Granite is in - seam and sealer questions

raee_gwNovember 19, 2013

Two issues which I am sure have been discussed before but I just can't remember what people have done:

Seams are pretty good and tight, not as smooth and perfect as some I've seen here but acceptable. However, the filler material is a tad lighter than the stone (Verde Lavras) and pretty visible to me. What can I use to camouflage the seam a little? Like a marker that I could dot irregularly on the seam?

The lighter shade of the seam likely wouldn't be an issue except the installer put an enhancing sealer on the stone -- even though I told him I didn't want that. He forgot what I had told him. Darkened the stone. Can that enhancing sealer be removed and replaced with a non-darkening sealer?

I don't have time just now, but will add a picture later today.

Getting close to a final reveal, if I can settle on a paint color (yes the darker stone is throwing off my selection a bit)

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I'm pretty sure the enhancing sealer cannot be removed but I would definitely ask the installer to come back to camouflage the seam. They may not be able to do it so it is invisible but they can do something so it doesn't bother you so much. You sound very reasonable so don't worry that the installer will think you are picky, they have seen it all and you've paid good money for this. Good luck! :)

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 4:11PM
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Let's see if I can get these photos:

The faucet area:

The color difference (might not show too clearly):

The granite was scribed beautifully to the wall. But, then he used bright white caulk! Even though the *blue* paint sample was on the wall!

It's the little things that can make or break a job, isn't it...

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 8:21PM
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I am a fabricator.

The seam could be worked to a better color match. your fabricator should know how.

Regarding the enhancer; thats a MAJOR blunder by the fabricator and really no different from using the wrong stone. you picked a certain color and now you are not getting it. you would be within your rights to demand a remake (which, as a fabricator, I do not say lightly.)

as far as I know enhancer is not removable.

However, if it's not completely unacceptable and you can live with it then go forward but I would expect a substantial concession (discount) from the fabricator.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 8:59AM
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Thank you oldryder.

I will have to decide whether I have the energy to fight this fight. It seems that it has been one situation after another of the workman just not listening. And, I accept responsibility in that each time it has been a case of something we discussed but I did not get down in writing.

I asked him about a better color match immediately after installation, and he told me "no but it will darken". Somehow I don't believe it.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 9:28AM
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You and I must have used the same installer. I can't say what you should do but here is what I did.

He enhanced the stone and it completely changed the color. We had discussed it before and I said to bring the sink cut out and we would try it on that piece first to see if I liked the color change. Needless to say that didn't happen and it all showed up enhanced. I decided to accept it even though I did not like it. I just didn't dislike it enough to have them recut it.

They installed bright white caulk around the top of my under mount sinks. Looked awful. I pulled it all out myself and put in clear caulk.

They installed clear caulk between most counters and back splashes except for one that was brown caulk. I caught that before they left and had them pull it out and replace. Clear caulk goes in white so I didn't see they were hiding a huge gap until the next day when the caulk dried. I had them recut that piece of back splash. Turns out the dip was in the surface granite so then we had to cut the back splash into smaller pieces so that it would fill the dip. They did a nice job on the seams and you can't really see it even when looking for it.

The middle piece of the main counter was cut with the grain going the wrong way. I had them recut that piece. You could only see the grain because of the enhancing sealer. If they hadn't put that on, they would have been fine because I picked the granite because it did not have a direction.

They installed large smears of brown caulk between the counters and the cabinets. I pulled that out myself (so as not to damage the cabinets) and replaced with clear caulk.

My seam color wasn't as off as yours. I touched mine up with black sharpie to blend some of the black spots in the granite across the seam to camouflage it. I think they picked your seam color based on the non-enhanced granite. I don't know if they can redo it without risking chipping the stone. If they can I would have them redo it so it is darker.

Getting it all fixed took five visits from the company, one with the owner and about five months of my time.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 11:23AM
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these kinds of stories frustrate me. It's not all the difficult to do an excellent job on someones countertops but it does take a great deal of attention to detail and the processes to record the correct information and get it to the person that needs it.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 11:58AM
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I am sure that I speak for most here in my appreciation for what you do for us, with your experience, opinions and support, Oldryder!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 12:25PM
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There are three things that have gone my way in this remodel. The electrician/hvac man listened to me, the granite looks wonderful, and the kitchen cabinet people did everything beautifully.

Raee, I am with you, there are people that absolutely don't listen because they think they know how to do it because they are in the business. I have spent mega bucks on this remodel and if I don't like it then they should say, "how high do you want me to jump?" instead of arguing with me.

Kudos to Konkus marble and Granite for stepping up to the plate and offering me a whole slab of marble when they cut the one on hold in the bone yard for someone else. Excellent installation of granite, too.

Thanks to Miller Custom Cabinets for listening and understanding what I wanted for cabinetry.

And my wonderful electrician, Dave, his son, and his grandson, who practically rebuilt the entire electrical and heating/air-conditioning systems.

Thanks will come for others when the kinks are worked out satisfactorily.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 6:02PM
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Karen.ohio, I talked to Konkus, I think they were one of the names that IGM gave me. But, I wanted this stone that I found at Mees so I went with a fabricator that works with them. I am glad that you found good people and I will be happy to pass their names along. Who was your contractor (if you used one?)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 8:28PM
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"I am sure that I speak for most here in my appreciation for what you do for us, with your experience, opinions and support, Oldryder!"

Ditto that!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 9:59PM
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My architect is Brian Wiland and Associates in the Dublin/ Columbus area.

He is a very good architect. He is more modern and I am more EarlyAmerican Farmhouse, so we had some minor style disagreements; however he knows construction. I would recommend him if anyone is interested in a referral.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 10:20PM
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Well, I talked to the installer today and he is going to redo the seam; plus he says that he can take the enhancer off and reseal it. Fingers crossed that this all turns out well!

Oh another issue came up today as the crew was installing the disposal and the dishwasher. He didn't use a sink setter type device (as he told me he would), so the sink is held only by the silicone adhesive-- the GC crew told me that they have had that kind of installation fail "at least 3 times"; and there is no place to secure the dishwasher to the granite! So now I am looking for a bracket that will attach to the cabinet wall yet secure to the top of the DW. I haven't found one in town, looks like I have to order it from Amazon. I will order a sink setter at the same time. Looks like I should be able to retrofit that in.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 4:08PM
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If he knows a way to get the enhanced sealer off please let me know. I tried a ton of things but they had no effect. The company that manufactured the type that went on mine basically said I was out of luck but I tried them anyways.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 6:17PM
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Forget the sink setter. You want a Hercules Universal Sink Harness from Braxton Bragg. $5.99.

Forget attaching the DW to the granite. That's old school and obsolete. Modern dishwashers attach through the sides into the cabinets. If you insist, BB has an attachment for that too.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 8:31PM
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raee & jellytoast: thx for the comment. It's regretable that there are so many marginally competent companies doing granite and quartz.

yet another issue is a sink mounted only with adhesive. Any decent installer wouldn't do it that way. Sometimes my guys have to spend considerable extra time cutting up a cabinet so a sink can be properly secured. A good measure guy measures the sink cabinet so the issue of sink fit is known well before the install.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 9:47PM
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Trebuchet, thanks for the tips. I think that I could manage the Hercules strap -- and that does save $$!

I don't see any way to fasten the dishwasher through the side -- there are fastener clips on the top of the unit. The EZ Bracket is what I was thinking of, but couldn't find it locally. I did find the Granite Grabbers, have you ever used those?

Oldryder, he did see the sink and cabinet and knew that the sink would not be resting on the edges of the cabinet. He told me that he would use a "sink setter type" device and was grumbling about how little room there would be to work with it (in a 30" base). But, in the end, he just didn't use it.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 10:45PM
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If your dishwasher is a better unit with stainless steel insides, it has side attachments. If it is a cheaper unit with a plastic interior, I would still drill the plastic sides in front of the seal and run stainless steel screws through into the cabinets. Flex the top straps until they drop off.

Attaching dishwashers to countertops is obsolete and shouldn't be done anymore.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 8:35PM
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