Starting from the late 90’s Granite became the most popular luxurious counter top system in residential homes. Slowly but surely it replaced laminate and corian tops due to its great durability and visual qualities.
This movement triggered the whole stone industry’s infrastructure creating multiple amount of granite fabrication shops and local stone suppliers. It bacame so accessible that even small garage based shops could have an easy reach to jumbo size gratine slabs. Which of course led to low quality projects not to mention safety regulations that was constantly ignored. Housing market was dictating fast and low quality products fabricated and installed in order to close the deal and move on to next one. It did not take much to see it crashed and we all know and experienced what happened next.
As we all now every product that we use daily has wear and tear. Lots of granite tops leads to lots of edges, surfaces, undermount sinks, caulking and seam joints. The areas that get the most of the activities and challenges. With low quality performance jobs trouble areas appear faster and signs of problems become obvious.
In this blog I want to highlight one particular segment which is the seam joints. The seam is when two segments of granite come together and joint with adhesive material to secure leveled and strong bond for the long period of time. If installation process was done in hurry without proper support and low quality adhesives the seam will separate after short period of time as indicated on the photo below.
The sad part is that after home owners notice the damage and tries to contact the original fabricator they discover the following. 1. The original fabricator is out of business. 2. warranty is over. 3. The fabricator does not care about an existing customer and simply ignores. An honorable fabricator always keeps our contacts in their phone book but regardless it takes good amount research and time before they find us as granite technicians and ask us for the professional help.
What happens when we get involved? And what are proper steps to repair damaged seam joints?
Our company’s attitude always being not only solve the problem but make it go away for good. We always look for the opportunity to transform frog into beauty. Why not just replace the existing and loose adhesive but make the seam look way better than any fabricator intended in the first place.
Step#1. Remove an existing adhesive and clean the edges of the granite thoroughly.
Step #2. Level the the tops from the cabinets from back to front using leveling shims.
Step#3. Insert high bond adhasive into seam joints and insure proper curing process.
Step#4. Remove excess material.
Ideally this should be it but it only makes sick frog into heathy frog but where is the beauty?
Step#5. Grind the surface with diamond pads and level it as it shows on the photo below. This process insures seamless transition from one top to another. Running finger tips cross will give you feeling of flat and smooth surface without any interruption.
Step#6. Ones polish been removed it requires multiple grits of diamond honing and polishing mechanically. On each step it will require more surface area to cover.
Step#7. More honing and covering larger areas.
Step#8. The final process requires wet and dry polishing process creating heat and friction. And slowly the original depth and luster is coming back. Transforming frog into beauty is completed.
Any granite counter top owner will be happy to see this kind of transformation.