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flowerchick 10-27-2011 08:14 AM

Granite Counter Rough Edge Not Polished - What to Do?
I've been working with a handyman who is a "Jack of All Trades - Master of None." He found me a nice piece of granite for my bathroom countertop but the problem is the edges are straight cut, not a smooth round bullnose. I'm wondering what can be done to round off the edge and fix this so that it's a little easier on the eyes and a nicer installation. He said he was going to add some kind of lacquer but that was never completed and I'm a little disappointed with the end result.

Now that the granite is installed it does look nice and both sides are easy to get to, but I'm wondering if there's anything that can be done to resolve this issue. I'm wondering if there is something that can be done and he just doesn't know it and/or he's just being lazy about it... I'd really prefer the bullnose edge.

Any suggestions?

Thanks guys!


Bud Cline 10-27-2011 11:49 AM


It takes many hundreds of dollars worth of tools and supplies and some experience to polish granite. This what you get when you use a handyman with limited knowledge.

You could lacquer the edges but that isn't going to change very much. I suppose the edges are almost white in color compared to the top surface. They (the edges) probably also have saw-marks showing. If this is the case grinding is necessary and then polishing with a series of different polishing grits and rouges is required.

You could call a real granite shop and see if they would come out and do it for you. About seventy-five dollars a linear foot plus trip charges should do it.:)

flowerchick 10-27-2011 04:06 PM

That's a good possibility I can check out. Thank you very much.

Very good point on the handyman. There are things I'm having to mop up (eithet sloppy, subpar, shoddy, cutting corners, etc) after him I'm sad to report. He failed to tell me about the edges pre-install what I was getting into so I learned my lesson. I may just sell the granite and buy a new piece with bullnose. There's a local shop in South Bay area of CA near Lakewood that is selling 8' slabs here for $200 eacj piece. I bought two pieces and had my kitchen counters done for $400 in materials.

Granite-look formica was going to cost me $110 plus tax for a 10' piece at a local big box store so it made sense to go with a granite upgrade. I'm glad I made the choice, but the above bathroom granite came from a different source so I just assumed it was bullnose -- ah, the pitfalls of dealing with a handyman who is eager to do many things but doesn't disclose everything so he can DO THE JOB!

I've also learned that some of these handyman type guys just don't pay close attention to the details as if it were their own home no matter if the job is being billed hourly -- they simply don't have the worth ethic or pride in their work. It's kind of sad that way.


user1007 10-27-2011 11:48 PM


Originally Posted by flowerchick (Post 758110)
I've also learned that some of these handyman type guys just don't pay close attention to the details as if it were their own home no matter if the job is being billed hourly -- they simply don't have the worth ethic or pride in their work. It's kind of sad that way.


Like any other profession, some are good and some are slackers. Few have licenses or other credentials to do what they do and most do not carry the necessary liability insurance. Be careful. In addition to the obvious, their work if uninsured could cost you if something fails and you file a claim. Sneaking around inspections or not using real contractors could hurt you at closing when you sell your place.

jcrack_corn 10-28-2011 02:59 AM

laquer based sealer will definitely bring the color out to match (or close) the polished can you live with the rough cut (cant imagine its that rough)..

do a test spot with the forewarned, the oder is terrible and intense....good ventilation.

laquer makes stone look "wet" all the time....and is extremely durable.

flowerchick 10-28-2011 05:13 AM

Thank you for this -- it's all very helpful.

The granite cuts are all fairly smooth. The edges however are a bit grainy. Is there any type of sand paper or file I could get to personally smooth the edge? The granite is a lighter shade so the white result from the cut doesn't appear to be an issue and lacquer would surely improve the look.

I think the lacquer would be an excellent especially on the darker granite I'm using in the kitchen on the rough cut between the granite and the stove.

Would I obtain lacquer at Home Depot or perhaps on eBay? All I need really is a few ounces suppose.

Many thanks.


Bud Cline 10-28-2011 12:08 PM


Sanding and polishing supplies (for granite) aren't that readily available. There are no files or garden variety sandpapers that will touch it. Silicone carbide sandpaper is what is used not the everyday aluminum oxide you find everywhere.:)

Lacquer is a bad idea, use a penetrating/enhancing stone sealer. A product called "Impregnator 500" is sold at Home Depot, expensive but one of the best. Several applications should darken the stone and bring out the stones interior to make the cuts less noticeable.:)

flowerchick 10-28-2011 08:28 PM

Bud, this is very interesting... 'Silicone carbide sandpaper?"

I see that Kmart has it here: PowerToolAccessories&sName=Sandpaper%20&%20Abrasiv es&sid=KDx20070926x00003a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=9 990000061509211P

Would you recommend I use the wet or dry version and if I use the "wet application," does this mean perhaps with a water spray bottle application to sand, then when it's complete to my satisfaction, apply the recommended stone stealer below? Do you think with the silicone carbide sandpaper I might be able to sand out a smooth round edge with enough elbow grease that is satisfactory to remove the rough cuts and sharp square edges? I'm a little concerned about damaging the nicely polished top flat surface of the granite, so I wouldn't want to create any issues with that surface area... I know this is a tricky situation.


Originally Posted by Bud Cline (Post 758664)
Silicone carbide sandpaper is what is used...

Lacquer is a bad idea, use a penetrating/enhancing stone sealer. A product called "Impregnator 500" is sold at Home Depot...

Bud Cline 10-28-2011 11:53 PM

Lots of elbow grease will be required. Using the sandpaper "wet" is your best bet. You can use a knife sharpener to soften the sharp edges of the granite. I think you will give up long before you achieve a true bull-nose but you will certainly be able to fashion a nice radius without too much trouble. Home centers and hardware stores sell diamond knife sharpeners for sharpening hunting knives and pocket knives. Some come in a fold-up style while others are the brick style. They are usually color coded with the black ones being the more aggressive. Use the knife sharpener with water also.:)

flowerchick 10-29-2011 08:46 AM

I'm beginning to think it's best to simply remove this piece of granite, attempt to sell it on Craigslist . *I paid $100 for it without the pre-cut whole for the sink, and then simply replace with appropriate granite slabs from Home Depot or other source WITH the polished bullnose end. *I'll chaulk this up to a learning experience and learn to ask more questions whenever dealing with a handyman or non-specialist fir jobs.


acglobal 10-30-2011 08:22 PM

what you have is a granite top with laminated edges. you cannot put a bullnose on the exposed sides to match the front without having more material to cut and gluing them to the bottom of the exposed edges. after gluing then you have to shape the edges to match the front with a diamond profiling/router bullnose bit. then you can proceed to polish. the tools are very expensive and the average handyman will not have them. Best to replace piece if you are dissatisfied or use color enhancer specifically for granite. you will have to apply multiple coats.

user1007 10-30-2011 11:00 PM

Try to sell it on Craig's List but the odds of somebody else wanting a countertop without a polished edge?

May be time to cut your losses and chalk the $100 you paid to a good lesson learned? I guess it possible but you are never going to get a nice edge, by hand, with either silicon carbide or diamond polishing papers. I would look for diamond by the way. And wet sanding backing. As Bud suggests, you will be at this for awhile so think about what your time is worth? If you asked me to try? You would chew through the $100 you paid for the top in a bit of a hurry. Haven't thought about diamond abrasives in awhile but they are not cheap.

Before you give up? There is another possibility if you like the stone? It fits and the hole for the sink is in the right place? Why not drag it to a stone shop and just have them polish the edge for you? They have the tools. Yeah, yeah, I know this is DIY site but sometimes... Would not having your stone shop fix this be cheaper than starting all over?

And as suggested trying to make it look polished with and coating or sealer is not going to work.

havalife 10-30-2011 11:33 PM

Good thread for hiring a licensed contractor versus a handyman. So how much did you save? :laughing::thumbup::clap:

user1007 10-31-2011 01:34 AM


Originally Posted by havalife (Post 760516)
Good thread for hiring a licensed contractor versus a handyman. So how much did you save? :laughing::thumbup::clap:


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