Backsplash Does Not Match Madura Gold Granite Countertops

by Lil
(MA)

QUESTION:

Great site!! We just had a Madura Gold granite countertop installed. To the left of our range is a separate piece of about 20 inches of countertop. When the counter was installed it looked absolutely beautiful.


However they incorrectly did not extend the backsplash behind the slide-in range.

They were aware that the range was a slide in and actually requested that our contractor build a bracket to hold the small strip of granite that sits behind it when we first ordered the granite.

The granite countertop professional said it would not be a problem and he would just install a new extended piece of kitchen backsplash the following day.

This new piece had to be about 50 inches long to cover both the area behind the range and the 20 inches of counter top to the left of the range. There is now a seam to the right of the range which connects to the main counter backsplash.

The new piece of granite backsplash is dramtically different in tone from the rest of the backsplash and countertop.

We are so frustrated because it matched perfectly the first time around.

The granite pro has stated that he is near the end of the slab and it is very dark at the bottom. Yes we picked the slab, however the overall tone was quite uniform.

The entire counter and long piece of granite backsplash have a very golden undertone. The new piece has a dark grey undertone.

He is now stating that there is nothing else he can do. Other than redoing the entire kitchen backsplash in the darker tone. We love the way the original piece looks and hate to take that away. Help!!

Also I noticed today that there is some spots of what appear to be a dried clear nailpolish type substance on the counter in front of that newer piece of backsplash.

We are not even living there yet and the rest of the work is done so I know it must be from the installation. I tried wiping it off with a wet paper towel and it won't budge. Any ideas? I have a feeling the granite countertop pro won't be of any help.

We are kicking ourselves for not shopping around for someone who had a little more concern for customer service.

We knew he was going to be trouble when he verbally quoted our contractor $22 per linear foot, us $28 per linear foot and then when the written estimate came he was charging $75 per linear foot for an Ogee edge!! We got him back down to $25.

We clearly should have called it quits then but our contractor had already given him a deposit. Don't get me started on how many no shows and no phone call to warn of the no show we have had with him either. I will take a pic of the granite backsplash and try to post it as well.

ANSWER:

What the granite countertop installer said about the remaining slab being darker is probably true and quite common.

Color and pattern can change considerably, but a good fabricator will cut out or around parts that won't match up too well when installed.

If all that was left was darker, then that is all he had to work with unless you wanted to buy another slab. That's the way it works.

The customer buys whatever materials are needed to do the job and for this reason most experienced and reputable granite fabricators/installers do not quote square footage.

Why? Because on many jobs you can't be certain how many slabs you may have to buy for the job. If for instance in your case you say I don't want the darker part of the first slab... well the installer has to use another slab that matches better. But you can't just buy a partial slab. So the cost can change considerably.

Thus, prices are quoted per job, with square footage (not linear feet), edge, kitchen backsplash, etc. all factored into the final price.

And if you indeed paid $25 per linear foot then you got an absolute steal and how the installer made any money is beyond me.

Even $75/linear foot would be a very good price. If you had 50 linear feet that = $3750. For simplicity... figure a standard 2 ft deep countertop... so 100 square feet making the cost just $37.50/sq ft.... still excellent.

Since the piece in question is small you may be able to find a remnant that matches better, but I don't see that the contractor did anything "wrong" except he could have alerted you to the fact that the pieces didn't match and ask you what you'd like to do. And the communication obviously was very poor.

You said the new piece "matched perfectly the first time around". So... you saw the piece that was to go behind the range and it was fine... golden, but then once installed it was gray, which would mean it was a completely different piece?

I'm not sure if that is what you mean, but I don't see how it would benefit the installer at all to switch pieces and install something that didn't match when he had a matching piece available.

Regarding the "nail polish spots"

Scrape of excess with a razor blade at a low angle. Then clean with acetone. That should remove whatever is on it.

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I guess I wasn't clear
by: Lil

Thank you for replying so quickly. Sorry if I wasn't clear.

"You said the new piece "matched perfectly the first time around". So... you saw the piece that was to go behind the range and it was fine... golden, but then once installed it was gray, which would mean it was a completely different piece?"

The first day when they installed the entire counter and backsplash they did not have a piece for behind the range. They said they would take the shorter (nicely matched) piece of the backsplash out and replace it with a longer (completely different) piece that would extend behind the range and seam with the rest of the backsplash. This new piece is what is much darker than the the rest of the backsplash and counter (we did not see it prior to installation). It is about 50 inches of 4 inch high backsplash. Our entire counter was only 9 feet. I just don't understand how all of a sudden the slab is a totally uniform grey undertone and there is not enough left of the gold tone for the missing piece. And we also feel as though had it been done correctly the first time this never would have happened.

The $25 per linear foot was an EXTRA cost that we paid to have an ogee edge (which by the way was worth every dime it is beautiful). The Madura Gold started at $55 per square foot for counter and backsplash and there were also added fees for sink mounting, installation, etc. Trust me we didn't steal anything.

They no showed yet again today. But on a positive note my husband found a large chunk of the original well matched short piece in our dumpster today (I was surprised they had thrown it out and more surprised that he went dumpster diving). I am hoping the installer will use it as a reference for the new piece. Although I have a feeling he's not coming back and it will be our job to find someone who can take care of it.



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Okay clear now
by: Ryan

Yeah, I thought you may have been confused or just didn't supply all details about the price. What you paid is in a "normal" range for that job.

Who knows why the installer put in the darker piece when a good piece was in the trash. He has nothing to gain to do this on purpose, so possibly just didn't know it was in the trash and used what he thought he had left of the slab.

So, if you have enough of the newly found piece, then tear out as needed to get the seams where you want them.

And given the installers lack of communication and if you've paid in full already, then yes you may have to hire someone else.

But your GC should take some responsibility for this as well if he brought the installer in as a sub-contractor.

Good news is you have a solution in hand!

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