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Old 01-15-2008, 02:25 PM   #1
Kompy
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3cm Granite: Crack, Fissure or Both?? Pix.

Hi everyone, I'm a newbie here, but maybe some of you will recognize my user name from Gardenweb's kitchen forum. I co-own a kitchen showroom and have been in the business since 1983. I can't believe this is the first time I've posted here!

So, I need some unbiased advice. I sub out my granite installations and I have an issue that I have never had to deal with before. The homeowner is not happy with one of their countertops. He says there is a crack around the cooktop cutout. I called my fabricator and they sent out their repair guy. Customer is still not happy with it, so I went out and had a look. I am not a stone pro so I am not sure what is going on with his top. If I had to take a guess, I would say it's a fissue that extended into a crack either during the cutout process, transportation or installation.

I'm posting a picture for you to see. Please let me know what you think. It is 3cm "Columbus Gold". The crack extends to the front edge of the counter, but it doesn't appear to have gone through to the underneath (unfinished) bottom of the countertop.

Thanks!
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:30 PM   #2
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Welcome, Kompy.

I don't know diddly about your stone problem.

We'll let it play here for a while, and if we're not getting good answers, we'll try it on a couple other of our forums.
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:37 PM   #3
Kompy
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Thanks CX! Hopefully someone here can help me out. Is there a better place for me to have posted this question? I wasn't sure.
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:43 PM   #4
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Nope, good place to start. Lot of our pros don't come by here, but the more helpful ones frequent the place. We'll try the restoration forum next, but a lot of those folks browse here, too. Hang on.
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:17 PM   #5
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Hey Kompy,

I'm not a Granite slab expert, but from what I know about granite, granite has natural pits and fissures
that are part of the stones natural structure. Some types of granite have more of such characteristics than other types.

my unbiased opinion is.........if its a crack that can be felt with the finger, its a crack.

if its a smooth clear looking fissure, smooth to the feel,
thats just the granite and nothing can be done about it.
prior inspection of the slab by the owner and fabricator should have
determined if that spot was acceptable.

I am surprised the homeowner did inspect the slab prior to installation or purchase and see it.
I send my customers that need slab work to a fabricator I know and let them inspect the
material prior to purchase, cutting and install.

I don't know exactly what you are wanting to hear from us, but I think the customer has already told you.
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:19 PM   #6
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I would say your guess is right. The left side looks like a natural fissure that ended up cracking to the right. The granite man I work with would probably replace it....but, if it's in an area where that is unreasonable, I'm thinking that the area possibly could be ground out and filled with an epoxy mixed with dust from grinding a piece of scrap material. Yes, you'd see it, but it wouldn't be as objectionable as it currently is. You might try that and see what the Customer thinks. It's a cheap "fix" and he might go along with it....if not, well we all have had to "eat" a project to make the HO happy. This might possibly be one of those times. A lot just depends on how important your reputation is.

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Old 01-15-2008, 03:24 PM   #7
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or rather then eating the whole cost of rip out, new fabrication, material, labor to install the new. maybe ask them how much you could take off the price or them to keep it as is. this would be a last hope bargin to throw at them before replacing it.
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:43 PM   #8
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Hello Kompy,

IMHO, that looks like a crack that happened either during transportation or installation.

From the picture, it looks like it happened between two cutouts in the granite, (there appears to be a sink cutout to the left) a frequent weak spot. If there was a fissure there, it would have be fool hardy for the fabricator to layout the cutouts at that location. In addition, fabricators usually reinforce these areas around cutouts with steel bars epoxied into groves cut into the slab.

Was this a particularly large slab? Can you provide a picture or even a sketch of the rest of the countertop layout.

If it was cracked during installation or fabrication, the client has a point demanding a replacement piece but since thousands of dollars is usually involved, fabricators rarely rush to offer to replace the slab unless much more damage is done to the slab. (like dropping the whole thing or breaking it in half). Last year, I had the rare occurrence where the client had to go pick out another slab because the fabricator broke it at the shop. They paid for the new slab but it's not a total loss for the fabricators because they can turn the smaller pieces into vanities, etc...

Regardless of how or why it happened, the next step can be a particular sore spot. You can fill in the crack/fissure with color blended epoxy (it's the same stuff they use to fill in the joints) but the repair will not be invisible. You will always be able to see the crack at certain angles. If your client is not happy with this, I don't quite know how to advise you from that point because it becomes a issue of customer relations. If worse comes to worse, offering a discount as a last resort may work but some clients will insist on a replacement.


Edit: What those other guys with faster fingers said too......
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:46 PM   #9
Kompy
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Thanks for the input. I wanted opinions of what it was:
-is it a crack
-is it a fissure
-or was it a fissure that became a crack?

In 7 years of offering granite, I have not yet had a 'fissure issue' come up.

Ceramic, My client did hand pick their slabs. But they don't remember seeing the fissure at that time.

My fabricator has already been out to look at it and my client is not satisfied with the fix. I emailed the granite company owner the photos today as well. They are great about customer satisfaction, so I am sure they will make it right. I'll let you know how it goes.

gotta run....customer just came in.

Thank you!!
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:48 PM   #10
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:20 PM   #11
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Thank you all! I really want to make my client happy but I also want to be fair to the fabricator as well...which is why I posted....to educate myself about this crack. Is it natural or damage? The general consensus here is that it was a fissure that continued on.

Luckily this is an island. The finished edge you see to the left is not a polished sink cutout but an angled section behind the cooktop. I'll post computer rendering below.
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