Anyone's marble/granite seam separate like this?

threeapplesNovember 3, 2013

One of the seams in our marble separated recently. The caulk between the two slabs is cracked as a result. I feel as though something needs to be done soon to keep dirt from getting down in and did coloring the stone. The fabricator won't get back to me.

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As I said recently in another thread, you concerns of seam contamination are well-founded. The sooner this is fixed the better. I wouldn't wait on your fabricator.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 5:19PM
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Did this happen soon after you had the countertops installed, or did this happen years later?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 5:48PM
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Trebuchet, you didn't follow the long saga of threeapples build here. (Is is even over?) She had a lot of issues with her contractor and the order of operations. A lot of things were done that will have ongoing repercussions.

Threeapples, it's common in new construction that didn't have good humidity control to have more settling issues than average. A seam separating on your counter is one symptom of the home finally drying out and the wood shrinking. It's not the fabricator's fault that that happened. I'd register the issue with the counter fabricator, but schedule the repair after one whole heating season is under your belt. If you fix it now, it will probably come back as the wood gets drier and drier and the wood keeps moving. You can expect cracks in your crown, gaps in your floors and other trim, and maybe even some out of level issues developing. You will have excessive amounts of this because of the excessive moisture issues that you had during your build. I would hope that at least the cupping that you had in your floor is settling down at last!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 5:55PM
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live wire oak:

I agree that new homes can have some major shrinkage issues, but like most things and with this repair, "It depends."

I would put a qualifier on your claim, making it "It may not be your fabricator's fault it happened." It may be his fault.

Even in the cleanest household, in a year that failed seam will be filled with kitchen countertop gunk. To get a nice looking repair with a solid bond, the gunk's gotta go. It's far better to fix it before it's contaminated.

I'd check the tops for level before doing anything.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 7:29PM
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This Silestone seam failure was clearly the fabricator's fault with the inadequate adhesive coverage.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 7:41PM
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We have very little evidence of settling, the exceptions being a cracked corner in plaster crown moulding in the master bathroom and a bunch of nail pops. The tile setter blames cracked grout everywhere on the house settling, but I think its his fault for mixing it too wet (there are air bubbles in all the grout).

Our house is not yet done. I strongly dislike the wood floors and wish I would have fought harder to replace them.

I guess I started another thread on this seam? I totally forgot!!!

What do I put in it now? Do I have all the caulk removed and them fill it?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 8:03PM
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Trebuchet, just saw your response to my other thread. Do I need that Japanese blade? Can't a regular razor work? Where do I get the compound you mentioned? Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 8:06PM
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Ideally, you want to expose the seamed edges completely as I was lucky enough to do with the pictured estone re-seam. Then you are sure to get clean edges.

How are you going to get a razor blade more than a 1/2" deep?

You can buy a 250ml methelmethacrylate adhesive tube from the Glue and Sink Warehouse for about $30.00 plus shipping. They have a marble white, but whether or not it's right is subjective. It can be tinted. For one application I suppose you could squirt the 2 parts into a baggie using the blunt end of a screwdriver to save the $100.00 cost of the dispensing gun. Since I doubt you have the $600.00 Gorilla Grips to pull your seam together, you'll probably have to pull your splashes and drive shims between the top and the walls. Unlike the Gorilla's, this will only tighten the seam, not level it which is problematic. Before Gorilla's, we used to hot melt blocking to each side of solid surface countertop seams and pull them together with clamps, but I wouldn't try that with marble.

Or you could just hire someone.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 7:56AM
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Why can't she just clean out the current seam with a razor blade, tape each side closely with blue painters tape, and lay down a bead of clear caulk in there, smoothing it over with a razor blade set into one of those little plastic holders? Or use a little caulk tool from the hardware store?

I caulk and recaulk the seam in my marble tile shower ever few years with kitchen and bath caulk. The clear stuff basically disappears.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 8:30AM
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Yes, she can do as you suggested, at least the clear caulk will keep the crud out.

This is art and subjective. One person is more fussy than another. You could eat off the hood of my brothers car, it's that clean. Mine, not so much.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 5:59PM
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The art is on the fabricator and installer. When that's not right it seems there are some things substantively worth investment and others not so much. This is a $3 fix. Not a perfect fix but not one that would never impede that either. Meanwhile, no gunk.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 7:22PM
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Eek, sorry to hear that you're having issues!

I haven't had any issues with seems because my kitchen isn't big enough to have them! Do have some issues where they meet appliances though. Sadly nothing has been as perfect as I would have wanted! I'm guessing you might feel the same way.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 7:45PM
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The fabricator called and said they'd come out in about a week to redo the seam.

Yes, they used wood shims to level the counter because apparently the cabinets were not level. I doubt they'd pull the shims out.

I'll update after this is tended to.

Yep, few of our projects finished as planned. The headache is indescribable.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 4:34PM
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The wood shims could be the problem, after all that stuff grows on trees, making it dimensionally unstable especially compared to non-compressive plastic shims.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 7:52AM
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I can't imagine they will replace the shims. Convincing them that wood is not the smartest choice in shim material would take a miracle. There is a lot of close-mindedness over here and I'm fighting a losing battle.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 8:05AM
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