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Old 12-30-2008, 03:14 PM   #136
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Thanks for the kind words!

My wife wanted me to post on this board tp help people make a decision on G.T. concerns, or technical type issues.
I am glad you like your countertops.

From an owner's point of view, the undermount look, edges, etc made it a "HARD" sale to somone who has had granite before, or their sister, etc. we just couldn't compete.

it was like trying to sell vinyl siding, door to door, in a 10 Million Dollar neighborhood of all brick homes.

The look on their faces, (some people called them "Granite Snobs") was like we were trying to sell them pink formica. It was priceless!

But this should not prevent someone from owning G.T. counters. Just go to the showroom, or someone's house and look "closely" at it. Along with all of your choices.


But people who never had granite, or just liked the colors, and were into the no maintenance, etc. and the product sales were easy to make to them.

The G.T. Sheets in my personal opinion, should all be wet cut, like my shop was, for employee health concerns. I can't say more about that, though OSHA would.


And I think Al G brings up good radon points for people to consider. I think he runs a tight ship like I did. So when you hear about install issues, with any co. including G.T., it ticks people like us off.

Happy New year to you as well. And thanks for the kind thoughts on my wife's health.

Last edited by Johnny Larue; 12-30-2008 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:07 PM   #137
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"Granite Snobs" that's great! I would of loved to see that....and it does make sense though. And Johnny, it's really great to have someone like your self that's been on the other side share what you can.

I agree that Al has valid points. And from little I understand about the radon issue slab shops might have a nee to get a bit concerned.

The thing that's crazy though is that here in the Midwest...I'd bet most homes with a basement and with out a radon mitigation system, would have higher levels than recommended buy the Gov't. So when there's mention that the levels being reported in the GT evaluation cause the sky itself to fall...well that's a bit much. Further more to then imply that ALL granite products by their definition are being lumped into this big bag of glowing radiation poising...well that's were we need to put the brakes on and say just a minute...let's take a step back and evaluate this a bit closer.

I'll never claim to know the in and outs of the business...neither do I want to. But I do know that rational thinking and sound decision making will trump decisions made out of fear, every time.

Gotta run...will be back next year! Have a great one! Be safe.
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Old 12-30-2008, 06:44 PM   #138
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Every home sold here is radon tested. And then mitigated if the levels are too high. Certain slabs have more radon, than others. I think(?) in a few years it may be an issue, like asbestos, etc.

Have a good one.
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:08 PM   #139
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Rippy Skippy,

I would think that Johnny's post answered your assumptions that his post was somehow untruthful.

Play with word definitions all you want, a bargain for most consumers means they got value for their hard earned dollars. If a company depends un uninformed consumers, that in itself proves their product is lacking in appeal, as Johnny provided ample examples of.

Now surely you aren't assuming that anyone intended to claim a 50% general failure rate, to do so setting up the old strawman arguement. What I asked was if you were comfortable with 50% of the posters in this thread being quite unsatisfied.

I've never seen anyone use the (snip) thing before. One would think it unethical to (snip) out segments of a complete sentence. Might be fun though, let's do some of your sentences.

"Granite Transformations (snip) listless plastic."

It is you know, part "plastic", just like all quartz products, even the majority of stones now are resined front and back.

"We were (snip) forced to settle on a color."

Hey, this is fun!

"(snip) GT is responsible for uniformed customers (snip).

If the shill shoe fits you, wear it. Like you said, anyone can type whatever. You do seem too motivated to be a consumer. If you chose to apply the name to yourself, I won't argue with you. On the other hand, if you aren't connected, understand why others would wonder why you have a dog in the fight.

".I have no representation of the Granite Transformations company, and will not, EVER have to retract my post."

I take it you are taking Johnny's retraction as some how proof of untruthfullness? I took it that he was threatened in some manner. I can see why he had to get legal advice. Again that in itself gives me great pause, choking off the discussion of their product.

Thanks for posting that link, I was too lazy to do it. Funny though, your PDF was the same as mine, look down to the Summary Analytical Report where it shows Grigio Winternute three times, .2 pCi/L, .4 pCi/L, and another .4 pCi/L, pretty much proving what I said was true.

The report also showed the CPM data, some colors are double background radiation.
Now please explain how you posting something that proves my point somehow is evidence to the contrary? Did you take the time to read it before you posted? Ifyou don't understand it, I understand that, the topic can be horribly complex and the units used confusing.

And Mr. Rippy, I am quite passionate about what I write because I know I am right. I have done the research and developed contacts with the small but very helpful Radon industry. Sitting back and casting aspersions without providing any specific proof hardly allows you to judge anyone, much less claim they made false accusations. Now, on that point, I am calling you out. Provide proof that I posted one single false sentence.

Now here is where you are missing the point of my posts.

"I think the bottom line is for the customer to do their due diligence when researching the different options."

You must believe that, yet you get offended when others bring up info that you apparently don't want consumers to read. You seem to be more about defending your purchase of the product.

"It's of little value to anyone for one to continually step up on a soapbox because he/she doesn't like the product. Speak the peace and move on."

So this is your advice to others, yet you yourself don't follow it? The granite guys finaly learned that the more they argued, the more negative info was posted and the more people read the threads.

"I agree that Al has valid points. And from little I understand about the radon issue slab shops might have a nee to get a bit concerned."

Thank you Mr.Rippy.

I'm going to take that as a good place to stop wacking on you. Too often the criticizm is all about destroying the credibility of the poster. Your point of homes already having ten times that amount is also a valid point, something we are very aware of, with the point being "Why add more if it can easily be avoided?". If Granite Transformations tested, why not look into lowering the Radon on those colors they are having problems with?

And Rippy, no one has ever said All granite are the problem. That is a commly used straw man arguement that can never be backed up when you challenge the source.

We received a new Radon meter yesterday on loand from Femto Tech, a $4,500 meter, the best there is. Our first run showed the first 18 hour average at 26.5 pCi/L. The EPA says that amount is like smoking 3.31 packs a day. Our previous meter, a much older model (but recently calibrated) was shown to be reading about 20% low.

Now the scary part from my viewpoint, as a granite fabricator. The first batch of granite (18 square feet) was fairly hot, but the second batch added (another 18 square feet), we expected maybe 20% increase because this batch was quite low level. Instead the Radon level went up 150%.

Not only baffling, it means we can't screen slabs using a radiation meter. Very troubling cause it further limits the stones I can sell with an expectation of safety.

Granite snobs indeed, there are some that will look down their nose if you dare to bring up anything negative. I've talked to consumers with known high radiation stones that refuse to get them tested. That is completely insane and irresponsible no matter what the investment was.
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:13 AM   #140
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In almost all Franchise Agreements you have a 1, or 2 year period where you can't say too much. Trade secrets, negative comments, etc. It's pretty standard even with the other Biz we own. So they were within their rights to ask me to edit my posts. I just deleted and started over.

I like this type of forum, but I don't take anything said personally. If they disagree with what I say, that's OK. Just as long as it doesn't get personal.

I just have inside technical, and other experience with G.T. I could share. And help people decide. Radon is the next asbestos issue, (I think) so choose carefully.

And Al you can order a sample of G.T. material from the closest office to you. Even if it's 300 miles away. Tell them you are curious about the product. They usually send out an offcut sample for free. If they don't because they don't serve you area, offer to send them a couple of bucks, $2.00-$3.00. They will send a 3 inch by 4 inch piece you can look at, if you haven't all ready. And test it, etc.

The stone has a lower quartz content then Cambria, Silestone, etc. They just take, for example Black Galaxy Scrap, and sometimes large stone, and grind it up, and mix in the polymer. So the Polymer holds most of the Radon in,(I think you would know more than I on that issue) but the sheets do have tiny gaps, or pinholes when looked at closely, or magnified. So they could outgas radon.

The back of a sheet's stone is unpolished "white stone". It may be granite, but I don't think so. The top "surface", is 92%-95% granite, but the entire sheets, overall granite content is lower. Hope that makes sense to you. If you ever get a sample, you'll see what I mean.

You may have to call on the back stone content, as they might not like me right now!

And I wish NO ill will on them, and a few shops do wet cut, but I am surprised NO ONE, not even a former employee, or competitor, like AL, has called OSHA on them.

These employees are working in a Dusty area, without face masks, they are "supposed" to wear. And get a medical check up yearly so they can wear a respirator without taxing their heart, and other systems, etc.

Maybe they are following the CA rules in your area. I hope they all are now. It's like buying a product from a co. that doesn't have healthy work conditions. You can't easily check out a lightbulb factory, for example. But ANY product you buy, I would go and see the back of the shop. Is it neat, and safe, etc. Now it won't be Hospital clean, but it should be a safe place for YOU to spend 40 hours a week in.

Happy New Year Al to you, and your family! I don't feel you are trying to scare people, just educate them, and let them decide, like I am.

Heck, put that speckled paint, and brush poly over your old formica. Guys do it, and when done right, at a glance, it looks like granite! I forget the name of that co. It's your house, just know the facts, good and bad about each and decide.

Last edited by Johnny Larue; 12-31-2008 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:09 PM   #141
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Hi Johnny,

We have a local franchise, they had a booth right behind ours at one of the local Home & Garden shows for couple of years. You wouldn't believe their marketing spiel. I overheard the owner telling consumers that they would save thousands by not tearing out the old countertop.

People would have their bags of goodies from the show, brochures, quotes, so when I saw a Granite Transformation brochure, I'd ask if they got a quote. Even mid level solid surface would be a bit over half the bid, and one or two consumers let the franchise know about it.

On the Radon emanation, not many coatings, even polymers, will hold it in. Remember we are talking about an element, an atom, not a large gas molecule. The Israelis have done some work on an anti radon coating, but pretty much everything tried has not been very effective, or at least anything that would serve as finished surface. I had an email group running for three or four months, Radon researchers, a uranium geologist, a radio chemist, Industrial Hygienist, and several Radon lab owners. Turns out few Radon experts had ever spoken with an uranium geologist before, nor a radio chemist. One group had been studying how to get rid of Radon, the others regularly measured it to survey uranium deposits or quanitfy samples.

Where it was once thought in the Radon world that most Radon wouldn't make it out of a stone, the uranium geologist proved the Radon can travel up to six feet through solid rock.

Calling OSHA, whew.... Not on my worste enemy. Those guys can be a shops worst nightmare even if you run a nice clean shop. Their worst fines are for office stuff, record keeping, and stuff like the medical exams on a regular basis. Those fines can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

California's new law covers quartz as well. It wasn't in the actual law, but we had an Industrial Hygienist firm working with us on granite dust surveys. We surveyed eight shops, including mine, in Texas and Oklahoma. Small shops, large shops, wet cutting shops, dry cutting shops. After the test samples got back from the lab, the I.H. firm approached the CALOSHA on the quartz issue. They thought of brick, but no one thought about Quartz products. After a few days, they decided it would be covered under the new law anyway, same silica problem, so they think they have a handle on it.

So for California, if an OSHA inspector drives by your shop and sees any dust floating in the air, you are fined heavily. No need to test anything, if they see dust, you are guilty of violating the law. Wet cutting is the only allowed method from now on.

We had one shop in our survey come in over the level even though they were a 100% wet shop. They even had spray booths set up for each worker, with a water curtain wall in the back that supposedly caught all the dust. It wasn't working, not enough air flow I guess.

Hey, nothing wrong with painting laminate! If the lady is happy, so be it. Definetly a low maintance kind of lady.
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:07 PM   #142
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Mr. Gerhart,
You certainly seem to be an honest, hardworking granite fabricator. It sure would be nice if you worked in Southern California (do you?)

I just read that the most important step in choosing the best granite for a countertop is **Choosing The Right Fabricator**. The article stated that a mediocre/poor fabricator can ruin perfectly good granite, whereas an excellent fabricator can make even a mediocre/weak granite slab work just fine for the customer.

Wow - I'm completely ignorant! Could you enlighten me as how to find an excellent granite countertop fabricator? (How to interview them, how to tell if they are communicating honestly, which steps in the planning / granite-selection / installation process a good fabricator should do for a customer...)

Many thanks
from Miss Carol
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:51 PM   #143
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Hi Carol,

I am in Oklahoma, a bit far for a job I'm afraid.

You got some good advice from that article, finding a good fabricator is crucial. Too many look for the low bidder, which works fine for a TV or new car, not so good for a handmade product.

Like Johnny said, their shop should be clean, shows they care about the little things. Above all ask them about the radiation/Radon issue, if they deny the issues are valid, you've just learned that they are either ignorant or dishonest. Joing Angies list to see if anyone has had good or bad experiences, forget the BBB, they are near worthless.

Above all, check your local courthouse for any actions, liens they filed, cases against them, check under the business owners name as well as the company name.

Just be careful, a higher price is no guarantee of good quailty. Watch for the huge shops as well, many are going under these days because of their huge debt load for all the fancy machinery. If you can find a small shop that has been around five or six years, that dresses seams and top polished seams, that would be a good start.

Thanks for the nice comments,

Al
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:20 PM   #144
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We had our kitchen done last month. It is beautiful and we look forward to no upkeep. The work was done very well with no tearing up of old countertops. It looks just like real 100% granite but not the mess. I would recommend this to everyone.
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:03 PM   #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonrit View Post
I am currently involved with a lawsuit with Granite Transformations in Austin, TX (Judy Hays, owner) due to a botched job. Their behavior dumbfounded me...

The first time I tried to report these issues, Judy Hays used profanity and disconnected the call and tried to report me to credit. My lawyer responded...

In terms of the actual quality of the product, I'm not thrilled with it. ...
I hope this information was useful.
I have 3 jobs done with Austin Granite Transformations {Kitchen, Bath, Shower, Vanity} and your statement about Judy's "interpersonal skills" is quite true. I may have been their early most client {2005, 2006, 2007}.
I think the product is good but the service is the low spot when compared to the product itself. I am pleased with the work but it took much effort supervising them.
You got to watch and police these guys.
A quailty job takes more time than Judy allows the installers and that is prob most of your problem besides she being a ****.
The people who work for her are often frank and complain behind her back - one installer was very good but has left.
She is the train wreck and explodes often.
She hung up on me with the last job.
Good luck with your law suit.
Has any one really tested this product for radon ???
The GT website says it tests at under 1.3 with under 4 being safe.
Please post results of your tests.

Last edited by el pic; 01-25-2009 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:14 PM   #146
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Could you post a link to that 1.3 pCi/L Radon result on Granite Transformations? I thought the highest was .4 pCi/L, must have missed something.

If it was 1.3 pCi/L, that is far from "safe". The EPA calculates that 1.3 pCi/L is the national average for home Radon levels and that 21,000 deaths occur each year because of that 1.3 pCi/L.
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:19 PM   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Gerhart View Post
Could you post a link to that 1.3 pCi/L Radon result on Granite Transformations? I thought the highest was .4 pCi/L, must have missed something.

If it was 1.3 pCi/L, that is far from "safe". The EPA calculates that 1.3 pCi/L is the national average for home Radon levels and that 21,000 deaths occur each year because of that 1.3 pCi/L.
http://www.granitetransformations.co...afe_Letter.pdf
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:27 PM   #148
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Thanks for the link!

Hmm, unless I missed it, the 1.3 pCi/L refered to the national Radon average, not one of Granite Transformation's products. But I could be wrong.

Looks like .4 pCi/L is the hottest color. I saw one result that was double background radiation, never a great thing if it can be avoided.
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:28 PM   #149
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We had solid granite installed in our kitchen a couple of months ago. We have a bit over 80 sq. ft. With us doing the demolition, we paid 4200, and we love it. We chose a high end, rare granite, or the price would have been lower. As far as any company goes, check them out with the better business bureau before you do anything! RockTops Granite did ours, and though they did well by us, they went out of business before they finished other projects, leaving other customers with a demolished kitchen. With today's economy, it could happen to anyone, so beware. I, too, love concrete, but if your home is a traditional style, in the long run, granite would be the best way to go. I would also suggest the black undermount 60/40 granite composite sink. We got it and absolutely love it! Our price pfister faucet has the pull down sprayer, and is a single hole installation, which my husband did, and we also love. Have fun and good luck!

Last edited by songbird_63366; 02-01-2009 at 11:14 PM. Reason: misspelled word
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Old 02-02-2009, 05:22 PM   #150
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If it turns out to be hot, I have a lot of scientist friends researching countertop materials for Radon. I could send it out for professional testing. We have a Gamma Spectrometer as well, if it has some serious radiation, we can identify the isotopes causing any problems and get an energy level (how far the rays or particles can travel and how much penatrating power they have).

I'd guess there won't be a lot of Radon or radiation unless they use a lot of fly ash in their mix or if it is made with hot aggregrates.
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