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Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

Posted by azmom (My Page) on
Fri, May 3, 13 at 1:29

Today the fabricator installed the quartzite vanity counter top in our hall bath. The workmanship seems very good, but two things bother me.

A. First one is the edges, they do not look right to me. I chose straight edge, the quartzite is 2 cm. The fabricator built the edge to make the slab looks thicker. I noticed the entire edges have a seam right in the middle, since the edges are in the front of the vanity, there is no way not to notice them.

 photo edge-1_zps96c96b76.jpg

 photo edge-3_zpsad8fed0d.jpg

 photo edge-2_zps8147c58d.jpg

 photo edge-4_zpsd23243d0.jpg

I don’t recall I have ever seen edges like these before. I searched on line and noticed lots of granite edges are smooth and seamless, but none of the edges has been done like ours.

Is this the correct way to make Straight edge? Or does the fabricator mishandle the edges of our vanity top?

B. The second thing bothers me is the under mount vanity sink. It is mounted with negative reveal. The reveal is not even, some places are more than ½ inches, others are ¼ inches, or a little less. I thought if reveals were kept at 1/8 or ¼ inches evenly, the sink would look a little bigger than it is now.

I have never own granite counter top before, could anyone, especially experienced and knowledgable fabricators such as oldryder, please educate me to determine if the edges and sink have been handles correctly?

If they are not, are there any way to fix them?

Thank you.

This post was edited by azmom on Fri, May 3, 13 at 1:32


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

Yes, it is correct. As you can see, the fabricator did a good job of cutting the piece to be laminated, then "wrapping" it under, so that the granite pattern continues.

With a fairly uniform color of granite, the fabricator can choose an epoxy color to match. He cannot really use more than one color of epoxy, so it is either going to contrast with the lighter granite, or the darker parts. It looks like he could have gone a bit darker (you lamination line looks white in contrast to your granite), but it really cannot be invisible when the granite tone varies as much as yours does.

Here is a link that might be useful: Useful comments in another thread


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

I've never seen anything like that either. It does look odd, pieced together, versus being a slab of thick stone, which was the point. I think he should have advised you ahead of time this is how it would look. Definitely try darkening the epoxy if possible. Maybe they can mottle the coloring to match the graining along the seam.

Of course the sink edges should be straight and uniform.

It is so stressful, isn't it!


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

Here's an old thread on this subject.

Especially in counters where there is a sink cutout, I don't see the point in going with a laminated front edge because the sink cutout reveals how thick the material really is anyway.

I say this with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight...after I built laminate counters for bathroom vanities, with undermounted sinks and the standard built up front edge, it's always bothered me that the sink cutout is 3/4'' and the front edge is 1 1/2''. Just looks weird to my eye because my brain wants those revealed thicknesses to match.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stone counter edge


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

I like the thick edge, but don't care for the seam. Therefore on my counters I had asked for a mitered edge. (This is discussed in the thread attached above.)


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

I second the mitered edge, especially in a case like the O.P. has square edges anyway. My wife wouldn't go for it though, so we have laminated with an ogee-bullnose. I think mitered is harder to do well.


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

I live in the Houston area and this laminated edge is what everyone does here as opposed to getting the thicker 3cm materials where you don't need the buildup. Your edge looks like all the ones I see here. From what we've heard the Houston market is mostly 2 cm granite as opposed to the Austin or Dallas market where it's all 3 cm. Who knows why. I don't mean for this to sound bad but that's why we chose to go with a 3cm granite for our kitchen counters. We wanted a flatter edge and knew that the seam would be quite obvious. The seam doesn't seem to be as noticeable when you get something like an ogee edge. If you lived in my neck of the woods no one would blink at that seam because that's how most of them look.


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

The fabricator looks to have done a decent job with the edge seams. It would have been less noticeable with a stone that was more uniform in appearance.

As far as the uneven overhang around the sink, I would think that the fabricator would be able to rectify that problem.


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

Built-up edges are what's done where I live. Because my quartz is overall dark with a consistent mottling, it's virtually impossible to detect the seam unless you get in really close. Even so, I don't see any epoxy or binder. The two pieces fit tight together.


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

Even if this is a normal outcome, I still think you should bring it up to the fabricator. It will help the next guy if they would start to warn or advise people about what they are ordering. It really stinks to spend that much money and not be clear about or happy with the product.

Were there any examples in the showroom?

This post was edited by snookums2 on Fri, May 3, 13 at 15:45


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

"Is this the correct way to make Straight edge?"

yes, but ... it would have looked a lot better with a mitered edge. The fabricator should have at least made you aware of the mitered option (which likely would have cost more since it's more work in the fab shop) We one did a very large tub deck over (for free) because the customer didn't like the edge seam and we had actually given them a drawing before we fabbed the laminated edge.

The quality of the laminating on your edges is mediocre at best. Properly done a laminated seam should be nearly invisible except for the grain transition.

Properly done with a mitered edge the grain of the stone "rolls over" the edge giving the appearance of a solid piece of stone. this could have been done on your vanity top.

the reveal on the sink cutout should NOT vary perceptibly. 1/4" variation is Waaaaay too much.

re laminating; if a customer is concerned about the edge looking thicker than the cutout a competent fabricator can also laminate the sink cutout. Because it is curved the sink cutout cannot be mitered.


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

Did OP see examples of laminated edges in that granite or similar before deciding to order? I'm not trying to be rude, but I have to wonder if this was more a case of the customer not educating themselves well enough before making the purchase.


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

"customer not educating themselves well enough before making the purchase."

a fair question. However, I would argue that a good fabricator would attempt to educate the customer to prevent exactly this kind of problem. This is one of the reasons the fabricators have showrooms. Unfortunately, even with showrooms a lot of fabricators don't take the time before the job.

In the instance I mentioned in a previous post where we had to remake a part because the customer was unhappy with the laminate seam that customer just called in her edge preference so we never got to show her a sample in the showroom. We followed up with a faxed drawing of a laminate seam but still felt the missed expectation was at least partly our fault.


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

I knew someone was going to blame the customer. Why, so often, do people not expect more from the professionals in these instances? A HO can only anticipate and research so much. It's not their area of expertise and it's not in their frame of reference to be equipped to head off all these construction problems and know all the details. Many homeowners go into things, turning it over to the pros (as the pros would prefer!!), and as one would expect to be able to. I can't think of another field where we are supposed to be the experts. It is only with experience that we learn the types of things that happen on projects. You just can't discover everything doing research. I've never seen a seam like that and would never dream someone would layer the stone that way.

I'll tell you, they prefer their customers to be dumb and out of their business. The more I know, the more complicated it seems to get. And they do not like being questioned, watched, pestered about details or told how things are supposed to be done. I also do not want to be calling the shots on things because I can't possibly master the field, knowing all the ins, outs and nuances that come with experience working in a field. And that will surely relinquish them of any responsibility when something goes wrong.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Fri, May 3, 13 at 22:31


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

duplicate

This post was edited by snookums2 on Fri, May 3, 13 at 16:36


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

"a fair question. However, I would argue that a good fabricator would attempt to educate "a fair question. However, I would argue that a good fabricator would attempt to educate the customer to prevent exactly this kind of problem. "

Exactly. Where I come from, things are our responsibility and we need to educate the client.

In this case, it's such a simple thing and should be SOP.


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

How would you educate yourself if you don't know you need to get educated???

I have never seen laminated edges either. If I was ordering a 2 cm countertop, I would just assume that the edge would be 2 cm, that's all. I am totally OK with thin countertops and wouldn't expect it to be built-up for thicker look. OP's sink area looks just fine to me in terms of counter thickness.

The fabricator shouldn't assume that every customer knows about the edges. Some customers might have never shopped for counters and just picked the first sample they liked at Lowes or some other place that has only samples - or even a stone yard (i.e., not a showroom with lots of counters and an expert to talk to).

That could have easily been me. I never paid attention to counter edges as I always knew I wanted a straight edge. I picked my counter directly from a stone yard which then my KD (who does not offer soapstone and has no samples) got it to his fabricator. I have never seen the fabricator as his guys installed it. I guess I was just lucky it was 3 cm.

I think the fabricator should share the responsibility. He should have asked if OP wanted a laminated edge. I would definitely express my disappointment to him, if I were you, azmom.

This post was edited by eleena on Fri, May 3, 13 at 17:03


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

eleena, I don't think 2cm, non-laminated countertops look good, and I don't expect that 1% of kitchen counters are done that way. On a small bathroom vanity it looks fine.

In our area, 2cm laminated is dominant (some 3cm is available, but not much). The samples in Lowes or fabricator showrooms are laminated, and you can see the seams. However, those samples may be dark uniform granite, not representative of what a customer will be using.

Miter lets you make the countertop edge as high as you like. Other laminated edge treatments are simply double.


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

Snookums,

I was typing when you posted and did not see your post.

I couldn't agree more!

Whatever goes wrong in this remodel, it is always my fault. My GC hardly ever assumes responsibility for anything. I am so tired of making him re-do things that I just close my eyes on things that are less important - or this will remodel will never be finished.

Even My KD does that - unless it is something we discussed in detail and I spelled out what I wanted.

"Why, so often, do people not expect more from the professionals in these instances? A HO can only anticipate and research so much. It's not their area of expertise and it's not in their frame of reference to be equipped to head off all these construction problems and know all the details. Many homeowners go into things, turning it over to the pros (as the pros would prefer!!), and as one would expect to be able to. I can't think of another field where we are supposed to be the experts."

That is not true anymore. I'd say, it happens in ALL areas. Have you ever paid attention to what is now being said to patients by health educators? Do your own research, ask the right questions, keep track of your medical history, watch if your prescription was filled correctly, etc, etc., etc. That is just crazy!

How long does it take to become a doctor or a nurse? And how is a mere mortal supposed to have the same level of understanding?

But with the way the healthcare system is now, the patients are not much more than a source of revenue and it is their problem if they are "screwed" - unless they can prove malpractice, which is difficult in most cases.

And what about the advice to educate yourself on finances, retirement plans, investments, etc.? Who has the time for all that?

It is about time consumers started to fight back, don't you think?


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

attofarad,

I did not say that 2 cm countertops looked good, I said I was OK with them. The new trend in Europe is even thinner countertops (like 1 cm). It is all in the eye of the beholder.

Also, the samples in Lowes or fabricator showrooms are NOT laminated where I live! People are still using 3 cm slabs around here - except for some really cheap ones, maybe.

What if I just moved to your state and have no clue that 2 cm countertops get laminated edges?


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

I wasn't looking to start an argument. I do think that there are cases where a customer doesn't educate themselves enough (or at all) before taking the plunge on an expensive item and ends up being surprised by the results. I also certainly think that the "pros" should try to educate their clients. I feel the responsibility is on both sides.

Me, I am just a customer. I will research a topic (probably overly so) so I can more intelligently talk to the "pros" to help make things come out to my expectations.


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

Thank you so much for all of your feedback and support. I especially appreciate oldryder’s expert inputs that taught me what to look for in a quality solid stone counter top, as well as the definition of “fairness” between a customer and business owner.

Our GC recommended the fabricator who has been working with him for years. All the communication with fabricator was through the GC. I sent the diagram of pencil edge I like. GC recommanded straight edge that fits the style better. I mentioned the good edge should be done in 45 degree cuts (miter joint). GC recommended the buildup edge.

We rarely see 3 cm slabs in Phoenix, 2 cm are the ones most stores carry. There was no 3 cm slab available of the pattern we purchased. I would purchase 3 cm if it is available since 2 cm costs more for adding base platform. I am Ok with either 2 cm edge or build up edge.

According to our GC, the buildup laminated edge are done in Phoenix, doing what everyone else is doing, he saved me extra $400.00 labor cost. He tried to preserve slab by avoiding potential breakage if using miter joint so it would have sufficient left over for other bathroom. He said it is difficult to hide the laminate seams now because the pattern of the slab.

As the undermount sink, GC said people won’t notice the uneven reveal, redoing would cause more problems. To me, the sink reveal was not built up; it defeats the purpose of using build up edges on the counter.

The hall bath is not a low budget project, it has custom built cabinets, Toto sink, toilet, Hansgrohe plumbing fixtures, quartzite slab and frameless shower enclosure. I am disappointed that I did not have the chance to make the decision on the counter edge that I would be happy to pay for the extra. The thought makes me cringe that for merely $400.00, we would live with the sub par edges for the rest of the time in this house.

Hello Oldryder,

Other than the sink and counter edge, the GC and his workers have done a fabulous job for the bathroom.

Is there any way to salvage the counter edges and sink cut out without redoing the entire counter, sink and backsplashes?

We are remodeling kitchen, 3 bathrooms and laundry room. It took us years to save and fund the project. This hall bath is the guinea pig, the lessons we learned will be applied to the rest of the project.

Could you please suggest as how to find a quality fabricator for our upcoming kitchen and other bathrooms remodel?

Thank you in advance for your advice.

This post was edited by azmom on Sun, May 5, 13 at 7:10


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

You know, your edge doesn't look bad at all. It actually resonates with the long narrow "strips" on your backsplash.

It might be a crazy idea, but I might try a dark marker, if I were you to make it look designed that way.

Also, there is a good chance you'll stop noticing it after awhile. I know I would. Stuff like that happened in my remodel. It would have been too much hassle to change it, so I decided to treat it a payment for a lesson. After all, I didn't go to school to get an ID degree. :-)

However, I know people who took classes on kitchen design at their Community College before remodeling their kitchen, believe it or not. It is crazy, isn't it? But it also makes sense. I might have saved myself a lot of time and headache if knew to take such course.


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

@azmom - I wasn't looking to get into an argument with you or anyone else. Nor was my intention to insult. To me, those lamination seams seemed to fall within industry (MIA) standards, as I understand them. However, I will defer to oldryder's judgement on that, as he has the pro perspective. No need to respond to me, as I will jump out of this discussion.


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

"Is there any way to salvage the counter edges and sink cut out without redoing the entire counter, sink and backsplashes? "

unfortunately, no. the edge work is inferior but could be tolerable for many people.

The 1/4" variation on a reveal is just shoddy work and should be rejected.


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

oldryder,

Thank you again for the inputs.

Too bad we did not have the chance to reject the work when the quartzite was delivered before sink, backsplashes and faucet were installed.

At this point, ripping off counter top due to the sink reveal, would cause redoing and potential damages to sink, back splash and cabinet.

The redoing would be costly and risky. Have you heard about any cases like this? I am curious as who would be paying for redoing?

It is for sure that we will find another fabricator for the rest of the remodeling.

Could you please explain the RIGHT process and steps starting from meeting a fabricator, until delivering the products. Apparently, we missed quite a few steps on this specific job.

Calling all folks on GW,

May I ask any one please share your experience in finding your "good" fabricators?

Thank you.


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

When I was looking for a fabricator I asked 2-3 of the more high end stone/slab places in town who they recommend. I then asked them who they would go with if they were renovating their kitchen. I cross referenced these lists and gave these 4 fabricators the same two slabs to quote along with my kitchen plan, edge profile, etc. I went with the least expensive, but the most responsive fabricator. As I continued looking at slabs I would get asked who I was using, and everyone spoke so highly of them. I'm very happy.


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

threeOh2,

Thank you for the quick response.

We thought about finding a fabricator ourselves, our GC indicated using his preferred fabricator would make coordination easier. If there is a problem, he would ask the fabricator to correct it.

Did you have a GC? does he have his preferred fabricator? Who handled the coordinate between cabinet and counter top installation ?

Were you given a sample of the edge for review before the final decision?


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

Azmom: my contractor was my father. He does it all (minus countertop slabs), so our fabricator was the only other pro that we brought in. Since my dad flew in from the other coast to visit and do the work, he didn't have anyone local. But to be honest, I probably would have chosen my own anyway. I've seen and heard too many horror stories, and I wanted to make sure I used someone very familiar with marble.

There really wasn't much coordination to be done between cabinet installation and the countertop. I just needed an installation completion date for my fabricator's schedule.

I wasn't given an edge review, and I do wish I was given one. I probably would have been given one if I didn't ask for an eased edge. I did specify that I wanted it a little sharper than a pencil though. And I think I got what I asked for. ;)


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RE: Help! oldryder and all, Did our fabricator do that right?

threeOh2,

You are so lucky to have your father as the contractor. My envy!! ;-)

I am searching for a good fabricator by following your advice.

Thank you again.


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