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Old 11-14-2008, 02:35 PM   #106
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Hi,
I owned a G.T. and the issue is resale. No matter what you say, or do it is engineered stone. Best analogy is as follows;

A pergo wood floor is nice, but a real wood floor will attract more buyers to your home. And look better.

A certain percentage of people will like pergo, or G.T. But go with the majority for resale. Buy something normal like Real Granite!!

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Old 11-16-2008, 12:05 PM   #107
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Hi-All-

Considering options for a necessary master shower renovation. GT going over existing tile sounds great. Can 'corian' type products do this?

I'd love to have some input from personal experiences, and also from the GT former franchise owner/installer.

HankieT
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Old 11-16-2008, 02:10 PM   #108
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You can put Corian over tile. Not many companies in my area will do it. They have to use a waterproof epoxy underneath. Corian will stain more as well. Much more porous material. If the price is close G.T would be the best choice for you.

A company called Graniclad will go over surfaces with real 3/8 inch Granite!!

They are not national yet, so check you market.
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Old 11-28-2008, 04:51 PM   #109
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Hi my name is Stephen, and I have done ALL the legwork/homework on corian, granite, tile, laminate, concrete and engineered stone/granite transformations.

Corian- 70's look, outdated, scratches and burns, has plastic look, but can be done without seeming, Demolition

$3,000-8,500

Granite- Beautiful veined god created stone perfect for ANYTHING but your countertops. Fragile, pitted and pourous surface and can be stained but will not scratch, requires demoliton, extremly durable cabinets, weight reinforcements (sometimes) cabinet leveling (if they aren't already perfectly level) harbors bacteria, contains uranium and in certain states is illegal to have in ANY food preperation areas and/or hospitals!! Demolition

$3,000-7,500

Tile- GROUT LINES!!! oh the grout lines, this is one of those homeower special type counters but gets old really quick, hard to keep clean but will look CHEAP. However this will hold heat well. Tile Prices have the BIGGEST PRICE RANGES, requires backer board, cost of tile, grout, thinset, substrate, grout sealer, and did I mention GROUT LINES!!!

$500-8,000

Laminate- I haven't met anyone interested in doing laminate anymore, even the HD laminates have way to many downfalls, I.E. scratching, burning, fading, looks CHEAP! Demolition

$800-4,000

Concrete- HAHAHAH it better be FREE!! talk about depriciating your home, concrete is what our ROADS are made of. Fragile tops and even with a finish on the surface to clog pours you now have a glossy scratched kitchen countertop after a few months! Demolition

$1000-6,000

Engineered Stone- OVERALL BY FAR THE BEST KITCHEN TOPS!!! This is just an opinion remember but do the homework yourself. Although engineered stone is pricier you are getting what you pay for. NON-pourous, won't scratch, holds heat, looks SIMILAR to Granite without the Granite issues. (Silestone, Quartz, Zodiac, Avonite, Granite Transformations) Demolition

$3,500-9,000

Granite Transformations- This is in its own class because it is the no demolition countertop or as they say "the countertop that fits on top." My wife and I found this to be the best option for countertops simply because it was the smartest route to go. I AM bias to this company now because I used them and they were GrEaT! I'll admit the cost was a little more then we wanted to spend but the peace of mind is WELL WORTH IT. Adam and Jimmy installed my tops in One day, were courteous and friendly. The whole experiance from when we called to the installation was nothing short of PERFECT. I do have a seam but you can't notice it. I don't have to worry about staining, scratching, burning (570 degrees) or MAINTENENCE (granite: sealing, polishing.revitalizing, enhancers) (corian: buffing/sanding scratches out)

4,000-9,000

Our tops were $7,200 all together with counters, mosaic tile backsplashes that reach the bottom of our top row of cabinets, black blanco undermount sink, and the cost of the plumber was included. We had to buy a faucet but they installed that too. No messy work, no cabinet work or reiforement. THEY LOOK ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!!!

Sorry for the long post, hope this was helpful....

-Utah

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Old 11-28-2008, 05:02 PM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Larue View Post
Hi,
I owned a G.T. and the issue is resale. No matter what you say, or do it is engineered stone. Best analogy is as follows;

A pergo wood floor is nice, but a real wood floor will attract more buyers to your home. And look better.

A certain percentage of people will like pergo, or G.T. But go with the majority for resale. Buy something normal like Real Granite!!
Johhny, I just wanted to say we had a wonderful experiance with granite transformations. I'll bet any money when you owned the company you weren't so quick to refer people to slab granite. I'll also bet you saw the value to their product since you went on board with them and attemped to use their product as a business opportunity to make money. I'm guessing you were one of the 160+ locations that didn't have much success selling value not price?


-Stephen

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Old 11-30-2008, 02:51 PM   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ingodscountry View Post
Johhny, I just wanted to say we had a wonderful experiance with granite transformations. I'll bet any money when you owned the company you weren't so quick to refer people to slab granite. I'll also bet you saw the value to their product since you went on board with them and attemped to use their product as a business opportunity to make money. I'm guessing you were one of the 160+ locations that didn't have much success selling value not price?


-Stephen
Of course I bought the business to make money Of course I never said slab was better. Of course I though it was cool it went on top. Still does not make it right for everyone.

If you read any of my posts you will see I had great installers, (literally hundreds of satisfied letters) good profits, and sold recenty very quickly, (due to my wife's health issues among others). I only wanted to offer an insiders view of G.T. and answer specific technical questions etc. Not talk about my business skills!! Let's stay on point and not throw dirt on me please!

Your quote of "I'm guessing ...you couldn't sell value?" is funny. Sounds like an insult, but at the price I sold my Biz for I'll take that talk all day!!

However, your post makes you sound like an insider. I "heard" they had Corporate & Franchisees post on various boards all the time. I am not sure if that is true or not. And I am not trying to insult you by bringing this up.

My apologizies to people wanting to hear about G.T. As a former owner I wanted to answer questions about the product. And I still will. But I will not respond to posts trying to go off the topic of genuine questions about the product. I can tell you the good and the bad. Decide for yourself.

A simple fact I found out to late was that in my market G.T. doesn't add the same resale value to your home as Real Granite. Real Granite can do much better edges, etc. as well.

It's easy to criticize, sitting on the sidelines, but until you owned one, only then would you understand all the issues. Good and bad.

Last edited by Johnny Larue; 11-30-2008 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 11-30-2008, 03:34 PM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Larue View Post
Of course I bought the business to make money Of course I never said slab was better. Of course I though it was cool it went on top. Still does not make it right for everyone.

If you read any of my posts you will see I had great installers, (literally hundreds of satisfied letters) good profits, and sold recenty very quickly, (due to my wife's health issues among others). I only wanted to offer an insiders view of G.T. and answer specific technical questions etc. Not talk about my business skills!! Let's stay on point and not throw dirt on me please!

Your quote of "I'm guessing ...you couldn't sell value?" is funny. Sounds like an insult, but at the price I sold my Biz for I'll take that talk all day!!

However, your post makes you sound like an insider. I "heard" they had Corporate & Franchisees post on various boards all the time. I am not sure if that is true or not. And I am not trying to insult you by bringing this up.

My apologizies to people wanting to hear about G.T. As a former owner I wanted to answer questions about the product. And I still will. But I will not respond to posts trying to go off the topic of genuine questions about the product. I can tell you the good and the bad. Decide for yourself.

A simple fact I found out to late was that in my market G.T. doesn't add the same resale value to your home as Real Granite. Real Granite can do much better edges, etc. as well.

It's easy to criticize, sitting on the sidelines, but until you owned one, only then would you understand all the issues. Good and bad.



Johnny, now you're just hurting my feelings. I am not meaning to insult you or throw dirt in any way, especially when you compliment me by considering me an "insider" to their company. In a way I guess I am. Very happy customers are almost better then the best sales person. If nothing else I was just unsure of your comments especially because the company was SO SUCCESSFUL for you but now you seem to be shying away from the thing that allows you financial happyness. No dirt no name calling, just curious. But thats I guess none of my business. :o)

I did almost the exact opposite thing that you did. I USED to own a Granitclad and know all the down sides to granite. Even in the resale world. Corian used to be "IT" if you had corian you knew what you were doing. NOW....however if you have corian people want to know why??? I've found that granite is in its downturn. It WAS the most popular top available and for 15,000G's you could get it. Now they give the stuff away because the other BETTER options out there made their prices come so far down to compete. But anyways I'm not on here to argue at all I in fact agree with you. I do think granite LOOKS better but for families, resale, food prep, and safety I DO NOT believe it is the best option. (Remember Asbestos).

Asbestos is a mineral with long, thin fibrous crystals. The word asbestos (῾ἀσβεστος) is derived from a Greek adjective meaning inextinguishable. The Greeks termed asbestos the miracle mineral because of its soft and pliant properties, as well as its ability to withstand heat.
Asbestos is known to have toxicity. The inhalation of toxic asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses, including malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis (also called pneumoconiosis). Since the mid 1980s, many uses of asbestos have been banned in several countries.
Asbestos became increasingly popular among manufacturers and builders in the late 19th century due to its resistance to heat, electricity and chemical damage, its sound absorption and tensile strength. When asbestos is used for its resistance to fire or heat, the fibers are often mixed with cement or woven into fabric or mats. Asbestos was used in some products for its heat resistance, and in the past was used on electric oven and hotplate wiring for its electrical insulation at elevated temperature, and in buildings for its flame-retardant and insulating properties, tensile strength, flexibility, and resistance to chemicals.

Well that's how I feel about Granite countertops. The NEXT Asbestos....With the issues with bacteria and now radon emitions. So I'm just trying to also, just like you, show and reviel what I believe to be the best options out there having been in the business 10+ years.

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Old 12-01-2008, 09:42 AM   #113
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No hard feelings.

I had a successful biz and wanted to share my opinions. You can own 10 McDonald's, but still tell people about the benefits, and dangers of owning or eating there. If you are saying I am changing my tune because I no longer own it, you are right. Contractually I could not tell people things about it while I owned it. And when you sell G.T. or Toyota's you haveto believe you are best, and know your weaknesses.

Graniclad was pretty poorly run down in Florida when I visited the owner in Orlando, FL. My brother and I checked it out (2005?) as he wanted to buy one out of state. Might as well get real granite.

You bringing up asbestos is not the best analogy. However, asbestos is a good scare tactic. You can have asbestos floor tile in your basement, and if you don;t disturb it your fine. Same as som asbestos on pipes. When you remove it you cause the problems. When it's loose and unraveling on a pipe different story. What about older plastic water supply pipes? Etc Etc..

The radon is a non issue. Test the air where you breathe, not on the counter. I guess if you lived in a plastic tent, on top of your counter, that was sealed, all day and night you might be scared. Numerous studies after the initial scare reports shows that while their is a bit of radon it is insignificant. We are exposed to radon in numerous places. Going for a wlk etc. Just like mercury in our air, chemicals in our water. And some engineered stone emits chemicals as well as radon. Scare tactic salesmen will use it. We had people ask if G.T. emits radon and I said it might as well since it's granite. And it might out gas the resins and epoxy that are used as well. It could (?) out gas harsher chemicals than real granite. Due to the epoxies used to fasten the granite, and the chemicals in the slab itself. We can play the scare game all day, flouride, mercury, chlorine

You can find granite with lower radon levels, as you know. Depends on the part of the earth it came from, and the type. I am glad you have 10 years of grante experience and bought G.T. for your home. As I said I had a great team as well.

In my home, while I owned G.T. I put in real granite countertops. Beautiful with great installers. My point is not all G.T.'s have good installers, just like all granite Shops. And as you know some jobs just go wrong no matter what you do.

Again just a fact here. Resale value in my area. Validated by realtors and appraisers. My neighbor is an appraiser.

1. Granite
2. Engineered Stone With Fancy Edges. Cambria, Silestone,
3 G.T.
3 Corian
4. Laminate

In my market not many concrete or tile counters.

And if you read some posts guys were quoting close to and over $100 a sq. ft. for G.T. You could get cambria, silestone, or real granite for much less. We were around $55-$75 sq. ft. installed.

Again anyone with questions on G.T. vs. other goods let me know. My wife thought we should give back and share experiences with people in a forum like this. Anyone else have genuine questions let me know.

But I'll scare you all like in godscountry did about granite. In his home right now installed G.T. he has the following.

If you get G.T. ask to see the material data sheet on the epoxy. Ask to see the material data sheet on the resins they use to form the edges. Ask to see material data sheets on the chemicals in the slabs. Ask how much radon testing is done on there slabs.

Then ask G.T. if they have studies on how long they take to outgas all of those chemicals in your home. And are any of them dangerous to breathe and do they cause cancer, or other problems?

I am sure ingodscountry did that before he bought. And did he see the shop the workers work in. It all should be wet cut, but it's not. And on the job site, even outside, they dry cut and don't always where the proper respirators. You need to have a full Dr.'s exam annually to where a proper respirator. Not a paper mask. And then your clothes and truck are dusty so employees are breathing this all day. So you may have had a great crew that will have health issues. I fought against that and changed it in my shop only.

Real Granite all wet cut on a cnc. Or wet cut on site for any touch ups.

My point laminate glue outgases, carpet does, paint etc.

Is Engineered Stone like G.T. or Silestone the next asbestos?

Last edited by Johnny Larue; 12-01-2008 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 12-01-2008, 11:47 AM   #114
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Well as you said you have to be the judge of all that yourself. I asked GRANITE TRANSFORMATIONS about radon/bateria because those are some of the biggest issues filtering the internet right now. Whether or not Home Depot told me that those issues are true, yet not super serious I wanted to find out for myself. Actually Granite Transformations has tested all of their Stone and Recycled Glass...I contacted the Ontario, California office and all their stone and glass is 100% SAFE.....And as I told you about the Granitclad I was always telling customers, our granite had 1/4 of the radon because is was a thinner slice of granite at 3/8" or 7mm-9mm. Here are just some of my findings.....

Granite Bacteria Issues

This topic is a surprise to many readers, that granite can harbor living
organisms. Yet in fact, all that is needed for life to thrive is a protected spot
to live, moisture and something to eat. Granite provides all three of these
needs.

Since a sealer cannot completely block out water, thus moisture will be
available. Even deep underground, with no sunlight or nutrients, bacteria
thrive. One type of bacteria turns minerals into food, while another type uses
the waste products left over and so on.

However, in a counter top, there is food available, grease, crumbs, all manner
of proteins, sugars, and carbohydrates smeared around and ground down into
a paste by use and cleaning, then forced into crevices and pores.

Do a Google search on shopping carts and bacteria, see how long they last
with only moisture from hands and nutrients from skin oils. Countertops are a
haven for bacteria, which is why sanitation is so important.

This is a sore point with stone shops - the bacterial aspects of granite.
Studies have proven the susceptibility of granite to bacterial colonization and
other studies have shown the rapid increase in food borne illness, yet no one
has done a study to find any correlation between the two. That will be done in
the near future, first a paper study to bring together what has been done
already, then food borne illness records will be checked to see what
percentage have granite countertops in the home. Denying scientific proof
that granite is unsanitary is just trying to justify a purchase or trying to sell
more stone tops.

One study on granite and bacteria was very thorough, yet it has been
attacked by the granite industry. If you do the math on the results of the study
you see why they are worried about the impact on their product. Here is a
short version of what NASA found and why a homeowner would want to know.

Imagine, NASA's findings of over 100,000 bacteria per gram of granite, plus
many, many bacteria spore. Here is the math, stone averages about 16
pounds per square foot (3 cm) x 453.6 grams per pound = 7257.6 grams per
square foot.

7257.6 x 100,000 bacteria per gram (NASA's figure)= 725,760,000 bacteria
per square foot of countertop. Average top is around 75 square foot, so
725,760,000 bacteria per square foot x 75 average square foot top =
54,432,000,000 bacteria per countertop.

Over 54 Billion bacteria, just in the cracks and crevices alone, not counting
what is on the surface. If a 5 log reduction could be done reliably, there would
still be over a half million bacteria left in the cracks and crevices after
disinfection. Twenty minutes after disinfection, the bacteria would have
doubled to one million, forty minutes, two million, an hour later four million, and
so on. In about four hours, the bacteria have multiplied to 2,229,534,720. In
seven hours, the bacteria will have multiplied to 150 billion bacteria.

Keep in mind that these NASA figures were for rock taken from a desert
environment, with little food and water available for the bacteria. Imagine the
average stone top, soaking in moisture from cleaning the top surface, and
humidity from the bottom and edges.

On the studies page, there is a Brazillian/Portugese study that showed up to
590% more bacteria retained on a granite surface than a plastic surface such
as polypropylene or polyethylene. The study concluded that granite was more
prone to colonization by bacteria and that sanitizing granite countertops was
very important.

This thread was from a stone fabrication site: Smelly granite, bacteria or mold?
And while they didn't mention bacteria or mold, the advice to use bleach left
no doubt as to what was causing the problems.

Another study showed Salmonella bacteria thriving in granite outcroppings,
even surviving desiccation for extended periods. Prior to this study, it was
thought that Salmonella were present in human and mammal intestinal tracts
and were spread by poor practices in slaughter houses. Now it is know that
regardless of the source, from the stone when it was mined or from meat juice
contamination, the granite provides a suitable home for the bacteria to thrive.

Another study shows the danger of bacteria found in the soil because of the
natural antibiotics secreted by plants and other bacteria. Some will say that
the natural bacteria that normally colonizes granite will keep the quantity of
dangerous bacteria down by competition, yet this study shows that sometimes
it makes the dangerous bacteria more resistant to drugs.

The Marble Institute has two studies that it relies on when claiming that granite
is a safe material for a countertop. Both are riddled with errors and omissions.
Both are discussed on the Studies page of this site.

Granite is a proven habitat for bacteria,despite other claims. Sanitizing granite
countertops must be done on a regular basis to keep the population of
bacteria down to a level that a healthy human immune system can handle.
This is easily done, yet the harsh sanitizing solutions quickly strip any sealer
present on the surface of the granite as well as degrading any resins used to
fill pits and fissures in the slabs during polishing. So you have a choice,
unsanitary countertops or easily stained countertops.


Granite is not so safe
I don't know if I would have tore the Granite out as its very expensive but since you are a chef you must take your Kitchen seriously.

Recently one of the major hotel chains "Hxxxxx" just settled a major lawsuit because someone had a lung condition and their claim is that the mold and mildew under the top caused it. I doubt it did but the hotel chain has since forbidden any Granite from going into new developments. They are trying to keep it quiet because it would be impossible to replace every top in their hotel chain that happens to be granite.

It is true that Granite is not NFS certified and cannot be used in food prep areas on restaurants or public places. It makes you wonder that if its not safe enough for a restaurant is it something you'd want in your home? Granite companies chuckle at this but I have ripped out old granite tops that were never resealed and when we broke it apart it smelled like rotten meat.

SO OBVIOUSLY each top has their own plus/minus report card. And Fact of the matter is I don't know of ANY WORLDWIDE granite distributors. It's mostly mom and pop locations. So just review your needs/product/company AND WARRANTY. Then make the best decision possible, we did and LOVE OUR COUNTERS.

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Old 12-01-2008, 12:35 PM   #115
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G.T. will not increase your home value as much as granite. And it will cost more, look chunky and fake, and only offers two edges. And the beveled edge is a glued in, 1/2 inch strip of granite, not cnc machined with precision edges like granite.

He's right about one thing. If you are afraid of germs buy Silestone, etc.

G.T. in my market, will not improve the value as much as Silestone, Cambria, or Granite when you sell. Your area may be different.

I am impressed with all your links. Unfortunately, almost all of them are in the Engineeered Stone Pitchbook used to sell and scare people. I know, I used them, and I still have granite in my home. Most of my friends, and neighbors do as well. And none of us are sick, or in the hospital with salmonella, or any other problems. Tile is unsanitary (grout,cracks) and we all survived. Wood counters were used for years and somehow we are all still alive. And Granite has been used for years and we are all ok with this menace in our lives.

You have heard of F.U.D. selling. Fear, uncertaintity and doubt. Well, people like you were our #1 customers.

Afraid of germs and bacteria. Use a cutting board, and don't leave raw chicken on your counters. F.Y.I. these same links and tactics are used by Cambria and Silestone.

So the Ontario office told you it was safe.

With your experienced granite background I have a question for you. Does G.T. have on their website M.D.S. (material data sheets) for all the products they put in your home? Or working conditions in their shops?

Did you ask G.T. to answer you with actual paper documents, or a personal visit to the shop the following;

Did you actually see the material data sheet regarding the epoxy used?

Did you see the material data sheet on the edge glue used?

Did you see the material data sheet on the resins in your slab?

Did you see an document that your slab was tested for radon?
note; I am not saying G.T. has radon just making a point.

Did you see the shop the slab was cut in?

Did you think dry cutting G.T. was safer than wet cutting for employees?
Dust in air, etc.

Did you have any stoning/ polishing of edges, or cutting in your home exposing you to dust?

I am done replying directly to you. I am not into this to debate. I am sure you are a good person who means well, as do I. But, I wanted to help people with technical questions, etc about G.T. My sick wife felt as if we were abandoning our customers and wanted me to help people out with a G.T. purchase. You are entitled to your belief, as am I.

So I guess any G.T. posters will get 2 replies to a post now. One from me, and one from you. But I'll no longer address you, (or even if you change your screen name) or anyone about this nonsense.

I am surprised all granite shops aren't closed, and every granite countertop removed by the gov't today. And where is the data on the increased health issues with granite related illnesses? Real #'s from Dr.'s and hospitals about this national "Granite Crisis"?

You must of remembered the Salesmen Pitchbook by heart, or you work for G.T. Watch out you might have a lot of toxic granite and epoxies in your home. Oh wait they told you it was safe. And look at all the tiny pinholes when you shine a light on you counter. Bacteria could be hiding in there. And any caulk on the countertop isn't sanitary. Maybe you should bleach it daily. Were all going to die someday, and I guarantee the death rate and lifespan of people with granite tops, and with G.T. will be identical. G.T is fine and granite is fine.

Sorry to everyone else, but people like this spreading fear upset me. Again G.T. is an fine choice for your home. The items I mentioned above about G.T. should not make you be afraid or hesitant to put G.T. in your home at all. My parents and sister have G.T and they are not sick from the epoxy or the product., and they love it. I was just trying to illuminate the fact that every product has it's weaknesses. Just look at all your options.

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Old 12-08-2008, 02:43 PM   #116
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G.T. will not increase your home value as much as granite. And it may cost more, look chunky and fake, and they only offer two edges. And the beveled edge is a glued in, 1/2 inch strip of granite, not cnc machined with precision edges like granite.

Your'e right about one thing. If you are afraid of germs buy Silestone, etc.

G.T. in my market, will not improve the value as much as Silestone, Cambria, or Granite when you sell. Your area may be different.

Having said that I put it in my Mom's house, sister's house and thousand of satisfied customer homes. I just want people to see all the choices and not be scared or bullied.

I am impressed with all your links. Unfortunately, almost all of them are in the Engineeered Stone Pitchbook used to sell and scare people. I know, I used them, and I still have granite in my home. Most of my friends, and neighbors do as well. And none of us are sick, or in the hospital with salmonella, or any other problems. Tile is unsanitary (grout,cracks) and we all survived. Wood counters were used for years and somehow we are all still alive. And Granite has been used for years and we are all ok with this menace in our lives.

You have heard of F.U.D. selling. Fear, uncertaintity and doubt. Well, people like you were our #1 customers.

Afraid of germs and bacteria. Use a cutting board, and don't leave raw chicken on your counters. F.Y.I. these same links and tactics are used by Cambria and Silestone.

So the Ontario office told you it was safe.

With your experienced granite background I have a question for you. Does G.T. have on their website M.D.S. (material data sheets) for all the products they put in your home? Or working conditions in their shops?

Did you ask G.T. to answer you with actual paper documents, or a personal visit to the shop the following;

Did you actually see the material data sheet regarding the epoxy used?

Did you see the material data sheet on the edge glue used?

Did you see the material data sheet on the resins in your slab?

Did you see an document that your slab was tested for radon?
note; I am not saying G.T. has radon just making a point.

Did you see the shop the slab was cut in?

Did you think dry cutting G.T. was safer than wet cutting for employees?
Dust in air, etc.

Did you have any stoning/ polishing of edges, or cutting in your home exposing you to dust?

Do you all see my point? You can be sold, or scared out of buying anything!


I am done replying directly to I.G.C. If I want to debate, I'll debate my wife I am sure you are a good person who means well, as do I. But, I wanted to help people with technical questions, etc about G.T. My sick wife felt as if we were abandoning our customers and wanted me to help people out with a G.T. purchase. You are entitled to your belief, as am I.

So I guess any G.T. posters will get 2 replies to a post now. One from me, and one from you. But I'll no longer address you, (or even if you change your screen name) or anyone about this nonsense.

I am surprised all granite shops aren't closed, and every granite countertop removed by the gov't today. And where is the data on the increased health issues with granite related illnesses? Real #'s from Dr.'s and hospitals about this national "Granite Crisis"?

You must of remembered the Salesmen Pitchbook by heart, or you could work for G.T.? They did have posters, like owners,etc. Watch out you might have a lot of toxic granite and epoxies in your home. Oh wait they told you it was safe. And look at all the tiny pinholes when you shine a light on you counter. Bacteria could be hiding in there. And any caulk on the countertop isn't sanitary. Maybe you should bleach it daily. Were all going to die someday, and I guarantee the death rate and lifespan of people with granite tops, and with G.T. will be identical. G.T is fine and granite is fine.

Sorry to everyone else, but people like this spreading fear upset me. Again G.T. is an fine choice for your home. The items I mentioned above about G.T. should not make you be afraid or hesitant to put G.T. in your home at all. Agai my parents and sister have G.T and they are not sick from the epoxy or the product, and they love it. Although my sisters husband still wants granite. I was just trying to illuminate the fact that every product has it's weaknesses. Just look at all
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:52 PM   #117
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Today my wife and I had our in home estimate done. Our total square footage came out to almost 40 sqft. Before the GT salesman who also happens to own the business gave us the final figures. I asked him is there a standard price per square foot, he stated no and that the price per square foot differs from one kitchen to the next. Immediately what came to mind is all of the concerns that my fellow bloggers have had about the variance in price per square foot.
So finally he completes his paperwork and lays out the final numbers. This quote included the mosiac backsplash, undermount sink,faucet and plumbing. For the euro edge it came to $5499 or $137.50 per sqft and for the bevel edge it came to $6174 or $154.35 per sqft.

My wife and I felt that,that price per sqft was really high and we also felt that since there is no standardized pricing per sqft it leaves you open to being taken advantage of because you don't know if your getting a fair deal or not. Just based on the pricing differences in this blog alone I felt like I was really taken for a ride. Even if we took out the sink,faucet and plumbing the price is still not that much of a difference.
Granted there product is beautiful but at that cost, we immediately thought hey we could get 100% granite and a decente grade of granite for less. Granted yes there are different grades of granite but I feel if we shop around we could find a good deal. We have even decided to go to granite distributors in our area and see if we can get a deal on large remnants they have left over and get a price on getting that installed. That was also something we saw on HGTV.

To all of you looking at GT I hope that you get a better offer than we did, I still feel that it is a great product but not for the price I was quoted.
I'd like to provide some facts related to Andre's experience with Granite Transformations. Andre contacted my store inquring about our product and if we serviced his home which is nearly 45 miles from our store. We told him we would, but that we required a drawing first so we could provide him an estimate for his project so he could make sure it was within his budget. He provided a drawing of his kitchen and was provided a written estimate a few days PRIOR to his scheuduled in-home appointment. That preliminary estimate was calculated for his countertop and corresponding 4" backsplash. The countertop was about 46 square feet and the backsplash was another 6. The estimated cost for the countertop, 4" backsplash, material, installation, delivery, AND sales tax was for $3,380 or just under $64 per square foot when the price is reverse engineered. We routinley tell our customer who inquire that our Trend Stone product costs between $50 and $80 depending on the color selected and the configuration of the kitchen. In addition to the countertop Andre was provided estimates for the costs of a new sink, faucet and plumbing services in case he wished to purchase those services along with the countetop. Again, this estimate was provided in writing a few days before the in-home appointment.

Upon arriving at Andre's home and discussing the project with him, he requested that I quote him for the countertop and a tall backsplash that went from the countertop all the way up to his cabinets on the two walls in his kitchen. This increased the total square footage of the job by almost 50% but reduced the square footage cost of the Trend Stone material to under $63.00 per foot including material, installation, delivery, AND SALES TAX. In fact my actual pricing for just the countertop and 4" backsplash was nearly $100 less than the estimate I had provided him a few days earlier (I know because I checked my figures against the estimate to see how close I was).

The bevel edge does add more cost to the project and is always provided as an option. However, if you add so much more square footage in the backsplash and then add sinks, faucets, & plumbing services and simply divide by the countertop square footage (and evidently a low calculation of that number too) then the overall square footage pricing is going to look very high.

By Andre's own figures the pricing I provided would have made our countertop less expensive than the Silestone he compared us to. I love competing against Silestone because our product provides the same maintenance free experience with a MUCH nicer and more natural look. Don't take my word for it, visit a Granite Transformations store near you and take along your favorite Silestone sample to compare to our Trend Stone product.

We don't sell or advertise our product (in the Northern Virginia market) as being less expensive than anything; although we are very competitively priced with the other engineered countertops in our market. We do market it as being a fantastic product that performs awesome in the kitchen and bathroom. Durability is also superior (IMO) and you can see for yourself on our website where we have a YouTube video of one of our TV commercials we run on the CBS station in Washington DC. I dropped a 12 lbs bowling ball on an island countertop nearly 20 times for the making of the commercial and the top still looked great. www.granitetransformations.com/nova

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Granite Transformations of Northern Virginia
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:22 AM   #118
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I live in the DC metro area and as always just about every night my wife and I were watching HGTV show "Designed to Sell" with designer Tania, her show focuses on the DC metro area. Now if your familiar with the show you know that there budget is only $2000.

So the designer Tania was working on updating the kitchen and she told the homeowner a inexpensive way to update the kitchen counter tops is with this product call GT and then in comes Brad Wintermute who is the owner of GT in Northern Virginia to explain the product to the homeowner. "By the way he was the one that came to my house and gave my wife and I the unusually high quote for roughly 40 sqft of counter space."

So my wife and I are looking at the homeowners counter space and we both said they have just as much counter space as we do - plus not to mention the designer built a breakfast bar off the kitchen that she also had covered with GT.

So at the end of the show when they were tallying up what was spend, GT was able to cover all of there countertops and newly built breakfast bar for $934

So I thought to myself maybe Brad gave them a special price because he was on national TV or maybe that was a the real price since you have designer going around saying "oh GT is an inexpensive way to get granite"

Regardless either way there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the drastic sliding scale of the price your quoted for GT. It would really help if we had an owner or installer of GT explain why is that or at least give some ideas as to why the wide variance in pricing structure.

Since I'm mentioned by name in this posting I thought I'd provide some facts regarding HGTV's Design to Sell show that features our Granite Transformations product and has me on-camera for part of the show. The episode was filmed in Northern Virginia and included my store installing a beautiful Trend Stone countertop as part of the home's update project. The Design to Sell budget is $2,000 but our countertop cost for that project was $3,120, The show indicates that they spent $934 of their budget on countertops and then explain that they could not have kept within their budget if the homeowner's didn't contribute to the appliances and countertops. We've been very careful to explain this to those who call our store inquiring about the countertops they saw on HGTV.

As for the "swings" in pricing that several people have noted in their postings to this forum. I think much of the swing would be in how the homeowner is calculating the square footage number to use for determining the square footage cost. Installed Material cost divided by total square footage of material used = actual square footage cost.

As for the "mysterious" Granite Transformations pricing system, we use a labor and materials pricing structure. The result is that a 50 square foot kitchen with a large island and a few large countertop surfaces will pay less than another 50 square foot kitchen that has several small individual sections of countertops. They are both 50 square feet but there is a great deal more labor in the one with many more tops. When the final price is reverse-engineered to figure a square foot cost there will be a difference. That is why we don't advertise a simple square foot price. In Northern Virginia though we see sales range between $50 and $80 per foot for Trend Stone kitchen countertops depending on the exact color selected and the configuration of the kitchen.

Our pricing is very good when compared to the benefits our product provides. Therefore, while we are not always the cheapest purchase price we are in many cases the best value over the long run. Just listen to some of the perspective homeowners on the Design to Sell show - they mention how great the countertops look over and over again. In addition, the homeowners tell the viewers they received multiple offers on the home!!


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Granite Transformations of Northern Virginia
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:07 AM   #119
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Brad runs a nice shop! look at the colors and you'll see his name, (or his brother's on the sample!And his post is great at explaining the show pricing situation.

But, every shop is run differently. Anyone can call Kansas City, (along with others) and get a sq. ft. price range over the phone. they felt Slab granite gives a range as wel so why not. If you don't do that right away it creates mistrust. And K.C. are very successful treating customers that way. Brad may do this as well. All shops are free to price and be run as they choose. Old school in home selling says don't tell them a price, just go out and sell. Some people don't like that, and a few G.T. shops may still do this. We always gave a range and still made money.

And you can talk to many satisfied Granite owners. Get references, Angie's list, etc. Look at all your choices, and don't buy from the first guy that walks in the door.

G.T is a good Product! And thank God we all don't bowl in our kitchen's! But in MY area it doesn't add as much value as Granite, or Silestone, Cambria,etc to the home's resale value. But what does these days

I was around when G.T. said we can't do a beveled edge, back when they were based in CA. I have seen the beveled edge from about 10 shops, and they have to be lightly stoned (sanded) so it rounds then down a bit. And on a long run they "can" sometimes look wavy. And they areglued together, where Slab Granite, Silestone, or Cambria are not. So if you are picky and look close you WILL see the glue lines. But if you aren't a picky person don't sweat it. it is a strong joint and won't fall apart! I promise.

Granite is wet cut and a cnc machine precisely does the cutting. But, they can cost 30k to over 100K!

A few G.T. shops are wet cutting everything now which gives you a better cut, and less dust. But most use a big tile saw to wet cut the small returns and front aprons. then they cut your counter with a dry saw on a foam backed table. I don't know of any with a precise, high quality, and expensive, cnc machine. Not that cheap one from Italy (?) If you see how a granite shop's cnc machine is programmed to make all the cuts wet, and perfect it is cool. Correct me if I'm wrong Brad!

If you have laminate now, and want G.T.make sure your backsplash is an inch thin or less. If you have anything bigger, than that when it's covered with G.T. it will look too thick and fake to most people. Have them put 3/4 board down. Customers would complain months later when a friend etc. pointed that out. Traditional granite, silestone splashes are 3/4 inch to 1&1/2 inch. So we would offer the option of removing the splash for all the people.

Again you may not care, but just have it explained and shown to you, in someone's house, showroom and pictures. You could also go to a home with granite installed, and then a G.T. home. Most offices have customers that will let you do this. The G.T. will look thicker and chunkier. Unless you rip out the counter and put in 3/4 particle board. But that defeats the point of G.T.

Any beveled or fancy edge from a cnc machine will always win out, if that's important to you. Some could care less so go for G.T.
And in shower, and tub surrounds it's great as well.

But I wonder if people ever look at the shops with all the dust. Granite as well, although less if it's a good shop. Even with respirators it get's in their clothes and cars, etc. And they don't always wear them on the job. Look at the back of a granite shop as well. It tells you a lot about the company. If it's neat etc.

There are many great independent granite shops as well. I referred people to them if they did not want our product. I saw great installers and lot's of positive comments about granite shops as well.

Look at all your options and make your choice. I owned a G.T. I put it in my showers. And my mom's & sister's condo's. So I am NOT anti- G.T. And I put real granite in my kitchen for resale and beauty. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And all products, even G.T. and slab have faults. It depends on what's important to you.

P.S. Just like Slab Granite, G.T. is not always the same as the sample you see from the salesmen, or the showroom. So check your slab before they cut it so the color you bought your'e happy with. And do that with slab granite as well. When slab color changes from the old slab color, (understandable real granite is not consistent in color) G.T. will give it a new name. What else can you do with it? But it messes with your offcut, and margins a bit.

Last edited by Johnny Larue; 12-10-2008 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:52 PM   #120
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What a mess! Being an insider in the countertop business, I can tell shills when I read them, and this thread is packed! One from Utah was nice enough to copy some of the info I have gathered over the years on the risks of granite countertops. And yes, I also fabricate and sell granite, just try to keep the more dangerous ones out of peoples homes.

To start with, Granite Transformation's is a train wreck waiting to happen. Most materials will expand with temperature changes. One example of considering this is reinforced concrete, steel used to provide tensile reinforcement in concrete, but both materials expand for the same reason (heat) and at the same rate (called the co efficient of expansion).

In the solid surface industry this has caused problems for the few companies that ignored it, WilsonArt is an excellent example, with their SSV, thin solid surface glued to a substrate. Cracked up counters and millions of dollars in warranty claims led to their class action lawsuit settlement. As usual, the lawyers got rich and the counsumers got 5 cents on the dollar.

Now comes Granite Transformations doing the same thing but with a twist. They will glue this stuff to anything, which makes one realize that they haven't considered co efficient of expansion at all. Think about this, quartz products have resin and quartz, both expand with heat. Wood does the opposite, it shrinks as it drys. Now ceramic tile isn't moving much, but the are gluing their product to it? Were they to recomend a specific substrate, I might not have an ironclad arguement, but they will glue it to what ever is in place.

Then there is the "demolition costs so much money and is so dirty". Hogwash! Maybe for a tile countertop, but most laminate tops will lift right off after taking a couple of screws out. Even the ones that were covered in place and nailed down take an hour to remove. Maybe $200 for removal if the debri is hauled away.

And we fabricate and sell all types of countertops, including the thin stuff if people really want it. But it actually costs more than granite, solid surface, or quartz countertops. No one in their right mind will take a chance on this stuff once they know the truth.

Really folks... consumers aren't stupid and they have internet access just like you do. Most demo is done by the homeowners, or an hours work and a few hundred bucks will deal with the old top. Most of our installations take a few hours if a seam needs set, many just drop in place in less than an hour.

And electricians doing plumbing work.... how well do you think this jokers insurance is going to pay off if he messes up and ruins your floors and cabinets? Most shops have plumbers to recomend, and it won't be any cheaper if you pay GT to subcontract it for you and hide it in their price.

For any consumers that are still reading this ridiculous thread, check out the independent countertop shops, the ones that sell various products. They have lots to sell, they won't lie to you like the single product shops, and most can sell you a better top for less money.

Solidsurface and engineered marble start at $30 per square foot for a quality job. Stone is dirt cheap right now, but so is the quality at the dirt cheap prices. Quality stone will run you close to $60 per square foot, more than quartz which starts at $42 per square foot. Check it all out and find out which product fits your lifestyle best.

Oh, the Radon/radiation controversy is the real deal. There are two committees looking into it, AARST (Radon scientists), and CRCPD (state radiation officials group). Both will set standards for maximum Radon/radiation content in granite sold to consumers, perhaps in the coming months. The ANSI and ASME organizations are also looking into the issues.

We have a forum on the controversy and are currently conducting a full scale Radon test, 18 square foot of granite in an 8' x 12' x 8' tall room built for the test. So far, 10 pCi/L and rising. About like smoking 1 1/2 packs of cigarettes a day.

http://forum.solidsurfacealliance.or...c.php?f=7&t=98


Good lord, I feel the need to take a shower after reading all eleven pages of this thread! Out to bag this thread and sell it for fertilizer.

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