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Old 12-16-2008, 01:43 AM   #121
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Thanks for the great post Al. Is graniclad still around? lol

people, educate yourself, and put whatever you want in your home.

My G.T. we recommended licensed plumbers to reconnect. We were insured, and allowed in our State to disconnect only. But we NEVER reconnected. And a ton of G.T. guys charge $175 to $275 to reconnect. They are breaking the law, and their insurance won't cover them if you need a license to reconnect.

But demolishing an old counter, even tile, isn't the end of the world. Tile MAY take longer, and is dusty, but the apron will be 2 inches plus thick. Ugly!! And G.T. can say they are "Green" by reusing your substrate. lol. And they have a lifetime warranty!! As long as you live there. It used to be transferable, but not anymore. Warranty has holes you could drive a truck through. imo.

G.T. is 95% granite, and 5% resins. And it has been tested as having little, to no radon problems, just like Silestone, or Cambria.

Click link below, about the granite scare.


http://www.radon.com/radon/granite.html


Trend Stone is about 1/4inch thick, with a fiberglass mesh, and is flexible before installation. It's been in Australia, for over 10 years, and manufactured for 30 plus years in Italy. And put on wood surfaces there with no issues. And the expansion issue hasn't been a problem. If you actually saw it installed and worked with it, you would see why. But the time bomb for them is the shop conditions, O.S.H.A., and they use seam, or edge glue on all the joints.

Those can chip easily. And when you look close you can see it's two pieces glued together. Once you fixate on it, it is all over. And it's all handstoned, then hand polished. Looks crummy where the deck meets the apron imo. And the beveled edge is a wavy, handstoned, and not crisp edged imo. The they put red devil spackle under the apron to fill the void between the old substrate, and the new. if the deck is a little wide, you will have a lot of spackle! So that is soft, and constantly picked at by kids,etc.

I sold my biz, (no shill,promise) We would coat the substrate with an unbeleivable epoxy, before overlaying granite. This stuff is used underwater in Salt Water oceanariums to make coral reefs, etc. So no claims have been made that I know of on that issue. Over formica, tile, or even brick fireplaces surrounds, and hearths, it was good.

One newer installer put down 3/4 particle board, (new construction) and forgot to screw it down everywhere. It bowed, but did not break. So we screwed the counter down tight, and it straighten up. You can run a heat gun over it if you think it might crack, as well. The product has a little flex to it. You can even heat it up and cover a curved radius surface. We did a few nice desks that way. Lay a sheet in the sun, and you could really bend it. Makes for a cool looking reception desk.

It works great on a tile tub surround, or shower surround. I actually know that is best place you may save money, and hassle by using it. Especially a large shower surround with steam , and body sprays. Other than that it's pretty worthless.

Great to see a honest post!!

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Last edited by Johnny Larue; 12-16-2008 at 02:11 AM.
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Old 12-16-2008, 01:44 AM   #122
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Yes, the truth is that granite can raise the radon levels in your home. And yes, radon in significant quantities is a serious cancer risk. So… Are are your granite countertops going to give you cancer? It’s highly unlikely, as most emit radon in minute amounts, amounts far lower than the soil beneath your home.

Dr. David J. Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University in New York, told the New York Times in an article that published on July 24, 2008, that the cancer risk from granite countertops, even those emitting radiation above background levels, is “on the order of one in a million.” You’re likelier to be struck by lighting, he added.

Dr. Brenner does add, though, “If you can choose another counter that doesn’t elevate your risk, however slightly, why wouldn’t you?” I think that question may be most appropriately asked by those with compromised immune systems, especially by smokers and cancer survivors. There are numerous benefits to owning granite countertops that I’ll get into shortly.


RECOMMENDED PRECAUTIONS

If your health has been compromised or you’re pregnant, and now becoming concerned about the radon levels in your granite countertops, this one-page fact sheet from a company that specializes in radon detection may be helpful to you, as can its link to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction. A professional tester can either ease your concerns or accurately inform you as to the potential risk presented by your top.

The New York Times cites exotic stones that are just entering the U.S. market as potentially having higher radon content than the more familiar Uba Tubas and Giallo Venezianos that have been gracing so many American homes for years. Samples of the most widely-used granite patterns have already been tested and found within safe levels. A frank discussion with your granite supplier and kitchen designer would be a good idea if you’re considering an exotic granite.

In the meantime, for a healthy person, the risks associated with normal, daily American life – like car accidents, diabetes and heart disease – are far likelier to occur in your lifetime, and are totally unaffected by your countertop material. I still feel comfortable presenting it to my kitchen and bath design clientele.


BEYOND THE HYPE

Granite has been used as a building material for thousands of years. This might make you wonder why the long-known presence of radon in its composition is creating an uproar now. The simple answer is competitive pressure. Even the sometimes sensationalistic Fox News reported this sober business news item: “The EPA issued its new statements late Friday, following media reports citing junk science and inconsistent testing results, that created public concern about granite countertops as a source of radon gas.”

The New York Times piece mentioned above also notes: “Allegations that granite countertops may emit dangerous levels of radon and radiation have been raised periodically over the past decade, mostly by makers and distributors of competing countertop materials.” Since these manufacturers are presenting one of granite’s potential negatives, let me present what I feel to be a more accurate and complete list, along with granite's many positive attributes.


GRANITE'S NEGATIVES

Granite is a natural, porous stone. Its porosity leaves it vulnerable to bacterial penetration and staining. You must keep it sealed.

Sealing adds an extra expense and chore to your life, albeit not a very expensive or time-consuming one. Home centers carry in-stock sealants, but acidic foods and liquids can eat through them if left standing on the countertops for long periods.

Granite can be costly. Not everyone can afford this material, even though wider availability has made it less expensive than in decades past.

Granite is extremely hard, so placing a glass on it as you would on a laminate or Corian-style countertop can crack the glass.

Granite can crack if subjected to excessive heat in the same spot repeatedly. Most people believe you can put a hot pot directly on it. You can if you must in an emergency situation, but you shouldn’t as a regular habit. Use a trivet to protect your tops.

Because granite is extremely hard, many people believe it’s OK to cut directly on it. I wouldn’t recommend this practice either. Granite is both porous, as mentioned above, so you can stain your tops or risk bacterial penetration, and so hard that it will dull your knives.

As granite is a product of Mother Nature, it does not come with a factory warranty. Some countertop suppliers – aka fabricators – offer a sealant warranty with stronger coatings, but that’s only as lasting as the economic health of the companies offering them.

Granite is rarely repairable. If it’s misused, you will almost certainly have to replace that entire section from a new slab.


GRANITE'S POSITIVES

Granite is one of the most beautiful materials available for your home and will enhance its style.

Each slab of granite is unique. Some are so distinctive that they add a personalized artistic statement to your room.

Granite is one of the most heat-resistant countertops available.

Granite is one of the most scratch-resistant countertops available; only a diamond or another piece of granite or quartz will cut it.

Granite countertops have a high perceived value, which can potentially contribute to an increase in your home’s market value.

Granite creates among the most durable countertop options available today. Only quartz rivals its hardness and longevity.


LAST WORDS

If you decide to choose granite for your home, please consider the following: Granite will only look as good as the fabricator’s skill and attention to detail allow. An unskilled installer will create seams that are highly visible, tops that are uneven from one section to another, poor pattern matching at turns, sloppy installation of undermount sinks, unsightly gaps and poor edging. So please think twice before you call the company posting street signs for $9.99 granite. You do get what you pay for in this area and talented trades truly earn their fees and referrals.
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Old 12-16-2008, 08:57 PM   #123
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Nice post Johnny, we aren't that far apart. My view is that all materials can make a decent countertop, IF the product is not over sold.

Graniquartz, that was a mess wasn't it? Add Jetta, WilsonArt blue glue, and you have the reasons for quite a few shops going down.

Guys like Brenner are relying on outdated info. No one would have belived that companies were importing "source" grade granite for countertops. They know better now. His last statement about raising risks for little return is the point of the entire matter, pick a safer product, and some granites are low radiation level.

Besides, no one really knows what is out there installed already. We know that the Lynn Sugarman case had a large settlement paid to the previous homeowner/builder. Lung cancer, non smoker, two years and two months exposure to a God awful amount of Radon coming from that countertop. The Houston story also had a cluster of cancers present, two cats developed cancer and had to be put down, the previous homeowner developed a brain tumor, and her maid developed a fatal cancer. Sure cancer happens, but this is a large group accompainied by both high Radon levels in the kitchen and high radiation levels.

So far it has been our little group out there prospecting, Stan Liebert out of New York, and a handful of others checking countertops. Of course the MIA (granite trade association) has tested a few stone and assures us that there are no hot stones out there, and Dr. Steck of St. Johns University has tested a few hundred slabs (and yeah, he is finding some hot ones). Finding slabs in slab yards at 150 times background radiation levels is no trick, even 100 times background can be found in most higher end slab yards, so there are plenty of hot countertops already installed.

We still sell granite, but we show them everything about it and let the customer decide what to do. 99% drop the granite and pick another material. People aren't stupid, any risk is too much if it can be avoided. Three in 10,000 excess cancers per year of exposure is not small if you are one of the three.

Another issue that is not well publicized is the heavy metal content of granite, and there are some really toxic stuff present in some of the stones. Arsenic, Cadium, Chromium, Berylium (horribly toxic, legal limit for the dust would be a speck the size of a pencil point in a football field high room that is six feet tall), polonium, lots of lead, Selenium, really just about any toxic heavy metal know to man can be found in natural stone sold for countertops. No one tests the stuff, people don't know to consider looking at it when health problems mysteriously show up. That is changing.

Using car accidents, diabetes and heart disease as example to minimize the risk is not a good tactic. We all are aware of those risks, we buckle our seat belts, buy safer cars when we can afford them, entire industries are aimed at making driving safer. Same thing with diabetes and heart disease, people have a chance to avoid it in most cases. An informed decision can be made. Not so with granite.

Incidently, Health Phsyicists tell us that the largest danger of a granite countertop might turn out to be the uranium leaching during food preparation and cleaning. Uranium is very toxic when ingested.

I liked the granite problem list. Too much money present and no one watching over the industry. Check out our forum, we have some cases where consumers were ripped off during their grainite purchase. I have two favorites, the fabricator that told the lady her granite didn't match because one slab was colder than the other, that in a few days it would warm up and match. The other was the fabricator that used acid to attempt to remove a scratch. Acid everywhere, coffe can etches where he set his can of acid while working, ruined the stainless steel sink, some of the cabinets, floor, appliances. Liked to ran the homeowner out of the home from choking.

Your radon link, Radon.com? That is Air Check, old BV. He is for some strange reason attempting to minimize the testing effort. Advocates setting meters at 80 uR/hr (13 times background radiation levels), most people would not want that high of a radiation level in their home. I know those guys, I sent BV some hot granite early on when he was claiming there were no hot granite slabs.

On the co efficient of expansion issues, look back at WilsonArt. It didn't happen right away, it took years for the issues to show up. That train has left the station, just hasn't arrived yet, but it will.

Good to see someone with a sense of humor as well as some honesty selling countertops. Keep looking into the Radon issue, it keeps getting bigger.
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Old 12-17-2008, 01:39 AM   #124
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Hi Al. You raise some good points!! I actually sold my G.T. countertop business, thank the lord. We did quite well, and own another biz we are expanding. Wife's health was another reason to sell. She was working the other biz, and I had G.T.

I had my home stone tested a year ago and the levels were very low. But I hear you loud and clear on the other issues. I like the look of Cambria, and some Silestone colors are nice. But that G.T. just never looks right on a counter. Thick and ugly. imo. I'd almost rather have Corian

But the best edges, and looks go to the real thick engineered quartz. G.T. has quartz, but just the amt. any granite would have. Also G.T. dirty little secret is that it has base white rock stone, (i forget the name) on the backside. So they dont' even give you a true 1/4 inch of the granite color you see. The stone is unpolished, and their are gaps. look like someone through gravel on the back of your granite. It cuts costs, and helps the epoxy adhere. So it isn't really 95% granite. The top 1/8 inch is, but not the back of the sheets.

For folks reading this, granite is made up of Quartz, Mica, and Feldspar. As I understand it more quartz is in Cambria and Silestone than G.T.

Just an opinion, but people like the fancy edges you get with Thick slab granite, or Silestone. But a G.T. undermount sink is a joke. They take the sinks paper template, and make a wood one. Then they run a router with a diamond bit around the template.

Sounds ok, but the stone is a 1/4 inch thick. So it has to rest on the sink lip, or it would chip because nothing is behind it. And you have to caulk it. They caulk it right away, or tint it, so you don't see the white stone all sitting on your sink. Your color on the top, and ugly white stone on the bottom. This looks horrible, two tone look) with dark granite colors. They use markers or tint to hide this. them cover it will Clear caulk and no one will know. And markers are used to hide flaws on the deck. Cover a odd color stone, etc.

A true undermount counter doesn't rest on the sink. It looks like you can't see the sinks edge, & just wipe everything in. No visible sink lip. No caulk to maintain, or hold dirt,etc.

Al if get a chance, look at a closeup picture of their undermount, or go to a showroom. When the caulk fails, the formica counter will start to swell.

And the do SO much dry cutting, and polishing with Festool's, like some Corian guys use. Osha could bust almost every shop.

Well stay on top of the radon issue!!!
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:01 PM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Larue View Post
Hi Al. You raise some good points!! I actually sold my G.T. countertop business, thank the lord. We did quite well, and own another biz we are expanding. Wife's health was another reason to sell. She was working the other biz, and I had G.T.

I had my home stone tested a year ago and the levels were very low. But I hear you loud and clear on the other issues. I like the look of Cambria, and some Silestone colors are nice. But that G.T. just never looks right on a counter. Thick and ugly. imo. I'd almost rather have Corian

But the best edges, and looks go to the real thick engineered quartz. G.T. has quartz, but just the amt. any granite would have. Also G.T. dirty little secret is that it has base white rock stone, (i forget the name) on the backside. So they dont' even give you a true 1/4 inch of the granite color you see. The stone is unpolished, and their are gaps. look like someone through gravel on the back of your granite. It cuts costs, and helps the epoxy adhere. So it isn't really 95% granite. The top 1/8 inch is, but not the back of the sheets.

For folks reading this, granite is made up of Quartz, Mica, and Feldspar. As I understand it more quartz is in Cambria and Silestone than G.T.

Just an opinion, but people like the fancy edges you get with Thick slab granite, or Silestone. But a G.T. undermount sink is a joke. They take the sinks paper template, and make a wood one. Then they run a router with a diamond bit around the template.

Sounds ok, but the stone is a 1/4 inch thick. So it has to rest on the sink lip, or it would chip because nothing is behind it. And you have to caulk it. They caulk it right away, or tint it, so you don't see the white stone all sitting on your sink. Your color on the top, and ugly white stone on the bottom. This looks horrible, two tone look) with dark granite colors. They use markers or tint to hide this. them cover it will Clear caulk and no one will know. And markers are used to hide flaws on the deck. Cover a odd color stone, etc.

A true undermount counter doesn't rest on the sink. It looks like you can't see the sinks edge, & just wipe everything in. No visible sink lip. No caulk to maintain, or hold dirt,etc.

Al if get a chance, look at a closeup picture of their undermount, or go to a showroom. When the caulk fails, the formica counter will start to swell.

And the do SO much dry cutting, and polishing with Festool's, like some Corian guys use. Osha could bust almost every shop.

Well stay on top of the radon issue!!!

I liked your choice of words, "when the caulk fails" not "if". I tell customers that I hold my breath on every undermount sink we install and we use the heavy sink setting rails! The stainless steel undermounts are just too floppy, you don't have enough room in the back to support it properly once the rodding and faucets are in place.

I was telling one prospective customer this, and she started laughing. Her mom had just bought granite. Three weeks later hubby took a plunger to a clogged sink during Thanksgiving dinner. Sink, garbage disposer, and about twenty gallons of dirty, greasy water hit the bottom of the sink cabinet and gushed out the cabinet doors.

Good lord, they are dry cutting and dry polishing the granite transformation material???? That is dangerous. We had an industrial hygienist in from California in October do some testing for us. Turns out Quartz has far, far, higher levels of silica in the dust. It has to be wet cut for worker safety!
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:37 AM   #126
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Hi Al,

Yeah it's not to smart. They cut "some of it wet" with a wet tile saw built along a 10 ft. aluminum rail. This cuts the aprons, and beveled edge strips. And the beveled edge is wavy, as you can imagine. Try to clamp a 1/4 inch of material between an apron, and deck! They use lots of tinted epoxy, and masking tape till it dries. Then after stoning by hand, and polishing dry with a Festool, it looks round. And wavy, because the stone chips slightly, and epoxy fill the voids. And it' hard to hold those 45 degree angles together well, especially on a long run.. Decks, etc dry cut with festool, on a foam board also make for a chpped, and wavy cut. Blade gets hot. Any work on the job site is dry cut. And their is a lot. Or they use a Grinder with a diamond blade. No vaccum system like the Festool. Ed Handstoned first, then dry polished with the festool. Face right next to the dust there!!

And that undermount is so ugly compared to slab, or Silestone. If you saw it you would laugh. It shows every person, with a brain, you have cheap thin counters. I always told them to go top mount. If you dent the sink, want to change the color later, etc. it's easy. And I have seen a few rusty stainless sinks that were only 2 years old. They were probably $40 cheapies that were "free" with the countertop. I knew a countertop guy who bought in bulk, $24 sinks!! They looked ok, but were thin and junky.

If you really want an undermount, I would tell them to buy 2 sinks, and put one in the attic! If they weren't buying a $1,300 sink of course! You can replace it if you drop something in it, etc. And I showed them a closeup picture, of a G.T. undermount, that usually stopped them from doing it. I lost a bit of profit, but I slept well every night!

Last edited by Johnny Larue; 12-18-2008 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 12-22-2008, 02:09 AM   #127
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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.

1. Granite Transformations broke the connector on my stove and I became very ill and missed work from the resulting gas leak.

2. Granite Transformations mis-centered the faucet hole by a full inch. Afterward, they dumped the old sink in my front yard instead of hauling it away.

3. My kitchen flooded a few days after the install since they didn't hook it back up correctly.

These issues speak for themselves, please make your own judgment call. 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 believe I have some pictures of the install if anyone wants to see them. The faucet looks so bad off to the left one inch. They also claimed the countertop can withstand 350 degrees F. It cannot, as I found out the hard way (it warped when I tried to set a pot of cooling boiled water on it. As you know, boiling water is only 212 degrees, so I can definitely vouch for the misrepresentation in the spec.

I hope this information was useful.

Last edited by jasonrit; 12-22-2008 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 12-22-2008, 02:33 AM   #128
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Well, first off I will say I am in the countertop business myself.

I think the product is good but it all depends on what you want to do, and how much work you want to put into your remodel. If you just want a quick countertop improvement I say go for it. It is a good looking product.
However I will say there is no replacement for doing an actual Granite countertop if that is the look you like.

Go price some local granite(or other materials) fabricators. I am sure you will find some of them are in the same price range. The one thing you will get with natural granite and not with granite transformations is the natural look and flow of real stone.

I know we have come in cheaper than them, on a couple bids. And we do 3cm full slab countertops.
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Old 12-22-2008, 07:33 PM   #129
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Jason,

I'd like to see the pictures if you can post them. If you have time, how about posting the pictures and the details at my countertop forum? Consumers need to hear these stories. forum.solidsurfacealliance.org

Have you tried Angies list? Post the details there, Angies list will send the Hay's a notice and ask for some sort of response. Angies list is becoming very well known, I used to be a member, need to rejoin.

Offset faucet, that would be reason enough for a redo at their cost. If they were dumb enough to have their installers hook up the gas line and water, they need to be sued for their sloppy work. We won't touch a hookup, will give them a list of plumbers if they want, cause we aren't licensed and our insurance won't cover any problems like you ran into.
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:47 PM   #130
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Rippy Skippy, rather than use personal attacks in an effort to tear down others, how about you just address the points I and Johnny brought up? Speak to the facts rippyskippy. Looks like your post is the most transparent one here.
Why is Granite Transformations relying on misinformatiion on tear out costs to market their product?
I mentioned the co efficient of expansion issues, then a consumer verified the warpage caused by heat. Why not address this since you are wearing your "expert" coat?
How about speaking to the fact that the product costs more than granite, solid surface, and solid surface? Shouldn't a thin veneer be a lot cheaper? I could see a potential market for the product bewteen laminate prices and 2 cm stone or quartz, but it costs more. Where is the bargin here?
And jeez, I and the others bring up the risks of countertop installers trying to hook up plumbing, and along comes a consumer with a horror story confirming the risk. Are a few hundred bucks profit worth ruining someone's home and cabinets?
What happened to Johnny's posts? Looks like two or three are missing. This guy was a former Granite Transformations francise owner but he was telling it like it is.
And my site is a very technical orientated site, few will join in when they have little to add. One of the regulars is an Industrial Hygienist, with a MPH. We get around 1,000 unique visitors per week, including some of the researchers working on the granite industry. The blog and main website get around 1,500 unique visitors a week as well. People come to the sites for information, not to argue. I gather info, such as this excellent thread, and link to them from my site. I just love to see the frauds and dishonest companies get what is coming to them.
How about it Skippy Rippy? Care to address the arguements instead of slinging mud? Or is your post an indication that you can't refute the facts?

Last edited by Termite; 12-23-2008 at 09:34 PM. Reason: Insulting changes to username edited
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:11 PM   #131
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Due to legal reasons, I had to pull my posts. G.T. was not happy with me telling the truth, as a former owner. Good and bad.
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:35 PM   #132
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Well, that speaks louder than any words they could have used.

While as a business owner I understand the possiblity of the internet being misused by the occasional irrational or even blackmailing consumer, the benefits from the dishonest companies being called out in public far outweigh any risks. I don't know how many times I've heard people tell me that they just didn't know enough to check out their fabricator before laying down their cash. They were shopping for a countertop like it was a commodity product like a TV set, pick the lowest price from the guy that has it in stock for immediate delivery.

Heck, I even post stories and pictures where a solid surface company screwed over a consumer. It is all bad for business.

Granite Transformations would be better served by addressing their products failings, not to mention their dry cutting practices. California recently passed a law requiring wet cutting and polishing. If their state OSHA drives by your shop and can see no water being used, automatic fine, no testing to prove a hazard exists, just some huge honking fines into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Times have changed. If your company deals honestly, you will prosper. Low bidders that aren't willing to offer comparable quality as the more expensive shop are going to find that they will earn a bad reputation very quickly.

Just my opinion, I could be wrong.
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:51 AM   #133
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Seems like this has deteriorated to a nasty conflict between contractors. I am looking to replace my 50+year old tile countertops and stumbled on this helpful website. Don't really like the shiny look of granite, can't afford my real choice (soapstone) so am looking at other options. Know the risks of granite so that is another reason NOT to choose it, and was seriously thinking about GT, haven't visited the Houston showroom yet. Demo on an old tile countertop WOULD be messy so that is a consideration, but after all this negative information I may just look at getting a quote on new ceramic tile. Its almost indestructible and I know how to work with it. I have to agree that anything "new" like GT I do wonder about it's lifetime hazards that have yet to be discovered...darn, though, I was thinking I had finally found the right material!
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Old 12-30-2008, 01:12 PM   #134
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I owned a G.T. franchise. Sold it at a nice profit, had numerous good posts I had to pull from here, due to G.T.'s Franchise agreement.

After consulting with my attorney, I am allowed to post limited opinions on appearance, technical issues, etc. regarding the product.

Al is referring to the undermount sink. If you have seen it, it looks odd, and ugly to most.(But if you like it cool by me)The product is thin, so the sink supports the countertops edge. So you will see the sinks lip exposed, which is odd to most people.

A true undermount the sink lip is unseen, under the granite. Hope this makes sense. If not ask to see a picture of one, or in person.

And you have to caulk it as well, so it's a crud catcher. The backside of the 1/4 inch G.T. Slab is a white unpolished hard rock. I forget the type. Helps the epoxy bond to the countertop.

So the white stone will appear if it's cut on an edge without a piece glued to it. When you look at the sink, the edge will look 2 tone, until it is covered with tint, and silicone caulk. If you look at a small sample, especially a dark color, you'll see it.

I told people if they wanted undermounts, this is what it looks like, and you may want to buy 2 sinks. if this one is dented, etc. you won't find one to fit the exact cutout made. I then sad save your money, and get a top mount sink. I can sell you a nicer sink, for the cost of the undermounting work.

And the edges and seams depend on the installer, just like granite. But most G.T. deck seams I see are nice. The deck to apron seam can be noticeable, but usually to picky people. Once some people see it, they always notice it. I felt bad for them.

But G.T. decks are cut dry. The aprons are cut with a modified wet tile saw. So the product gets tiny chips, because it is made of small stones, when it is cut. They glue and tint the epoxy to join them together. And a straight edge will look nice.

But a long run of a beveled edge can, at times, look wavy. They glue a small separte piece in between the apron and deck. It's hard to be a perfect bevel because the stone chips. So it is dry polished with fine sanpaper. The bevel loses it's crisp edge when finished.

Engineered stone and granite have the advantage of all wet cutting, and polishing. The edges cost more, but the look great. unlimited edges on counters and splashes. And they use a CNC Machine so it's very accurately cut. Of course you can have problems with this as well, just pointing out differences.

Also customers with 1.5 inch formica tops, and rolled 1.5 inch edges were upset. When finished the backsplas apron was over 2 inches wide, if the wall were wavy 2.5 inches in some spots. Very clunky looking. Silestone, or granite will glue up a 3/4 or a bit bigger splash that just follows the wall. it doesn't have to be scribed to the wall, or cut extra thick to cover up the walls waviness. And the splashes edges were dull to some, compared with other products out there.

In my area the resale is better with granite and engineered stone, than G.T. Might be different in your area.

We had lots of happy customers like you so enjoy your top. It's really a different top than, granite, silestone, corian, etc. so it's not for everyone.

My mom and sister have it and like it. So I am not anti G.T. at all. Once istalled, and the epoxy dries, you can bang it with a hammer. I used to do that in my showroom. My wife's health isn't good so I now run the biz she was working, and I sold mine to an employee.

But it's like vinyl siding. Some prefer cedar with maintenance, and some prefer vinyl no maintenance.
For some people G.T. is perfect. And I like it for tub surrounds, and showers. We did over a ladies shower that had ugly tile, but it was only a year old house she bought. It was large, with steam, and body spray outlets, benches.
We put in about 25 pieces, and it was less money than retiling. Plus no more grout lines.
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Old 12-30-2008, 02:30 PM   #135
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Johnny,

You make many valid points. I think the bottom line is for the customer to do their due diligence when researching the different options. Go into the project with their eyes wide open...and for gods sake, don't sign on the dotted line until completely comfortable the contract.

We have the undermount sink...and we are quite happy with it. I've never had an undermount so just the fact that we didn't have the stink'n edge to deal with was a bonus on many levels. While I'm not happy with the caulk...it seems to be holding up well. If I have to replace the caulk in a few years...I'm OK with that. Our rounded over profile seems to have consistent color though out the profile, maybe it's more prevalent on some colors than others. Ours is the mostly black granite, some whitish flecks and brown binder....don't recall the name of it right now.

We can take your siding example a step further...there's some of us that like fiber cement...arguably less maintenance than other types...but more flexibility over the life of the product. Just an example that one type/style isn't for all.

You're right the product isn't for everyone, but then again, there's hardly one out there that is. Thank goodness we have many choices available to us. It will always be the customers responsibility to do their research, and find what works for them. 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. I don't care if one is purchasing dominoes, instilling fear of a product is not the way to make any product look better than the other. Lay all the facts out here and go with it. If the contractual agreement is not fulfilled...THEN take step two.

Johnny, best of wishes you and your wife in 2009!

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Last edited by RippySkippy; 12-30-2008 at 04:50 PM.
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