Full disclosure: you might need a plate of cheese to go with all the whine in this post. Just sayin.
On a scale from ‘pain in the butt‘ to ‘American Horror Story: My Carrara Nightmare,’ I’d rank our countertop installation experience a solid ‘snag in the plans.’ Not because anything irreversibly earth-shattering happened during the installation, but because the experience as a whole left us feeling kinda salty and generally disgruntled.
The process started easily enough. We decided to go with MSI’s Q Quartz ‘Carrara Grigio’ — a durable quartz that was a great dupe for Carrara marble, and at a great price.
We had an awesome experience in the showroom, where a sales rep very patiently walked us through the process, measurements, options, etc. and answered all of our burning questions. A template was scheduled, we paid our deposit, and then we waited.
There were a few bumps in the road with scheduling and getting in touch with the supplier, but we remained optimistic. Then installation day came, and those little ‘bumps in the road’ became a Supercross-worthy whoops section.
Take a look:
We had specified that we wanted an eased edge profile and squared off corners for our countertops.
That didn’t exactly work out:
We had chosen squared edges and corners because we thought that the clean-cut look would compliment the square shape of our shaker cabinets. Our masterplan embraced classic elements updated with modern sleekness… and in our opinion, we would be missing the mark with rounded corners on our countertops.
Adding to the stylistic strife, there was a squared corner between the cooktop and oven, which not only served as a sore reminder of what could have been, but also made the rounded corners look even more prominent and out of place.
We had already purchased Ikea’s Dömsjo, which is an apron-front Belfast sink that sits on top of two pieces of countertop and slides all the way back to the rear wall. A small notch needed to be cut out of the quartz on either side to accommodate the sink’s apron front.
Fitting the sink added an additional $200 to our job, and we made sure to provide the measurements to the suppliers ahead of time, as well as having the sink on-site at template.
But on installation day…
Besides the placement of the slab on top of the cabinets looking (frankly) kinda jacked up, the installers refused to have anything to do with the sink, or cutting the notches that were needed… which meant that the sink would never fit.
(Did I mention the whole sink area just looked jacked up?)
The worktop on our bar was also visibly off-center:
End of the world? No.
Something we could look at every day without grimacing regretfully? …No.
It was a long list of little things being ‘not quite right’ that added up to a big, nagging feeling of “meh.”
We debated, Googled, touched the corners a lot, debated some more… and ultimately decided to call up the countertop company to see what could be done.
Since this is a home improvement blog and not a Yelp review, I won’t get into specifics. Suffice it to say, after another bumpy two weeks, our issues were (mostly) resolved:
Once the notches were cut, the sink fit right in (and looked freakin awesome!)
We would have preferred this inside corner to be squared as well, but were told that unless the seam is located here, the corner can’t be squared without compromising the countertop (and causing cracks down the road).
So we left it. Silver lining: I’m sure it’ll make a great bum rest to lean on while standing over the stove cooking?
This was the first time during our home improvement process that we had to complain about something, and here’s what I learned from the experience: it’s ok to make sure things are done right. Don’t worry about sounding difficult or uppity. Don’t worry about feeling like a bitch. Countertops are expensive (and you’re going to live with them for a really long time!)… and there’s no reason to spend that much money on something that isn’t exactly what your ordered, or hasn’t been installed correctly.