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.