Is installed granite broken?


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Old 02-26-15, 05:48 AM
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Is installed granite broken?

I bought Delicatus granite and I'm pretty sure I received a broken piece. I am being told by the store I bought it from (and their granite installer) that Delicatus has 'fissures' like this all the time and this is completely normal.

From Sam, the store's granite guy:

"Went by today to look at it, The Delicatus has a vein/fissure in the sink cut-out and in the solid piece between cut-outs.You can feel those and some other areas as well. Delicatus and others exotics materials always has that and we do our best to not let it break apart. Every sink cut-out has steel rods installed in the front and in the back to add strength to the narrow areas, that goes pretty much on every material. Only thing I can do is probably remove it or remake it in a different material, if we remake with Delicatus again the same thing may happen since the material has fissures and veins and fillers all over it."

When I told them it was broken, they sent me 'The 10 Facts About Granite' (oldcastlesurfaces.com/blog/articles/10-facts-about-granite.html) with fact #5 highlighted stating, 'fissures in granite are visible separations along inter-chrystalline boundaries.' When I looked up 'inter-chrystalline' it states, 'occurring along the boundaries between the crystals or grains.' This crack goes through the crystals and grains, not along the boundaries.

I call BS. To me, this piece of granite has clearly been broken at the weak sink cutout and epoxied back together as if nothing happened. The epoxy runs across the top and down the sink cutout. The bottom wasn't even fixed and I can see a clear crack along the same line. The granite was not broken when I chose it at the yard.

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I also just found a youtube video of the exact same thing I believe happened with my granite: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSUuXGo74F8

Can anybody out there tell me that this 'fissure' is completely normal or do you agree that the store and granite guy are both trying to get away with a bad job?
 
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Old 02-26-15, 06:00 AM
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Run your hand over the area. Does it feel like it's broken?

Many types of stone have fissures, voids or other imperfections. If you look closely you'll often see where they are filled with epoxy in some cases but some smaller pits may still exist even after cutting and polishing.
 
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Old 02-26-15, 07:52 AM
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I definitely feel a different texture and slight ridge when I rub my hand across the entire crack. I don't have an photo of the entire piece, but you can see the crack start from the very back near the wall and travel all the way to the front. Are there really fissures like this? Is fissure just a granite worker's word for naturally broken granite that they have to fix? This crack looks nothing like the rest of the slab.
 
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Old 02-26-15, 08:05 AM
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Granite will break. Who performed the installation? Were you there for it? Did they break it? A mended joint won't take transportation well, so it appears to have been broken on site and put back together (very badly).
 
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Old 02-26-15, 08:08 AM
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I'm not a stone expert. I have been subcontracting it out though for over 14 years on the kitchens I do and see every installation.
To me this is a broken slab plain and simple. Most likely installer error. I wouldn't care why the granite is susceptible to breakage, I would only care it's broke and needs replaced.

I can't imagine any customer I've ever worked with accepting this stone, not with the cost involved.

A little background: There are special clamps used to transport granite, both on the truck and when setting it down in the home. The clamp is long and sandwiches the granite at the weak points. My guess is the installers did not invest in these expensive tools and this is what happens when you take shortcuts.
 
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Old 02-26-15, 08:54 AM
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A natural vein or a factory repaired blemish like filling a void is usually very difficult to feel. If you feel the crack and it feels like a crack or break then it's probably a break. Judging by it's location I'd guess the sink was cut out at the factory and it broke during transport or installation. Then they fixed it as they might do a seam. Had they done it more properly you might have never noticed. I assume you ordered and paid for an unbroken top so you should have an unbroken top. They should either replace it or offer a discount for you to accept the blemish/damage.

If they want to replace it inspect the slab from which your top will be made. Pay particular attention to look for fissures and run your hand over the slab to feel for imperfections so you know what to expect in the finished piece.
 
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Old 02-27-15, 07:41 AM
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The good news it sounds like they're going to replace it for you? Not having touched it I can't say for sure, but it sure looks like a break to me that's been epoxied back together, and it's exactly where you would expect a break to occur.

Also, based on a quick google search, a lot of people do say that "delicatus" is a very fragile granite, so much so that some fabricators won't touch it. If you redo this, I'd strongly suggest taking them up on the offer to use a different stone.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 05:36 AM
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Thank you everybody for your quick replies!
You are correct that the installer is offering to replace the vanity, however, he also installed a tub deck of the same stone and has not offered to replace that one. We bought a remnant and all the other delicatus remnants he has hardly look like the one we have now, which looks really nice other than the break. Now I'm wondering if it would look good or be worth it for the installer to just scratch out the black epoxy that travels through white parts of the stone, and replace it with white epoxy so you wouldn't be able to see the crack. I would basically be letting him off just because he doesn't have other delicatus that would look good on the vanity.

Keep an open mind and please tell me what are your thoughts?
 
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Old 03-01-15, 06:16 AM
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Think of the future. Will you be willing to live with a "broken and repaired" counter top several years from now? Is it going to bother you? If you bought both slabs based on color and decore and the fact that will be seen together then both should be replaced. You bought and paid for a complete package. If they won't replace both pieces I would fight them even going so far as small claims court. Would you be willing to pay a bit more for new pieces? Long and short, I would not be willing to accept one piece being different than the other. So maybe a repaired top is the better choice. Will the repaired top have any type of guaranty on future breakage under normal use? If you decide to fight for new pieces then get another stone mason to inspect and give you a written report on his professional opinion on the condition and integrity of the piece. I know my wife would not accept this.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 06:26 AM
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Depending on the layout, the front and rear of sink is a common place for a seam to be placed.
The reasoning is that the seam will be smaller than other areas.

To accept a repair, I would insist on a couple things:

- Get his best guy to repair and color match the epoxy to your satisfaction.

- Remove vanity top and sink prior to repair. The reason I would want this done is so the epoxy repair (seam) is the full depth of crack, not just filled from the top.
 
 

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