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Granite Worktops - Truth, Lies and misinformation

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  • angelavdavisangelavdavis Forumite
    4.7K posts
    Mortgage-free Glee!
    Thanks Alan for this, very useful.

    I went down the traditional stonemasons route but sadly the company is no longer trading (cashflow issues when they started dealing with the larger kitchen suppliers who weren't as good at paying on time).

    I love my granite worktops.
    :D Thanks to MSE, I am mortgage free!:D
  • Alan_M_2Alan_M_2 Forumite
    2.8K posts
    I went down the traditional stonemasons route but sadly the company is no longer trading (cashflow issues when they started dealing with the larger kitchen suppliers who weren't as good at paying on time).

    This is the biggest problem facing small businesses at the moment, not just in construction and related industries but across the board.

    Cashflow is wiping out company after company that are still operating profitably, just not getting paid or paid on time.

    The larger the customer the more they rely on their size to increase the time which they pay you.

    The bigger ones even factor into their figures that some firms will go bust before they they pay them and they'll get indefinite credit on the work completed.

    The only way we can deal with this is cease all credit lines completely. We've lost business without a doubt, quite a large percentage in fact, but I've also lost any chance of bad debts.

    I've been caught once in this manner and as a result I had to declare bankruptcy after being knocked for £250K. I won't allow it to happen again, but it will keep my business small and only allow for slow growth if I manage to grow at all.

    It's difficult, I could be selling far more than I am now if I gave credit, but would I see the money?

  • I did lots of research on here and elsewhere. I'm in brighton, I eventually chose to go to a company called lemonstone granite based in ifield.

    The man came round to measure up, brought his young daughter round as he was looking after her. Seemed like a nice bloke, all seemed well didn't ask for a deposit up front even though i offered to give one.

    I made a number of calls in the week the worktops were to be fitted and got no reply. I foolishly removed my worktops and finally at 10a.m. on the day the worktops were to be fitted he answered the phone and told me a story about his employee being injured and the Health and saftey executive had closed him down for two weeks.

    I went out and retrieved my worktops and replaced them temporarily.

    We rescheduled for today 23rd July. You know what, i left messages all this week and nothing. Today's come and gone.

    I'd be grateful for some advice in trying to resolve the matter asap.
  • Alan_M_2Alan_M_2 Forumite
    2.8K posts
    You have a Private Message Barchetta.

  • Alan_M_2Alan_M_2 Forumite
    2.8K posts
    barchetta wrote: »
    I did lots of research on here and elsewhere. I'm in brighton, I eventually chose to go to a company called lemonstone granite based in ifield.

    The man came round to measure up, brought his young daughter round as he was looking after her. Seemed like a nice bloke, all seemed well didn't ask for a deposit up front even though i offered to give one.

    I made a number of calls in the week the worktops were to be fitted and got no reply. I foolishly removed my worktops and finally at 10a.m. on the day the worktops were to be fitted he answered the phone and told me a story about his employee being injured and the Health and saftey executive had closed him down for two weeks.

    I went out and retrieved my worktops and replaced them temporarily.

    We rescheduled for today 23rd July. You know what, i left messages all this week and nothing. Today's come and gone.

    I'd be grateful for some advice in trying to resolve the matter asap.

    I spoke with Rik this morning from Lemonstone (He's one of my customers), more to make sure he was ok rather than anything else as the Health and Safety reference was rather disturbing.

    He has no comprehension about any of the points made in this post and no idea who you are or why you would post this. He was genuinely bemused.

  • WibbleWibble Forumite
    44 posts
    Thanks Alan - very interesting post and it helps explain why these cheaper granite companies can manage the low (at least compared to other places!) prices.

    One question I have, though, is whether you know anything about man made quartz? We're due to have worktops from Mister Marble and have chosen their Starlight material, as it's got more sparkles in it than Star Galaxy granite.

    I'd just be interested in whether you knew anything about that and whether it's fine, or whether as it's not actually cut from a block of granite means that for whatever reason the quality's not good?

    I think it was slightly more expensive than the Star Galaxy, so I'm hoping it's not inferior!
  • edited 31 July 2009 at 4:01PM
    Alan_M_2Alan_M_2 Forumite
    2.8K posts
    edited 31 July 2009 at 4:01PM
    Quartz is man made, it's not granite.

    It's is made from crushed quartz (93%) mixed with resins (7%) and should be from a recognisable manufacturer. i.e.

    Compac
    Caeserstone
    Cimstone
    Silestone
    ArenaStone
    etc etc

    Ask which one you're getting and make sure it's not a cheap Chinese copy.

    What's wrong with the Chinese stuff? Actually we don't know if it's any good or not, (it could be perfectly acceptable) it's probably produced the same way but as it's Chinese it circumvents a lot of the British Standard requirements that the European material needs to comply with. Therefore it's untested and from a commercial point of view, we can't specify it due to the lack of technical information.

  • edited 6 August 2009 at 4:21PM
    shays_mumshays_mum Forumite
    1.7K posts
    edited 6 August 2009 at 4:21PM
    Hi!
    Just came across this thread, great post Alan :)
    Just a quick question, what are your thoughts on those granite worktops that slip over existing worktops?
    I know ppl will say get the original if you can, but my parents are retired & disabled and their budgets simply cannot cover the cost of real granite worktops as much as they would love them!
    Any help is much appreciated on how they can keep costs down, thanks in advance :)
    (I know someone in construction who has a ltd company if supply is to trade only!)
    No one said it was gonna be easy!
  • edited 7 August 2009 at 9:04AM
    Alan_M_2Alan_M_2 Forumite
    2.8K posts
    edited 7 August 2009 at 9:04AM
    The main downside of the laminate granite is the size of pieces that it comes in (I may be wrong) but I'm sure they are available only up to 1200mm in length unless it's changed recently. That means more joints.

    Also the availability of the real deal at wholesale prices now means a full fit of genuine granite is about the same cost as the 10mm laminate....at least get a quote for both first.

  • Hi Granite experts!

    Can you please advise me.. I have lovely granite, that i chose, veiwed as a slab, and had fitted a couple of years ago and it looks very nice. The problem is that it is just a little 'weak'. I now have 5 seperate chips in it. Two chips are from where shopping bags have been lifted up ad just caught the edge, and a couple of others are where objects have fallen from the cupboards. The last is when i had the boiler replaced so that was possible a 'hard' knock but I wasnt there..

    I am just interested really, should this happen so easily or is this granite low grade? Its called Angolan black and still looks as good today as when fitted (apart from the chips!!)

    Many thanks
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