptable fix IMHO. This, of course, is from a homeowner's viewpoint, not an installers viewpoint. I would want the job done right. Period.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 6:00PM
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I hope you or someone working on the kitchen knows how to repair that wall they trashed. It's easy enough to fix, but it will take some work and time. Better wait until these guys are done and out of the way.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 7:37PM
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jellytoast said it perfectly. This wasn't a freebie that your buddy did on his day off. You paid to have a professional job done the right way and that is what you should get. Best of luck.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 8:24PM
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Granite notched to accommodate old slide-in range.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 10:20PM
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Granite un-notched for new slide in range.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 10:21PM
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Granite un-notched for new slide in range.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 10:26PM
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Wow, Trebruchet! That is an impressive repair. I am realizing now just what a crap job was done to our countertops. They will be resetting ours on Tuesday. My husband will be supervising. They'll remove that filler piece and refinish that corner. If that doesn't work, then I guess they'll just have to recut one of the pieces or both if need be. I sure don't trust them to attempt any sort of patch work at this point. They clearly are not are skilled as some installers. We shall see what happens next week.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 10:45PM
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Thanks. I didn't post to show off, I posted to prove that granite can be acceptably repaired. Can you see the repair? Yes, if you study for it. If you sold your home, would the buyer's home inspector find it? Probably not. That's the standard of acceptability I use.

Repairs are subjective. If the fabricator damages the top at install, it had better be damn near perfect. If the homeowner's drunken brother-in-law chips it, not so much.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 7:58PM
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Wow Tre! Wish you lived by me! I'd have had you do my install!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 7:54PM
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    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 8:26PM
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