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Please solve the GRANITE MYSTERY!

(23 Posts)
GuineaGin Mon 12-Mar-18 22:07:38

I would so appreciate your help with this, because it’s doing my head in. Almost 10 years ago we bought some black granite for our kitchen.

For the last few months there was a visible crack at the edge in front of the sink - we just thought that it had been installed too snugly and was under pressure. Today that cracked chunk fell off, revealing what looks like a sandwich of granite and some kind of interior base.

What do you think is going on? Was it some kind of synthetic mix (I’m making this term up as I have no idea of the technicalities) rather than a magical granite with a composite heart? We have had this for just over 9 years and would have been pretty pissed off if it wasn’t for planning to change the whole thing soon - but, were we scammed?

OVienna Mon 12-Mar-18 22:11:04

We had chips come out of the granite in the kitchen in our first house and our neighbours lost a huge chunk. Yours looks different from ours and theirs though. I assumed ours happened because we went for a softer granite (which the coloured ones can be.)

Do you know who supplied it?

GuineaGin Mon 12-Mar-18 22:15:18

I have completely forgotten! It was an independent company that imported cheap granite from Europe. What I don’t understand is the middle line that clearly doesn’t seem to be stone. I think we had found the supplier online somewhere - he turned up with these massive sheets of granite (or was it?blush) and asked my husband to help him take them one floor up. Somehow that doesn’t sound too professional does it? wink

user1471530109 Mon 12-Mar-18 22:20:37

Is it granite or quartz?

I had quartz at last house and our fitters (of kitchen) actually damaged the worktop and a chunk fell off. I wasn't impressed at all with the quality. Also a cheap internet company....they sent a black putty out to fix the problem. To be fair, it did make it look ok.

Anyway. I'm rambling. The thought went through my mind at the time that it wasn't v good quality. However, they did cut a hole for the sink at the time, and it was quartz all the way through. No weird lines like yours.

Is it definitely not just lines in the stone though?

NorthernLurker Mon 12-Mar-18 22:21:31

I don't know what that us but us clearly not solid granite. It's not done too bad though, nearly ten years of hard use.

GuineaGin Mon 12-Mar-18 22:36:54

Thank you both, I completely agree that we can’t complain over a cheap(er) solution that lasted almost 10 years. But it’s never nice to find out you’ve been had! Admittedly, we’ve chopped veg on it, landed endless hit pans, used all sorts of cleaners and there was never a scratch. But I’m dying to know what it really was! Maybe it’s art! grin

GuineaGin Mon 12-Mar-18 22:37:56

Meant to write hot pans, hit pans sounds like an experimental band.

Humptynumpty02 Mon 12-Mar-18 22:44:20

Granite is porous, are you sure it's not 10 years worth of grime that's penetrated the stone?

GuineaGin Mon 12-Mar-18 23:26:11

That sounds fascinatingly unhygienic but isn’t it a bit too straight a line of dirt?

Badtimegirly Mon 12-Mar-18 23:57:52

It's Nero Assoluto, and this one looks like it's from China, which means it's a lookalike. It may have had a fissure in it for a long time, but to be fair these are invisible to the eye for the most part when selecting the slab. It looks like it's 10/15 Mm material which has then been resin bonded onto a cheaper material. This is for cost saving purposes and also weight, when they ship over from China in containers.

It can be made good however because it is so close to the edge it will always have that weakness going forward. Granite is not as robust as people believe it can get etched and go dull when it comes into contact with acidic solutions, and once that happens you can never get the finish back. As stated before it can contain fissures that can open up, and needs a good maintenance regime.

Composite stone are far more robust and practical and to be honest there are so many great ones out there your be spoilt for choice,

IhaveChillyToes Tue 13-Mar-18 00:13:36

IMHO it doesn't look like a natural fault but more like a straight line from a sandwich of different products iyswim

RubberJohnny Tue 13-Mar-18 00:30:54

It's called laminating. We've use the same company twice, once for black granite, once for marble. We were considering a fancy edge and therefore, getting thick marble this time. However, the edge we wanted (5cm ogee) was ££££. The company gave a very reasonable quote for a 'doubled up' ( fake) edge which involved a standard 3cm slab laminated to strips round all the edges but underneath would've looked like a big thick pie crust. ( sort of 😅) if you looked up from below, the under laying strips would be slightly projecting to allow the fake one edge. Underneath the top layer though there would be a big rectangle if nothing. Stone slabs are not strong when flat so the inner was filled with ply.
Guessing yours is 'filled ' in a similar way. But they've used chip board. I reckon you've paid 2/3cm slab prices and not the laminating ones? Even if were cheaper initially, you weren't comparing like for like.

Btw, laminating can be done well.
I'd post a link but not sure if I'm allowed to link a business.

RubberJohnny Tue 13-Mar-18 00:38:12

Like this..

And the crack appearing provably accelerated the absorption of water resulting in weakening and swelling of the inner material leading to the dramatic break you have.

3luckystars Tue 13-Mar-18 03:56:02

I’m not an expert but it looks nothing like the granite we had at all. Even the surface itself looks different. But the middle looks crumbly and I would worry what it actually is made of,
I would replace it straight away.

dieselKiller Tue 13-Mar-18 06:44:49

Is it polished concrete with a lightweight core?

Badtimegirly Tue 13-Mar-18 07:05:27

Well your photo got my worktop installers talking this morning! After a few expletives from them along the lines of wtf! Is that?!! One of them had seen something similar years ago where the supplier had put terracotta underneath and bonded it to the granite! He thinks it could be the same here.

As the previous poster had stated yes we can put a false front edge on sometimes if a client wants a fancy edge but doesn't want to blow the budget, but we don't think it's the same here as is a straight edge with a small chamfer.

travellinglighter Tue 13-Mar-18 07:15:22

It looks like granite laminate on chipboard. If you paid for solid granite you were ripped off.

Spanglybangles Tue 13-Mar-18 19:10:15

Looks like a granite overlay worktop to me. As above stated...ripped off if solid expected and paid for.

GuineaGin Tue 13-Mar-18 19:35:02

Thank you so much, everybody, for your feedback! All I can say is I’m relieved that it happened just as we were planning to replace the kitchen in its entirety... I really appreciate the explanations provided, the granite mystery has been well and truly solved! grin

DOLLYDAYDREAMER Tue 13-Mar-18 20:09:22

Its probably real granite from Chine or Eastern Europe. Looks like the strengthening bar that is put in back and front of the sink cut out is made of iron which has rusted and expanded causing it to crack the granite. The bar should be made of stainless steel. Some cheap makes dont bother putting one in at all

IhaveChillyToes Tue 13-Mar-18 20:19:43

Just being nosey but what kind of counter top are you putting in your new kitchen?

GuineaGin Tue 13-Mar-18 20:34:52

I was thinking of granite but reconsidering now! I think wood looks great but don’t trust myself keeping it dry, oiling etc. I have gotten used to putting pans and pots straight from the fire onto the counter too, so that rules out some materials too.

IhaveChillyToes Tue 13-Mar-18 20:55:07

If you could get granite that was 100% it would be great smilesmilesmilesmilesmile

Perhaps ask to see a cross section before you pay for it, if possible

Is it possible to visit where they cut it to size for your order, then you could watch it being cut?

If you show them these photos they will hopefully understand how you don't want to be conned again

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