New Kitchen Counter isn't smooth after install?
We just had new granite kitchen countertops installed, using a high-movement stone with lots of veins and embedded crystals.
The sample we were shown in the storeroom (picture attached) was smooth as glass, but our countertops will snag paper towels when wiping and I can feel the transitions from the main material to some of the veins with my fingernails.
I asked the installer about this, and first he told me that's just how this particular granite is. When I pressed him on the store sample being different, he said it could be some kind of epoxy residue from the factory (?) and took a razor blade to scrape the counter, which did scrape off some kind of whitish material (and also left a light scratch in one area).
Then he said it still needed to be sealed, and put on sealer and told us not to mess with it for 8 hours. It's been 6 hours now, and the counter surface feels kind of "plastic" when touching, but it's still not smooth everywhere. I feel cheated - are we being blown off by this guy?
The shiny smooth surface of the granite slab you saw in the showroom is exactly how a properly polished granite countertop should be.
And just FYI... no chemical or sealer makes the countertop smooth or shiny. The "polish" comes from intense friction and abrasion on big machines at the factory.
Your installer is ignorant. A granite sealer will ONLY slow down the rate of absorption to help prevent staining.
For some reason many stone salespeople and clueless installers think applying a granite sealer solves nearly any problem you may encounter.
And much like a doctor prescribing antibiotics for a cold (colds are viruses.... antibiotics don't work) he just "did something" to make it seem like he was solving a problem.
Whats worse is that he doesn't even know how to properly apply a sealer. You don't leave it on for hours. In fact, a granite sealer should not be left on the surface for more than 10 minutes in most cases and then wiped completely dry.
Thus, in addition to the existing issues you probably now have granite sealer stuck to the countertop surface... it should only be below
the surface in the pores.
So, don't listen to anything your installer has to say.
Most likely what has occurred is you picked out a color via the sample and then the installer purchased a cheap low-grade version of that granite variety.
There could be something on the surface... what that may be I have no clue. A resin is often legitimately used to fill voids, etc., but it is applied prior to polishing and absorbs into the pores... does not sit on the surface.
The long and short is that you should have got the exact slab you picked out at the warehouse. This is the only acceptable way to purchase granite or any stone.
Because granite and natural stone are "natural" products meaning there isn't any strict consistency from one slab to the next even among the same colors.
Now most slabs of the same color will be similar, but you can certainly get an extreme difference in characteristics and quality.
And if you entrusted your installer to pick out the slab, then at least you can hold him accountable to the fact that you chose a sample that was perfectly polished and that is what you expected.
So, do not pay any remaining money owed. I'd demand a brand new slab be installed. The exact slabs that you pick out. It isn't likely that any type of fix can be satisfactorily made to the current tops.