Granite countertops dont match! Am I making a big deal out of nothing?

heatherly12January 23, 2014
I ordered Arctic Cream granite for my countertops and Island. The fabricator said they would have to order two slabs for the job and sent me a picture of each. They told me there was a small difference between the two slabs, but they would just use one for the island and the other slab for the countertops - that way the differences in slabs would not be noticeable and it would all tie together. Well, once they were installed it became very obvious to me that the two slabs are quite different in color. The island has a very very yellow hue, whereas the countertops do not! It really bothers me every time I look at them and am wondering if its just me or is it something that is worth making an issue of. I have attached a few pictures and would much much appreciate your thoughts. Am I making a big deal out of nothing, or is this something I should expect for the fabricator to fix? Thanks so much for sharing!
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Amy Stokes
I think you're stuck with it. You should always look at slabs in person, especially when you're using multiple slabs of the same stone.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 1:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I canot tell from the photos. Sorry. When granite is cut into slabs each slab is numbered. To ensure the slabs match theinstaller should have used 2 sequential slabs. E.g. slab 123 and slab 124. When there are big gaps in the sequenceyou will experience changes in the color
    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 1:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
It sounds like it is REALLY bothering you ... I would immediately call them ... maybe go with an absolute black granite for the island ...
5 Likes    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 2:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Stacey at
I think it looks pretty great in the pictures, actually! The differences are apparent, but it looks intentional.
6 Likes    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 2:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
They do not match at all. I would be very upset.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 2:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Your fabricator both warned you and actually sent you a sample picture. It was then your responsibility to look at the slabs in person if you were in doubt. Honestly, I don't think you have any cause to hold them responsible. If you can't live with it, you can try to negotiate an exchange but don't expect them to offer you anything.
6 Likes    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 2:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I don't know if it's the lighting but they look like two different types of granite. I would definitely call and see if anything can be done. I think it was misleading for him to say there was a slight difference.
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 2:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Hmmm I can see the difference too. Its a shame. Try living with it for a while, if it still annoys you after a few weeks then you ay have to bite the bullet and put it down to experience. If you do decide to change it, I would go for a black granite.(On the island only)
    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 2:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
It doesn't hurt to ask them but we already know the answer. If you really hate it, (It would bother me too) use the island countertop on a bathroom vanity and get a new one for the kitchen maybe in a solid color. Can you take a better picture too
1 Like    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 2:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Really, they said to you "the differences would NOT be noticeable" .. that is what you need to keep saying to them. Stand your ground! You have learned now to go look at the slabs, but seriously: how could they install these like this?

Definitely give it a try .. don't whimp out .. stand your ground ... tell them you would like absolute black, that is not a pricey replacement.
4 Likes    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 2:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
indianpatti is right about standing your ground. Whoever did this job knew this wasn't right. How could you have known the extent of the difference from two pictures that were taken in a different setting. I think a reputable company would have insisted you look at the slabs in person.

1 Like    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 3:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Julie Quirk
The stone guys should make this right, and yes, you ALWAYS need to approve a natural material like stone and granite in person. But IF you are stuck with it, I would paint the wall behind the stove one of the darker colors found in the island granite to make it all look intentional. The two pieces do look coordinated and attractive together. It's kinda cool that there is some difference between them just because it might be an overload of just one pattern of stone if it did match. Choose a fabric that does not fight your fabulous stone, but let it pick up the darker colors in the island as well. It's certainly not a disaster. Too matchy is not as cool as stuff that "goes together"
5 Likes    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 4:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ditto with amy.always see them.. ask for a discount if they will redo
    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 5:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I used to work in the granite business. I wore many hats - sales, measurement tech, installs, fabrication, and layout. Layout is the guy who decides how the pieces get cut out of the slabs. It is very possible that even sequential slabs are that different. Can you post a pic of the whole island? Is it lighter on the end and then change color, or is the whole thing the same as the piece you've shown? If it's the whole thing, then even with sequential slabs, it's hard to imagine a layout guy not at least bringing that to someone's attention. I had to do that every once in a while and sometimes I was overruled, and sometimes I insisted. Either way, I made it known when pieces were going to look different enough that it might be an issue.

It's difficult to get them to cut a new piece for you since you approved the pictures of the slabs they sent you. It is actually quite a bit of hassle to try and find a better matching rock since these two could've been sequential and you see how different they could be. Imagine how hard it would be to match rocks from different lots or different parts of the mountain. And moving slabs around is a lot harder than turning a page. I would say your best bet would be to try and get them to replace it with a different kind of stone.
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 8:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
It looks purposeful for design reasons
    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 9:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
they do not appear to be cut from the same slab at all. Two different slabs from two different areas or shipments or whatever. Either the lighting or camera angle is bad, but it looks like the background color is not even close to matching.
    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 9:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Yes both the slabs are different from each other & the same is very much visible. I believe when you have put on money for kitchen renovation then it was task of fabricator to matched everything as per your requirement. If the same is not done properly then contact him & ask him to make required changes as per the contact.
    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 9:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
If it bothers you now, it will bother you even more later. I would try to negotiate with your fabricator. I just had granite installed and we picked two slabs that were sequential. Our fabricator taped them off for us so we could see exactly what pieces went where and we approved the layout. If he told you they were close and you would not notice the difference, then that was misleading. You both were a bit at fault. You should look at the pieces in person if at all possible, but you were misled. Perhaps the fabricator can split the difference with you for a complimentary island slab.

Speak now or live with it. I am really sorry. I know what a big deal picking granite is and how disappointed you must feel when it doesn't come out how you envisioned.

It does look different to me. Good luck.
    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 9:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
You paid good money, and if looking at it gets you every time, simply call the company and listen to there options. I do see a difference and it would bother me too, plus I'm sure that counter will be there for many more years. Good luck
    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 9:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
This is a worse case scenario: But if they don't replace or refund, could you sell the island piece(assuming it's easy enough to take off?) ? It's absolutely stunning--the granite. Honestly, I think a solid wood replacement or a simple black granite on the island would only magnify the beauty of your choice. At the end of the day, It still(both pieces of granite) looks gorgeous to me(even if there's a variation) but it's your space.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 10:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
The Cabinet Studio (Canada) Inc.
Hi Heatherly,

From the picture it does look quite noticeable and I would definitely see what can be done about fixing the situation. However, if you don't get anywhere with them then I would suggest choosing a backsplash that ties in the darker tones of the island surface making sure of course that it looks nice with the rest of the tops as well. Or like one gal said above, simply paint the wall if you are waiting on tile!

I haven't read all of the comments but I did see a few people suggest black granite for the island. Please consider the amount of fingerprints you will be seeing daily on the island. Yikes!! If they are willing to only change the island top I would recommend a colour with a lot of movement through it but that has the same base tone to it. So it looks intentional but sticks to the white family rather than yellow.

Best of luck!
Let us know how it goes!
We will keep our fingers crossed for you that your fabricator does the right thing!
Leigh and T
    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 10:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I will say it looks like the same TYPE of granite. It has a lot of tonal AND pattern variation! (YIKES). If I was matching stone for something, that is too far off. The thing is that both the background and general tonal values are different PLUS the patterning is different. I would talk to the fabricators about getting this replaced! Do not go black you'll regret it more. Go in person and try to pick something else, and have the piece they have to take off made into a bathroom vanity top or something like that.
    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 11:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Yeah, it's different enough. But you did agree, darn it. That said, no good stone company should do that to a client. They should have insisted you come out to inspect each slab and approve the exact cuts. Now moving forward - they did you wrong, so negotiate! Be strong. Decide exactly what you want first, then stick to it. I don't know where you live, but that granite is fairly common, so you should be able to find plenty of slabs to choose from to match either the island or the counters.

As for going with black on the island, not a bad idea, but only if that's what you want! Don't do Absolute Black though, it's got gold sparkles in it. Look for Mesabi Black, a better match to the Arctic. Yes, it shows oily finger prints, so if that bugs you, consider a honed surface. But now your kitchen is not near the same look as you planned for :(
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 12:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Heatherly12, I'm not sure if it's the lighting from my PC but are island cabinets gray and the rest of the kitchen white? If so, I wouldn't worry too much. It makes the contrast a lot more interesting.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 12:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I think it looks fine. I actually like it. Yes, there is variation, that's part of the fun of using a natural stone.

But if you aren't happy with it, as others have suggested, it doesn't hurt to call and see what your options are. Approach them in a friendly way, not angry. (More peas with honey than vinegar, as the saying goes).

And, if it were my kitchen, I would rather have what you have, than change the island to a black.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 3:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
One Stop Home Shop
I agree it looks great and is actually one of the trends.

That being said, if you decide you can love it, talk to you fabricator anyways about some kind of rebate because regardless of how lovely it is, it is not what you asked for. As a shop owner, I would give our customer as much of a discount as I could, at the very least.

I also agree that you get more with honey than vinegar! LOL
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 4:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kim D
Using different granite colors is all the rage right now, just do a search in HOUZZ on "mixing granite" you will see all the beautiful jobs that the pros did with variations in granite colors/slabs.... I think it looks awesome!!! If anyone points out the difference to you (which I doubt) you can say because you are so creative and cutting edge, it was done that way on purpose.......right.......
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 5:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
How about painting the island a different, darker color plus adding some of the darker color to the backsplash, as others have suggested. I would consider a white subway tile with a bit of cream overtone and a dark liner tile. Then it would look totally intentional, rather than a near miss.

Not sure if it is a shadow or a facing on the island, but it looks like the front is darker than the rest, faced in sort of wenge type veneer. Continuing the dark colors in the island and having contrast in your tones will bring some life to the kitchen. I know it is a work in progress but all middle-tone greige is rather dull, and the slight difference between the island and the rest of the cabinets is not dramatic enough anyway, and so looks like a mismatch.

That is what happens when you have tones that are close but not quite matching--it looks like a mistake. Darkening the cabinets will actually make the top look a bit lighter too in comparison. Matching neutral undertones is really hard and I recommend Maria Killiam's website Colour Me Happy for guidance on that.

BTW, those are nice garbage cans, but the placement looks a bit awkward.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 7:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Nancy Travisinteriors
It might be hard to get him to fix. It's not that bad. But, if he sent you a pic and you signed off on it. You eat it. You should have said something at the time of install. Granite is a natural,stone, it will have variations in colors. That's the chance you take when buying two slabs. You didn't see in person.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 8:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Nancy Travisinteriors
Add a backsplash you may not notice then. Do others say something when they see room?
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 8:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I've been coming back to this thread for the past few days, not commenting, trying to make up my mind what I think. I've realized that my hesitation to weigh in on this question lies in the photos you've provided, all of which look like they were taken in a fishbowl. That is, everything looks greenish--cabinets, walls, etc. (This isn't a criticism of your photographic technique, by the way. The light in my rooms always looks terrible when I try to take photographs--either too dark in daylight or too yellow under artificial light). So barring the addition of new photographs with a more natural light, here's my question. You say that the granite on the island is "very, very yellow" in hue, whereas the perimeter counters are not. In the photos they all look yellow to me, just darker and lighter shades. So I'm curious whether they truly do have different undertones or whether one simply looks like a darker version of the same undertones (like the graduated colors on a paint chip being more or less saturated versions of the same formula)? If they are simply darker and lighter versions of the same, then I think I would try to make the kitchen coordinate with both so that it looks intentional. If they truly have different undertones--one yellow and one not--then I think it is harder to hide the problem with a coordinating backsplash and/or wall paint color. Either way I'd certainly ask whether the fabricator will replace the granite. But if the answer is "no," then my advice is different depending on just how different the undertones of those two granite pieces are.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 8:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Brandi Nash Hicks
Take the slab off the island and use it Ina bathroom or laundry room and get something darker for the island ,that way you update another room and save the money
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 9:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
So my fabricator is here today and I talked to him about your granite and dilemma. He agreed that the runs were different, but he also had some interesting ideas. He said that the outside counters can be stained to match your center island IF your granite has not been sealed. I know you wanted the arctic white look, but if you don't mind the warmer tones of the island your counters can be fixed. Weird timing. He is here working on the end of our backsplash.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 11:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sorry, no edit on ipad. He also said if they had been sealed it is possible. There are chemicals to take a sealant off.
    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 12:01PM
Sign Up to comment
Related Discussions
granite countertops
Please someone help me asap. I need to make a quick...
Granite or plain quartz countertop?
I'm trying to select a countertop to go with these...
Granite seam MAKING ME ANGRY :( can it be improved?
just had granite installed today and the seam is pretty...
Make something out of nothing
We're purchasing a gone from a builder that won't allow...
I just don't like kitchen islands. Am I alone out there?
Every kitchen these days has an island. A kitchen table...
More Discussions
Tell us: What would you hide in your Secret Room?
More and more often, we see photos on Houzz of secret...
Emily Hurley
Outdated Vanity/Bathroom Advice
Wondering how to tie in new vanity with old tile? ...
Do you have an opinion about an under-counter located microwave oven?
I find them a pain because I have to kneel or bend...
Need designer/architect for wedding venue
Can anyone advise on how I could go about getting some...
Abby Gaurino
help with italian family restaurant
My family owns a neighborhood Italian restaurant. We...
Anthony Iolascon
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™