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Granite worktop installation - help!

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in In my home (includes DIY) MoneySaving
38 replies 3.9K views
I'm hoping someone with some knowledge of granite installation can give me some advice. We had our laminate worktops replaced with granite a couple of weeks ago, and they've already been damaged. :(

There is a join which is positioned directly above our integrated washing machine - so it's basically floating as there is nothing at all above it and the washer is about 5cm lower than the units. I'd say the join is about 10cm in from the left hand side of the washing machine - so there is basically 50cm with absolutely nothing underneath it from the right. Less than a week after it went in, we discovered damage to the worktop along the join - the join had split basically, and chipped the worktop in the process in a couple of places. It is possible that our painter leaned/stood on the worktops at some point but as we discovered the worktop flexed even when we just put pressure on it with out hands - I could move it pretty easily.

The installer came back, and basically admitted that he hadn't noticed it was unsupported when he templated/installed. He hadn't put any cement or any sort of support underneath the join at all - just pushed some sort of filler in from the top and front edge. We also discovered that he also hadn't adjusted the legs of the cabinet to the right of the join which meant that the worktop wasn't in contact with anything for at least another 40cm.

He attempted a repair which was far too obvious. He's sent someone else out who has tried again, but it's still really noticeable and in a really prominent spot.

We need to speak to the company later today, but I wanted to get some opinions on whether installing it with the join like this would be normal as I'm not a granite expert! I'm not sure what a reasonable outcome is given that it is possible that it was stood on, but that I think it was badly installed.
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Replies

  • ryder72ryder72 Forumite
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    Any solid worktop needs supports and the longest unsupported span shouldnt really exceed 60cm. Given that your worktop supplier has decided it was alright to put a join without a support below it leads me to believe that they are a bodge-it operation. Get your kitchen company to sort it out. If you purchased directly, you are probably at the mercy of the worktop supplier and their attitude to quality/service. I personally wouldnt buy the argument that the fitter didnt notice there was no support. Its his job to look at the installation and find the best support points for the worktop.

    You shouldnt really be standing on stone worktops and certainly not on a join or an unsupported area. Its just your luck that it hasnt snapped.

    I would be asking them to reinstall worktops and putting in a join where there is proper support.
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  • Thanks. Because the installation is so new, we haven't actually paid for it yet!

    I think I will ask them to reinstall - it had been literally 10cm or so to the left the join would have been on top of a cupboard which has a solid top so the join would have been supported.

    As I say, genuinely not sure if the painter stood on it - he might have done as I think he would have struggled to reach in certain places without doing e.g. over a corner cupboard. He wouldn't have been able to tell it was unsupported - we didn't know ourselves and it wasn't highlighted by the worktop company. The fitter is also the owner.

    As an aside - how do people get around the issue of not being able to sit/stand/kneel/whatever on granite? It wasn't something we are aware of and it certainly wasn't highlighted during the "granite is so amazingly strong" sales pitch ;) The layout of our kitchen makes it a bit of a problem - we have high ceilings and a window which opens from the top that's behind the worktop.
  • ryder72ryder72 Forumite
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    Granite is very strong but also very brittle. If its properly supported it will support an immense amount of weight. However, without support, it has no 'give' and snaps. Quartz is not so brittle so can take a lot more weight.

    You can easily stand on either worktop provided you are stood on the carcase gables which allow the weight to be transferred. Safer to buy a ladder
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  • :D We do have a ladder! It's just that there are places in the kitchen which I certainly couldn't reach from a ladder because I'm not tall enough (or my arms aren't long enough!). Our window is recessed, so from front of worktop to glass is probably 90cm or so. So even with a ladder right against the front of the worktop I wouldn't reach.

    I understand re it being brittle - just wondered how people deal with it in reality. Guess we won't be changing the paint colour anytime soon!
  • dave030445dave030445 Forumite
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    When you talk to the fitters best not say that the painter may of stood on it.
  • He already worked out that he might have given the kitchen has changed colour pretty dramatically! I genuinely think it would have broken anyway - especially with the washing machine vibrating away underneath it. One of us would have leaned on it when getting something out of the cupboard above it, or the (very very large) cat would have jumped on it or something. Just pressing it with my hands I could move it up and down. It's also not got a smooth top surface which I suspect makes it more vulnerable.
  • You shouldn't be afraid to use it because it's not fitted properly.
    Obviously keep quiet about standing on it, why stitch yourself up?
    You shouldn't be able to move it by pushing on it, so it's not right, simple :)
  • cyclonebri1cyclonebri1 Forumite
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    That is a ludicrous installation in my view.

    You are very lucky in not having paid for it.

    You simply should not have a joint like that unsupported. Forget the painter, he's actually done you a favour, sooner or later something would have loaded it and the joint or more likely the top itself, would have failed.

    Talk to a few installers, ask if they would do as yours has been done.
    It needs redoing imho, with the joint in a supported place.

    It's been fitted "economically"
    I like the thanks button, but ,please, an I agree button.

    Will the grammar and spelling police respect I do make grammatical errors, and have carp spelling, no need to remind me.;)

    Always expect the unexpected:eek:and then you won't be dissapointed
  • That's my thoughts, I think it would have gone anyway - it might genuinely have been naff all to do with the painter. The way it is positioned, it's a bit of the kitchen that tends to get heavily loaded - it's where you dump heavy bags, wet loads of washing etc. It's where the 2.5 stone cat leaps up (and believe me he lands with a bang!)

    The fitter also broke our newly installed plinth lights, and left us without a sink cos he couldn't work out how to fit it. That was supposed to be part of the service :mad:

    I think I'm going to have to insist they replace it, and move the join to somewhere more sensible. Course that will destroy the newly painted walls :eek: Oh well. I just wanted to check that I wasn't being unreasonable and that this sort of fitting wasn't a normal approach. It sounds like it's definitely not.
  • cyclonebri1cyclonebri1 Forumite
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    That's my thoughts, I think it would have gone anyway - it might genuinely have been naff all to do with the painter. The way it is positioned, it's a bit of the kitchen that tends to get heavily loaded - it's where you dump heavy bags, wet loads of washing etc. It's where the 2.5 stone cat leaps up (and believe me he lands with a bang!)

    The fitter also broke our newly installed plinth lights, and left us without a sink cos he couldn't work out how to fit it. That was supposed to be part of the service :mad:

    I think I'm going to have to insist they replace it, and move the join to somewhere more sensible. Course that will destroy the newly painted walls :eek: Oh well. I just wanted to check that I wasn't being unreasonable and that this sort of fitting wasn't a normal approach. It sounds like it's definitely not.

    You certainly are not being unreasonable.
    I'm glad you didn't say you were going to throw them out as that would have been problematic.
    By law I understand you have to allow them the opportunity to resolve/fix the issues.
    It's going to be costly for them so expect trouble. They may have put the joint there simply because it was the full length of the original slab, or that they had an offcut that was used for the other piece. Their price may have been based on that.

    The other scenario is that they didn't know there was a void at that point?. Can I ask, did a templater come out and survey the job?, if so then there is no excuse.

    Now apart from the issue of getting them to redo part of the job, your issue may be the match if they cut from a different slab, this stuff varies widely from batch to batch.

    And finally the cat needs to go on a severe diet.;);)
    I like the thanks button, but ,please, an I agree button.

    Will the grammar and spelling police respect I do make grammatical errors, and have carp spelling, no need to remind me.;)

    Always expect the unexpected:eek:and then you won't be dissapointed
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