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Old 08-21-2014, 04:38 PM   #1
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Scratched Brand New Granite Composite Sink


I have a problem. We recently installed new granite countertops with an undermount black granite composite sink. The granite turned out nicely, but after day 1 of using the sink, it began developing scratches. The scratches have only grown more numerous over the past week. We are doing nothing out of the ordinary - just washing the same pots we washed in our last GC sink in the old house for 5 years without a single scratch.

Our granite installer supplied both the granite and sink. He has refused to even tell us what brand of sink it is.

We still owe him about $2,000. We are ready to pay it, but not until the sink issue is corrected. When he came out to look at the sink, he acknowledged the scratches, but just said that granite composite sinks scratch and nobody warranties against that. That may or may not be true, but I don't think GC sinks are supposed to scratch this easily.

He offered to either credit us the cost of the sink, or install a new sink, but we would bear the expense of a plumber to disconnect the old sink and reconnect the new one, and he won't accept any liability for damage that might result during replacement.

I told him that neither of these options are acceptable. I've asked him to either fix the sink or replace it at no additional cost/liability to me. I don't feel like I should have to pay even more money to correct a defective sink he supplied.

Now he's threatening to put a mechanic's lien on my house. If I have to go to court to challenge the lien, I'm pretty sure a judge will take one look at the pictures and see a problem, but I'm going to have difficulty getting another contractor into court to testify that these sinks are not supposed to scratch like this. Any ideas? Am I being unreasonable?
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:07 PM   #2
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I am not sure what a "granite composite" sink is, but perhaps you don't either, seeing as you apparently don't know the manufacturer of the sink. Not knowing who made the sink, and what the model is, it would be difficult or impossible to determine its composition. Without knowing that, I don't see how anyone can offer an opinion as to how scratch resistant the sink you received is expected to be.

A few things worth considering. The term "granite" is well defined geologically, but in my experience most of the "granite" countertops I have seen are not granite. They are often other types of rock, including schist, gneiss, quartzite, and other exotics. Since most people are not familiar with the many different types of stone in the world, it seems that manufacturers will call any stone "granite" because it is a familiar word, and maybe makes potential buyers more comfortable.

You apparently have a granite composite sink, which I suppose could be made of granite chips epoxied together, or something like that. I have seen a wide range of synthetic stone, often put together using quartz and resin. How scratch resistant synthetic stone is depends on the type of resin, the type of stone, and the method of construction. Certainly without a manufacturer's cut sheet for the sink material, it is impossible to know the hardness of the material.

I presume you had a contract with the installer, and normally the materials would be spelled out in the contract. When we had our granite counters and stainless steel sink installed, the contract specified the type of stone, the type of finish, the manufacturer and the model of the sink. If your contract did not specify what you were getting, what was your basis for accepting the terms of the agreement?
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:41 PM   #3
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Mirak...... Yes... Kind of understand your disappointment,

...but as Dan so well explains a "granite composit" is not a specification as to grade/type/maker.... and not much different than saying a SS steal sink... which comes in different grades of SS and guages etc.

Your installer/contractor may just have used a lower grade composit sink than you had before. He may or may not have reflected that in your price... maybe he even thought you wanted that grade as a function of cost savings.

It might have been nice/good business for him to explain the sink he was using.... but, if you ordered a "granite composit" and he delivered a "granite composit", I think he met his contract, and may very well be giving you some very fair options of changing it out.

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Old 08-21-2014, 07:42 PM   #4
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Why would the "replacement sink" be any different than the first sink?

Unless you have written documents (or a warranty) providing information as to what you can and can not do to/with that particular sink then I'm afraid the contractor and the sink manufacturer would be able to claim you have abused the sink and used it in a manner of use that was not intended for that product.

Granite and granite-composite are two entirely different products and have different tolerances for how they can be used/abused.

Maybe you didn't investigate the possibilities far enough or maybe you were over sold. Apparently not all composite sinks are created equal as you have found out.

Unfortunately I personally don't think you have a snow ball's chance of winning this ordeal unless you posses written documentation of some kind that says you can use the sink in the manner you have used it.
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:31 PM   #5
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Do any of the posters above own a granite composite sink or have experience selling/installing them?

I'm aware that "granite" can be used for many different stone tops. Mine are actually quartzite - but most people assume that's some sort of synthetic material so I just call it granite.

"Granite Composite" sinks are synthetic, made of mostly granite resin and epoxy. They are supposed to be highly scratch and stain resistant. I have shown pictures if my scratches to a number of local installers, and a sink supplier, and they agree that this not normal.

As for whether this is "normal use" - if you're washing a pot in a sink isn't normal use then I'm not sure what is.

I agree, there must definitely be differences in quality and hardness of different GC sinks. The fact that my installer refuses to tell me the name of the manufacturer is probably a bad sign.
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:37 PM   #6
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Well.... possible different story....... Maybe he did not install a "Granite Composit" and maybe some Chinese make believe.......
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Old 08-22-2014, 04:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTN REMODEL LLC View Post
Well.... possible different story....... Maybe he did not install a "Granite Composit" and maybe some Chinese make believe.......
That's my fear, too. The other suppliers have told me that he has a reputation for importing "chinese knockoff" sinks. It sure looked like my last granite composite sink, but I'm thinking there are definitely different levels of quality, and a sink that scratches this easily just isn't merchantable.
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Old 09-10-2014, 09:22 AM   #8
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Update:

We found a different installer to remove and replace the old sink with a Blanco black granite composite sink. Used it several times, and no scratches! The installer noted that even the wooden and plastic tools he was using to remove the old sink were leaving scratches, and that definitely was not normal.

So, after a lot of frustration, we got the problem fixed. And the prior installer has, so far, not followed through on his threat to file a mechanics lien.

My advice to anyone who cares is that, if your granite installation includes a granite composite sink, insist on a name-brand sink from a reputable manufacturer such as Blanco or Swanstone.

Last edited by mirak; 09-10-2014 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 09-10-2014, 10:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mirak View Post
Update:

We found a different installer to remove and replace the old sink with a Blanco black granite composite sink. Used it several times, and no scratches! The installer noted that even the wooden and plastic tools he was using to remove the old sink were leaving scratches, and that definitely was not normal.

So, after a lot of frustration, we got the problem fixed. And the prior installer has, so far, not followed through on his threat to file a mechanics lien.

My advice to anyone who cares is that, if your granite installation includes a granite composite sink, insist on a name-brand sink from a reputable manufacturer such as Blanco or Swanstone.
Or better yet, don't buy your granite from the lowest price in town guy. $19 psf granite isn't all it's cracked up to be...or should I say scratched up to be.

Glad to hear that you got it all sorted out. I would have deducted the cost of the replacement from the balance and told the granite guy to pound salt.
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Old 09-11-2014, 10:26 AM   #10
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Or better yet, don't buy your granite from the lowest price in town guy. $19 psf granite isn't all it's cracked up to be...or should I say scratched up to be.

Glad to hear that you got it all sorted out. I would have deducted the cost of the replacement from the balance and told the granite guy to pound salt.
Yup, this guy was the lowest bidder, but certainly nothing even close to 19/sqft!. The price was closer to $60/sqft, but it was a premo "quartzite" slab with a lot of movement. They did an excellent job on the granite itself - they just sold me a crappy sink but charged me $300 for it. I bet he imported it for $50, and that's probably how he can undercut other suppliers on the overall bid.

As for your suggestion, that's exactly what I'm doing. Now that the repair is done, I'm going to cut him a check for the remainder of the contract balance, minus the repairs. If he really wants to try putting a lien on my house for the remainder, good luck. I'll take him to court to cancel the lien. I kept the old scratched up sink for just this purpose.
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