chippy_rn

HELP! Huge granite problem!!!!

chippy_rn
September 9, 2019

Hello!


This is a long post but I am desperate for help! This has been 8 weeks of hell so any advice is much appreciated!!!!


We just built a new house and moved in July. During our pre-delivery walk through we discovered that our beautiful leathered white fantasy granite in our kitchen was stained yellow and green in 5 large spots along the parameter.


Long story short we did not feel comfortable keeping these counters as multiple granite techs said these were chemical stains and they were not able to remove them. After a lot of back and forth with the builder they agreed to replace them.


On Thursday, the granite company came with the new slabs. There is a long piece that is cut out for the undermount sink that has to join up with the corner and together it makes an L. There is a single seam in this area. The damaged granite was a perfect match and the seam was invisible. On Thursday they laid down the pieces and the sink piece was a darker gray and the corner was white. This looked terrible so they agreed to try again. They left and came back Friday with two brand new pieces from a brand new slab. Those also did not match. They took one from Thursday and one from Friday and the match was decent; installed them and then realized the sizing was incorrect. They had to rip those out, trim the one piece and reinstall. When they did this we realized the part they trimmed was the area that made the two pieces blend together.


The owner of the store was here today and they are willing to help us. One huge issue, there are no more slabs of this granite. They claim they cannot find anymore. They have the same granite but in a polished finish.


My question is; do I do polished along the parameter with a leathered island, butler's pantry and a small area of parameter that is on the other side of the kitchen? Do I learn to live with the mismatched pieces (they are driving me insane)? Or do we rip everything out and go with something we don't love as much?


I am literally sick over this. We sacrificed so much for this house and I feel like either way we now have to settle. I have attached a few picture to show what it looks like now.


Thanks so much!




Comments (52)

  • K R

    Here’s what I would do, call around and try to find it. If you can, prepare all the information for them and tell them to take care of it. Unfortunately you can’t just accept what they’re saying, you have to do the leg work. Hopefully someone has it.

    chippy_rn thanked K R
  • calidesign

    I would have them re do ALL the countertops with the polished finish. It will mainly give you the same look and color that you wanted. Or ask them how long you would have to wait for the honed finish to be available. The color matching is completely not acceptable. ALL the granite pieces need to be chosen at the same time. Let the builder know that if the installers cannot fix this to your satisfaction, you want a new installer.

    chippy_rn thanked calidesign
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  • chippy_rn

    Thank you for the input! I do plan on calling around to see what I can find! It's hard for me to believe that no one anywhere has this piece of granite. My husband did mention that we may have to just do the polished granite everywhere. We aren't sure if they will charge us for the replacement of the undamaged pieces or not. This was obviously their mistake so we don't feel like anything should come out of our pockets.


    We also don't understand why it was so difficult to find a decent match. I know granite is natural but this is literally the third try and is obviously still looks terrible. I would have assumed that a professional granite company would be able to look at a slab and find a decent area to seam (even if they needed to do two seams). However I know nothing about this so I could be wrong.


    Thanks again, my stomach is honestly in knots. I worked a lot of extra shifts to pay for this granite and I absolutely loved it. Knowing it likely will have to go breaks my heart :(

  • calidesign

    You should not have to pay for their mistake, or accept a granite finish that doesn't match the finish in the other parts of your kitchen. The builder needs to give you all one type of granite, that you agree on. He can go back to the installer for reimbursement for their mistake. Remodeling or building is really stressful, but I'm sure there is a solution, and once you are finished you can relax and enjoy your home. Take a deep breath!

    chippy_rn thanked calidesign
  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.

    The sink is one foot to the right- why isn’t the seam there? (Centered on the sink, I realize that is more than a foot)

    chippy_rn thanked HALLETT & Co.
  • megs1030

    I agree with the others. I would have them rip it out and replace. I'd call around to some distributors and see if they can locate it or source it. Of course, if the stone is not from the same lot, it may look very different than what is in your kitchen now. I'm so sorry you are going through this!

    chippy_rn thanked megs1030
  • felizlady

    When shopping for granite, you want to check the labels on each slab to find granite from the same source, same site cut and numbered sequentially for the best match. Because granite is nature’s creation, there can be slight to more-than-moderate differences in veining and color, even when they have the same name. I needed three slabs for my kitchen because I use the same granite for both the counters and the backsplash. Variations are so minor that they don’t matter. Also, a capable fabricator will work very hard for the closest match in contiguous areas, mapping out the cuts for the best results.

    chippy_rn thanked felizlady
  • chippy_rn

    Thank you so much everyone!


    We do agree that we will not settle on this. None of this was any of our doing; not the staining of the original granite or the issues we are having now. We shouldn't have to be the ones who have to budge on what we want because of other peoples' carelessness.


    I plan on trying to look around to see if I can find another slab. If not we will likely ask them to remove everything from the entire kitchen and we will chose something else (even though it breaks my heart!)


    HALLETT & Co. I was wondering that as well. They told me they can never make the seam there because the sink is the weakest part? Not sure if that is true or not!


    Thanks again everyone!

  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.

    People make seams at sinks ALL THE TIME. This installer may not be skilled enough to do so...


    Maybe time for a different fabricator. This may be a budget fabricator that is used to doing 'good enough' for production builders.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    Okay I have no idea of what you are asking withouut seeing pictures of the issues. IMO when you go granite shopping you tag and take a picture of the slabs you choose. So in this case the stains were probablt there so not sure about them. You say friday they came with pieces from a snew slab if they were from one slab then they match there is no way other than a match from one slab. Sink seams are the norm usually but if the slab the sink couout is long there is always a risk of breakage at the sink cuttout . This is natural stone and IMO you should have gone with quartz it is more “perfect” I think the stone yard and the fabricator have gone way past what they owe you. IMO go with a polished finish that they are willing to do and move on.

  • itsourcasa

    Patricia, there are photos there. Natural stone or not, you would accept what they did?

    chippy_rn thanked itsourcasa
  • Janie Gibbs-BRING SOPHIE BACK

    Hi Chippy,

    You're probably not going to like my post.

    Honestly?

    At this point I'd drop 10 yards and punt.

    Meaning I would go in an entirely new direction.

    New slab, new fabricator, new everything.

    Sending you a cyber hug.

    chippy_rn thanked Janie Gibbs-BRING SOPHIE BACK
  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    These guys aren't going to be in business for very long.

    chippy_rn thanked Joseph Corlett, LLC
  • chippy_rn

    Patricia Colwell Consulting - we DID choose the original slabs. I STILL have photos of them on my phone from February when we chose them. There were no stains them. Multiple people have already proven that it was stained by someone doing work in the house. The stains were circular and on the edges of the parameter, like they were placing a leaking canister or something and constantly moving it. We paid a large amount of money for these counters and they were ruined by someone's negligence. Now the replacement looks like crap. So you're saying we aren't entitled to what we paid thousands of dollars for? Also we were told by professionals that quartz isn't preferred in the kitchen as it damages easily when exposed to heat.


    Thank you everyone again for your responses. We were there again today and they actually did have a new slab. They are pulling the old piece out and going to lay it out beside it to attempt to get the best match. If not we have selected another granite for the surround. We talked about looking around but we have had major issues with our builder and I think we would be paying out of pocket to go elsewhere. I'm just crossing my fingers this one matches and we can move on with our lives. I greatly appreciate all the advice and support!

  • bjohn22047

    I definitely would not accept this. It will make you unhappy every time you look at the mismatched area.

    i would take the suggestion of Patricia Colwell Consulting and go with Quartz. More current and NO maintenance. Carefree and easily maintained. No sealing ever. Cleans easily and maintains Beautiful finish!

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    odd place for a seam. usually it's made off to the side of the corner in the L. That's their main error. Lets see the entire countertop

    just an example. this isn't exact, but gives you an idea of where they seam. this way, you get an entire smooth run along your sink



    Chippy, have you had the new one cut yet?

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan

    New fabricator. Builder is using cheapest guy I would guess. They don't know what they are doing. New direction. But you will have to get builder to agree since he is paying the bill! So sorry you are going through this. Unfortunately, too many poor fabricators out there. They bid really low to get "builder's" work and then this is what happens. I much prefer granite over quartz so just keep the pressure on and get a look you love. Definitely not a quality job in any sense of the word. But, you do have to really "birddog" this from now on. Don't accept anything when you see it being installed. Observe templating, install, seaming, etc. Most of these crews aren't properly supervised either. So big industry problem. Homeowner's want "best" price and this is sometimes a result. Not saying this is what happened in your case, but production builders have very tight margins, so they squeeze their subs hard. I would definitely get out in your area, or beyond and see what's available. Don't trust photos on the Internet. You have to put your eyeballs on the slabs and note all the information on the side of the slab that uniquely identifies each slab, bundle, etc. I take photos of that information as well, and I try to get the sales person holding up my cabinet or some drawer so I have proof of the individual slab and their representative. Trick of the trade! Good luck!

  • oldryder

    I am a fabricator. "Multiple people have already proven that it was stained by someone doing work in the house." The beginning of this problem is not the fault of the fabricator. The GC has responsibility as it was one of his subs (unless you also had people working in the house.) Get it all replaced, preferably by another fabricator, as I am sure the original one is done trying to fix a problem he did not create.


    "We aren't sure if they will charge us for the replacement of the undamaged pieces or not. This was obviously their mistake so we don't feel like anything should come out of our pockets. " None of this should cost you anything. Hopefully for the fabricator he was getting paid for the do-overs since it wasn't his problem.


    "We also don't understand why it was so difficult to find a decent match. I know granite is natural but this is literally the third try and is obviously still looks terrible. I would have assumed that a professional granite company would be able to look at a slab and find a decent area to seam (even if they needed to do two seams). " Matching stone at seams is a LOT harder than most people realize. At the seam even a subtle difference in hue becomes conspicuous and light colors are the worst. Two very slightly different pieces that could readily be used in the same room will look awful if seamed together. Even engineered stone ("quartz") from different lots often can't be seamed together. I have had customers complain about color matching at a seam when the 2 pieces came from the same slab! Can't find a slab from the same lot - yes, it happens.


    Regarding a polished perimeter with leathered island; that is certainly an acceptable option and is actually what my wife selected for our home and she works with designers and homeowners every day on stone selection.


    Good luck.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    Sorry when I posted there were no pictures hence my answer. I agree that those 2 pieces are all wrong. But I do stick with my comment about quartz since finding now a slab anywhere that matches will be IMO impossible.

  • PRO
    M & D Builders

    you have to find a reputable fabricator and ask them for the solution then let them do it and discount that cost from and remaining balances on your builder contract.

  • suzyq53

    A good fabricator with a large shop can change the finish on a slab from polished to leathered.

  • suzyq53

    Also the chemicals used to fabricate the sides on the slab can cause that kind of discoloration stains in some cases.

  • chippy_rn

    Hi everyone,


    Thank you for your continued responses. So for whatever reason they actually DID have another slab (it was in the back of the warehouse and we were the ones who found it, kind of weird, but anyway...). This is 100% the last slab left. No other fabricators can find it, I have called around.


    We went in and they brought it up on AutoCAD. They have decided they will cut it so it can be seamed at the sink. I brought up the possibility of changing to an apron sink to make 100% sure we will get a match (since it will only be seamed in one area). They agreed this would help. However, we have already been living with no sink for 2.5 weeks and no use of these countertops since July!!!!


    We said WE would pay for the apron sink and the cabinetry to support the change (which is not fair but at this point I just want this done property). We asked our builder to speak with the cabinetry place to see if they could speed it up, instead of the 6-8 weeks. The builder won't, even though WE are paying for it. So do we live for 2.5 MONTHS with no kitchen sink or counters to pay for something that we didn't even cause? OR do we risk it once again with our LAST piece of granite.


    I have attached photos of where they want the cut it. PLEASE if any professionals have input on if these look like they will or will not match PLEASE tell me. I am so stressed out about this. I have not been sleeping, crying constantly. I feel like we got screwed over here and there is absolutely nothing we can do. Also I feel like once this is in they will refuse to rip it out after install since we saw the AutoCAD work.


    At this point, if I could take my builder to court to sue for damages I would. We also had one of their workers in here and he damaged our brand new fridge. They have called us liars and are refusing to do anything about that. So if anyone has any info as well about suing builders for damages I would also love to hear that (I am located in Ontario Canada).


    Thank you all again for the input. PLEASE if anyone can help with and tell me if this cut looks ok I would be forever appreciative. I tried my best to show which ends will be seamed and which one is the front and the back.









  • chippy_rn

    Sorry, I forgot to update....The new slab I posted about a few weeks ago was actually too small, so we thought we were SOL'd until we found this big on in the back. This is literally it though :(

  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.

    It looks fine in the image but so hard to tell from a photo (sorry). Regardless it’s being made from one slab and the size of the seam is cut by 2/3 because of the sink.

    Personally I would not go through the extra delay and hassle to switch to a farm sink at this point.

  • chippy_rn

    HALLETT & Co. thank you for your response! I’m obviously really nervous how this will pan out. I’m just scared it will look like it did before with one side grey and one white and it will be more noticeable right in front of the sink.

    But you’re right. Doing the sink is a huge pain. Plus we would be paying approximately $3000 CAD for the sink and retro fit.

    I might go back one more time and see it again before we make the cut.

    Thank you for your help.
    We just want this to be over.

  • felizlady

    When shopping for stone, I go to the granite yard and find two or three slabs of granite with consecutive cut numbers...from the same quarry, cut one after the other. Although there may be very slight differences, they will go together. I use three slabs because I also use granite for the backsplash and above the two 30” ranges. I have done this kitchen twice, using the same fabricator, with absolutely no issues. They plan the cuts according to my kitchen cabinetry, which they measure once everything is installed. After the granite counter goes in, they measure for the backsplash. They already know which slabs were used for specific counter areas, so they cut the backsplash to go with each section of counter.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    "We said WE would pay for the apron sink and the cabinetry to support the change (which is not fair but at this point I just want this done property). We asked our builder to speak with the cabinetry place to see if they could speed it up, instead of the 6-8 weeks. The builder won't, even though WE are paying for it. So do we live for 2.5 MONTHS with no kitchen sink or counters to pay for something that we didn't even cause? OR do we risk it once again with our LAST piece of granite."

    Post a dimensioned picture of your sink base cabinet please. If you have a standard 36" sink base cabinet (or larger), you can use a standard Kohler 3943 or an Elkay Quartz Luxe sink, both short apron models. You remove the tip-out/false drawer(s) cut the top rail and the style (if there is one) and install the sink. No waiting.

  • njmomma

    following

  • chippy_rn

    @Joseph Corlett, LLC


    Here's the sink base. That rectangular part is 36' wide on the outside.









  • lindahambleton

    Great idea Joseph

  • chippy_rn

    @Joseph Corlett, LLC, do you think that would work with the cabinets I have posted? Those sinks don't need support?

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    You can easily install a Kohler 3943 or an Elkay Quartz Luxe in that cabinet; the sinks were designed for it. The sinks will be strapped in for support. Sink Straps from Regent Stone Products.

  • smakcanada

    I don't understand your masking tape showing cuts. Why would they be round? Maybe there's more about the design that I don't know. Here's how my granite is cut around sink. And the seam may be hard to see in my dark granite but hopefully you can see where the installer put them. Real stone granite is way better than engineered quartz even though quartz is popular with designers right now (maybe because It's easier to work with and takes less expertise to install). I have turned on valence lights on other side of stove but the seam is still hard to see (as it should be). I know you like the leathered but if it came to it I would take the polished if it all matched - but that's just me. Hope it works out.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    Smakcanad: Please substantiate your contention that engineered stone is easier to install than natural stone.

  • smakcanada

    Joseph Corlett LLC: didn't know the Houzz forum had become a court of law, but if you would re-read my comment perhaps you would see the word 'maybe'. btw, since you claim to be a 'pro' maybe you make a useful comment, and explain the OP's masking tape layout on the granite in her photos?

  • katinparadise

    following

  • archietexture

    If it makes you feel better. I just learned to do “special”, expensive and delicate surfaces last. Sorry for your troubles. I once had a builder promise something he didn’t deliver at closing. Not as expensive as your counter tops, probably, but something big it’d be hard for anyone to accomplish without building team. Of course he never came back and made good, despite calls. Unhappy til I moved. His insurance should cover making it right, depending on several conditions of occupancy and access. Alternatively, your insurance? In long run, did you plan to live there forever? Even then... kitchens get outdated. Or wars happen and your countertop kind of falls to the bottom of anyone’s list. Put it in perspective. Slabs are utterly unique, took a friend 8 weeks and dozens of shops just to choose. It sounds from your story you have to find something else. It’s a damn small thing to lose your sanity over, no matter how disappointing. People have real problems. Only you can decide what you need to do, just start with a deep breath! The guy whose installing doesn’t sound like the culprit, TBH. Sounds like they’ve gone above and beyond... hope you can resolve it!

  • Suzanne Devane

    chippy -- for the sake of your health, please step back and take a deep breath. you have an unacceptable counter installation. not cancer. not a death in the family. unless the new slab was sourced with the old, a match will be tough. talk to your gc with a willingness to go with a different counter. accept the inevitable delays involved. you will have a kitchen you love at some point, but you are overly upset about this problem. there's alot of granite in this world to love!

  • Kathy Koletzke

    i know the counter top is important but styles change so frequently its not worth loosing sleep over. really. get a man made material as close to your granit as you can . simpler to install ,wont cost and arm and a leg to replace or update. think of all the extra cash you could put towards updateing something else in your home. its only countertops spend the extra money on a special sink or fawcets. i can hear everyone saying now what do you mean ONLY a counter top! but is it really worth all the hassle? having people in all the time trying to fix this? in my book its something i really wanted, tryed to do, and faced a failed counter. enough. time to move on.and yes all my remodeling is done on a shoe string sometimes things work and other ties they dont and my counters are formica and my kitchen still looks perfectly acceptable.

  • Jennifer Jones

    Chippy....first of all you need a loud echo calling screaming fit followed by a stiff drink, bless this mess honey but always remember tough times don't last only tough people!! Now ignore the take a deep breath, others have worse problems, no cancer today comments and keep your balls right where they are. This is what everyone dreams of.....minus this issue.....owning a home and building one or customized is a one up on that. Congrats to you and your family. Work hard....yes you have and unfortunately your now working twice as hard to fix a problem no matter whose fault it is. Fortunately you are moved in so you have a roof over your head, unfortunate is the time its going to take to fix and the fact that the builder was ok with you paying out of pocket. But the moment the frustration gets to boiling everyone does that I will pay for it just fix it resolution....its ok don't regret the out of pocket expense. This puts you in a upper hand situation and please let the fabricators take their time and find a installer you can get to come over day of installation that is willing to be a consultant to you during that process. Little competition standing in your face makes for a great install day. I am in the mortgage business and have been for 20 years and have seen and heard stories of all problems....so I ask you the same I have asked others with smaller or bigger problems than this one, is the cost to sue worth, what could take years, dealing with and associating yourself with that builder? Do the math cause right now it maybe a yes that's the right thing to do comment your about to make but remember that's also why YOUR now paying for this. File a complaint against the builder, the sub-contractor who hired the guy that everyone is pointing out, and contact your general attorney or consumer bureau department and let it be known you had this issue. As we all know social media, reviews, and the number of stars someone is rated are just as strong as a courtroom these days. And silver lining possible 1 to 2 days to get it all out there and then you can get that stiff drink and wipe your hands free....in that beautiful kitchen you so deserve. Don't settle don't give up don't forget you earned this beautiful home now go get it!! Last note....get a home inspection after install before you close on everything because if your worried about the cabinets and the damage the redo's may or may not have caused they can take a look. Also, oh yes another note, get a builders warranty paid by builder. Hang in there you are doing the right thing and look at the responses they prove it. Good luck and please don't forget to update all of us in the end!

  • ileymixon

    Wow. Breathe.

  • lindahambleton

    Chippy. Please come back and tell us how the sink and countertop worked out. I am rooting for you. :)

  • Toni Toland

    Choose a different counter material. There are so many options nicer than marble.

  • Sonya Sargent-Strong

    I just wanted to comment that the house we had 2 houses ago, we decided to install a copper single basin farmhouse sink and we easily retro-fitted it onto an older standard cabinet similar to the one you have shown there. The sink does need to be supported, and the front of the cabinet needs to be cut out with a gig saw. We also installed a farmhouse sink while installing new cabinets in the house we had last year. for that one we had bought a cabinet to support the sink, but honestly, even when buying the correct cabinet, you have to (or the installers) still cut it up in the front and provide your own support for it underneath. It's kinda crazy and I was shocked at that. But, my point is that the cabinet you have will allow for a fairly easy farmhouse sink installation and any competent handyman (or person) should be able to get the job done in a couple hours. If as regular homeowners, we could do it, anyone can. Check angie's list for a good all around handy person. If they do some carpentry, a little plumbing, then it will be no problem for them. If you decide to go that route, then look for a farmhouse sink that is more shallow as the do vary in depth. You can get them pretty cheap. Our last one was stunning and I think we paid $180 for it from a sink seller on ebay. The copper sink was a handmade thing of beauty and we paid $450 for it, also on ebay. Home Depot also sell them, but they have a better selection online. I will say that the farmhouse sink is worth the trouble, it is a high end show stopper in the kitchen, it really is. And to just have the one seam at the back of the sink should not be an issue. When we had countertops installed both times, they put the seam at the back of the sink and it was not even noticeable. But just for the record, I think all your surfaces should be the same finish, and the pics you included would drive me mad too. But beautiful choice. I hope they get it right this time, and do calm down, this will work through and it will pass and you will love your new home. Good luck!

  • chippy_rn

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you for your responses.

    I obviously understand that this isn’t cancer, the end of the world, etc. I’ve dealt with devastating issues before so I get that this doesn’t really compare. However it’s pretty hard not to be upset, stressed, etc when you have worked for years for something and have had multiple issues that you shouldn’t have had.

    With that said, we weren’t able to locate the sink that was recommended for the space in the above comments. Due to the fact we have had major issues with the builder (additional damage done by a worker recently) the builder has agreed to do the retrofitting of the sink and we purchased the sink. Obviously we weren’t thrilled to have to spend anything more out of pocket but we are ready for this to be done. It needs to be done right this time so we were willing to do whatever we had to to make sure that happened. This is our forever home so this was obviously very disappointing and has been a very long (over three months now) process.

    We are awaiting the arrival of the sink and hopefully everything will be installed and go to go in a few weeks. I’m crossing my fingers it goes smoothly this time.

    I will post photos/ an update when it is completed!

    Thanks again everyone for you advice and help!

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    "But, my point is that the cabinet you have will allow for a fairly easy farmhouse sink installation and any competent handyman (or person) should be able to get the job done in a couple hours."


    More like 7.

  • lindahambleton

    hi chippy

    what about the countertop ?

  • RedRyder

    Have you gotten the countertop installed properly? Your renovation nightmare is all too common. I understand how upset you are, but I’m hoping the final installation is done and correct and you can get this behind you.

  • chippy_rn

    The sink is going in first then they will do the countertop. I’m crossing my fingers it goes well. I will post photos of the finished product! should be done in about two weeks.

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