tallhouse1

Is this countertop stone condition acceptable to you?

Hillary
7 days ago
last modified: 7 days ago

The countertop/fabricator company charged me $800 to hone the slab. I have seen the slab before and it did not have any of the marks shown below. Once they installed it, they told me it would go away after putting sealant. The darker stone on one photo did go away momentarily while the sealant was drying, which was just enough time for the installers to leave. I asked the installers about the white marks/etching and they just shrugged/couldn't articulate what that was.

I emailed the countertop fabricator office about the white marks as well but in the meantime, has anyone experienced this before? The slab is quartzite. It was originally polished and they honed it and it looks like these marks are all from honing it...

What would you do? Is this acceptable? The quartzite was not cheap by any means.





Comments (31)

  • Hillary

    Also....I overheard the installers say that the client was "picky" in a call to their office (they don't know I speak their language too) and it made my hair stand. I have never seen a countertop with these marks before, but I am really being picky?

  • PRO
    Plazza Natural Stone

    Natural stone has veins, and these can become more pronounced during polishing or honing. That being said, you as the customer have every right to be picky, it isn't a cheap material and it is your kitchen. I hope you and your fabricator can come to a mutual understanding regarding this.

  • Related Discussions

    Quartz counter seam - is this acceptable?

    Q

    Comments (14)
    If you have a contract, he must warranty the work. Local contracting laws do differ. Have the owner of the business come out and see it in person. If he refuses to make it right, mention you will need to give negative feedback on Yelp! If he cares about his business that will get his attention. Never pay in full until you are completely satisfied with the work! Sorry for your bad experience, this is what gives our industry a bad name!
    ...See More

    The dilemma of using white marble for counter tops.

    Q

    Comments (7)
    Thank you, Antonella, for your thorough analysis of Danby marble! I've been a proponent of Danby marble for quite some time now--it's really beautiful and so dense that I have not one stain on my countertops after nine months of continued use. It was explained at one of the stone yards that the reason for the low absorption rate of Danby is due to the stone being in the underground quarry, and therefore not subjected to the ravages of weather (rain, snow, sunlight, etc.) that other marbles are battered with. I agree that in order to select any material you need to educate yourself, and then go with the one that fits your lifestyle the best. No one material is right for everyone. That being said, in the New York metro area where I live, the stone yards can't keep the Danby slabs in stock--they are so popular that they're sold as soon as they come in. I was lucky, I happened to visit ABC Stone in Westbury, NY, just as they received a shipment of 20 slabs, and got to select the 2 I like best!
    ...See More

    acceptable or no gap where waterfall counter meets floor about an 1/8"

    Q

    Comments (7)
    Hard to say with out a level in the photo showing the "off-level" of the floors and the "level" of the counter tops above. That's the only way you can assess the BS quotient of the installers.
    ...See More

    Marble counter top seam advice

    Q

    Comments (14)
    The seam looks wider with more chips to it...almost as if they had to grind out the old epoxy and then fill with darker (I bet they had to dig out the lighter epoxy and that widened the seam). What had been a clean cut (but filled with a light epoxy) is now a crooked cut with chips filled with a more appropriate colour. By trying to fix the first (or 3rd mistake...which ever way you want to look at it) they made it worse. I think you are now owed a new slab cut properly. I am fascinated about how the manufacturer states you are not allowed to have it at the sink...yet the fabricator TRIED to do just that - deliver a slab with a seam at the sink??? Someone is giving you the run around. Either you CAN have the seam at the sink and the first slab was correct. Or you CANNOT have the seam at the sink and the first slab was WRONG! So someone got ONE of these wrong. Either slab #1 was wrong (aside from the fact it wouldn't fit) or #2 is wrong (seam is allowed at the sink). Something fishy is going on here.
    ...See More
  • PRO
    Sabrina Alfin Interiors

    Do you have photos of the original slab you selected at the stone yard? If you show the before and after fabrication to demonstrate those white marks weren't there, you might have better leverage to negotiate with the fabricator.

  • PRO
    The Cook's Kitchen

    Issues are difficult to view in your pics. Those appear to be characteristic of natural stone which has had the surface abraded—-leathered. Also, industry standards viewing distance to assess issues is standing 36” back, not the closeups that’s you‘ve provided.

    As a general best practice rule, slabs should only be honed at the quarry. Shops skilled enough to successfully hone in house are few, and it has a high failure rate because it’s difficult to apply the diamond brush abrasion in an even manner. I’ve seen some budget places use an old fashioned floor scrubber to which they attached the brushes. Thats not how to get an evenly semi matte finish!

    In addition, your stone appears to be more marble than quartzite in your pics. Way too many stones are being sold as quartzite that are not. A lemon juice test would confirm. Marble is much softer, and it’s easy to get carried away with the honing work.

    If the issues are visible and photographable at the 36” distance, and are not due to the natural stone characteristics, this would be a fabricator production issue that can only be resolved by pulling the tops and taking them back to the shop to try again. That has its own risks.

    Thr up side is that you at least have counters on which to prepare your meals during the quarantine shutdown! In a month or so when the restrictions are lifted, perhaps the shop can tackle this again.

  • Hillary

    The Cook's Kitchen yes, I wonder if it is marble because the countertop fabricator mentioned that if I hone the slabs, they become porous..my understanding is that quartzite shouldn't stain even if it's honed, but they don't give samples so I couldn't test it. The company has been great to work with, and they aren't contesting the marks per se (yet at least), just wanted to get opinions on what's "normal".

  • Hillary

    here are photos from about 3-4 feet from the countertops




  • A S

    I’m not a pro and I know photos can be deceiving but it looks nice to me and I’m not even sure what I’m supposed to be seeing as wrong?

  • Hillary

    @A S the bottom pic shows a dark line pretty much on half of the countertop. The top photo shows white blotches, which I know weren't there before :(

  • Junk*Salvation

    The dark line is not normal, nor would I be happy with it. Looks like 1 section of the stone is darker than the rest, which is weird with that exact line like that. I thought at first it was just a shadow in your first post but can clearly see it isn't now. As far as the white veins go, that wouldn't bother me as much. The darker counter section is a problem though. I would want it replaced or fixed if they knew how to do so.

  • Belaria

    @Hillary I did quite a bit of shopping for Taj Mahal quartzite, which is different than what you chose, but those types of markings, rough blotchy areas, and flaky layers were very similar to the quarry-applied honing that I saw on Taj Mahal. Polished quartzite is just a totally different feel and look. Honed versus polished surfacing on granite comes out differently than with quartzite if my shopping experiences hold true across the board because the granite usually doesn't have those flaky areas like quartzite does. You could look into Stoneguard sealant if you discover that you have pockets of acid-reactive marble. As others have noted, removing a surface like that which has already been installed and siliconed to your cabinetry is going to risk some damage either to cabinetry, quartzite or both. You wouldn't want to get into a situation of trying to re-polish on site unless your fabricator had an adequate enclosure and capture area for the dust, and even then, the dust could get into your hinges and drawer slides and cause a lot of problems.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan

    So sorry you are having this experience. Unfortunately, this is difficult situation. #1- the “honed” look is really not a good look on quartzite. The material is very hard so honing in situ is not advised. #2-the technicians doing the work were probably not the right people. #3-fixing this is near impossible. Maybe someone here has solution but I have never seen this done this way. I fear replacement may be in your future. I have Taj Mahal and it is beautiful polished. Not sure what your quartzite is but hoping you get solutions. But the contractor attitude that you are too picky, doesn’t bode well.

  • Hillary

    @Flo Mangan thank you. The quartzite I got is called "Yosemite Falls", but it looks similar to Macaubas

  • Hillary

    Now that several hours passed, there are more marks appearing which looks like there was something on top of the slab and it's all over the countertops...






  • A S

    Hmm this does look odd. We had some weird staining on our quartz and it was residue from the plastic wrapping. They came and buffed it all out. Took several hours.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan

    Do some google searches on honing quartzite in place. From what I saw, as a minimum this will need to be sealed if you keep it. Not a good situation sorry to say.

  • Hillary

    @Flo Mangan this was after they added a sealant this morning, do you mean they need to re-hone this here?

  • ldecor54

    will be interesting to hear what the company has to say now. Those photos are showing a real problem it seems.

  • dsimber

    Have you paid in full yet? If not, don't.

    It seems only reasonable to be warned in advance if honing your particular solid surface results in this. Hard to believe that a straight line between color variations would happen.


    My sister had issues with her installers when she questioned some obvious errors. They were rude and left without telling her they were leaving. In her case, the biggest problem was the sealant. Fortunately, this was the same small business she had worked with for custom cabinets, so she was able to talk directly with the owner. The maker of the countertop had to send out an inspector. Excuses were made: it will eventually “wear” so those areas will not be seen. She went back to her cabinet maker; eventually another inspector was sent, and the problem was corrected. But it took months. I would encourage you to talk with the highest level person you can...to be calm, and to listen, but to be persistent. Good luck! And let us know the outcome, please.


  • PRO
    Flo Mangan

    The sealant is showing issues. It looks like this strip was seamed and when you hone it shows much more. Do you know how they did this? Did they use water or some type lubrication? How long did it take.

  • Hillary

    @Flo Mangan I'm not sure how they honed it. They first brought the slabs to our house, installed it and then when they showed me I realized they didnt polish like I had requested and paid extra for. They took the slabs back to their shop to hone it and brought them back today.


    I sent them those images and they said they will (now) be closed for the next 2 weeks...

  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.

    The white marks just look like natural veining but the shading that is happening in straight lines? Very very weird.

    Hillary thanked HALLETT & Co.
  • Hillary

    What I'm worried now is that this will put other things on hold, like installing backsplash if they have to take them back...

  • live_wire_oak

    Some quartzite are extremely porous. Honing has to be done with a lot of water, which the stone soaks up. I’m thinking they stacked the stone against each other after honing, so you have squares that have different levels of moisture saturation. I would continue to monitor it over the next few days as it dries more. I think it’s premature to judge how anything is going to end up looking.

    Hillary thanked live_wire_oak
  • Hillary

    @dsimber thank goodness I haven't! I just gave them a 50% deposit.


    Did your sister's installers took the countertops off back to their shop to fix them? How did they fix hers? I'm curious if my case is a matter of them removing the countertops again and taking them back.


    I'm getting the "wait a full day it will go away", but it's been half a day and there are more marks showing up than disappearing.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan

    Ok. Well that is some good news. Doing the honing in shop is much better. I would not put anything on them for several days and then not set anything directly on them. The look is not going to change much IMO so document your discussions in emails. I am quite concerned about how this was done. Since they did not deliver honed product they are more liable but you still have issues. Did they do a lazer templating? Did they do more seams to get done with fewer slabs? Take photos each day starting from left and working around space. Do as close to same every day so you have documentation for ultimate resolution.

  • ldecor54

    Yes you are going to be delayed in moving forward. Don’t do the backsplash now. Wait, just in case of worse case

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan

    Agree. Just premature to install backsplash.

  • dsimber

    For sure! I called my sister to be reminded of the details. Mind you, honing was not involved. Nevertheless, eventually the countertop company sent a detail guy to buff and reseal her factory sealant. On site. He was a perfectionist, and it took him two days for a moderately sized kitchen. She had paid for the factory sealant because it is [more?] permanent. However, leaving it as it was was not an option. She told me that she had to call frequently to stay on top of it, and that it took at least two months for someone to come. She definitely waited on the backsplash. It’s all behind her now, and they are very happy with their kitchen. I hope you will be also,

    Follow Flo’s recommendations for documenting, and do not pay them another dime until you are completely satisfied, no matter what they tell you. On that note, are you in Maryland, by any chance? Other states may also have their version of the Maryland Home Improvement Commission. All contracts have the MHIC number on them. The companies have to pay into this fund, and when a customer files a complaint, inspectors come and make a determination. It was a long process for us when we had a two-story deck plus arbor built. The company did not follow the architect’s plan, and they came intermittently. Finally, the small business owner--whose work we had seen--told me that he was a having personal problems and that he had neglected our project. He said he needed the next installment to buy the bluestone for the walkout level, so I--unwisely--paid him. No workers ever returned. 😫 When the inspectors came, they determined that nothing had been done properly except for the footings! They also knew this guy--a very nice looking man with great PR skills--and told us that he had done this many times. Each time he lost his license, he just opened his business under a different relative’s name. Man, he was smooth. Our neighbors had used the same contractor with no problems. For me, I swear, I am the poster child for Murphy’s law when it comes to projects...and we have always been so careful to do our research! Anyway, once the inspectors came, we hired a different contractor who worked with the architect. Everything had to be torn down, so the cost was considerably higher, but we finally had a beautiful deck. And, in the end, the MHIC refunded us the maximum amount of coverage provided. I believe it was $50K at the time. (This happened about 15 years ago.) Obviously, I don’t know how to tell the short version of a story, but I hope that, if you’ve read this far, you will be convinced that documentation and persistence are crucial. Whew!)

    Hillary thanked dsimber
  • Hillary

    @dsimber my fabricator emailed this morning checking in on the countertop marks, so I sent them more images. They're promising to re-seal it once they are back to install the island top, but I told them they sealed it yesterday and that didn't do anything to make the marks disappear. My contact there said she will speak to her boss about it to see what they can do, but like your sister, I'm not settling for anything less than a slab without manmade marks to it. You can clearly see the outline of our own sink on the other slab...I hope it's water condensation like others said, because I do like the slab and it would be a PITA to hold this kitchen off even longer at times of quarantine...I actually found the fabricator here on Houzz after some positive comments, so I have faith it will work it out.


    We're in NJ so I'm not sure we have that sort of protection here, but I will keep this thread updated...


  • live_wire_oak

    Take a hair dryer and spend about 20 minutes running it at one section of the darker area. Don’t get it too close, just like using it in a person. Concentrate on one smaller area at the edge of a line. Take a Before and After short. It’s sounding more and more like moisture content that’s drying differently in each area. Sealing probably made it worse, and harder for it to dry out.

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