Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Remodeling > Kitchen & Bath Remodeling

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-27-2011, 11:42 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 124
Rewards Points: 0
Share |
Default

Is this a lousy granite installation?


As of last weekend we had the granite installed in our new kitchen, and a number of issues have come up. I know about cabinets, but as this is the first time I’ve had granite installed I don’t know if I’m making too much of a fuss, or whether I have reason to feel aggrieved at the results.

To begin with, I went out of my way to tell the guy who came to do the measuring two specific points –

1) that the edge of granite lining up against the wall oven cabinet had to be perfectly in line with it as we didn’t want to have any kind of facing on the woodwork (granite backsplash, tile, etc)

2) To be careful with his measurements because both walls that made up the L of the kitchen were not straight.

In short, I couldn’t have gone more out of my way to highlight the fact that there were issues that could throw off the installation, and mess up our desire for a clean line along the oven cabinet. We even called the owner of the business to reinforce our point, and also asked him to try and make sure that the separate pieces matched up as closely as possible at the joins, because we were well aware that the granite we chose had some strong patterning that could pose problems lined up together. The guy admonished me over my concerns with ‘Sir, we are professionals and do our job properly!’

Well, the measurer came back a second day, and to ensure he got the measurements rights used some cardboard strips, which he glued together to create a template. Suitable impressed, I thought that everything was going to be okay. Then Saturday arrived and I sat there thinking ‘What the hell are they doing’ as I watched the company’s installers do their work.

Firstly, I’d always been led to believe that a bead of silicone or some sort of adhesive was put along the top of the cabinets prior to installing the granite. These guys just sat the granite straight on top. (They also came close to causing some severe damage by trying to stand the edge of the heaviest piece, the corner, on the weakest points of both the sink cabinet and the cooktop cabinet – I had to hurriedly tell them not to do so in order to prevent them cracking the cabinets and possibly dropping the slab as well.)

When they’d finished installing the four pieces I couldn’t believe it – after everything I had said, and after being told how professional they are, they’d still contrived to screw up one of the things I had asked – to make sure they measured the cut along the wall oven cabinet correctly so that there wouldn’t be a gap. The granite touched the cabinet at the front, then gradually receded away towards the back, leaving an unsightly gap of about 3/16ths. The installers just looked at me like I was being an SOB when I asked why it was there after I’d been assured it would be taken care of. They then filled it with tinted epoxy resin, and followed up by sticking a thick bead of silicone, half an inch wide, along the granite and cabinet edge. I hurriedly wiped the latter off before it had a chance to set, because I sure as hell didn’t want the whole thing made to look even worse by an unsightly gob of silicone permanently on show. I’ve also been told that silicone can stain granite?

After they left I took a close look at the job and just found their work to seemingly be a testament to sheer sloppiness and lack of professionalism. They’d left so much silicone sticking out from the under mount sink that I’d have had a half inch bead left showing permanently had I not gone around and tidied it up. The end piece at one end of the kitchen was so mismatched color-wise that it looked almost like it came from a different type of slab altogether – yet had they simply turned it around before making the cutout for the sink the all-important front edge would have made a slightly better match to the neighboring piece. There was a noticeable unevenness as well, a ‘bump’ of sorts, where the two pieces met, and it was quite noticeable from even across the kitchen. When I looked more closely I figured out the reason – the smaller slab to the left was about an 1/8th of an inch thinner than the other piece, so that while they’d been able to shim it level on top, they couldn’t do anything about the bottom edge and had tried doctoring it up so as not to show. The back corner of the same piece, on the very end of the cabinets, was sticking out from the wall by ¼” and they had tried masking it yet again with another big gob of silicone following right round the contoured edge.

I also found out, with the use of a ruler, that they’d mislaid the whole thing and had obviously not heeded my warnings about the walls. Towards the corner of the L on one side the granite edge was sticking out from the base cabinet underneath by nearly two inches, yet 6 feet away the depth was the more standard 1 ½ inches. The mismatch in measurements on the other part of the L were almost the same, telling me that the whole thing should have been lined up slightly differently. Had they done so the gap along the oven cabinet would probably not have been an issue. I just sat there asking myself what the heck the templates had been for if they’d messed the situation up so much and ignored all my warnings?

The owner of the business came out and basically, in his glib, fast-talking fashion, tried claiming that there were no issues and tried throwing it back at us by claiming everything and anything he could think up that made it our fault. The mismatched piece was fine, my gripe about the gap along the cabinet was me splitting hairs (despite their assurances that they could do it), the bulge and difference in thickness at the join was also something he just laughed off, while the gap at the back corner was blamed on the very same walls I had instructed them to take heed of. The whole process got reduced to a joke when I pointed out a spot where his installers hadn’t been bothered to clean up some of the epoxy on the oven cabinet, and he repeatedly kept claiming he couldn’t see what I was talking about – I finally had to put a pencil up to it to point out what anyone could have seen from yards away.

So I leave it to you guys, as I’m no expert on the matter. Do we have reason to feel aggrieved, or not? It’s not like we expect perfection, but if I ask for something, receive repeated assurances that all will be well, only to see exactly what I had worried about come to fruition, I feel like I have reason to be pissed. Same with the color match. I didn’t expect them to go cherry picking through slab after slab just to give me a perfect color match, but within the two slabs we set aside I would have expected someone to map and plan the cuts that would have given us the best match.

Also look at the cutout for the sink – are there limits to what kind of radius cuts can be made to follow the contours of a sink, or could we have expected better with regard to what we got with ours?

Pictures can be found at Photobucket here –http://s1007.photobucket.com/albums/...view=slideshow

PS – One solution proposed for the gap we’re not happy with along the oven cabinet is to sit a single piece of granite, 3” high, on the counter top against the cabinet, like a backsplash. I just thought it would look weird having a single piece there without a matching backsplash going right round the rest of the counter. We didn’t want a granite edge along the back, which is why we were so specific about wanting a clean edge along the oven cabinet. Any thoughts on the point?

timbo59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2011, 11:59 PM   #2
nap
You talking to me?
 
nap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: sw mi
Posts: 5,407
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Is this a lousy granite installation?


didn't read the text but looked at the pics. Obviously, as you noted, the pictures don't show some of the problems you tried to show. The biggest problems I see as the terribly mismatched colors (not even close) and the part hanging over the sink.

Unless this was done by Billy Joe Bob's discount countertops and septic system repair and you paid accordingly, I would have serious gripes about the installation.

I went and read some of the text; you shouldn't have had to say anything about the squareness, or lack of, of the walls. That is why they measure. Apparently even though the measured twice and cut once, it still wasn't correct.

Not sure what is salvageable with your counters.

nap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2011, 01:03 AM   #3
STAFF
 
BigJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: East Tennessee
Posts: 7,406
Rewards Points: 30
Blog Entries: 1
Default

Is this a lousy granite installation?


If that were mine I would be talking to someone about making sure he corrected all the flaws in that install. That is not quality work and I am sure you paid full pop for quality materials and labor.
__________________
New members: Please consider adding your location to your profile.

Jim
BigJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2011, 06:13 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 1,743
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Is this a lousy granite installation?


You've written the equivalent of a page in the Bible but did not mention whether or not these guys were paid the full balance? Usually there is a final payment for contract work that doesn't get paid unless the customer is satisfied with the work. If they found themselves looking for that final paycheck, I have a feeling they would be motivated to make it right.

The fact that the owner admonished you and apparently disregarded your concerns going in should have been a red flag.
Jim F is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2011, 09:08 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 124
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Is this a lousy granite installation?


Hi Jim,
No, these guys were paid in full.

We held the final check back and voiced our concerns until the owner turned up, but we just couldn't get anywhere and I thought things might get ugly with the three guys there if we didn't give them the check.

You also have to bear in mind that we were newbies to granite and didn't know just how much we were in the right concerning our grievances and how much we might have been getting simply unreasonable and nit picky. The owner of the business kept hammering away that there was nothing untoward about the installation and basically just kept giving off that we were just being utter bastards who were trying to make his life a misery and unfairly hold out on money that he was justifiably owed. Had I known then what I've since learnt in a week I would have dug my heels in, told him to go to hell, and called the police if necessary. But hindsight, as they say, is a wonderful thing. All we had was a pretty ugly scene, with a lot of yelling taking place and my two young children in the background - ultimately I just wanted them out of our house. Make sense?

As for red flags, sure, I felt uncomfortable, but as I said, this was our first time round with granite and I wasn't sure if I was crossing the line between being concerned and getting overly paranoid and fussy. We've lived in Orlando, FL for eleven years and have had so many bad experiences with tradespeople that we're getting a bit gun shy of them. But by the same token you also want to be careful that you're not getting too distrustful and all over the rare good ones you occasionally come across. Basically, we're decent people who try and treat others as we'd like to be treated ourselves, but it often doesn't work to our advantage in situations like this.

Last edited by timbo59; 01-28-2011 at 09:14 PM.
timbo59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2011, 09:37 PM   #6
Member
 
yummy mummy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,725
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Is this a lousy granite installation?


Sorry to hear about your terrible experience.
I do want to ask, why did you let them start the installation when you saw that they were different colours?

The installation is terrible. I have granite countertops in my kitchen and the undermount sink is perfectly done.

When my countertop was installed, the back splash tiles were not in. So when they put the tiles in the back splash there is no need for silicone.

If you want to see some pictures, let me know and I will take some.

Good luck with whatever you do.
yummy mummy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2011, 09:41 PM   #7
Member
 
yummy mummy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,725
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Is this a lousy granite installation?


One other thing, where they did the joining of the countertop, at the sink, that is the worst place to put it.

The joining should have been at the inside corner. That is where mine is, and you can hardly see the joining.

Where are you located? Canada, US

Last edited by yummy mummy; 01-28-2011 at 09:42 PM. Reason: additional information
yummy mummy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2011, 10:11 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 124
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Is this a lousy granite installation?


Hey there,
I'm in Orlando, Florida, though I'm actually an expat Aussie who's lived here for the last decade or so.

Well, to answer your question we knew nothing of the situation until the very end, as I left them alone to do their job once I had watched them start the process for the first half hour or so. I think they left the offending piece until the very end for obvious reasons.

As for the joining, a lot of people have said the same thing, that it should be done at the corner. Had they done so with this job they would have kept the L-shaped section down to two pieces, instead of three - the corner section, and the two ends. Still, with the sink cutout the mismatch doesn't look half as bad as if they had had two such disparate pieces butting up next to each other at the corner! What a nightmare that would have been!
timbo59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2011, 10:19 PM   #9
Member
 
yummy mummy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,725
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Is this a lousy granite installation?


Quote:
Originally Posted by timbo59 View Post
Hey there,
I'm in Orlando, Florida, though I'm actually an expat Aussie who's lived here for the last decade or so.

Well, to answer your question we knew nothing of the situation until the very end, as I left them alone to do their job once I had watched them start the process for the first half hour or so. I think they left the offending piece until the very end for obvious reasons.

As for the joining, a lot of people have said the same thing, that it should be done at the corner. Had they done so with this job they would have kept the L-shaped section down to two pieces, instead of three - the corner section, and the two ends. Still, with the sink cutout the mismatch doesn't look half as bad as if they had had two such disparate pieces butting up next to each other at the corner! What a nightmare that would have been!
I thought you might have been in Canada. I would have referred you to my guy, who was very good, and may have been able to correct some of the problem.

I only have two pieces, and one joint in my top. The joints should not be noticeable at all. Well, I guess it's live and learn as they say.
yummy mummy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2011, 08:45 PM   #10
Member
 
firehawkmph's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Near Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 1,584
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Is this a lousy granite installation?


Timbo,
That is a sh$% install. I don't know what your recourse is at this point, but I wouldn't be happy with that either. I install high end kitchens and for the most part use the same granite company. They would never seam a sink in the middle. The seam doesn't necessarily have to be right in the corner, but never down the middle. The sink cutout is sloppy, it should follow the shape of the sink. Cardboard templates should have also been a red flag. Usually the guys use 1/4" underlayment strips cut and glued together. Your kitchen layout was basically pretty simple. A good template would have eliminated the gaps shown in your pics. I'm not sue happy, but you might want to consult an attorney.
Mike Hawkins
firehawkmph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2011, 09:44 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 124
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Is this a lousy granite installation?


Hi Mike,
Actually, in all fairness I may have mirepresented it when I said cardboard - that's the closest description I could think of that matched what they used. It may well have been underlayment from what you described - is it like 3" - 4" wide strips of stuff that looks like corrugated whit cardboard, but more plastic in feel?

What I meant to say was that the guy who did the measuring did all that you described, laid out the strips, cut them where necessary, marked the centers for the sink and cook top, stuck it all together with a glue gun - and yet they STILL contrived to screw up the cutting. That's what I was trying to emphasize in my original post. How do you go to all that trouble, and still mess it up?

Someone elsewhere told me that a common trick with uneven walls such as ours is to notch the drywall where the 'bumps' are so that the granite can lie flat against the rest of the wall. Ever seen that done?
timbo59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2011, 11:29 PM   #12
KemoSabe
 
loneframer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 644
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Is this a lousy granite installation?


The corrugated plastic is very common, as is luann plywood for templating.

Getting an accurate scribe to the wall is not easy, even with electronic templating devices. It's much closer, but still not perfect.

The overhangs on the front of the cabinets are dependant upon them being aligned properly. If tha cabinets aren't straight, don't expect the tops to follow. The tops should form a straight line, regardless of the cabinets.

The granite shop should have been given the sink, or at least a manufacturers template for machining. Some shops only need the model number of the sink, as they have access to the templates in shop.

The variation in slab thickness isn't uncommon, but 1/8" is. So is seaming it in the middle of the sink, although there's less chance of breaking the top that way.
loneframer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2011, 07:32 PM   #13
Member
 
firehawkmph's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Near Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 1,584
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Is this a lousy granite installation?


Quote:
Originally Posted by timbo59 View Post
Hi Mike,
Someone elsewhere told me that a common trick with uneven walls such as ours is to notch the drywall where the 'bumps' are so that the granite can lie flat against the rest of the wall. Ever seen that done?
Tim,
Yes, I have seen the drywall notched. Sometimes there is a slight hump in the wall from either a bad stud or maybe a plumbing stack pushing out on the drywall. They will gouge out the drywall so the top slides into the notch and fits tighter against the wall. Then after that, sometimes I will feather out the hump in the drywall so it is less noticable.
Mike Hawkins
firehawkmph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2011, 09:06 AM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 124
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Is this a lousy granite installation?


@ Loneframer.

Hi there....The cabinets were perfectly straight and square - I know because I put them in and am very fussy about stuff like that. I actually went to some trouble with the granite installers (via the use of a 6' builders level, right angle, etc) to show that the cabinets were true, but that there was unevenness in the walls that could throw off measurements. The first time he came round he started taking notes and measurements from the walls, which set off alarm bells in my head because I knew how much such a move could throw him off - he just didn't strike me as someone who seemed to know what he was really doing, you know? Part of the problem was also one of communication - he could barely speak a word of English.

As for the sink, I'd think they would know how to make the cutout as we bought the unit from them! We started browsing in this particular store over a year ago, and they've sold this particular model of sink the whole time, so you'd figure they should have a decent idea of what kind of template they need.
timbo59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2011, 09:29 AM   #15
old guy contractor
 
tcleve4911's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Maine on Little Sebago
Posts: 857
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Is this a lousy granite installation?


Hello Tim

That's Nasty
Did you hire them? or was it through a distributor? or were they a sub of someone else?

Sounds like communication was real issue.

Florida seems to be a festering place for "good enough ...pay me...."

tcleve4911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2cm Granite Countertop Installation ambersinha Kitchen & Bath Remodeling 4 09-16-2011 12:36 PM
Granite counter installation AOrdonio Kitchen & Bath Remodeling 8 11-26-2010 05:35 PM
granite installation molzmd Kitchen & Bath Remodeling 1 08-05-2010 08:45 AM
Stonemark & Silestone Countertops......??? DepotDweller Remodeling 9 06-25-2009 11:44 AM
granite tile countertop installation had Building & Construction 3 04-01-2009 05:30 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.