DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > General Home Improvement Discussion > Is this a lousy granite installation?




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Old 03-03-2011, 08:21 AM  
timbo59
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Hi again folks,
Okay, here’s the update.

The granite installers returned last week and replaced the offending piece. This time I watched them closely, and got a firsthand taste of just how bad they really are.

The replacement end piece was poorly measured, overlapped everywhere, and had a sink cut out almost as bad as before. On a couple of occasions, when the two guys stepped out to get equipment, I took a closer look, and snapped some pictures of the granite and the joins – judge for yourself. Is it me, or is the rough cut on the sink join just plain bad, or standard fare with granite? And note the join at the front prior to the copious filling and grinding that took place.

The heart stopping moment came after they’d ladled a ton of epoxy filler into the front join, let it dry, then began to grind everything down. Me, I would have taped some sort of protection over the drawer fronts on the sink to ensure a slip didn’t damage them. Not these guys. Only after they left did I realize that both drawers had been scraped during their work. So not only did they do a lousy install, but they also damaged the cabinets. And one had to really watch this guy in action to see just how much they make up for the inaccuracy and poor cuts by grinding the hell out of the differences and using copious amounts of the tinted filler to mask the results and gaps. If you look where the jagged back join was, you can see how they ground the underside to take away the some of the remaining roughness that the filler didn’t mask.

In addition, they short changed us on the length of the replacement piece, which I didn’t notice until after they left. Instead of the usual one and a half inch overhang, like we had with the previous piece, they left us with only a half inch overhang. It’s going to affect the backsplash, because if you note the pencil mark on the wall in the picture, it runs down directly from the wall cabinet above. If I want to run the backsplash down from the end of the wall cabinet, I’m going to have to allow for the curvature of the granite edge. That or I’m going to have to take the backsplash back half an inch or so. I just kept looking at it and thinking what the hell, did an extra inch of granite really mean that much to them?

They also reneged on their agreement to give me a matching 3" strip of granite to put up against the wall oven cabinet to cover the epoxy-filled gap they’d left.

Finally, having wasted a month of my time, putting us through all this crap, and knowing full well that he’d left scrape marks on the cabinet drawers, the guy in charge presented me with a piece of paper to sign, signifying that I considered their work satisfactory. He was pissed when I declined.

I also discovered they’d messed up elsewhere after they’d gone. As we weren’t sure which tap we were going to use I’d asked them to drill a single hole until we knew for sure which way we were going to go, though it was likely that we’d need at least one more for a soap dispenser to the right of the tap. ‘Sure’ they said. After they left I bought the bit myself to do the work, not trusting in their handiwork anymore, and guess what? As I finished drilling through the granite the hole cutter started scraping like crazy and shaking the drill. The next minute I heard a clattering in the sink base cabinet. They’d gone and put a mount for the sink directly where I said we’d need the hole!

So I ask everyone, especially those who are in the profession - was the second coming satisfactory in your eyes? I’m a wood worker, not an expert with stone, but if I applied myself as sloppily to working with wood as these guys work granite, I’d be ashamed of myself. It’s like the epoxy filler they use so copiously – if I ladled wood putty out to fill in similar gaps in my wood workmanship it would look like a joke. Is granite that hard to work with accurately or cut smoothly? If so, fair enough.

As far as my wife and I are concerned, this is about as good as it’s going to be. We weren’t 100% happy with the piece we chose, but it was about as good as it was going to get – the color matchup at the front is much better, but the back still shows a difference – yet we couldn’t have done better with the choices left. The only other option would have been to insist on completely new granite, and we would have felt like SOB’s doing that. They could have done better with the front join though, if they’d been bothered to make the effort. If you look at the picture before the filler was used, you can see why it posed a problem.

So see what you think.

As ever, thanks for the support.

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PS - To the person who mentioned the edge against the cabinet. You really had to see the gap before they filled it in - it was bad, nearly 1/4 of an inch towards the back. And I'd specifically asked them to do it accurately, and they'd said 'no problem'. Plus they left epoxy on the cabinet as well, which I couldn't get off once I'd discovered it.



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Old 03-03-2011, 06:12 PM  
oldognewtrick
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Well, I really hoped you would have a better outcome once they returned. I don't think these folks are true granite craftsman and are obviously out of the league in workmanship. This is not how every job turns out.



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Old 03-05-2011, 07:45 AM  
WoodlandConstruction
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In hindsite you should have stopped them when you saw the color difference. the job is totally inacceptable. If they will not agree to replace it, file a suit asap.

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Old 03-05-2011, 07:52 AM  
WoodlandConstruction
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I would'nt bother talking to them again. Just bring them to court. Go to a reputable granite shop and get an estimate to replace it. Also get an estimate from a cabinet shop to repair the damage. You can also put their insurance company on notice.

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Old 04-15-2011, 10:46 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timbo59 View Post
Oh, sorry about that. I'll attach them below.

Unfortunately we have paid in full, so it looks like we'll have to go through the court system to get the money back or have the situation resolved.

It's just our bad luck we happened to try this guy first up, as he's round the corner from where we live, and got caught out.
Holy cow, that's really bad!

I can see some variance on the ends. But white caulk to fill the gap?

Mostly though, that sink doesn't even look like it belongs there.


Good luck!
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:02 AM  
IndyRyan
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I would'nt bother talking to them again. Just bring them to court. Go to a reputable granite shop and get an estimate to replace it. Also get an estimate from a cabinet shop to repair the damage. You can also put their insurance company on notice.
Absolutely. Take them to court ASAP. They absolutely should have to pay to have a professional replacement installed.
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:00 PM  
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horrible....

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Old 05-21-2011, 07:37 AM  
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This is a HORRIBLE Install and fabrication. There should be now way this job even made it to your house. The color match at the seam should have tipped them off during fabrication. I would say that a 1/8 gap to the panel is acceptable but anything greater to that should be replaced. As far as the sink goes, I have overhung sinks but most the time I leave a reveal on the top just behind the radius of the sink. I leave it to the customer on how they want it to look. It looks like your sink has both going on and in the countertoo world that should not fly.

If this was my kitchen I would demand my money back and try to find another fabricator.

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Old 05-26-2011, 10:09 PM  
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I feel so badly for you, but I think you have enough evidence to get your money back. They were using cardboard for their templates? Every one else I know uses coroplast or wood strips. I've been in the business for more than ten years and worked in California, Nevada, Utah and Florida and this is one of the worst fab/install jobs I've seen.

www.CountertopSolutionsFL.com

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Old 07-12-2011, 09:58 PM  
mycountertoprepair
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Just my two sense here. This is my line of business and I believe there were really Three maybe Four separate problems here.
They are as follows:

1. As far as I know, there is no real acceptable gap tolerance at a cabinet panel. 3/16th is a huge gap here. This should not be tolerated period... I would say 1/16th max. with a colored caulk fill should be acceptable. Translucent caulk would most likely work here too.


2. The color match at your seam is just horrible. However, Most counter top companies won't pay the cash for a second slab. My shop most likely would but most won't. I'm not taking their side but offering the mind set of the shop owner. You have to figure the contractor's slab cost alone is at least half of your total bill and paying for a new slab is like them doing your job for free and then pay their guys to fabricate it and put it in. They should have at least given you the option of purchasing another color match slab.
With that said the match is horrible and if they were in any way reputable, they would have made you wait until a new slab came in and matched it properly.

3. The person who came to template had to make a second trip for templating? Red flag #1. This same person brought "cardboard strips" as his templating material? Red Flag#2. (Granite saws use water and H2O and cardboard just don't mix) This could have been what threw off your cab. panel...


4. This one may upset you.
One of the hardest things to cope with in my job is the know it all customer. Hear me out.
These are the ones standing over your shoulder telling you what they read from some internet site on how your job should be done. Then firing off so many pin point area's that have to be perfect that we get overwhelmed by it all. The fact is (well at least I hope it's a fact) we (installers) all want to do that perfect job. We all know that these tops need to be tight at the cabinet panels and gaps at tiled walls should be under 3/8th. Take my advise do not pretend to know more about their job then they do. It only pisses us off. Let em do their job and this is important: Tell them all your overhang requirements Bar area, Island etc., any special angles or radius. Tell them to leave the templates in place, Then walk away until they say they are done. This avoids them being distracted from what they are doing to answer your questions. You really don't want them to forget where they were. When done is the time for you to examine the templates. Make sure their interpretation is the same as yours and now ask all the ?'s and point out any issues you may have..
My point here is just let em do their job...

With that being said the overall job looked horrible and if I did that I would most likely lose alot of sleep over it. You should have really told em to take it back even before they put the glue in the seam. once it's in, it's yours...


Possible fixes
Sink

Check the front of the sink and see if the counter overhangs more here then in the back. It may just be a bad installation and a quick fix.

Wall gap

Since they didn't glue it down you may still be able to do this. Take a razor knife and carefully cut the drywall at the top of the counter top then again at the top of the cabinet. Pull out the sheet rock and slide the counter into the wall.

Seam
I can't help ya here. No quick fixes...



My site is new and I am still working on it so content is very limited but I have a few articles in there that may be helpful in this regard.

Peace
Mark



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