Cracks in granite countertop - how serious ?

I just got installed granite countertops in the kitchen, from pre-fabbed slabs. I noticed that one of the smaller countertops got 2 cracks, at the very corner where the bullnose meets the wall; one of the cracks, about 1" long, is in the slab itself, the other one is in the glued quarter-round of the bullnose.
The cracks are installer's fault (they apparently happened while he was cutting the slab). He put some glue on them, polished (so it now looks Ok), and thinks his job is done. My question is - should I be worried about the cracks, and make him to replace the countertop, or these cracks is something that happens often ?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Did you pay for a cracked counter top?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
SQLit wrote:

Hi, Wonder if you got discount for imperfect material? I wouldn't accept it unless offered substantial discount. Just like buying a new car with scratched paint finish. Good paint job costs a lot, LOL. Tony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes, the granite was mine
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
ivk wrote:

If I understnad you, you furnished the granite. This is one of those all too common situations where an owner provides materials to an installer in the interest of saving some money. When a problem arises, and the material gets damaged, the owner "knows" it was the fault of the installers and expects them to correct it, including buying new material. The contractor "knows" that he's working for basically straight labor and there was no contingency amount included for faulty materials as they're the owner's responsibility.
Basically it boils down to the owner trying to save a few bucks but still expecting fullservice contracting. It's called wanting "to have your cake and eat it, too."
If you want the installer to replace the granite, furnish him with some more. He'll eat the labor and you'll eat the granite. You'll both have learned something.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I agree with ricodjour but ask your self if you can live with it, you wont have any weight on it so it will hold if he used the proper adhesive, you say it looks ok so it is not worth the headache, He will blame you for picking a piece he will say he would not have used for some reason or another.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote: <<SNIPPED>>

The contractor knows best what his track record is with regard to damages that he might cause. Ego plays a part here.

I disagree here. The homeowner has paid for quality labor, and does expect the material that he supplied to be damaged during performance of the contractor's labor.

Scenario:
Homeowner supplies a two piece toilet. The tank lever needs to be swapped with a trip lever (supplied by homeowner) of a differnt color.
During the swapping process by contractor, the surface of the toilet tank becomes chipped.
Are you arguing that the contractor is not obligated for replacement (material and labor) of the tank that he damaged ?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Scenario: Homeowner supplies a two piece toilet. The tank lever needs to be swapped with a trip lever (supplied by homeowner) of a differnt color. During the swapping process by contractor, the surface of the toilet tank becomes chipped. Are you arguing that the contractor is not obligated for replacement (material and labor) of the tank that he damaged ? "
If the tank was a Kohler and the damage was caused by the contractor, then the contractor should replace it. However, if the tank was some no-name item bought on Ebay where it chipped because it was an inferior product and couldn't stand having a nut tightened on it to normal torque, then the homeowner should replace it.
And that's the essence of the problem with the countertops. I'm no expert in granite, but I would think there would be different quallity grades. And do we know if by visual inspection an installer can tell for sure that a piece won't crack because of some internal condition? I would think that some small percentage might crack despite the installer doing everything right.
I think Rico makes a good point that whenever you start slitting up a job like this, it becomes problematic. If you contracted for a complete job, the situation is clear and it would be the contractor who would have to fix the whole thing. I think the suggestion to split the cost of replacement or live with it is probably the best solution available.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 10 Dec 2005 06:10:48 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Not a Kohler; an American Standard Champion Oakmont right height two-piece toilet.
In this instance, I have a photo showing the toilet installed and w/o the replacement trip lever yet. Also have a photo after the trip lever was replaced, and the chipped surface is obvious.
I think that is enough evidence to prove that the damage was done by the contractor. I have receipts proving that the material is American Standard product.
?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Not a Kohler; an American Standard Champion Oakmont right height two-piece toilet.
In this instance, I have a photo showing the toilet installed and w/o the replacement trip lever yet. Also have a photo after the trip lever was replaced, and the chipped surface is obvious.
I think that is enough evidence to prove that the damage was done by the contractor. I have receipts proving that the material is American Standard product. "
Yes, in that case you are right. But from what we know, your case is a lot different than the case of the granite countertops. With an AMer STd toilet, the contractor doesn;t have to cut granite of unknown quality or origin. As I said, I would think some small percentage of granite or similar material, especially depending on the quality, could crack when cut, even if you did everything right. It's not clear to me that in that case, it's the contractor's fault. For a kitchen shop doing the whole job, start to finish, they likely factor that into their overhead for the total job. When you start splitiing it up, it's not clear who's responsible.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The contractor takes on a project for a fixed price to install a tub/toilet/sink, etc. that are supplied by the buyer. By doing so, the contractor assumes risk of damaging material. Any contractor that does not factor in a contingency for possibly causing material damage is making a mistake.
There is more than one reason why a buyer decides to furnish material and hire a "laborer" that is bonded and insured. In my view, by furnishing major fixtures when having a bathroom remodelled, means that the labor cost is going to be higher than if the contractor furnishes all material including the tub/faucet/med chest, etc.
One very likely reason for hiring "labor only" is because the contractor does not offer what the buyer wants in terms of materials.
IOW, why should a buyer settle on a chrome or polished brass Delta/Moen/AmStd faucet when he/she prefers to have some other mfgr item in a color of choice ?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"The contractor takes on a project for a fixed price to install a tub/toilet/sink, etc. that are supplied by the buyer. By doing so, the contractor assumes risk of damaging material. Any contractor that does not factor in a contingency for possibly causing material damage is making a mistake. "
You think it's a simple open and shut case that the contractor "caused" the damage. How does anyone know this? To start with, you've only heard one side of this story. Second, when working with natural materials, I've seen stuff that looked fine to start with, but turned out to be less than satisfactory. Haven't you seen a piece of lumber unexpectedly split on you? Would that be a carpenter's fault for causing damage and should he pay for it, even though he didn't provide the wood? I would say it is something that can be reasonably expected to happen on occasion and it's not the carpenter's responsibility to pay for. To lay the blame on the carpenterr, you would have to prove that he was in some way negligent.
In the case of the granite, you are jumping to conclusions. No one knows what kind of granite this homeowner bought, where they got it, etc. The vast majority of people buying material somewhere and then having someone else install it are doing it because they want to save money. So, who knows what kind of crap they bought or where they got it. Granite is common enough and there are enough local vendors that would do the whole job, that it's very likely saving bucks was the motive here too.
Here's a story of a contractor allegedly causing damage. My father was a welding contractor. On large diameter water wells, like for municipalities, instead of screwing lengths together, they butt them together and weld them as they go in the ground. On a job many years ago, after they had gone down several hundred feet, the pipe already in the ground broke. The well driller blamed my father because he welded the pipe together and was going to sue.
My father contacted Marquette, who made the welding rods he used. They flew in two engineers to take samples of the pipe which were sent to their lab for analysis. Their metalurgist's conclusion left no doubt. The welds were perfect. The pipe on the other hand was made of cheap crap import steel that was brittle and unfit for the purpose. Confronted with that, the well driller folded up his tent. Following your logic, my father would be the one clearly to blame though, because he "damaged" it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Vince wrote:

OK. How much should that contingency be? The replacement cost of the material multiplied by his estimation of breakage. I don't like gambling and I'm not in the insurance business. I'd just figure the replacement cost of the material. Where's the savings now?

Is this a "secret" supplier? Tell him what you want and and where to get it. If the contractor doesn't want to be bothered and suggests that the owner purchase the materials, that's slightly different, but by no means does it mean that the owner doesn't have a vested interest in the material or the completion of the project.
When the job is split up very specific conversations have to take place so everyone is aware of who is responsible for what. Obviously there'd be no reason to post if these conversations and agreements had taken place. There's plenty of blame to go around since both parties failed to force the issue of responsibility prior to the damage occurring
I have no idea, in either situation, whether the damage was avoidable or not. My point is you're both getting what I like to call an "unwanted education." Next time you can be damn sure things will be done differently.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

10% of total retail cost of materials supplied by buyer.

With that kind of markup, you would not get the job. I don't like to gamble either; that is why I seek out a professional to do what I have decided not to do myself.

A complete and detailed listing of fixtures was supplied to the contractor, including the vendor's name and pricing that buyer was quoted by that vendor. If the contractor wanted to, he could obtain same fixtures at a contractor's cost and then add $$ while still coming out less than buyer/retail pricing. In fact, the contractor did just that: make an offer for cost of the fixtures.

OK. How slightly different would it be when the contractor declines to obtain the fixtures specified by the buyer ?
The homeowner certainly has a vested interest in the material that he supplies: if it is damged during shipment or does not fit or is wrong item, then the project halts until an appropriate replacement item arrives onsite.

In this instance, the tank/toilet is of excellent quality and arrived in a satisfactory condition. Susequent handling by the contractor resulted in the tank being damaged. A professional contractor would eat the replacement and labor costs.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Vince wrote:

Hi, Legit contractor has insurance to cover such incidents. Material loss or injury to worker is covered. First thing to check. Even small things should be in black and white just to be sure. Isn't this all common sense? Tony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tony Hwang wrote:

Last thing to utilize. You'd make a claim for a few hundred bucks, at most, for a toilet? Good way to have your insurance premiums go up, which would be passed on to all of your customers. The granite would be a larger claim, perhaps, but we don't know the amount of granite and what was paid for it. Same idea, though. Don't use the insurance unless you have to.

Absolutely.
Rootin', tootin' right, it is.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Vince wrote:

One reason you're not a contractor.

With this attitude you wouldn't get a bid from me in the first place. It's a two way street - always.

I'm not sure I follow your logic. One of the ways to reduce a contractor to a laborer is to provide direction, materials and assume the risk. Seems that you've accepted the first two, but not the third.

So low price was the objective. How come this doesn't surprise me?

The owner has a vested interest in _everything_ about his project. You have a vested interest in the contractor remaining in business - otherwise who will be there to service the warranty and callbacks? The second sentence illustrates one reason that I like to be in control of the scheduling. If you were a contractor you'd be the same way, unless you were new at it or just slow.

Listen, Vince, you're using your one instance, which still sounds recent and painful, and extrapolating that into a generality. It doesn't fly. It's really easy to drive a contractor out of business by playing hardball - it's done all of the time. The ones that learn quickly, learn how to protect themselves.
You shouldn't get hung up on this. It's counterproductive. If the guy is a schmuck, screwed something up from sheer carelessness and you have had it with the guy, by all means, fry him. Otherwise, adapt. YOU have learned a valuable lesson here. Work with the guy and resolve it amicably. Otherwise you've just burnt a bridge, which might come back to haunt you when you're looking for a contractor. These things get around.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Vince wrote:

You left out the word "not". A critical mistake in that sentence, but an accident, I'm sure. Similar to someone slipping with a wrench. Unfortunate, but stuff happens.

Frankly, this is such a trivial task and well within anyone's abilities, that I question why a homeowner interested in saving money wouldn't do it themselves.

Oops. Sorry.

So you're equating swapping a toilet handle with cutting and installing granite slabs? You don't think there might be a _tiny_ difference in the likelihood that something might get damaged when very heavy objects, fragile and brittle objects, are moved about and cut with diamond tools? Personally I think there's a hell of a difference. Risk is the point and you're neglecting to factor that in.
If the contractor does the entire job, he will use his normal pricing strategy and markup the materials. He will aslo figure in contingencies for what can go wrong. Anything that can cause a problem has a number put on it. A customer who shows signs of being a pain in the ass will find larger numbers on his project as that is a risk. Special order products that the contractor has never installed before will have numbers put on them. It is the only way that a contractor can plan for the unknown - by putting a number on it. He's taking the risk and getting paid for it. That's how it works in everything.
Now contrast that with an owner wanting to save a few bucks and furnishing the materials themselves. The contractor is now basically working for straight labor. Something gets damaged - forget who is at fault for the moment as it is not material. Where is the contractor supposed to come up with the extra money to purchase new materials and offset the extra time involved for which he will not get paid? Take it from the kids lunch money? No, it comes from the next project that the contractor works on. If the guy has been in business for a while, he'll quickly learn that there is no free lunch - not for the owner not for him. He'll build in contingency amounts in such a situation to protect him from that risk, or he'll stop doing projects where the owner furnishes materials.
In other words, the owner wants to save money and assume none of the risk. That's not how it works. It's not fair to the contractor. Is it safe to assume that you're concerned about fairness in your business dealings? Think about it.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.