kellysn

Is this Leathered Granite or Marble?

kellysn
11 months ago
last modified: 11 months ago

Scratching very easy by our dishes as seen by the pictures, and just installed 8 months ago. Any thoughts if this is leathered granite or marble? Thank you







Comments (94)

  • karin_mt
    11 months ago

    YES. This. Exactly.


    Beautifully said, Beth!

  • barncatz
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    If you google Stormy Gray Granite - which is what your invoice from the company called this stone - you get "Stormy Gray Travertine" results. The photos match your counter.

    I know this advice will sound odd, but don't focus on the scratches. The stone company has a strong case that a customer can't demand replacement of 8 month old counters because they show wear from normal use. That is their second paragraph.

    YOU have a totally strong fraud case - they sold you something called granite that is not granite. Even if the stone wasn't scratching, they sold you one thing while claiming it was another thing and that is fraud. It doesn't matter why you wanted granite, so don't get sidetracked back to the wear argument. BUT YOU will have to show you can PROVE this slab is not granite. It was interesting to me that the company didn't say "this is granite". So, they probably know it's not and are playing games i,e. This is not marble. That may be true, but the point is that it's NOT GRANITE and they told you it was.

    They're also questioning the expertise of whoever you consulted. I'd get letters from whoever you consulted stating their experience. The company will back down when you show them you're serious and if this ended up in court, your "expert" witness would testify credibly that the Stormy Gray slab they sold you was not the granite they labeled it as.

    That invoice is so important, hang on to the original at all costs, but send them a copy along with letters stating it is not granite.


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  • Silverlined
    11 months ago

    @barncatz I wish threats would work, but speaking from experience, sometimes only a lawsuit will for people who think you're just bluffing. We wish them all the best and hope it doesn't come to that. Documenting all efforts to resolve the issue out of court will work in their favor. Sometimes you can progress to legal mediation and avoid court. In the United States, small claims court cases are usually pretty easy to win if you have a solid case. Limit on claims varies from state to state. Where I live, it cannot be more than $10,000 USD. Getting the collection once you have the judgment is the hard part. The court leaves that up to you, and you have some authority to collect money out of their cash register and other avenues, but usually people will turn it over to a collections agency for a fee. The cheated customers here are not likely to get a full refund unless they sue for court costs and inconvenience as well, which the court may or may not grant.

  • barncatz
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    back2work, at this point, of course, none of us knows whether threats will work. Since the fraud here is actually rather obvious 1) granite does not scratch like that under normal household use, 2) the seller must know the stone was labeled incorrectly (if he's been in business more than a day) and 3) kellysn hopefully can find other stone sellers to provide the expert opinion she needs, I believe she has a better chance than usual to avoid litigation, even of the small claims court variety. Just my opinion of the facts here.

    I think it would be helpful if she could hire an attorney to write the demand letter and assemble the accompanying exhibits, but I believe if she proceeds calmly and along the lines I outlined, she may get her seller to refund her money and remove the counters. She does need to get advice on possible damage to her kitchen cabinets etc. from their removal before she proceeds.

  • RedRyder
    11 months ago

    There is also some consumer leverage with threats to blast the internet with their fraudulent behavior. Some companies rely heavily on their internet reputation. Let them know if they correct it, or better yet, give you a full refund so you can work with someone else, you will praise them to the hills. Litigation is a bad route. I won against a contractor, who then declared bankruptcy and then got the court to relieve him of ANY payment or liens. And it took nearly 3 years of my life. Try to avoid court as much as you can.

  • mama goose_gw zn6OH
    11 months ago

    Your stone is beautiful, and while it's not what you thought you were getting, and maybe not even what you paid for, I'd advise keeping it. Buy some Scotchbrite (or similar) scrubby pads and test the etched limed spot, and some scratches, on the sample piece. I have honed marble, and I've found several methods to smooth etches, but I knew what I was getting, and knew I could embrace the patina. You can search the Kitchens forum for 'etched marble' to find many threads.

  • live_wire_oak
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    All in all, the fabricator has a very valid point that you bought “granite”. He doesn’t know the difference in stones. It’s all granite to him. He doesn’t come from a system that knows or cares about the finer points of distinction.

    Again, granite is a generic term, as well as a technical geologic term. Lots of older people even call granite a type of marble, and use “marble” as the generic term. Just like all Southerners want to know what type of Coke you want to drink, Sprite or Dr Pepper.

    Most stone sold today as “granite“ are not geologically granite. Most. If you hang your hat on that, you will lose any court case. And most Stone today is sold without any geological descriptor at all, or even an accepted universal worldwide name. Stormy Monday nothing, at one yard may be Gray Ghost quartzite at another, and Blue Moon granite at another, and Fantasy Brown quartzite at another, and Fantasy Brown marble at another. There are zero regulations or rules about this, other than Buyer Beware. On the front end. Be picky and test then.

    Your bought a stone, and didn’t do due diligence on the front end. Which includes internet research, or consulting a geologist on your part. If geological class were that important to you, the research is incumbent upon you. Not the barely graduated high school guy operating a bridge saw who uses “granite” to label all stones that go under his saw. He only knows this one cuts easy, and that one will eat up blades, and that one cracks easy, and that one soaked up water when cut. That’s it.

    Even the distributor that they buy the stone for doesn’t really know. The buyer in the field down in Brazil? All he knows is this mine is controlled by that cartel, and that one’s a family concern, and that one had inadequate road access, even though they have pretty stone.

    You’re attempting to hold the fabricator to a higher standard than the industry holds itself to. However, you are allowed to be as picky as you want. On the front end.

  • kellysn
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    Live_wire_oak if a customer specifically asks a fabricator who is also the OWNER for granite and not marble, and is sold a stone labeled leathered granite,

    it better be leathered granite. If it is not, they will be held accountable. It is that simple. And on a side note, they wouldn’t let me test or bring a piece home because there were only 2 slabs.

  • live_wire_oak
    11 months ago

    You had the choice to move on to a different fabricator that would allow you to test. Or to hire a geologist to consult and verify. You didn’t.



  • tsjmjh
    11 months ago

    Oh, come on. The thousands and thousands of people that go to a stone yard and pick a slab that is labeled "leathered granite" are supposed to bring geologists along with them?

  • kellysn
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    And why would we assume the owner would mislabel and lie to us when he suppose to be the expert? How would we hire a geologist to test when he did not have a sample? There is something called accountability in this world and as a consumer, we should get what we pay for.

    Thanks for your input live_wire_oak. This is what attorneys are for

  • karin_mt
    11 months ago

    The industry certainly holds itself to a high enough standard to know the difference between granite and marble. In fact, the general standard within the industry is about a mile higher than that. I completely disagree with Live Wire Oak on this one. The stone was misrepresented, and not in a subtle way. It's the seller's job to know the difference.

  • RedRyder
    11 months ago

    Although there is always a Buyer-Beware message for anything, this is an egregious misrepresentation. Try to be pleasant, but firm, with the owner and see if you can get a refund.

  • The_Lane_Duo
    11 months ago

    Your countertop looks exactly like the countertop I put in our guest bathroom. I found it as a remnant and it fit perfectly. I love it! But, it was sold to me as honed marble. Definitely not granite! I also had to have them seal it multiple times after install because it was still absorbing water. It is now sealed & not allowing moisture to be absorbed but I have no doubt I'll have to seal it more often than my other countertops. It was worth it to me though...so so pretty! But, I can understand your upset. You was sold a material that you thought was granite. I hope a resolution can be found but it sounds like it will be a battle. Best of luck to you!

    kellysn thanked The_Lane_Duo
  • M Miller
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    "You had the choice to move on to a different fabricator that would allow you to test. Or to hire a geologist to consult and verify. You didn’t."

    I need to point out for people reading this forum who are new to kitchen renovations, and who might think this is a Real Thing, that this is ludicrous. No one hires a geologist to assess their kitchen counters purchase. And (just for fun), I googled "geologist for hire". It's all about mining and well sites. Or, your home inspector may subcontract for a geologist if there is cause for concern about what your home's land is made of. I don't want anyone reading this thread and thinking, "I am looking at stone counters for my kitchen, and I need to line up a geologist to do it".

    The other problem is that it is conflating the stoneyard and the fabricator. It is the stoneyard that should have given the OP a small chip of this stone to test it. Separately, should the fabricator have said to the OP you have marble here? Only if the fabricator was aware she didn't know that. The fabricator scribes the counter, and goes to pick up the stone from the stoneyard to bring back to his shop to do his job of fabricating. He doesn't typically ask the stoneyard "does the customer know this is marble?"

    You should be able to test your stone. Sometimes the stoneyards just get the stone from their distributor labelled a certain way, and don't question it. They're the retailer that is in front of the customer and they manage the inventory and the sale, but not necessarily understanding the differences among stones (some do and some don't). On the other hand, a good fabricator is going to have to cut this stone, and must know what the stone is in order to fabricate it properly. But does that fabricator realize that the customer does not know what the stone is.

    The OP may have a case against the stoneyard for selling her something labelled granite that was not. Whether she has a case against the fabricator depends on whether she can prove that the fabricator knew she thought it was granite, and said nothing to correct that.

    I once bought a granite slab at a stoneyard that I was thrilled with. When the fabricator went to pick it up at the stoneyard, he declined it. He told me the slab I picked had several good-sized fissures, which would make it problematic to fabricate. But even if he was able to fabricate it, I would have problems down the road with those fissures in my counter. So I went back to the stoneyard and picked another slab. That is how a fabricator is supposed to be.

    Both the stoneyard and the fabricator failed this customer. But in different ways. Though I continue to say I think the OP's stone is beautiful, and I would keep it, but that is me.

  • vinmarks
    11 months ago

    So we know the stone is not granite but is it even leathered? It looks more like it is honed.

  • kellysn
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    M Miller, thank you for your insight... when we went into the store, I asked for granite specifically and not marble due to our high-activity kitchen. The sales woman (clearly family of the owner) and the owner said this slab was leathered granite. Our contract says ‘Stormy Gray- granite’, and the picture of the second slab they emailed me has a sign on it that says ‘Stormy Gray Leather Granite’. And more recently, since the owner keeps telling us this is our problem and normal wear and tear for leathered granite, we searched for a geologist. It is nearly impossible. I did get in touch with a local head geologist at a big university that has confirmed by email photos that this is not granite.

  • kellysn
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    vinmarks, no one believes it is leathered based on their responses. We are not sure what it is. It feels velvety smooth and is not totally flat, but no deep pockets or grooves.

  • tsjmjh
    11 months ago

    I have a leathered granite kitchen table top - 6' x 3' - it doesn't have deep pockets or fissures but it does have a definite "textured surface" and in no way is it velvety smooth. It has no scratches or visible wear, even in Absolute Black.

  • live_wire_oak
    11 months ago

    Millions live with matte marble because it’s far more forgiving than polished. A bit of a polishing up and an enhancing sealer work well for that.


    https://www.braxton-bragg.com/majestic-marble-polishing-compound-1-lb-majr04001.html


    https://www.braxton-bragg.com/tenax-ager.html


    And you did manage to find a geologist to consult with, the same way that I did. I contacted the local university and sent pics. That’s where I learned about sodalite, and how it’s care resembles that of marble more than granite. Avoid acid contact, and don’t drag things across the counter. Set them, and pick them up and place them. No dragging. If the occasional etch does occur, polish it out, and enhance it. All gone. Something that won’t happen with a damaged quartz or quartzite.

  • Kristin S
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    As you consider how to deal with this, keep in mind that the court of law and the court of public opinion paths are difficult to pursue simultaneously. A judge is generally not super impressed to find out you've been writing negative reviews on social media, should you end up in a small claims court, and a lawyer will likely tell you to stop commenting publicly about this.

    If you decide to go the legal route, there's often a lot of value in a letter from an attorney. It shows the other party that you're serious, you intend to follow through, and you've retained legal counsel for professional advice. At lot of people will cut their loses at that point rather than hire their own lawyer to escalate - being sued is expensive and stressful, even if you believe you're in the right, and the fabricator has to know he's not clearly in the right.

    If you decide to go the public opinion route, be very careful in your reviews to state only provable facts (i.e. "My invoice said granite, and the picture on the slab said leathered granite," accompanied by photos of those things, "Another fabricator and a geologist confirmed via photo that this was not granite") and opinions/feelings clearly expressed as such, "I feel misled.") Otherwise you run the risk of ending up in the court of law anyway, this time as a defendant. And keep in mind, too, that as I said above, even if you're in the right, getting sued is stressful and expensive.

  • kellysn
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    Another response from the owner with their company name covered. Of course the etching and scratches occurred after install. That is not the issue!

  • Kristin S
    11 months ago

    Perhaps email back and clearly let him know that you're concern isn't a warranty issue, it's an issue of him misrepresenting the product. You'd like to resolve it directly with him, as you're sure he didn't *mean* to misrepresent the stone he's selling, but if needed you will contact a lawyer for further advice on how best to proceed. Unless, of course, you won't, in which case don't make a threat.

  • RedRyder
    11 months ago

    Kristin is right. It’s a misrepresentation issue, but he is clearly latching onto the scratches. The scratches are the evidence of the misrepresentation, not the issue.

  • megs1030
    11 months ago

    My brother in law is a geologist. I have never once thought to take him to a stone yard to attest that the labeling on slabs was correct. The mere suggestion that this is where the OP went wrong is ridiculous. So sellers are no longer responsible when they knowingly sell products that are mislabeled? Also ridiculous.


    @kellysn, you've received a lot of great suggestions on here and I hope you are able to find a resolution that works in your favor. Again, I understand your countertops are not what you thought, but I do think they are stunning.

  • kellysn
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    Thank you all. We received a VM from the owner yesterday telling us that the Mohs scale, acidity test,

    etc is incorrect. We sent him another email and asked him to communicate with us going forward in email, and his response was that he will not communicate with us in writing and to call his store with any further questions


  • Silverlined
    11 months ago

    @kellysn Sounds like he is grasping to retain his credibility and has probably been through this before seeing how quickly he is refusing to leave a further email trail behind him. There is a brilliant thread here in the Houzz archives that desribes the steps one family took to win in small claims court without using a lawyer. I think this information is perfect for your situation and would really help you even if you don't decide to sue just yet but just to know you have options. Please refer to the thread here: Houzz Forum Archive - What to do when a project goes completely south

    kellysn thanked Silverlined
  • tsjmjh
    11 months ago

    What state are you in? Only 12 states require 2-party consent to record phone calls. If you're not in one of those, you can record your phone conversations with him. Someone who says he/she won't correspond via email knows he/she is in deep doo.

    kellysn thanked tsjmjh
  • kellysn
    Original Author
    11 months ago

    Thank you tsjmjh and back2work-

    we are having a formal report done on the stone so there is no guessing. Once we have that hopefully he does the right thing. Clearly he knows what he did based on his responses. Hoping it does not happen to someone else.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    10 months ago
    last modified: 10 months ago

    kellysn, any update on your saga? Curious as to what's going on w/the scammy stone guy.

    I hope you blast his Yelp page.

  • kellysn
    Original Author
    10 months ago

    @Beth H. : I saw you messaged me for an update... The owner has still been extremely difficult to work with, even after I provided him the Geologist report confirming marble. I have gone through the BBB and DCP, who have said he is unreasonable and impossible to work with, and suggested litigation. The best solution he gave the DCP was to replace my counters with one of a few granites that he selects and refused to cover any additional costs that we have to face a 2nd time to include 2 sink disconnections, gas stove disconnect, and any backsplash repair. On a side note, we removed granite from our kitchen for this stone, so would want to select what we put back in our kitchen. Everything he said back to the DCP would change in the next conversation. Absolutely impossible human being. In conclusion, I signed with an attorney today. We tried and took all the necessary steps and unfortunately have to go the legal route.

  • J D
    10 months ago

    Technically, mislabeling a product and representing it as something else is fraud. You did nothing wrong. So live_wire_oak, who are we supposed to hire to make sure the geologist isn’t lying? Lol ridiculous

  • RedRyder
    10 months ago

    I’m so sorry to hear this. Litigation is a nightmare with contractors.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    10 months ago
    last modified: 10 months ago

    kelly, thanks for the update. so sorry you have to deal w/this idiot. I figured it was going to be an uphill battle when he restricted all of your convos to telephone. This isn't his first rodeo. He knows not to leave a paper trail of his conversations that implicate his guilt. (and knowledge of what he did)

    After this is settled, I'd blast every online review you can do. (not during the litigation as it might look unfavorable to your side)

    Hopefully the BBB and DCP will give your attorney detailed reports about how unfair he has been at mediation. won't look good on his part.

    I'm sure you'll prevail, it just a PIA.

    keep us posted, please?

  • kellysn
    Original Author
    10 months ago

    Thank you! I will definitely provide an update when we have one.

  • kellysn
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    Update: found out the business is not even licensed to be doing business in the state of CT. The Department of Consumer Protection is investigating so not sure what will come out of that. So far business owner unresponsive to demand letter by attorney so will have to pursue in court.

  • makmartell
    8 months ago

    Oh, my! That’s pretty crazy! Hopefully the state goes after him good. (We had a good fabricator in Middletown - who traveled to the shore for us - if and when you ever want a rec for someone new.)

    kellysn thanked makmartell
  • kellysn
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    @makmartell yes please!

  • makmartell
    8 months ago

    Pacific Marble & Granite, 48 Rapallo Ave in Middletown. They did a great job, and didn’t fuss that I came up to figure what part of the slab I wanted where, etc. (couldn’t figure out how to PM you, so figured would just reply here.). We’ve since moved to SC, but if we were still in CT we’d definitely use them again. Pic of that kitchen. (Wish I had a pic of the seam... it was super tight.)




    kellysn thanked makmartell
  • kellysn
    Original Author
    8 months ago

    @makmartell thanks! looks beautiful!!

  • kellysn
    Original Author
    last month

    Update: we won a judgement against the contractor, for the max amount in Small Claims court. He is of course refusing to pay and acknowledge the court order as he did not even show up. Thankfully we have options to get our money back through an execution order, yet wanted to let everyone know it did work out for us, even though a long hassle!

  • makmartell
    last month

    @kellysn Woot! Way to go!

    kellysn thanked makmartell
  • RedRyder
    last month

    Glad you won!

  • kellysn
    Original Author
    6 days ago

    Another update to help those in our situation: contractor filed a motion to reopen the case claiming he did not get the trial date due to the bad mail service. The judge did not fall for it and said he got the judgement in the mail, why would he have not received the trial date? Then she proceeded to tell him that granite DOES NOT scratch after 8 months anyway and denied his motion. Our judgement still stands.

  • karin_mt
    6 days ago

    Yay! Keep up the good fight and thanks for keeping us updated.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    kelly, when you say contractor, are you referring the business owner of the stone place? or the fabricator? or the GC that handled your kitchen?

    If the guy had any brains, he'd refund your money and walk away (and let you keep the stone. which I would get re-polished to remove all the scratches!) . he's fighting a losing cause. stubborn old mule.

    kellysn thanked Beth H. :
  • kellysn
    Original Author
    6 days ago

    he is the business owner of the granite place- I apologize, I am still using the court language when I say contractor! He is actually the young son of the real owners, who has NO idea what he is doing and has so many social media complaints For how he is doing business. Unfortunately, what I have been told is that even if we pay to get all the scratches/etched buffed out, they will just come back

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    6 days ago

    kelly, yes, I know they will come back, but maybe now that you know, you can try and be more cognizant. keep cutting boards out to use? It's such a pretty countertop.


    can't believe it's dragging along like this. no way you can contact the real owners? So you're not the only one on social media who has had complaints w/him? I wonder if the others have taken legal recourse as well.

  • Silverlined
    5 days ago
    last modified: 5 days ago

    Don't rule out Stoneguard. It could truly save your surface. @kellysn