729zoom2

Is this seam in middle of sink acceptable?

S Briz
March 2, 2017
last modified: March 2, 2017

Our marble countertops are almost installed and so far everything is ok except that the sink cut out was made too big in the front (so the sink reveal is not the same in the front as is it in the back) and there is a seam right in the middle of the sink that is very visible from across the room. I sent the picture to the contractor and he says this will all be fixed, that they are not finished. But I am not sure possible? I am interested in hearing from pros on what would be possible, what is considered acceptable by industry standards, what recourse I may have and from other homeowners on how they would respond. Thank you.

Comments (92)

  • granite guru
    No need for pictures if you can see a scratch then they should fix it. The only reason they can get out of not repairing a scratch is if it was there when you purchased the slabs The scratches by the seam are obviously them.
  • S Briz

    Granite Geru - I just took these of a few of the scratches I see. It also looks like they stained it with some of that dye they were using in the glue in a few spots. Please tell me what you think. I am not looking to get out of paying for work, nor do I wish to be unreasonable. I just don't want to be taken advantage and not get what I pay for. Thank you.


  • Related Discussions

    Help! Seam at sink bad?

    Q

    Comments (14)
    Exactly my point....plus you would need about six big hods to carry it in. Actually, I should clarify a bit. If you know the chosen top material is not long enough for your top, you will have a seam. I would think strength and water containment would be the greater issues than aesthetics. Maybe you should chose solid surface instead. Even so, a hard, brittle surface of any type is going to be a problem transporting and installing it safely. I have been working with another contractor who said they made up a big top once, carried it into the house and it broke when they went to set it on the cabinets.
    ...See More

    Show me your seamed Granite counter tops. Should seams be invisible ?

    Q

    Comments (39)
    Seams are usual when granite countertops are installed, as well as quartz countertops. Depending on your kitchen layout and the size of the surface that needs to be covered, there will be more or fewer seams. Now, granite has unique patterns and swirls of color and this is why you should be the one who will pick your slab(s) and your fabricator (installer) should provide you with all the necessary information prior to installation. Basically, when you pick edge for your countertops, this is the time when measurements should be done and you should be provided with information how your countertops will look like. Matching the patterns in granite is the most challenging part of the job when doing seams and it seems to me that your installers did a great job.
    ...See More

    placement of granite seam re sink and faucet

    Q

    Comments (3)
    Centered on the faucet is fine. The epoxy they use to create the seam is nearly as strong as the stone itself. It also means there will be less visible seam ... It is done this way all the time.
    ...See More

    would you advise putting a seam in a quartz countertop at your sink

    Q

    Comments (8)
    I have remodeled two houses, one with an regular undermount and one with an apron sink, both had seams in the middle of the sink and you could not see either one. There were no seams anywhere else.
    ...See More
  • PRO
    Cinar Interiors, Inc.

    For future reference, if you scratch your counter top you can use an enhancing sealer to hide them.

    S Briz thanked Cinar Interiors, Inc.
  • S Briz

    Let me also add that this company has a 5 star rating on this site as well. They had only 1 bad review on Yelp from a guy who complained that they were middlemen that farmed out the work to subcontractors and that they didn't do cuts that were straight. But that was one review out of many. Speaking of cuts that are not straight, my husband noticed one this morning. Not sure if you can tell from the picture but the cut at the top slopes down. I THINK this cut was made before they showed up. but it might have been re-cut.

  • S Briz

    The scratches in the pictures above were made by them. I went to the marble yard and inspected the slabs myself. They were perfect.

  • S Briz

    Granite Geru or anyone on this forum- is there an organization or some 3rd party neutral source that I can access that provides industry standard guidelines for stone countertop installations? Based on my conversations with the owner, I sense I will need some kind of "authority" to make my case with him regarding the scratches. The more I look closely, the more scratches and stains from their dye that I find, too. I suppose I need to give them the opportunity to do the repairs but not feeling very confident considering that they were so careless to create them in the first place.

  • granite guru

    let them finish in peace and cross that bridge when you get there.

  • S Briz

    Granite guru - they declared the job finished minus the cleaning and sealer. That is why I asked him if the cleaning included buffing out the scratches. He said no. I will request again and cross the bridge.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    "They tried to tell me silicone was enough to hold up an over 100 pound cast iron sink."


    This is why I've reattached over 50 sinks at $300.00 a pop. I've yet to get a callback.


    "is there an organization or some 3rd party neutral source that I can access that provides industry standard guidelines for stone countertop installations? "


    Yes.

    S Briz thanked Joseph Corlett, LLC
  • S Briz

    Hi Joseph, what is the organization? I think that would be the best way since I already mentioned to the owner of the company the scratches and got his negative response, I need to have something more than just me when I go back and ask again that he fix this.

  • PRO
    GN Builders L.L.C

    I had about 3-5 calls in the last 2 years where they used silicone to mount the sinks, they all failed. Undermount clips and anchors have to be used in any sink installation.

  • barncatz

    Sally, it's The Marble Institute of America and Joseph's "Yes" is a link you should be able to click on to download a .pdf guide for homeiwners that he linked to.

    S Briz thanked barncatz
  • S Briz

    thank you. I will call them on Monday. I forgot to mention that he also said that because marble was very delicate, can't prevent scratching as the reason he was not willing to remove the scratches caused by the work. His stance seemed very much to be that leaving scratches was just a normal part of the deal and should be expected. We had two other countertops installed in the past. One was granite and the other silestone. There was no damage, not a scratch or mark left. The seams were nearly invisible. So, this is why I wanted to ask on a forum to find out if what he is saying is correct from others. Because if it is normal, I will accept that but I wasn't prepared for that to be the case and want to be sure I am just not being jerked around because he doesn't want to fix it.

  • PRO
  • S Briz

    Hi GN - Did you post the above because my detail at edge of sink is incorrect? I can't tell. so confusing.

  • PRO
    GN Builders L.L.C

    Do you have something like this?

    Or like this?

    S Briz thanked GN Builders L.L.C
  • S Briz

    I am not really sure? I believe I have it set back from the sink edge. Can you tell me from these pictures?

  • PRO
    GN Builders L.L.C

    Yes, you have a setback, how is your sink mounted from the bottom? Do you have clips like in the pictures or just silicone holds the sink in place?

  • S Briz

    I bought a sink setter and my husband and I installed it before they showed up to install. Sink Setter

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    GN Builders, LLC:


    As her first three pictures indicate, the sink is held in place with a Sink Setter. Considering the lack of structure of her cabinets, this is a superior method to the clips specified by the MIA.

    S Briz thanked Joseph Corlett, LLC
  • studio3600
    Those installers suck!
  • PRO
    GN Builders L.L.C

    Thanks, Joseph! That flew right over me.

    S Briz thanked GN Builders L.L.C
  • S Briz

    The installers had never heard of sink setter when we asked them about how we would have the sink supported. In fact, the guy who came out to do the template (and the sales guy) told me not to buy unless I could take it back because they used plywood supports underneath. Luckily, I ended up speaking to the inventor of Sink Setter, who invited me down to Huntington Beach (about 45 minute drive) to get it since I couldn't get it fast enough on Amazon and he showed me how it worked. When the installers showed up we had the sink all in place for them. But, I still asked them about their plywood support (thinking I might be able to use both since sink so heavy) and they said they had no idea what the template guy was talking about and only used silicone! (Sink setter inventor told me no to silicone but caulk with silicone so talk about confusing.)

    My husband and I have done most of the work in the kitchen ourselves and the installer tells me I am "over contracting" by being so involved but I now realize that I have no choice!

    The other thing that bothers me is that all the marble and tile places recommended Dry Treat Plus to seal the marble so I just bought it (told I can use it later even if sealed with something else.) These guys (the owner, the template guy or the installers) had never even heard of Dry-Treat. When I was confirming with the owner weeks ago that sealing would be included, I asked him what he used and he said BulletProof. Yet, they showed up with a brand from Home Depot (511) the first day. (How dare I ask the guys installing to show me the bottles, right?) I then asked the owner about the sealers and said I would purchase the Dry-Treat if they would use that instead, but then learned from company that they require certified applicators and that the stone must be dry before applying, etc. I then told the owner what I had learned and he tried to tell me they were certified to apply something they had never heard of. They have not yet sealed it so now I am back to wanting Dry-Treat as first sealer instead of trying to apply later over another sealer. That is IF I can count on this company to apply properly. However, I am getting more and more uneasy about all that has happened.

    Lastly, the communication between their "teams" is also not great. I had to insist that the owner include putting on the last couple of pencil liners where the marble backsplash and mosaic behind the stove would meet as part of the job and it was like pulling teeth to get him to put any of his verbal assurances in writing. Even after all of this, the guys who showed up had no idea they needed to put them on or, more importantly, how the marble needed to go in for it to work. If I had not been there and "over contracting" that could have been a disaster, as they would have assumed the pencils were to go in between and cut the marble wrong and also not compensated to assure the materials would be even on the surface.

    Today, I plan to write up an e-mail request to the owner regarding the scratches. I feel like I need someone other than the guy with the razor blades to do the fixes, though.

  • wannabath

    You live in LA? Go on Craigslist and search the net for local granite/marble shops. SOCAL is the world headquarters for prefabbed slabs that are dirt cheap. They are available in every color from quartz to marble. That entire kitchen if 10x10 including sink would be under $2k installed and done easily.

    You have to learn to cut your losses. Adding an additional $2k for new counters to finish your job properly in the end would be worth it. If you encountered a slab leak, plumbing issue, etc you would have had to pay for it anyway right? It is just going to snowball and be that much more expensive to correct as you progress.

    Have another Co come in and advise you. I have marble on a vanity in master bath and will tell you there is no way on earth I would have it anywhere near a kitchen sink. Just because it looks great in pics of staged kitchens does not mean it works in a real working kitchen. You can seal it all you want it will absorb water and always look spotted. Polished marble does not take sealer because of the polishing. You are taking the dirtiest part of your kitchen and surrounding it with the most delicate surface?? On an island I would say go for it.

    That sink 1/2 full of water is easily 150lbs and needs to be supported especially with marble on IKEA cabinets. Just remember all those tricks they are using to get it acceptable to get out from under that job will all come back and show up. Ask for money back and move on. Go to HD and pick up a 12x12 carrera tile and lightly hit it with a hammer you will understand.

    House should flag every posts that has the keywords marble, chalk paint and paint cabinets.

  • S Briz

    Hi Wannabath -

    Are you suggesting I tear it out and start over based on the material or the installation? I can't even imagine going through the stress of this all over.

    Yes, I live in LA but the slabs alone cost me over $2400 and the installers are charging me over $3500. I went to many marble yards and got 5 estimates from installer/fabricators and all were about the same so not sure how I could have done my kitchen for under $2000.

    My husband and I were also very concerned about proper support for the cast iron sink and why we installed SinkSetter and set the sink ourselves before the installers arrived. I am told that SinkSetter will easily support the weight of the sink filled with water and dishes.

    My husband and I are older, have no kids in the house and are very careful. We love the marble so much that I am willing to deal with the maintenance. I was told a few months ago that I have a brain tumor (likely very treatable but still scary) so my rainy day has arrived and my practical side out the window. I decided I want marble and that was it.

    The issue for me is I wanted to get the marble slabs I loved installed by the best fabricator to have it expertly installed to make the most of the stone and not to damage it in the process.

  • S Briz

    Update - I sent the owner a polite e-mail requesting that he fix the scratches, finish work on the seams, remove the excess glue, fill in the gaps and attached pictures of problem areas. He never responded to the e-mail but, instead, called to tell me that the guys were on their way to finish the job and seal. I then texted him to please read his e-mail and he called and told me that I had agreed to never send him another e-mail and that all issues only be discussed by phone. I never agreed to not send him an e-mail. I only agreed not to contact one of his "managers" regarding any issues - that I deal direct with him. Anyway, his guys showed up to "finish" but were not prepared to deal with the scratches - they were just going to scrape a little more glue and seal. We went back and forth and they were on the phone with the owner and then, after they spent a little while scraping the bad seam, they tell me they were leaving to buy sand paper and would be back. They have not come back yet but the owner has called several times asking me to return his call. I texted him telling him that my understanding from all conversations was that his guys were returning with sanding supplies to finish the job, my husband would inspect tonight and that he would come out tomorrow to seal himself. The fact that the owner only wants to discuss via phone bothers me. I want a paper trail via e-mail of what we are discussing so there is not a question regarding what either of us has said or agreed upon. In the meantime, I can't get my dishwasher installed or plumbing because the plumber says he doesn't want to do that until after the countertop is sealed. Meanwhile, this is what the seam looks like now after they did more work on it this morning. For some reason, it looks worse to me, not better. Any thoughts on how it looks now and what I should do? :(



  • chiflipper

    Sally, the fabricator has had his chance to correct the issues. A calm, polite face-to-face conversation goes like this; "We really appreciate your efforts but are still not happy with the overall result. We are therefore going to withhold the balance of money owed you UNTIL we have a "marble expert" come in to repair the issues. When the expert has corrected the issues we will happily pay your balance after deducting the cost of repairs." Stand firm and wear your "big girl panties"...you can do this.

    S Briz thanked chiflipper
  • pat1250

    Repeat after chiflipper verbatim. And paper trails a must, or record phone calls.

  • S Briz

    I hear you. I can do this but just hate dealing with conflict. I wish they had done a great job and I could just make final payment and give them a 5 star review instead of waiting to fix this and have to fight over it.

  • S Briz

    and now one of the workers has returned.

  • acm

    I think the seam looks much better. Sounds like they've labelled you a problem customer at this point, though, so it's going to be hard to get them to do any more. So sorry. Maybe let a few days pass and look into sealing this yourself -- you'll probably be doing it again in the future anyway...

  • S Briz

    acm - I agree it looks better on the bottom but only better in comparison to how it looked before they started working on it last week. But it looks wider/worse on the top to me than it did before. It just jumps out at me and looks very amateurish. I know that not always possible to make seams nearly invisible but I would have expected the seam to, at least, be cleaner looking. If this were your kitchen, you would be OK leaving like this?

  • PRO
    AHI Stoneworks

    Granite and quartz are both more durable than marble. The fabricator or showroom that you purchased the marble from should have told you about how marble is soft (and therefore scratches easily) and shows stains very easily. There are fabricators that always place their seams in the middle of the sink to utilize the most of the material, however other fabricators do not place the seams in the middle of the kitchen sink due to line of eyesight. It just depends upon the craftsman that you choose to go with or if you know in advance then you can request for the seam not to be in the middle of the sink.

  • PRO
    Cinar Interiors, Inc.

    Chiflipper hit the nail on the head, that is exactly how you would say it. You bought the slabs without scratches and there's no reason for them to be scratch the way they are now. Withhold final payment until these issues are fixed.

  • S Briz

    After sanding or buffing (I think, as they had the room blocked with plastic so I couldn't see) the guys announced they were finished and called me in to inspect. In less than 30 seconds, I find more glue residue and they scraped it up with a razor in front of me and go back to work. Then they announced finished again and call me in to inspect again but I find still more glue residue. This happened 3 times. The marble shine is also uneven and it looks like tape residue on spots. I recall the slab having a very even, brilliant sheen that was very smooth when I ran my hand over it when I bought it. There was no etching, no scratches, no residue, no watermarks. I would think if they had thoroughly buffed or sanded, no glue or rough spots would remain? Yet they kept trying to get me to say it was all great and I was satisfied but I couldn't because every time I ran my hand on the surface, I didn't like what I felt and I still see the scratches that they say are part of the stone. Maybe a marble expert needs to come in and determine?

    To top it off, I believe one of the guys was recording me with his iphone when he was asking me to say I was satisfied. I told him it was illegal to record someone without their knowledge and he denied he was recording but also wouldn't turn his phone around so I could verify this and his expression screamed "caught." This is really a nightmare.

    attaching picture of what looks like tape residue. So hard to show in pictures what I can feel or see in certain lights. I don't understand how this is OK?

  • PRO
    GN Builders L.L.C

    Sally I think you will go down in history with that company as "Marbzilla" and you will be the star in many conversations among them for a very long time LOL

  • virginia lynn

    I would not say i was satisfied until those marks are gone

  • furniturefinder

    In this case, I don't think the squeaky wheel gets the oil. I feel so sorry for you. The last pix looks better, but when paying these prices, the last thing you want to worry about is something looking better-it should make you smile every time you walk into your kitchen.

    S Briz thanked furniturefinder
  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    Sally:

    I don't think that's a tape mark. They've "burned" or "orange peeled" the stone. Fortunately this isn't estone. They have to start over. Fellow columnist Fred Houston explains here.

    S Briz thanked Joseph Corlett, LLC
  • S Briz

    Joesph, when you say they've burned the stone and have to start over, do you mean start over to repolish or rip it out? This really is a nightmare. I was worried that allowing the same guys who made the mistakes to "fix" it might be a bad idea. I feel sick.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    No tear-out is necessary. They've just got to read Fred's link and practice. It's a rookie mistake; one I've made myself.

    S Briz thanked Joseph Corlett, LLC
  • S Briz

    Thanks, Joe. I don't think I want rookies touching anything anymore.

  • ldecor54

    Sadly your in a situation that happens too often. I'll be surprised if this ever gets totally resolved. At some point the width of the seam cannot be "fixed". Color of fill could be altered, maybe that will help a little. Time to play hardball unfortunately. Sorry your going thru this. It's not fun!

    S Briz thanked ldecor54
  • PRO
    GN Builders L.L.C

    That last picture it looks like a duct tape or other tape residue mark and it should come off, just have to watch what being used to get that off because marble does stain from pretty much everything, especially if wrong cleaning solution is used plus it can be easily scratched if not careful.

    That being said....Sally, IMO this is the time where you need to put a stop to all this and separate yourself from these installers and get an expert in this field to assess this situation and if expert finds that they did screw up or ruined the stone, have them put everything in writing ; they screw up this countertop and the install and it's beyond repairs and must be replaced; or they performed substandard work and this or that needs to be done, or they were negligent; or they did not follow appropriate installation or finishing methods according to an industry standard guidelines, etc. You need a company like this to do that for you... here is the link you can try to contact Ceramic Tile & Stone consultants and get needed information how it works, what it cost and get the assessment done, or see if you have other companies who are certified to make such assessments.

    This way if they find the did something wrong and exceeded the industry standards tolerances... you have something solid and you can send a copy of that report to your previous installers and tell them that you will be hiring someone else to remedy the problems and demand compensation. If they're not willing to settle the only thing you can do is contact your attorney and see what legal options you have if you want to take this all away.

    Because at this point you upset, there is a bad blood between you and the installers, plus everyone here is adding fuel to the fire and this been going on for two days and going back and forth... this is going nowhere. No one should be experiencing this or dealing with this on a simple countertop install.

    I hope you resolve this quick so you can enjoy your new beautiful kitchen.

    Good luck!

    S Briz thanked GN Builders L.L.C
  • S Briz

    Thank you, I also contacted the Marble Institute of America and getting names of experts because, I agree, I need to have someone come and view the job and provide an independent assessment. Regarding that being tape. That was also my first thought that it was tape but it won't come off and I just went in to see if I could scrape it up with razor blade myself. It seems to be imbedded in the stone or part of the stone. (I was up late with one of the razors the guys left getting more glue off in corners so I have now taught myself how to remove glue residue.) I also can see a similar texture in spots all over the countertop and other dull spots - like etching from water. I have no idea what they used to polish but it has lost it's perfectly uniform shine, which was also very glassy. I don't get it. The owner sent me a text this morning asking to return to inspect and complete the job and saying he has never - in all his years in the business - had a customer unhappy. How many times do I need to give these guys to finish? He has already come out to see the job twice. I am exhausted.

  • PRO
    AHI Stoneworks

    Marble Institute of America has a listing of their members who homeowners should use and they also have an accredited fabricator listing. Accredited Fabricators have to undergo a more rigorous process of being vetted before they can become an accredited fabricator for the Marble Institute of America. Homeowners can look for this certification in a fabricators shop! The sad thing is most homeowners do not know about this so they never think to ask.

    S Briz thanked AHI Stoneworks
  • wannabath

    Like I said this will never end with a proper job. You have to come to terms that you will accept an imperfect job or use the leverage to get money back to use on a new counter.

    Marble is one of those materials things that look great in staged pics and no insult meant but people like you insist on using it against everybody's recommendation and then always have an issue. That is why everyone recommended not using it. The scratches and imperfections you see no will be 10 fold by next year.

    Now the installer has spent days trying to fix and is just as furious as your are. Any money possibly refunded has now been spent on labor. Now they will say the have made so many attempts and that you are the one being unreasonable. Contacting Marble whatever is not going to change the material or install.

    When experience tilers install marble they have the owner sign a waiver as there is ALWAYS just this one spot that looks bad. I have it, I have installed it and no I don't care if you are single and take out it is abad choice for a counter around a sink and all the above is the reason why.

    Good luck and hope it works out but it is marble and an inexperienced installer. It will just get worse. sorry!

    My point was in your area the cost of counters is considerably less then across the USA. I would rather have correct material installed properly pre fabs then the above.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    "Accredited Fabricators have to undergo a more rigorous process of being vetted before they can become an accredited fabricator for the Marble Institute of America."


    I did a countertop consulting job several years ago, comparing the work that was done to the MIA standards. I hit the jackpot when I found out the fabricator was an MIA member. Now he was faced with settling or having my client reveal to the MIA that he was not keeping his word to follow the MIA standards, as he is sworn to do to keep his membership. He settled and she kept his secret safe.

  • Lynda

    S Briz, what was the outcome? Did you have a positive result?

  • mintcar123

    I'm wondering the same thing, S Briz. I'm having a problem with my counter install too. :(

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268