I moved in to a condo building about 11 months ago, so with 1 month left on my warranty I have asked for a repair to be made on my marble countertop in the bathroom. When I first moved in to the place, I informed the developer's rep that I had a small crack that ran from the sink (undermount)to the edge of the coutertop. They responded that the crack is "normal" and that it would not be repaired/replaced. Now, after about 11 months, the crack seems to have become a little more pronounced and just recentley, a small (half inch) piece of it chipped off at the edge of the counter. I am afraid that it will continue to deteriorate, so I again informed the developer. I am meeting with them in a couple of days so I wanted to arm myself with any knowledge that I could gain. The couter is actually 2 slabs, each about 3/4" thick. The crack is at the most narrow part of the top slab at the front of the sink. Any thougths or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I find it hard to belive that this would fall under the category of "natural settling/expansion of materials" which would opt them out of repair. Thank you.
does the crack go through 1 peice, or both peices? veining in marble is natural, and can sometimes look like cracks when it is actually part of the beauty that is marble, however if it is through both peices that is highly unlikely, and furthermore if the crack is growing and chipping then it certainly isnt you being over critical of a natuaral product.
the "natural settling" cop out may work for the developer. if the crack is through 1 peice and not both i would argue it isnt a settlement issue or both would be cracked and that it is deffective materials.
if it is through both peices check your floor. is it a tile floor? if it is are there cracks in a similar location matching up with this 1, or are there any cracks or loose grout at all?
is the vanity that the marble is on 1 peice or made up of smaller cabinets joined together? how big a span is the marble?
A natural stone countertop is not supposed to fall apart under normal use. They may try to blame you for dropping something on the edge to cause the chunk to fall out. The crack may have been there and just opened up more as time went by. A natural fissure wont open up as you described but a crack might. A fissure is not a defect but a crack is. You may need the backing of a stone restoration expert to do battle with the developer. Try the forum at www.stoneadvice.com and see if any of those guys can be of help.
Thanks so much for the advice. The crack does not run all the way through the top slab. I would guess that currently, the crack extends about one-third of the depth of the top slab abd spans the entire width (approx. 5") from edge to sink. The vanity is one piece.
The thought that I had about the cause of the crack is the fact that the bottom slab does not match the exact foot print of the top slab. I have read much about the importance of a well supported marble slab. Where the undermount sink is attached, the bottom slab is cut back so that only the top slab hangs over the attachment point. COuld the difference in load bearing at this point be a cause of the crack?
My suspicion is that either the pre-sale cleaning staff or the electrician installing the light fixture stood on the counter, causing the crack. In nearly every instance where I've seen this develope over almost 20 years installing tile, this has been the case. In two cases however, the undercounter sink was installed incorrectly and created tension in the slab causing the crack in the 3cm slab. That the crack is only evident in the surface and not the underlaying slab suggests to me that the material bowed under someone's weight.
Best of luck,
Capua Custom Tile & Stone
Member - National Tile Constractors Association
Member- Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties
Member - B.A.C. Local #1 WA
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