Monday, December 10, 2012

Emerald Pearl granite countertop - Update

In May of 2012, we replaced our existing 25 year old kitchen counter and sinks with a granite counter top and a new under mount double stainless steel sink.
Hindsight is 20/20, our counter has two mitre corners and a seam in the middle of the double sink.  This wall is almost 11 feet long, an average granite slab size is nine to ten feet, it was not possible to get a single slab of granite long enough to cut the sink out of the middle with two mitred corners.  The alternative would have been to have two straight seams 18 inches away from the sink on both sides, with no mitred corners or seam in the sink.  We prefer the look of an under mount sink with no seams. However, we didn't know we were getting a seam in the sink until after the granite was cut.  I suggested to our contractor for future customers, that if he has to put a seam in the sink, he should explain this before hand.
In August 2012, the granite shifted in front of the sink where the seam is, which broke the silicone seal between the sink and the counter.  There was water leaking into the kitchen cupboard under sink.  I phoned the contractor (Wheat City Granite) and he came right away to check it out.  To make a long story short, the contractor decided he could not fix the counter top to his satisfaction or mine.  In November 2012, Wheat City Granite replaced the existing granite counter top with a new one.  
See no more seam in middle on the double sinks.  This granite is a solid 1 and 1/4 inch slab, the first one was a 3/4 inch granite slab with rolled granite veneer glued around the edges to look like it was 1 and 1/2 inches thick the veneer granite had plywood underneath for support.
This difference in slab width caused installation problems.  We ended up with a gap underneath the countertops on the left hand side of the sink and a 1/4 inch or more gap at top side where the granite meets the white ceramic tile on the wall.  To fix this, oak moulding (trim) was installed to cover the gap under the counter.
 We now have only two straight seams.
The trim is quite noticeable at it is a shade lighter than the cupboards.
In 2013 I plan to change the existing hardware on the cabinets and clean up the wood with a light sanding, new stain and varathane.  I should be able to darken the trim then.
Fixing the gap between the counter top and ceramic tile was more difficult.  The entire bottom row of tiles (50 tiles) which are 3 inches by six inches were removed.  The tile guy came back he recut every tile from 6 by 6 inch tiles to 6 by 3.25, 3.26, 3.27, 3.30 whatever he needed to fit the space. 
This little 15 inch space is not finished.  The ceramic tile between the stove and microwave will be redone and this counter top needs to be sealed. 
The big mess and inconvenience of having our kitchen under construction for a second time in less than a year, combined with the installation problems make this renovation not great, only "ok". The thicker slab is fabulous and no seams in the middle of sink wonderful.  The fit is not good, the counter top overhangs the cupboard edge only 1/2 an inch on the right side where the the dishwasher is and in front of the sinks. Then there is a 2 and 1/2 inch overhang beside the fridge on the left side.  I promised my husband as long as we live in this house I will never, ever, renovate the kitchen again. 

5 comments:

  1. What a nightmare renovation. At least they have corrected the seal issues and as you say you can change the colour of the cabinetry easily enough.
    I hope the granite behaves itself, its a beautiful colour.

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  2. I love how the countertops turned out, they look amazing! Great job.
    Granite Countertop

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  3. Hi Walter, yes indeed they do look fantastic. I love rolling pastry on them and forming bread loaves.

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  4. Wow! You had a great granite countertop. It looks very beautiful and elegant.

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  5. Thank you for sharing. It came out beautiful. It is crazy how a minor change like that can make a room feel brand new. I just called granite countertops NH to have mine redone too!

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