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Help! Granite disaster?

Posted by repac (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 8, 13 at 13:47

My beautiful Volga Blue granite was installed yesterday. While the granite itself is lovely, I am concerned about the seams and cutout for the cooktop. The seaming looks extremely jagged and of variable width. Around the cooktop, there are several gouges, one of which is shown below. Is this fixable, or is this a disaster? Granite fabricator is coming out tomorrow to see it, so I need your help! TIA

Granite seam:

Granite seam photo Graniteseam.jpg

Cooktop cutout:

Granite cutout around cooktop photo Cooktopgranitecutout.jpg


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

Will the cooktop's lip cover the jagged edge?


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

Oh, my.
I've seen better work, I must say.
You can just show him pictures on this board!
Or in his own showroom...


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

beekeeperswife: no lip--it's a frameless cooktop, so what you see is the entire piece. In fact, he mentioned when he was templating that it would be easier if it were framed. Perhaps that should have been a red flag to me?

CEFreeman: I think I'll tell the fabricator to speak to you about this. You always have a wonderful way with words!

KD seems sympathetic now and has already reserved another slab of Volga Blue from the same lot. She's coming to see it with the fabricator next week. Turns out, this is the first time the fabricator has done a frameless cooktop! Are they that unpopular? If only I had known before . . .

Here's another twist: apparently they made the granite too deep for the cooktop (off by about 1/16 inch). Would it be possible to grind down the top of the granite slightly, slightly sloped down toward cooktop, to eliminate the gouge?


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

seams are mediocre at best. It's possible to do much better on Volga Blue. also, looks like the seam adhesive is silicone. Epoxy seams are much superior and have been the standard in mist areas for at least several years.

the exposed chip at the cooktop can be repaired. should not have been left that way.


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

oldryder, how can the chip be repaired? We are entertaining any and all suggestions!


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

Is your cooktop just frameless, or is it flush mounted? Frameless is not uncommon, but flush mount would take a little more expertise, I would think. In any case, this is not great work. I hope they make it right for you.


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

The cooktop is frameless and flush mounted (Wolf frameless induction). I love the idea of having it disappear into the countertop! I think the KD wants to make it right, but I'm not sure the fabricator has the expertise to do it.


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

they should have given you a finished edge on the cooktop cutout - they may have to redo it, or re-epoxy and buff on site. it looks like an average job, see if they can do some better finishing for you. was this a big box job? I have had a similar issue which improved with complaining.


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

Fabricator did a horrid job on all the cuts you have shown.

They can be repaired with additional tinted material, bit his basic cutting ability really stinks.

They cut the stone from the wrong side vs. the blade rotation, and likely at to high a feed rate/wrong type of diamond saw (segmented vs.. solid) /damaged saw/out of balance etc.

While some chipping out occurs near cuts, there are techniques to minimize it on the 'show' side of the stone.

This post was edited by brickeyee on Sat, Feb 9, 13 at 13:52


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

chip can be repaired with colored epoxy fill. if done correctly it will be very hard to spot the repair.


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

Wow so sorry to see what they did to your beautiful granite. How? Cut with a dull or wrong blade? It's horrible and if they can't correct it to your satisfaction (with a discount) then they should replace it at their cost.
Good luck, please keep us posted.


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

Sounds like some of you are experts and I'm not, but as I understand it VB is more difficult than some stones to cut properly, particularly those slabs that have a lot of the large iridescent crystals that make those of us who love it go "wow!".

This job is unacceptable, and though the expoxy repairs can be tinted to hide, the stone will have a tendency to chip again fairly easily with continued movement or even just something slightly knocking against the edge which looks like a pencil edge. I love the stone and have it, but suggest having your KD find another fabricator who is far more expert. As far as frameless vs framed, that looks like a Wolf pattern, if so you may be able to switch to the framed CT and minimize the jagged problem if the granite resolution proves too problematic.


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

detroit_burb: this was done by a small company fabricator who has worked with the KD for many years. The KD does many high end jobs, so this poor workmanship was quite surprising.

brickeyee, oldryder: will the epoxy fill hold up, or will it have a tendency to chip as suggested by abundantblessings?

abundantblessings: it is a Wolf cooktop, and I far prefer the look of the frameless flush mount to the framed. Unless someone tells me it is not possible to have a better outcome with Volga Blue, I want to keep the frameless!

The VB does have large iridescent crystals--that's why we chose this particular lot. How much more difficult does that make it to cut the stone? Abundantblessings, can you post an example of the seams on your VB? It would help greatly when I talk with the fabricator and KD this week.


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

That is not acceptable-period.
yes the seams or seam should have been better but the stovetop cutout isnt finished.
Do not accept this.
If done properly polyester/epoxy fills can hold up well.
CA glue may work better on the volga blue.


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

I don't know what the solution is, but I wouldn't buy that the reason for the bad outcome is because it's a difficult stone to cut. Volga Blue seems to be a popular choice for blue stone where I live. I've seen it in a lot of model home kitchens and I doubt that would be the case if it was that difficult to work with.
Good luck.


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

+1 on epoxy repair. properly done it is a "lifetime" repair.

I do not consider Volga Blue a particularly difficult stone to work with. It is a "fissure-ie" material so it's easier to crack during fabrication and handling but there are many that are worse and some that are much worse in this respect.


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

Thanks to everyone for your help.

If anyone has pictures of what a Volga Blue seam should look like, or an unframed cooktop flush mounted in Volga Blue, I would like to show it to KD/fabricator to help plead my case. My guess is that the fabricator will claim this is the best anyone can do with Volga Blue.


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

Followup: the KD came out this week to photograph the granite issues. She was quite displeased with the installation. After a big meeting with the fabricator, he agreed to redo the entire job! So I went back to the granite yard and chose more slabs from the same lot of Volga blue. Today the fabricator was supposed to come out to remove the existing granite, but when I arrived home the granite was still here! Apparently the installer thought he should try a thick band of silicone around the cooktop, in the hopes that it would cover up the gouges and jagged edges. Of course it didn't. I was livid, as was the KD, so the new granite slabs will be fabricated and installed next week.

I'm going to ask that the installer, who thought he had done an acceptable job the first time and now tried to cover up his mess with silicone, not be involved with the fabrication or installation this time. I hope they have someone better there. Is this reasonable?


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

In my opinion, yes, that is not an unreasonable request.


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

Can't you keep the granite until the day of or the day before installation of the new counters? I don't think you should be inconvenienced anymore than you already have been.

And yay for you and thumbs up to your KD! I'm glad it's going to be taken care of and hopefully it will be perfect the second time around.


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

I would say it's reasonable. He proved he can't do it so why waste more time so he can practice?

It is a very beautiful stone, and I hope the seams and edges are as lovely as the rest.


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

absolutely I would ask, no make that demand,a a different installer


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

Be patient. If the fabricator is willing to redo the entire job thena t least he is atanding behind his work. This is a very costly decision for the fabricator but the right one if it's the only way he can correct the deficiencies.

agree big gobs of silicone are not a viable solution - although I see that approach all the time in hotels when I travel.


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

oldryder, I appreciate your voice of reason. I do question the expertise of the fabricator, as he didn't attempt to epoxy the gouges and smooth seams first, as you had suggested. In addition to these issues, he installed a light granite in another part of my kitchen. While that piece was cut nicely, the ogee edge looked considerably lighter. It was only after I suggested he get an enhancer (thanks to GW) to help darken the edges that he came out and did that. So I have a lot of doubts about his expertise and/or attention to quality.

It's hard to justify any worker walking away from this job, thinking it was acceptable. I also haven't complained yet on here about the piece of granite that never touches the wall on one entire side (1/4 inch to 3/4 inch away at all points). And this was all templated by the owner.

I appreciate the effort and expense on the fabricator's part to correct this. There's also a competing issue with only a couple of slabs of this lot of stone left at the granite yard (we need at least 2; KD did tag them). No other yards have had anything close to this quality of Volga Blue. So I want to do everything possible to ensure a good outcome this time around, such as asking for a better installer.

Or should I just sit back and leave it up to the owner to decide who installs?


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

"I do not consider Volga Blue a particularly difficult stone to work with. It is a "fissure-ie" material "

The reason it is usually resin filled.


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

Good luck and keep us posted. Is there another fabricator that could be used?


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

Day 2 of granite redo: I talked to KD about the installers for this company, and she said that the one we had has been good for her other jobs. So I'm leaving the decision to them.

cathy725, kitchen company has worked exclusively with this fabricator for years now, so they are reluctant to use another company. But if it comes to the need for yet another granite redo, we will insist on another company.

Granite was removed yesterday. Some casualties--they cracked one of the Silgranit sinks (we have two), but KD was able to find a replacement and is having it overnighted. Now we have a few chips in the finished cabinet woodwork . . . still the same crew . . .! While I don't have a lot of faith in the granite company, I know that KD will make it all right. Even with this granite problem, the project is still on track, might be delayed by one day. New granite is set to be installed on Monday!


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

UPDATE:

New Volga Blue granite was fabricated and installed. I think it's much, much better. Here's a seam:

 photo graniteseam2.jpg

What does everyone else think? Better? Acceptable?

Here's my truth-in-posting statement: the other two seams aren't quite as good, but the edges aren't jagged (well, maybe a little in some spots) and they seem to be within 1/16 inch. What grade would you give to this installer?


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

What a difference! That looks as good as I could imagine a seam could look, at least from what you've shown in that photo. Good for you for sticking with it until they got it right!


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

Much better! Sorry they didn't do that the first time! I hope the other seams are acceptable for you. Sounds like you are happy.


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

looks a lot better to me. good for you for sticking to your guns to get quality and also being reasonable about giving the GC the opportunity to handle it.

I agree the fabricator doesn't seem particularly good as evidenced by the original poor seams and lack of ager on the edge.


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

oldryder: you did help calm me down over the whole incident. It became clear that the people who did the granite cutting were different from the installers, so I may have been banning the wrong people from installation.

I'm left wondering if we were singled out for the poor granite work, or if the fabricator does all jobs at the original lower quality. This fabricator does many high end granite installations, and I can't believe that such people would accept the initial work in my kitchen. Aren't most homeowners reasonably particular about the quality of granite installation?


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

"Aren't most homeowners reasonably particular about the quality of granite installation?"

I would say definitely yes. However, many homeowners simply lack the knowledge to know the difference between poor and good fabrication/install quality. Additionally, a homeowners expectations are sometimes completely unrealistic given their design and stone choice which can also complicate matters.

This is why the fabricators educational effort prior to fabrication is so important. Shops that don't spend the time up front are guaranteed to have unhappy customers sometimes even for a good job.


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

"The VB does have large iridescent crystals--that's why we chose this particular lot. How much more difficult does that make it to cut the stone"

A lot - it's like the knots and wild grain in wood - the sudden changes of density as they hit an inclusion can make the blade stutter. And the inclusions might shatter or delaminate when the blade hits them.

Your first one looks like they were using a dull blade.


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RE: Help! Granite disaster?

Hi,

This is my granite that was installed 4 weeks ago, and I am trying to be okay with. However, everyone that sees the work, says, "what happened here?" about the angle patch. All along the seam is chipping, which is not in the photograph.

I'm thinking it's as bad as yours. What do you think? The fabricator is coming out next week. So great that it was repaired to your satisfaction. Thanks.


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