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NJFISH 12-10-2008 12:56 PM

New granite counter top question
 
I just had a new granite counter top installed. Before I go any further with my question, yes, I know it is stone and not perfect.With that said, is it "normal" to have a fissure that is flaking stone? I don't really know how to describe it but it's about 18" long and feels like the opposite of a scar if you can imagine that.




A Few Dollars 12-10-2008 12:57 PM

Re: New granite counter top question
 
no

WEAKFISH 12-10-2008 01:01 PM

RE: New granite counter top question
 
Can't figure out what you're describing. By "flaking stone" do you mean some of it is flaking off the slab? Can you feel the fissure like a crack? Those are not normal. Did you have a chance to inspect the slab first?

emudryj 12-10-2008 01:03 PM

Re: New granite counter top question
 
I would think, no, it's not normal. I also installed a granite countertop on my kitchen and it's completely smooth... I understand that that's the way is supposed to be completely smooth....that's why they polish it.
In my opinion it shouldn't have any texture.

Did the guys or company that cut it for you told you anything about imperfections, or price being lower due to problems on the stone???


NJFISH 12-10-2008 01:12 PM

RE: New granite counter top question
 

WEAKFISH - 12/10/2008 4:01 PM Can't figure out what you're describing. By "flaking stone" do you mean some of it is flaking off the slab? Can you feel the fissure like a crack? Those are not normal. Did you have a chance to inspect the slab first?
If I were to roll a marble across it slowlyit would stop and sit in the crevice. I chose the slab in the yard of the company, as far as inspecting it, I did not notice any flaw like this. As we use the kitchen more and more (we just finished the renov) I am noticing slight pockholes here and there too, maybe the size of a pinhead and shallow.


emudryj - 12/10/2008 4:03 PM I would think, no, it's not normal. I also installed a granite countertop on my kitchen and it's completely smooth... I understand that that's the way is supposed to be completely smooth....that's why they polish it. In my opinion it shouldn't have any texture. Did the guys or company that cut it for you told you anything about imperfections, or price being lower due to problems on the stone???
Nothing mentioned about imperfections but my brother for example has had granite for about 5 years now and has not this issue, although he thinks the small pockholes might be normal. I did not think it could be completely smooth.

PostOpus 12-10-2008 01:24 PM

Re: New granite counter top question
 
I'd be inclined to contact the dealer/fabricator and let him know you're not at all satisfied with the granite. Tiny "pockmarks" are somewhat common, but only ones that are extremely shallow and small diameter. The granite we had installed has only one area where you can feel a very slight difference, and that's where two pieces were epoxied together to form an L shaped counter. There definitely should not be any faults that would stop a marble as you described. You might have a few different options: (1) total replacement; (2) possible professional repair using color-matched epoxy; (3) a fair negotiated partial refund of your cost. Read your contract fully before trying to negotiate with the dealer/fabricator.

Good luck!

billinstuart 12-10-2008 01:32 PM

Re: New granite counter top question
 
I agree with Opus. A good fabricator can probably fill that vein with a color matched epoxy. The top should be smooth to the touch. That's a strong vein. Personally, I like that strong veining, but the industry considers it a flaw.

starmonk 12-10-2008 02:12 PM

Re: New granite counter top question
 
I just faxed the approval for my template back a few mins ago. My counters are coming Tuesday. I have to go back to the granite shop one more time for layout. That is where they take a full size template and actualy lay it out on the slab before they cut and mill my tops to see how the grain lays out. They actuall refer to the slab by almost like a serial # so they don't switch to a lower grade slab.
Did your granite shop give you a chance to participate in the layout? Did you have to sign off on the steps?
If not I would be highly motivated to bust some cans that they slapped you up with a bad slab of granite.

NJFISH 12-10-2008 04:07 PM

Re: New granite counter top question
 

starmonk - 12/10/2008 5:12 PM I just faxed the approval for my template back a few mins ago. My counters are coming Tuesday. I have to go back to the granite shop one more time for layout. That is where they take a full size template and actualy lay it out on the slab before they cut and mill my tops to see how the grain lays out. They actuall refer to the slab by almost like a serial # so they don't switch to a lower grade slab. Did your granite shop give you a chance to participate in the layout? Did you have to sign off on the steps? If not I would be highly motivated to bust some cans that they slapped you up with a bad slab of granite.


My wife and I picked it out from the supply in the yard, then they came to make the template, then the came to install. I was not in on the cut and mill.

We are awaiting the return call to come out and inspect the problem. After looking at it again when I got home I think I might have exaggerated the size slightly in deepness, although I'm still concerned that it could crack along the line. I am concerend that it is in what will be the most used section of the counter, between the sink and range. Adding to that, I also have concerns about putting hot and frozen items in that spot as well as getting it wet from the sink.

Link to some pics: http://picasaweb.google.com/AHSPRITE68/121008#

Hydro 12-10-2008 04:34 PM

Re: New granite counter top question
 
The stone you chose looks like its a heavily weathered metamorphic rock. The weathering process gives it the subtle brown color. Seems like that would make it pretty difficult to work with as a slab. It also looks like the crack is due to a quartz vein or something. I don't think they should have used that part of the slab for a countertop. I would demand it be replaced as that crack and flaking will probably only get worse. I wouldn't let them get away with just sealing it with something.

$0.02



Wolakrab 12-10-2008 04:35 PM

Re: New granite counter top question
 
That's just plain ugly(the crack, that is)....I can't believe that left their shop in that condition, much less got installed.

FireFly 12-10-2008 05:10 PM

Re: New granite counter top question
 
The entire slab should be perfectly smooth with no exceptions. I'd send it back and demand they get it right. I sent mine back 2 times until they got it right and I was miserable for 12 months until they stepped up to the plate and now I could not be happier.

twobyfour 12-11-2008 05:50 AM

Re: New granite counter top question
 
Beleive it or not, the granite with the veining and fissure's are the most expensive, at least in my neck of the woods (VA) This is because they are much more difficult to handle and install for obvious reason's. Basically, you chose a piece of rock with a bunch of cracks in it. One of two things happened. the stone was mishandled and broke , which they do occassionally, or it was just a bad piece from the start. Although some say it should be completely smooth this is not always true as there are always slight imperfections the size of needle heads. 99.5% smooth. However, under no circumstance should there be any flaking. I'm guessing it broke and they repaired it, which they can do, but a piece flaked out when it broke. As far as getting it fixed, the louder you squeal the more oil they will have to use.

Dsaltydog 12-11-2008 06:00 AM

Re: New granite counter top question
 
Frustrating I am sure. Easily remedied with epoxy, you will never see it, or feel it. I have done hunderes of kitchens in granite, and this occurrence is normal. Hqave them come out, sand and epoky any areas. SOP, but typically done at the fabricators shop.

Jaime Lyn 12-11-2008 06:23 AM

Re: New granite counter top question
 
Open seams or veins in a finished product is unexceptable. Lay a straight edge
perpendicular across vein, if it's not perfectly flat in all area's, it was damaged during the the installation. If it was'nt damaged during installation, that slab was junk to begin with. Either way the slab should be replaced. If they replace it with
another slab, demand to inspect it prior to fabrication. Run the palm of your hand
across the entire surface of the slab and note any texture deviation from smooth
and ask the fabricator how and if they plan to address any pits, seams, cracks or
open veins prior to the finished product being delivered and installed.
As for repairing it on site, polishing granite is a 9 step process and I've seen very few
people that can do what I would consider an exceptable job.

NJFISH 12-11-2008 06:28 AM

Re: New granite counter top question
 

Dsaltydog - 12/11/2008 9:00 AM Frustrating I am sure. Easily remedied with epoxy, you will never see it, or feel it. I have done hunderes of kitchens in granite, and this occurrence is normal. Hqave them come out, sand and epoky any areas. SOP, but typically done at the fabricators shop.


Do these veins typically run through the entire thickness? In other words, it is visible from the top but does it go through to the bottom?Is a heavy vein like this more susceptible to cracking or am I being paranoid? Thanks.

FireFly 12-11-2008 06:40 AM

Re: New granite counter top question
 
I'm by no means an expert but after looking at your pictures it looks like they already tried filling the crack with epoxy and did a bad job. You have 2 options:

1. Have them replace the granite
2. Have them refill the crack. They can do a good job getting it smooth but it will be your call as to whether or not it's acceptable. Bottom line is they should not have installed it looking the way it does. The way it is is not acceptable under any circumstances.

I don't think you can see a vein from the underside because the underside is not polished and you will not be able to see much of anything.

Bugbuster 12-11-2008 06:43 AM

Re: New granite counter top question
 
Just don't drop anything heavy on that area and you'll be OK. The area will hold bacteria from food prep so clean accordingly. The way I understand you first post you picked this out of seconds or the blemish stack and if that's so just live with it. If you were charged the normal rate for the stone, they should immediately remove and reinstall it. No questions asked.

Jaime Lyn 12-11-2008 06:44 AM

Re: New granite counter top question
 

NJFISH - 12/11/2008 6:28 AM




Dsaltydog - 12/11/2008 9:00 AM Frustrating I am sure. Easily remedied with epoxy, you will never see it, or feel it. I have done hunderes of kitchens in granite, and this occurrence is normal. Hqave them come out, sand and epoky any areas. SOP, but typically done at the fabricators shop.


Do these veins typically run through the entire thickness? In other words, it is visible from the top but does it go through to the bottom? Is a heavy vein like this more susceptible to cracking or am I being paranoid? Thanks.
Yes
Yes
If installed correctly, no unless settling of substrates occur

NJFISH 12-11-2008 06:51 AM

Re: New granite counter top question
 

Bugbuster - 12/11/2008 9:43 AM The way I understand you first post you picked this out of seconds or the blemish stack and if that's so just live with it.
Not so. I picked from all oftheir stock, nothing marked subpar or imperfect. Never was I told or suspected it to be of any lesser quality than any other piece on their lot.

Jaime Lyn 12-11-2008 06:56 AM

Re: New granite counter top question
 
NJ, after reviewing the linked pics, I believe the "pock marks" can be sucessfully
filled with a clear epoxy and razor bladed off smooth. If there is a continous crack,
one that you can put your fingernail in, that's going to be a tougher fix.

NJFISH 12-11-2008 06:59 AM

Re: New granite counter top question
 
Thanks Jaime Lyn, in your experience, is a vein like in the picture any more apt to crack in the future or does the piece still have integrity in it's thickness? When I mean crack I mean separate into 2 parts completely along the fault.

Jaime Lyn 12-11-2008 07:44 AM

Re: New granite counter top question
 

NJFISH - 12/11/2008 6:59 AM

Thanks Jaime Lyn, in your experience, is a vein like in the picture any more apt to crack in the future or does the piece still have integrity in it's thickness? When I mean crack I mean separate into 2 parts completely along the fault.
A vein is different than a crack. A vein is inherent in any stone with movement. Veins can be a weak point in some stones but not always. I'll bet that if you look
at the bottom of the granite, there's a fiberglass screen epoxied to the entire bottom surface. Many quarriers and plants overseas are now using this technique to solidify many stones of questionable structural integrity. A crack is something that is long and you can put your fingernail in. If you don't have a crack now (aside from a few pock marks) and the material was installed correctly, chances are the veins are not likely to open up. The only thing that would open up a tight vein would be poor support (not 100% along cabinet frames and rails) or the cabinets, floor, or foundation settled. Seeing that it's a renovation I dont think any part of the structure should move. Have it repaired or replaced to YOUR SATISFACTION and enjoy.

wmalloy382 12-11-2008 07:46 AM

Re: New granite counter top question
 

Jaime Lyn - 12/11/2008 9:56 AM

NJ, after reviewing the linked pics, I believe the "pock marks" can be sucessfully
filled with a clear epoxy and razor bladed off smooth. If there is a continous crack,
one that you can put your fingernail in, that's going to be a tougher fix.
I agree here. You should not have to leave with a crevasse in the countertop. Problem may be that you did pick the slab so they may say its your fault.

Another option I be live that you can do is fill the gap. Get an expert in there. They can fill the small imperfections with a color to match the countertop and the buff it completely smooth. If its done right it will follow the grain of the crack and look very natural.

hope this helps

Garett 12-11-2008 07:47 AM

Re: New granite counter top question
 
Now I don't have the time to read everything here, but by the look of your pic that fissure is right over where your dishwasher goes. Therefore the bullnose of you counter top is unsupported. Therefore that fissure could very easily open up with little to no pressure applied to it. :roll ;) A fissure “could” open up even from the vibration of a door slamming......it’s stone and there is no way to gauge what it will take to open it.

Question: The amount of imperfection on the top of the counter, are you feeling the same amount on the underside of the counter top? Are you feeling the fissure on the bullnose? If you are say yes to either of those two questions, with the fissure being right over your dishwasher I don’t see the top lasting the test of time.

So you like your butterscotch candy/ ice cream......... :grin: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

NJFISH 12-11-2008 08:16 AM

Re: New granite counter top question
 
Thanks again to everyone. The underside does have mesh. I assumed all were done this way as extra support.

Garett, you are correct about it being over the dishwasher, that didn't even occur to me as another potential issue, if in fact it is an issue. Can't see the grain underneath because of the mesh.

FireFly 12-11-2008 08:21 AM

Re: New granite counter top question
 
FWIW when we had our first problem with our granite (the crack, not a fissure) it was directly over the dishwasher as well.

Garett 12-11-2008 12:13 PM

Re: New granite counter top question
 

NJFISH - 12/10/2008 11:16 PM

Garett, you are correct about it being over the dishwasher, that didn't even occur to me as another potential issue, if in fact it is an issue.
There's no doubt about it Jeff, that's an issue. ;) That fissure couldn't have been a worse place.



"If" the counter top gets changed out, don't settle for a patch job.....cut at the sink or in the corner.......pattern matching is everything when it comes to stone. Someone is going to be unhappy, but I think you'll be picking out new stone.

:roll

FireFly 12-11-2008 12:17 PM

Re: New granite counter top question
 

Garett - 12/11/2008 3:13 PM


NJFISH - 12/10/2008 11:16 PM

Garett, you are correct about it being over the dishwasher, that didn't even occur to me as another potential issue, if in fact it is an issue.
There's no doubt about it Jeff, that's an issue. ;) That fissure couldn't have been a worse place.



"If" the counter top gets changed out, don't settle for a patch job.....cut at the sink or in the corner.......pattern matching is everything when it comes to stone. Someone is going to be unhappy, but I think you'll be picking out new stone.

:roll
This was problem #2 for us after they replaced the damaged piece it did not match (color wise) the other granite. Took them 12 months to get it right - in the end they replaced everything.

NJFISH 12-11-2008 12:46 PM

Re: New granite counter top question
 
I just got back from meeting with the rep. He assured me that he would fix the problem and gaurantee it. Also will be reinforcing over the dishwasher. As Jaime Lyn suggested, we will first attempt to fill and buff. If it looks good and I am satisfied with it then they did OK by me. If it cannot be repaired to my liking they will have to replace. And as long as they will gaurantee it, that makes me feel comfortable as well. Plus I really like the look of the stone. Hopefully all will work out. Thanks again everyone.

PROFINITY 12-11-2008 01:10 PM

Re: New granite counter top question
 
F- NO!

Johnboy 12-13-2008 05:40 AM

RE: New granite counter top question
 
NJ Let me add my 2cents worth. I'm a granite fabricator in Hilton Head with almost 30 years experience. We service the area from Hilton Head to Charleston. I would not accept the job as your pictures show. You do not want an open fissure or rough surface at the main work area in the kitchen. The quicker you insist on a replacement piece, the more likely the chance of the shop having a matching slab or piece. This should not be a big issue for the shop unless you wait and they can't match the stone.
You have an "Exotic" granite from Brazil. Exotics are pricier because they are scarce, usually very fragile and have a very wide range of color or veining. The more consistent granites are usually very sound, available, less expensive and fabricator friendly. However these granites are in less demand. The factories in Brazil, use a clear resin on slabs to fill pits, open fissures and cracks. This resin is usually vacuum sucked into all open fissures, etc. This helps strengthen stones that until a few years ago were unable to be sawn into slabs. As a rule of thumb, exotics will have a fiberglass mesh laminated to the back of the slab. Most shop fabricators will have to fill, patch and repair small areas on slabs and this is a normal part of the job. Repaired areas are usually visible but can't be felt. The fissure you see and feel, most likely occurred in transportation somewhere between the shop and your cabinet. This is where most problems occur. However that piece should have never been installed. It is much easier to re-make a piece before it is installed. If it was 'fixed" in the shop, prior to install, it should have some re-enforcing rods cut and epoxied into the backside of the fissure for strength. I suspect it does not have these and the fissure opened up either on the truck or from the truck to the cabinet. While it's unlikely to open further, it would not be acceptable in that area, in my opinion. It is very difficult to repair that large area in your home without causing more damage from water and dust. If you were my customer, it would be replaced quickly with my apologies for letting it get installed in the first place. I absolutely depend on referrals and you are not likely to give one in this case.

To anyone else reading this, when you buy granite, INSIST on being part of the slab layout. It is absolutely the best way to resolve issues and eliminate surprises after install.

Sorry for the length of the reply,
John


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