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Old 03-31-2009, 10:00 AM   #166
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I would ask for a written estimate that DETAILS the scope of the project...not just a $ amount. It's not just with GT that you need to do this...but anytime you have someone work for you. I'll save a load of confusion and help eliminate the possibility of mis-understandings later.

I have GT for almost 2 years and love the product...no maintenance, no problems. Is CR talking about the GT product or slab granite?

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Old 03-31-2009, 10:42 AM   #167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb50 View Post
I had a GT salesman measure for my kitchen last year and he didn't give me any paperwork. He just wrote the price on his business card which was over $6,000.00 I was shocked because I thought it would be cheaper than granite. Should I really be leary because he didn't give me a written estimate?

Everything I have read about granite which I really wanted talks about the problems you can have. Even Consumer Reports doesn't really recommend them.
Without any info on the size of slabs its hard to know how high that estimate is. But I can have solid granite in my kitchen for less then $5k.

Did you ask for a complete written estimate?
I had a plumber out who threw out a verbal estimate of $10k
Buh bye
Another plumber did the work for just over $3k
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:31 AM   #168
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They rated Engineered Stone (Quartz) no. 1 and granite no. 2. They questioned the non-stain quality of granite. CR did not mentioned anything about germs. CR rated Quartz and Granite both "very good" in stain resistance, and "excellent " in heat, cutting, and abrasion.

I called the dealer this morning about getting the estimate in writing and his assistant said she would get back to me. If I don't get a satisfactory response from the GT dealer I'll have to go with granite.

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Old 03-31-2009, 11:35 AM   #169
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I don't know where you live, but if it's Miami Fl. don't walk away from these people, run, fast. The description of my situation was not exagerated.

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Old 03-31-2009, 04:56 PM   #170
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The dealer did call and said if I was ready to buy he would write up a contract and review it with me. He would not give me a written estimate. I will see about getting a different type of countertop. I still find it hard to believe he wouldn't give a written estimate. Why not? I really don't understand.

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Old 03-31-2009, 06:30 PM   #171
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:33 PM   #172
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I decided to get Granite Shield granite countertops and it was installed today. It never has be sealed. It offers all the convenience I thought was only available in a quartz product. It was over $1,000 cheaper than the granite transformation countertop price I was quoted. I also had no trouble getting a written estimate from the granite dealer. I purchased 99 square feet of granite.

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Old 04-24-2009, 07:51 PM   #173
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Harry b50 or Ann,

Quartz doesn't need sealed at all, so the granite sheild product isn't used on quartz. Read the warranty very, very, carefully on the granite sheild product and refer to the care and cleaning instructions as well. If you don't follow the instructions to the letter, the warranty is completely void. I tell people I could sell you a good cardboard box as a countertop and that if you followed those same care and cleaning instructions, you would be just as happy.

Be sure you have that new granite countertop tested for radon and radiation. Testing for heavy metals is a bit harder, we are working on test kits for some of the common heavy metals found in granite, but the problem is the amounts normally found in granite will max out the test kits currently available. No one ever dreamed that a consumer product would ever be sold with such high levels so the test kits were designed to reflect current maximum allowed heavy metal content in products (100 to 600 ppm depending on the type of heavy metal).
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:25 PM   #174
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AL

Yes, I read the warranty very carefully and that's why I choose it. The warranty of the quartz and the Granite Shield Granite were not different. Neither ever need sealing. Once the granite is sealed with the Granite Shield product it never needs sealing again. You can use Windex to clean the counters. Stains such as wine can sit overnight with no staining. I have grandchildren who are not careful spillers so I had to purchase a counter that would be as child proof as possible.

I couldn't find any concrete information on the radon in granite being as dangerous as you have implied. I know the Consumers Reports didn't worry about it and I trust their judgement. I do know that I had decided to buy granite transformation quartz countertop but I couldn't trust the dealer once I found out that he wouldn't give me a written estimate after he took the measurements of my countertops. I asked him twice.

Do you really think that Consumer Reports would recommend "real" granite countertops to the public if it was considered "toxic" for the public to use?

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Old 04-24-2009, 11:34 PM   #175
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Ann,

All sorts of things are done out of ignorance, so yes I do think that Consumer Reports would recomend granite to the public. Quartz beat granite though in their last report. I know, Our shop was one of the three shops from across the country that contributed pricing info for that report. You do know that CR did only two tests on two small granite samples?

As to the radon in granite, it is not I that is implying, it is a variety of scientists all across the US. AARST (the radon scientist organization) has recognized the threat, with the lead scientist on record saying that as many as 5% of all granites might be problematic (quoted in the Star Tribune out of Minnesota, last month). The CRDPD (state radiation officals organization) is studying the EU regulations concerning radon emission from granite and will likely recomend the EU regulations be adopted here in the U.S. Is this needed? Yes, the last MIA (Stone lobby organization) study tested 39 granite slabs, 18 failed to meet the EU standards which means they can not be sold in European Community nations.

Now, I get quite disgusted when I see eroneous info about countertop products, so forgive me if I rain on the granite shield parade. If you read their warranty, the promise to "repair and reseal" if the granite stains. They specificaly leave out etching as well, and you know that Windex is alkaline? Alkaline products will damage granite if used repeatably, a simple internet search will prove that.

Note that they do claim they will replace any granite should the stain be unable to be removed "as determined by an authorized granite shield inspector providing there was no abuse, neglect, misuse, vandalism,or lack of proper care and maintenance." That is an awful big loop hole they laid out there.

Here is a link to a really good internet battle over his product. I liked the parts about granite shield failing one stone sites testing and then the refusal to send samples to others for testing. The Mauzio guy was well respected in the stone industry prior to his death last year. He was quiet vocal on some of the scams used in the natural stone industry so he was just being himself on this thread.

http://forums.findstone.com/printer_...s.asp?TID=1946

If you are indeed a homeowner, read Mauzio's comments about how often happy homeowners show up to boast about their purchases online. He scored a major point when he pointed out that few will take the time to post about when they are pleased, that usually it is the unhappy customers that frequent advice sites.
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Old 04-25-2009, 12:07 AM   #176
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Al,

I am indeed a part time housewife who is a full time library employee eagerly anticipating her retirement. Maybe you can answer this for me - why wouldn't the Granite Transformation dealer in my area not give me a written estimate? Even a month later it still confounds me. I was ready to buy from him and I hadn't even planned on going with granite because I assumed it would cost more and the auguments he made about granite requiring a lot of maintenance.

He stated the only way he would give me an estimate if I was ready to sign a contract. His actions prompted me to look more thoroughly into granite as my countertop choice.

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Old 04-25-2009, 01:08 AM   #177
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Anne,
I apologize for mistaking you for a shill. I hope you can see from the findstone.com thread how common it is for these shills to show up and try to influence consumers. Which is why I seldom go on about solid surface unless asked.

All I can tell you about granite transformations is that they seem to have a business model that depends on finding naive consumers. A written quote would meant you were still shopping around, ever talked to a car salesman? They know that once you walk, they have likely lost the sale cause it isn't a good deal for you in most cases. High pressure sales....

I do agree that granite is cheaper but I disagree that granite doesn't have a lot of maintance. The very fact that it has to be kept spotless to prevent stains is proof of that. I'll tell you what, go over to the Marble Institute of America, find their consumer page, look up the care and cleaning instructions. Placematts, coasters, blot up spills immediately, regular sealing, don't set hot pots on it, the list goes on. Most people wouldn't buy granite if they read those instructions before buying.

And library people rule. I wish you guys would take over the government, no one takes care of the public like the libraries.
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:17 AM   #178
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Im not certain about in NJ, but we had our countertops done by granite transformations out of St. Louis. The countertops we ordered were not the same color that they brought to install, by comparison to our sample,even though they said the name was the same......so WE had to pay for changing the color. The Installer seemed at best uninterested in making sure it was correct. 1 week after it was installed the countertop got a large crack. A contractor we had for something unrelated told us it was because they had not insured that it was level. HOWEVER, they charged US for that also because we apparently abused it. We spent upwards of 10,000 for this average sized kitchen. Im needless to say NOT impressed with the product OR their customer service if you would call it that.
ALSO FYI I found out after the fact the guys working for them are not union, they are just who ever they can hire off the street and pay $9.00/hour. Wish we had known all that before we chose them!!
BUYER BEWARE
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:27 AM   #179
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I had my counter tops installed by Granite Transformations last year and I think they are terrific! The process is environmentally friendly as there is no tear out. That appealed to me. Also it is non porous and never needs to be sealed. I wanted a surface completely safe for food prep. I don't want chemical sealants around my food. It doesn't scratch either. Since I have a newer place, this allowed me to keep my really nice tile backsplash. With a tear out you lose your backsplash. I don't really like slab granite because it's just too heavy and friends of mine said their's chipped in several places especially around the undermount sink. Engineered stones are considered better than slab granite. Also my counter tops don't streak like traditional granite. The price was reasonable at $3000 for my large kitchen, that included plumbing. All of my other estimates were much higher. I love it!

Last edited by kitchenhappy; 04-27-2009 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:33 PM   #180
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Anyone out there doubt that this last post was a shill?

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