Granite Countertop Seam and Crack Issues
Granite Countertop Seam & Crack
We recently had Black Galaxy granite counter tops installed. After installation, we noticed a 4-foot-long line through the counter. It goes in a perfectly straight line. It appeared to me that the countertop had been broken and epoxied back together.
The installer assures us that it's a VEIN. So, we are assuming he is correct.
However, we also noticed a 2-inch long crack near the sink, that follows the exact path of the vein. We are worried that it will continue to crack along the vein.
We asked the installers to come and look at it. When they got there, I showed them how I could catch my fingernail on the crack. I asked them to do the same. They both just felt it with the PAD of their fingers, and denied feeling a crack.
I again asked them to use their fingernails, and they again just used the pads of their fingers. It was like they didn't want to know it was there. I even took pictures of the crack, and it shows up fine in the pictures. I emailed the pictures to them, but now they aren't responding to my emails.Also, we had a problem with the granite countertop slab SEAM.
The seam has about 5 places where there were chunks or chips of the edge broken out. So, in places the seam is a little over 1/8th of an inch wide, and in one place in the back, there is a chip that is a half inch wide.
Also, it is more of a white or grey color that they used on the seam epoxy. I also sent them pictures of the seam. Again, they won't respond to me.
I am assuming this will end up in court. We still haven't paid the second 50% payment. Do you think we are being unreasonable?
It certainly is not unreasonable to expect professional behavior and a level of competency necessary to install a granite counter top well.
I don't know that this is the case here, but in the stone industry you definitely get what you pay for. This business is unregulated
and no license is required to "be" a granite countertop fabricator/installer. So
, it's not at all uncommon to have a difference of $1000 on bids between different contractors for an average kitchen countertop install. Most people
when confronted with such a difference tend to think "well this high priced guy is trying to gouge us..."But actually
it is usually just the opposite. This is not
a high-margin business, so the lower price is achieved only by cutting as many corners as possible, hiring minimally experienced labor, using low-grade stone, doing everything as fast as possible and then try and convince the customer that any problem is "normal".
That's a recipe for disaster and let me assure you... even the most detail oriented, experienced perfectionist granite counter top installers run into problems on jobs.
It's the nature of the business. And it's why it requires so much skill and experience to do it competently. The true professionals
know how and will actually fix any problems so the final product doesn't have a bunch of unexpected blemishes. The low-ball "garage" fabricators
make mistakes because its easy to do, but don't know how to make it right, let alone do it right in the first place and you end up with a hack job and customer service nightmare.
The "expensive professional" knows and charges the true cost required to pay for the skill, time and attention necessary to complete the job correctly as the customer expects. It's only natural
and prudent to pay as little as possible for any product or service, but often when you hire a fabricator that quoted what seems like a great deal you end up "paying" the difference in sloppy work and service hassles.
Ultimately that isn't what you or any customer wants. If only they had a crystal ball when hiring their installer, most would gladly pay more to actually get what they dreamed of.
I state all the above
for all readers because this is a big issue to consider when shopping for a granite countertop installation.
Not that a higher bid automatically means "better", but that you want to really do your homework and focus more on hiring the most skilled and experienced fabricator (who will most likely charge the "true" cost) rather than trying to save money going with the lowest bid.
Most often you end up "paying" either way, but you only get what you want with the skilled pro. So Mike, in your case
I'd say that any one of these issues by itself could possibly be adequately explained, but the fact that you have multiple issues tells me it was a sloppy install.
And the fact that they have little concern for your concern says they are not very professional either.
It's good that a payment is remaining. It's the best leverage you have to get this sorted out equitably.
Regarding the.... Four foot line:
Yes, it could be a vein, but very rare for a granite countertop vein to be "perfectly straight" and black galaxy not really know to have a lot of veins.
Same for a crack... almost never straight especially when over 4 feet long.
FYI... a cracks can often occur in/along a vein.
You say it looks as if it where broken and epoxied... if so, you would definitely be able to feel it and it would look somewhat like the seam.
Most often you cannot "feel" a vein. If it is "in the stone" you should not be able to feel it.
"Perfectly straight" is odd... but hard to say without seeing what the deal is exactly. However, the fact that it is a noticeable blemish is enough to call into question. The crack
may or may not be an issue. Cracks in granite countertops are a risk during install and often during sink cut out. Although, if a crack is not full-thickness and there is no lip and the granite countertop is properly supported it may never be an issue. It may never get worse and nothing to worry about. However
, when the crack is full thickness and/or it has a lip... that can develop into a problem. The lip can get chipped, water gets into the crack and it may lead to weakness elsewhere.
Usually such a crack requires replacement. Maybe not the whole granite slab. Sometimes you can replace a section, etc. The seam
sounds and looks pretty ragged. A granite countertop seam should be straight, with smooth margins and about 1/16 inch across. Also, the epoxy should be colored to match the granite color.
Sometimes a seam may need to be cut by hand, which results in a rougher cut. I'm inclined to think
that you have reason to complain, insist on correcting the issues and/or at least negotiate a discount.
Again, without seeing the granite counter top in person it's hard to say definitively. The problems may not be as big as they seem. But there's multiple and you probably didn't expect to pay for weird veins, cracks and ragged seams.
An acceptable discount is probably the path of least resistance. If they continue to ignore you, then yes, consider consulting with a lawyer.
Of course, if they ignore you they aren't asking for payment either. You just have to be concerned that they try putting a lien on your house if they are truly dastardly.
Unfortunate situation. Good Luck
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