Granite Nightmare (pictures to prove it)

 If you plan on getting granite in your home you need to read what this family went through first!  This was written by a mom who went through hell when her granite was installed.  In addition there are many that have come forth in the comments saying they had the same happen to them.
Rick and I went through a terrible ordeal almost exactly 2 years ago to date.
It was supposed to be the final stage of our DIY Kitchen Makeover, however, things got ugly.
We decided on granite to replace our old kitchen counter tops because
of it’s natural stone beauty, and because of it’s durability.
Granite is popular because it’s non-porous,
scratch resistant, and high heat resistant.
I love my granite counters, but if I could go back in time I would have researched installation.
Hopefully, our story will help prevent this from happening to others.

I was so excited the day the granite was being installed.
My appt. was at 4pm, which I knew was late, but I figured they would be done by 8pm or so.
When they showed up late, I was still so set on having the granite installed that day,
I allowed them to begin.
I knew I may have another issue when the man argued with me on how to get the granite inside the house.
He told me we may be charged extra because they had to go through the dining room.
Crazy, right?
Then, I began to slowly realize that the holes for our sink/cook top were not pre-cut in the granite pieces.
I assumed this was ok because I had heard they cut on sight at times.
Plus they knew what they were doing, right?
Next, I noticed them bring an electric saw into the kitchen.
So I asked, “Isn’t this going to be a little dusty?”
His exact response, “Ohhhh, it will be fine, just cover a few things up.”
I became very concerned, but hey, I’m getting my granite today-this guy is a professional.
I can trust him, right?
So, my Dad (who happened to be here) and I, quickly began covering everything in our kitchen.
Then, I waited in the next room with my girls after my Dad left.
Within 2 minutes of hearing the saw cutting the stone,
I could see large swirls of stone dust circling in the air below my recessed lights that were on in the hall.
I knew immediately, this was not good.  I grabbed the phone, and called my husband.
He says, “Why are they cutting it in the house?”
I knew I had to take action.
I got the dog and my girls out of the house immediately because the entire house was filling up with the dust fast.  It was a thick fog at this point.
Next, I sat on the front porch deciding what to do.
I was torn between “Is this the way they do it?” and
“Should I tell them to stop-the damage has been done?”
I called the kitchen company to speak to our “designer” and she was in shock.
She asked to speak to the head dude and they started ARGUING on the phone in front of me.  It was awful.  She apologized to me.  I told her, “It’s getting dark, my kids are hungry, we have homework, and I am stuck on my porch while your guys ruin my house, so sorry isn’t going to cut it.”

After my husband rushed home, he and I had a few choice words with the guys, and decided we needed to go to a hotel.  There was no way I was going to let my children or dog breathe that in.


I’m still concerned to this day what damage we may have done to our lungs.

Here are photos of what we came home to the next day
(don’t forget we just finished painting our cabinets ourselves):

(*see note at bottom)






You can see there is granite dust EVERYWHERE.
The biggest issue is that it got in the air, got into the furnace/central air ducts,
thus spreading throughout the entire home.
It may seem like just some quick vacuuming and a mop would do it.  Not the case.
 There was a fine coating on absolutely everything in the house
from the walls to inside our drawers.
We felt as though we lost everything (like a fire) we had worked so hard for.
Serv Pro, Rick, and I spent days & days cleaning.
We had to wash every dish, cup, shirt, rug, towel, pillow,
you name it-we had to wash it.
All of our opened food like cereal had to be thrown out.
I had to wash rugs, and we had to have larger rugs washed by a dry cleaner.
We had to clean the walls through out the entire house.
The ducts had to be cleaned.  Rick had to miss work.
I spent 5 days at the kitchen sink washing things that I haven’t seen in years because they were in my cabinets.
I had to direct all of the Serve Pro people
(who were excellent by the way) where things went.
So, in other words-we had to do all of this labor as well as the cleaners
because it was our personal stuff.
They even had to remove my screens and clean my windows.
At one point the dust wouldn’t stop coming out of our drawer when we pounded on it because it was stuck in the crevices.
All of this cost our insurance company $34,000.00 in damages.



You can see the 2 different lights over the island.
We were in the middle of switching those.  Everything stopped for 2 weeks.
You can see me and how happy I looked.
So. . .this is why we decided not to have granite in our master bath (view master bath “here“).
Just too many bad memories.  Learn from our mistake.
Get references from family and friends.  Investigate companies.
The company that did this to us is still out there, and yes, they have been reported.

The granite is gorgeous, but I would rather have my old counters and not these memories.

*note: If it is absolutely necessary for the installers to cut the stone in your home, be sure that they seal off the area with “zip walls”, or other means to contain the dust.  Shop vacs should also be used during/after cleaning it all up as they cut.  I have also been told that they can cut the stone “wet” so the dust doesn’t fly into the air.


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102 Responses

  1. Lisa-Maree says:

    Your Kitchen is so beautiful now, what a shame a few minutes of careless (no) thought on the part of the “professionals” cost you so much in time and bad memories. I’m going to get granite benches in my kitchen, will definitely learn from your experience. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. Joanna Bielecki says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience. We just bought a house with beautiful granite counter tops, I am thinking of installing r/o filtration system which will require cutting a small hole in the granite, I will definitely do my homework and take all the precautions before I get anything done.
    I had no idea cutting granite creates so much dust.
    By the way, you have a beautiful home.

  3. Patricia says:

    I have been there too and still getting dust out of cracks where the draws fit, also the smell of the glue we had to leave the house.
    We love the granite but now realize we should have done some investigaton into the company.
    We have a problem with the outer border surrounding it all, we have called repeatedly but have had no luck in getting them to come back. The border is not shiney at all, real drab and the granite has pock marks in it like it hasn’t been sealed

  4. luigi bojiovanni says:

    What happen to you was just wrong. Did you hire a licensed contractor. Or just go for the lowest priced installer. I hear about these thinks all the time, where people don’t hire a licensed contractor.
    And this is what happens all the time. Or they go through a design company and the design company uses unlicensed contractor with out letting the home owner know. Again sorry that happen to you

  5. Susan says:

    Just curious….when I watch a lot of home remodeling shows on HGTV, the granite I see installed comes to the house with the cut outs already done. Was this even an option for you or did they not give you a choice. I am so glad I read your article! Very informing! BTW, I have dreamed of doing black cabinets for over 10 years and still haven’t gotten up the nerve, but yours look so beautiful, I may move forward. I also was thinking about using quartz instead of granite, but I feel it would be the same situation dust wise. Thanks so much for sharing. Sorry you had to have so much joy taken away getting a dream kitchen, but hope you are able to put the awful memories behind you as you move forward!

    • Julie says:

      Thank you Susan. Happy to know you are aware. No, they did not give us the option. They just did it, and told me to cover everything when they arrived.

  6. David says:

    Hi Julie,

    I am a licensed natural stone fabricator and I wanted to assure you that there are times when we have to cut granite inside a home. Your pictures however do not have to be the result. If we take our time, seal things off with zipwalls and use multiple shopvacs to capture the dust as we go we can contain nearly all of the dust.
    Unfortunately I have a customer that happened upon your website and has decided regardless of what I tell her that no real professional would ever cut granite in the house. We installed the kitchen one day and I had told her we would be back in the morning to set up and cut her sink opening. She met us at the door the following morning to tell us she googled it and found this site and that we could not cut in her house. There is NO other way to succesfully cut her sink out so now we are at a standstill.

    Please take the time to educate everyone to the fact that it is sometimes necessary and that it does not have to make such a mess.

    • Julie says:

      Thanks, David. I have updated my post with this side note.
      *note: If it is absolutely necessary for the installers to cut the stone in your home, be sure that they seal off the area with “zip walls”, or other means to contain the dust. Shop vacs should also be used during/after cleaning it all up as they cut. I have also been told that they can cut the stone “wet” so the dust doesn’t fly into the air.

      • some guy says:

        re: wet cutting
        That is accurate. Wet cutting would be feasible for the sink holes, edges and cutouts while the counter is in place, but not for cutting granite located directly above any supporting plywood, as there’s no way to catch the water and it’ll make the plywood swell and probably interfered with the granite bonding to the plywood.
        If they plan on cutting faucet holes inside, it should be quite easy to plumber’s putty around the hole location, place some water, and drill using a diamond core bit. (the bits are only 10 bucks on amazon)
        Any done-in-place straight lines SHOULD be done by a wet 4-5″ circular saw for the portion for which that’s possible, and for the remainder, they should employ a helper to hold a slowly spewing water hose along the hole while they use their angle grinder and turbo diamond blade to do the rest.
        As for edge polishing or top polishing, that’ll make a mess unless significant protections are put in place, as the disks spin at about 4500 RPM and will send watery granules of dust flying out in all directions.
        But frankly there’s little excuse to be cutting inside someone’s home; if they can’t lift a slab of granite, take it outdoors, and cut it, then they really shouldn’t be working in the granite installation business.
        There are many retards and sleazeballs working construction. It’s really arduous, stupefying work. I work construction, so I have a fair amount of first-hand experience.
        These processes WILL make a mess, but only locally and not globally as is true with dust deposits. All surfaces which are not waterproofed will need to be covered.
        I’d reckon that the damage from breathing granite dust for a few days pales in comparison to not exercising one’s lungs, but I haven’t looked into what these rather inert seeming constituents cause. Here is a link which shows what materials are in granite:

    • Sheila says:

      David, I am just a regular Joe reading the same post as your customer or client. If your client and you had read the whole article, you both would have seen the paragraph where RED states, (or if they simply must cut in the house, make sure they erect zip walls and use shop vacs.) I think she does an excellent job teaching, the problem is in the learning.

  7. David says:


    Thank you,

    I can tell you take pride in getting things right and I appreciate that!

  8. Sherri says:

    Julie, I wish I had read this BEFORE this just happened to me..yesterday. The granite people don’t want to take any responsibility,besides they would give me $200 for cleaning. The cleaning on the carpets is that much. Before hand, they told me to just cover the inside stuff in the cabinets. I have granite dust in 3 levels of a house. Can you give me any tips..I’m afraid of ruining fine furniture, antiques, and art. Wood floors? Please help…

    • Julie says:

      Take photos and document everything, Sherri. Call your insurance co.and explain what happened.

  9. tammy says:

    Wow! This is awful! Did the installer have to bear any of the clean-up costs? I would be so worried that my insurance would be cancelled or premiums would increase if I had to file a claim for this type of preventable damage. Sorry it happened to you. I adore your kitchen, it is gorgeous, I can only imagine how sick you all felt after all of that work!

  10. Amy says:

    I so wish I would have read this before my nightmare as well. Just this week I had new granite counter tops installed in the kitchen and master bath. They cut the granite inside for the sink and stove top. I cleaned for hours only to see the dust appear again the following day. Companies just do not take pride in their work. Does the insurance companies really reimburse for cleaning? I already cleaned up a lot of the dust without pictures.

  11. JANN says:

    Dear Red Head fabulous DIYER, make over QUEEN!
    I just read your post about your granite. Good Grief! I am sooooo very sorry you had to go through a that. I have built 9 homes, my 9th being the one we will remain in for a long time here in Idaho. I have had granite in the last 7 and have NEVER had any granite cut on site. They always cut it in the shop and fit it to your cabinets in your home. Always using a good vacuum system when then do the final fitting on site. It looks like they “honed” it at your house and polished it and that is so unfortunate for you It is always suppose to be polished and finished at their shop….never have I even heard of a company doing that at a home on site! I think what you have done is FABULOUS! I have finished or redone many kitchens and think you have done a SUPERIOR job in doing yours. I am just so sorry that you had to go through that mess. What a hassle for you that was totally un-necessary. The cabinet color is the same as mine and I have LOVED the black. Thank you for sharing the details of such a GREAT remodel as you did and for sharing all the info on your products. I commend you and feel for you because of your time and efforts. And you are TOTALLY right….companies have such less regard to their customers anymore. Be well of heart and know that you have done a FABULOUS job…and we all here that have read your posts appreciate it so very much…..thanks again for sharing……….Idaho Smiles

  12. Joyce says:

    Hi Julie. You just helped me decide to not get granite. I am in the process of selling our home and our realtor requested new granite. It’s not happening!! She has put me through enough already this past month by hanging new drywall up and down in full basement!! People really don’t care about you being put out just what profit they can make off your labor and $$ spent! Thank you from another redhead from the Midwest too! Joyce

  13. Shirley Cotton says:

    I had all new cabinets and counter tops put in my kitchen about 3 years ago Lowes put everything in order the guys measured for the granite and it took about 3 weeks to get it ordered but they did no cutting in my house They set up in my back yard and the only thing that couldnt be prevented was the smell of the glue and it wasnt that bad and I am a copd patient You just got some sorry contractors and they should been sued I hope your insurance company got every penny and then somefrom that sorry company

    • Julie says:

      Don’t worry Shirley…all the damage and hours of labor we put in were covered. Our insurance co. (State Farm) was amazing.

  14. Joyce Langston says:

    The question I had was there is always dust on the underneath part of my granite counter tops that sit over my silverware drawer,spice drawer,etc.I am wondering if that dust falls down in my drawers is that dangerous as far as eating off my silverware etc.????? Never thought much about it but when I put my hand up underneath the counter tops above my drawers my hands are covered in dust.Almost seems like there should have been a sealant or something put on the bottoms.Any info would be appreciated.Joyce in Wisconsin

    • Julie says:

      Hi Joyce, I would clean that really well with a wet rag and try to get rid of it just to be on the safe side. Maybe vacuum it first?

  15. mike says:

    You’re still misinforming people! First off you have a drop in sink not an undermount. And under mount sink will leave you about 4 inches of granite in the front As opposed to maybe 2 1/2 inches for a drop in sink or cooktop cut out. Meaning this would break when caring or even during transport. Please talk to professional granite fabricators and installers for information

    • Julie Fiato says:

      The sink was pre cut and was brought in, in 2 separate pieces. It was done correctly. The cook top was the one they had to cut. If they had to cut in the home, they use a WET SAW and they make a tent. None of this was done. I am definitely not misinforming people. The damage they did not only cost 34k, it cost us our sanity, days off of work to clean, and who knows what the damage is to our lungs. If you can’t leave a respectful comment, don’t bother commenting. It will not be published.

  16. Bell says:

    Hi Julie,
    I wish I had read your post first too. Last week my granite guy laid granite in 4 rooms with 5 sink holes, four which were cut too small that he decided to cut out more in place. Huge terrible mess! I am still suffering. I wash and the dust accumulates again. At the time I had to leave the house and take my pets out. I have video of the whole thing. I wore a dust mask and handed them out to the workers. It has been awful I now have a cough, croaky voice and sinus infection. I had no idea it would be so bad as I too trusted the granite guys. I had granite installed before in another house and never had this mess as they cut tap holes etc. outside then brought the granite in.
    My insurance company won’t pay to help clean. The granite guy said he would help pay, but so far a week has gone by, I am getting sicker and no help cleaning given. I bought two air filters, a heater, to avoid turning the central air on. My visitors next week have had to book hotel rooms. $500 spent so far on cleaning supplies and air purifiers. My brand new carpet, less than a week old is now filthy,a my new paint the entire house is trashed. I had just had new, expensive Pottery Barn sofas delivered. Duct Cleaning can’t be done for 2 weeks costing,me $400. I got a disaster clean up crew to check the house and two days later still no price quote. all my food, clothing, bathroom items have been covered in dust and thrown out as many can’t be washed.
    The granite guy and the contractor act as if I am just making fuss over a “a little dust”. I still owe about $5,000 on the job, have paid about $5000 to them already up front. The Better Business Bureau has been no help and just said to take them to small claims court if they don’t pay…
    Thanks for sharing your story and listening to mine. I had no idea that this could ever occur. The granite guy apologized and said I was his 4th install that day and he’d been tired and overworked and he should have been more careful.
    As I am still in the early phase of this do you have any more advice for me about actions I can take and how I can get my insurance company to help me, let me stay in a hotel for a while till it is all clean etc..
    Thanks again!

  17. Sharon says:

    What a horrible experience! I’m so sorry for you. I had a problem with quartz installers. There was one seam and you could look at it and see it and certainly could feel it. The installers told me I was being “too picky”! I bought the countertop thru Lowes and reported it. Lowes said I was not being too picky! The men came back and its now beautiful. About 6 months after my kitchen was finished, I was cleaning the sink and must have run my hand under the rim of the undercounter sink just right and found a big chip out of the quartz! I am the only one who knows about it- doesn’t show and can’t leak but it made me furious. I reported it to Lowes and the dept manager offered to have it replaced. I said no, that I didn’t want to have my kitchen torn up again but wanted Lowes to know about the contract company they use to install.

  18. Sheryl says:

    I went through this today! We have waited a month to get our new granite counter top. I was so excited, today is the day. They showed up at 10:30am. I see the piece on their truck, look at it to make sure its what I picked. I noticed it was a solid piece, no sink cut out but I went on my way. About 10 minutes later he says we have to cut the sink opening in here. I said, why? You took our new sink when you came to measure for the granite. He said, we cant take a chance of it breaking it. I said, okay. I dont know how it is done. My husband at work. I am here to watch my kitchen become a pile of dust. I couldnt believe it. They ask me if I have a shop vac and plastic. Huh. Why don’t you have that!? I found a sheet to cover the opening to the living room. After they were done. I wanted them out. The granite is beautiful but its now 7pm and I am still cleaning the mess. Never will do it again!

  19. Andrew says:

    Hi Julie,

    I’m not really a regular reader, but I really felt bad for you when I saw what the installers did to your house!! No one should have to go through an ordeal like that. I’m glad your homeowners insurance covered it, but I can’t believe the damage was $34,000 — that’s astonishing!

    Coring a hole at a customers house is a tricky thing because it typically makes a big mess — as you experienced! Its a really big problem.

    But there’s a new product that was just recently released that can prevent this. Its called the Vacuum Coring Template, and its made to suck up all the mess that coring makes when it cuts through the stone. Its a little block of plastic that attaches to the stone through suction, and then while coring the hole it sucks all of the stone dust and water (if they’re doing it wet) into a shop vac.

    I wish you didn’t have to go through that terrible experience, but maybe someone reading about getting granite counter tops can tell their installer that they have to use it for their kitchen. Compared to the damage that was done to your house, its a tiny fraction of a cost, and it can be used over and over again 🙂

    I hope that it can prevent the same problem for some other homeowners who have installers that need to core holes in the stone at their house!

  20. Ronald Becker says:

    We had same thing happen and are all physically sick only our homeowners (Security First) will not cover. Any recommitndations would be greatly appreciated.

  21. laurabun says:

    How absolutely horrible!! I don’t know what I would have done… Cost was the main reason we didn’t use real stone to redo our counters. I happened to find a company called Giani, who makes a system of painting counters that, after a few days, turned my hideous 70’s style Formica, into faux granite. And the biggest miracle, I did the work by myself! Me, with no talent, now has counter tops I love! It’s by far cheaper than other such painting systems too. Four years later, it still looks just as nice, no chipping or fading. If I could, everything in my home would be made of natural items, stone, brick, wood, etc. But until I win the lottery, I’ll have to stick with the diy versions! Thanks for telling us about your horror story. I’m sure you’ve probably saved many people a lot of heartache.

  22. Sherry Dietrich says:

    Wow, I would have been PISSED! I had a kitchen remodel, had a wall knocked out, all new cabinets put in (ours was from the 70’s and not salvagable). The granite counter top went in while I was at work, so I never saw what was or wasn’t done, but my husband was there. When I got home my kitchen was pristine, and we have a really large “L” shaped kitchen and an island with granite. I did have one small problem, I wanted squared corners and they rounded them, saying they didn’t want any kids to get hurt. I said I don’t have any small children and I asked for squared corners, and if I had small children it’s be my responsibility to protect them not you! That was 2 years ago, I’m still miffed about that.

    • Julie says:

      Oh Sherry…it took months to get over. Thank goodness our Insurance company sided with us. I have round corners and wish I had square! I asked for rounded and could kick myself. Thanks for sharing your story, Sherry! 😉

    • Matt says:

      Same stuff just happened to me… the cut granite inside my kitchen..luckily they put some plastic on the door and dust did not spread throught the house, but the kitchen was a mess, took me 3 days to clean…Julie, did you do anything to try to clean the air? somebody suggested me a air scrubber to remove airborne granite dust

  23. Sharon says:

    Great information. Curious…..what did you use in the bathroom?

  24. Ivory says:

    OMG, this is wrong on so many levels. Your kitchen is a dream kitchen, and to think that someone would come into your beautiful home a do this horrible thing, well I cannot think of all the words. I am so sorry this nightmare happen to you, but I feel your outcome will be even more beautiful when you are done repairing this disaster. Good luck and stay strong. Remember you have many supporters that’s pulling for you.

  25. Tracy says:

    I’m sitting in my garage in tears as they cut and dust is on all my new stuff just bought this brand new house and granite dust is literally on everything I’m a mess just dreading how will I clean this up I’m gonna be left with a nightmare in there #so frustrated and worried

  26. Sarah says:

    Hello there! This same this happened to me and my family this week! I’m really sorry that it happened to you as well. I am in the process of cleaning all the dust off of everything but I am noticing that one application of soap and water, to things like the counters/refrigerator/doors/floors/walls, isn’t really cutting it. I realize I’m going to have to clean things multiple times to get all the dust off. I was wondering if there were any tips you could share to help the cleaning be more efficient? If there were any products you used or techniques? I just want to make sure the dust is pretty much gone before we really start using our kitchen again. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

    • Julie Fiato says:

      Sarah, the serve pro folks used a shop vac that had really good filters. Also, micro fiber cloths catch it good. I stood at the kitchen sink for days washing everything. Make sure you have your heat ducts cleaned. So sorry this happened to you, too!! You should contact your insurance company and take photos before you clean it.

  27. Valerie says:

    Julie, this information couldn’t have come at a better time for me! My cabinets were delivered today, and I plan to have stone countertops. Now I know what to ask – and get in writing. THANK YOU.

  28. Geri says:

    My husband installs granite. He is fantastic. All his work is through customer referrals. He has always cleaned up so well, that the only way you know he was there, is the beautiful granite. He cuts the granite outside or has a fabricator do it. However, one thing you should know about granite is that there can be weak spots (usually veins, I think) that can break when it is cut/moved. He tries to point this out to customers, but sometimes they prebuy their slab. Purchase from a reputable, knowledgeable source and always get references. Since you had a designer who brought in the granite guy-I’m surprised she didn’t share clean up costs. Also you tend to get what you pay for and the lowest bid may not be the cheapest in the long run.

    • Julie Fiato says:

      We used a very reputable well known company. So “you get what you pay for” doesn’t always hold true.

  29. Alun says:

    A real shame someone would do this, sometimes things do get cut or drilled on site but NEVER in the home, they were just lazy.. Your kitchen looks nice in black.

    Only thing is you say granite is non porous. It isn’t, it is completely porous as it’s a natural product.

    The only surfaces that are not porous are the likes of Corian, LG Hi-macs, Samsung, Cosentino Dekton etc.

  30. Eric says:

    I have been in the industry for years and I inspect most of my customer’s counter that being installed. From what I know the sink cutout no matter top mount or undermount, and cooktop,it always will being cut in the fabrication site with having your actual sink or sink template before cutting. The only cutting they will need to do onsite will be cutout for your faucet or other small accessary, but even for faucet cutout, there should be always a second person with shopvac pointing straight at where being cut to reduce maximum dust. All it takes is a diamond drill. The saw is mostly only have the purpose of cutting your sink cabinets inside in order to fit the sink.

  31. Laura says:

    I agree with Eric. Sorry this happened to you, but your kitchen is awesome nonetheless. My husband fabricated and installed granite and many other types of countertops for years. First, Designers will for the most part, only create dreams/ideas and want to spend your money. They hardly are involved with fabricating, and customers need to understand that they are not always the go to people for fabrication jobs. Find a reputable fabrication company, ask for the fabricator’s references or jobs they’ve done and check their quality of workmanship and ask lots of questions of those doing the work NOT the company owner. Any room in your home is worth this effort, because any shady crew will do the job with the least concern just for the money. We’ve seen people right out of jail, with drug habits, doing fabrication jobs. Even foreigners who couldn’t speak any english fabricate. A good fabricator would clean everything up behind themselves, because they’re proud of their work. They’ll want to show off that ‘centerpiece’ of the room because it should bring them joy as well as you. They should have the tools and the experience of working in many places. My husband has worked in hospitals, doctors and dentist offices, where dust and cleanliness was extremely important. Fabrication company owners can be shady too, and they do hire those kinds of unqualified people for cheap labor. Fab company owners lie in order to get the job, so you “Have To” go beyond the owners and get one on one with those doing the work by asking them. If you want it done right, be involved with the entire process. Don’t be shy because any good fabricator will listen and adhere to you (the customer’s) requests knowing what you expect. And you will see a smoother process, without second guessing, minimizing unforeseen situations. Granite is a natural rock, you have to prepare yourself on how it get’s inside your home/office. Is it going up 3 flights of stairs? Is it going to fit in an elevator? It can be done, but these are important questions to pre-ask about. So that a crew can be called upon to deliver it accordingly without surprises.

  32. Karen says:

    Oh Red… This redhead wishes she found your blog one year ago. So sorry to hear that someone else lived my nightmare. Your story (and your thoughts) mimicked mine right down to the time of installation and smog – even the argument right before install. (Mine tried to put in purple and white granite when I chose brown/beige/gold. He already had one in when I caught him and protested. He made the mistake but was annoyed at me when I made him remove it after showing him the sample HE GAVE ME! My husband was in Afghanistan at the time. My house was a disaster. Too many animals to bring to a hotel and my son and I aired the house for hours. I worry too about what we were breathing. (Might as well have been standing behind a sand blaster!!)

    I had no idea I could have claimed on the insurance as there was so much more to clean than I thought! I have not washed the walls as I am disabled and the walls are 24 ft high. (They were also freshly painted a few months prior to this.) I still get grit when dusting from time to time but suspect it’s from the dust on the high ceilings.

    I found your blog because now I am having trouble with high moisture and mildew growing under the cabinets where he put granite and marble (bath). There is no standing water, no leakage, no ground pipes – The home humidity at 50%. Some of the cabinets do not even have a pipe in them. The counters were sealed as I watched him do it. (I bought the sealant I wanted.) I also did a second coat the following day. Fourteen years in this house and I never had a problem before this installation. Sometimes I wish for the old counters…

    Is there any advice your readers can offer as to why this may be happening? No one in my groups has this problem with their counters… I asked 22,000 of them. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

    • Julie Fiato says:

      Karen, I am so sorry this happened to you! It happens a lot and makes me so angry that people get away with it. I hope someone that can help you will see this and have some advice for you. I recommend talking to someone in the field…serve-pro people, a plumber, a contractor…trying to think of more.

  33. Karen says:

    Thanks Julie. I have spoke with several contractors from different trades and most have said it is not the granite and marble. The only problem with that answer for me, is that this didn’t happen until after these counters went in. They are leaning more towards plumbing sweating; high humidity in the house and air conditioning. I bought a weather station for inside and discovered that my home humidity is at 60-70% over a 24 hour period. (Ideal would be 30-50%) With husband home, we are cleaning with a mildew killer, cleaning the coils on the A/C unit, checking all the p-traps for standing water and vapor and checking exhaust fans for efficiency. Also bought buckets of damp-rid to place in cabinets and hopefully absorb any excess moisture. Then we will go from there.

  34. Mary Johnson says:

    I just read your problem and wanted to say how sorry I am about your granite dust problem. We just had some installed but the house is empty. I am getting someone to clean before we go any further. I just noticed your beautiful flooring and wondered what kind of wood flooring you would have with a dog and children? I am having a hard time deciding what to get. I wanted to get bamboo flooring but my local said it was too soft and he wants to put in a cork back vinyl that looks like hardwood. You have any thoughts on this? Again sorry for your hardship.

    • Julie Fiato says:

      Mary, I prefer Oak- We had a lab, and there was minimal scratching, but some. We also had Pergo back in the day and that was also nice for a laminate floor. Good luck!

  35. Tina says:

    I just had this happen to me last Friday. Could kick myself for not holding back some of the payment. It was a small downstairs kitchen, but they got granite dust everywhere. 1/4″ thick inside the cabinets and made no effort to clean it up until I pointed it out and when I did he moved it around with a dry paper towel. I called the owners of the granite company and they argued with me over the phone without inspecting the actual job. After a long time, they offered to send someone to “vacuum” out my cabinets on Monday. It’s on EVERYTHING in the downstairs. No effort was made to contain the dust. They also cut out my sheet rock on two walls because they cut it wrong leaving a mess from that also. I’m worried that they have to come back. They made several mistakes and have to come back to polish the edge and fix some chips. One area is 7/16″ away from the wall. They said oh the tile will cover that! When my contractor confronted them about the bad job they got in a yelling match. I spent a fortune just on the granite for a very small kitchen (31.8sf of stone) and they have ruined it. I’m at a loss as to what to do. I don’t really want them back in my house but can’t afford to hire someone else to fix their mistake.

  36. Ryan says:

    Can you explain where there $34,000 in damages number comes from? What exactly costs that much? Thank you

    • Julie Fiato says:

      This is “Where their costs came from, Ryan”: Cleaning the dust from every surface in our home. Including inside our drawers. From the glasses in our kitchen, to the rugs in our bedrooms. EVERYTHING had to be cleaned. The air ducts, the walls, the floors, the blinds, the curtains. The bedding, our clothes, our food was thrown out. Does that clear it up for you?

      • Ryan says:

        Thank you for the prompt response. You mentioned that in your article so I understand to the extent of what needed to be cleaned and addressed. I was more curious as to what exactly the $34k went to? $500 – 1k to duct cleaning? ~$4k to cleaners? What exactly costs mid 5 figures for cleaning up granite dust? That’s what I’m confused about. I’m in a similar situation so forgive me for prying.

        • Julie Fiato says:

          Ryan, You’ll have to ask your insurance company/cleaning company to answer that for you. I didn’t come up with the number. The serve pro company did. They were here for 5 days. Good luck!

  37. Rolando Gutierrez says:

    I’m in the middle of my month long nightmare. First off, references don’t work all the time nor good reviews. The young guy I hired along with his crew, can’t measure anything correctly to save their lives. Right at the start I asked if they were going to make templates since usually nothing is square in a home. He said that he’ll take accurate measurement so he didnt need any templates. Well, the first two pieces the came to install, one was off by 10″ and the other by 4″. The sad thing is when they recut the pieces the cut them wrong again! We’re going on the fourth recut on one particular backsplash. How many times are you going to measure this thing the same and expect a different result? I finally lost it and demanded they make a FREAKING TEMPLATE!!! They also tore out my $1,500 intercome system and now have no idea how it goes back. My house has been a mess for a month and they’re still not finished. They either make good to my satisfaction or they won’t see a final payment.

  38. david hornbody says:

    i feel for you not your fault. but it is your house politely ask them leave. till it can be addressed —cease and desist all was more than the rock.
    did you give them a tip too???

  39. I’m a licensed contractor in the state of Pa. I’ve been reading some of the guys comments about having to cut inside the house at certain time. One has said he’s at a standstill until the lady let’s them cut in the house.yes you can use shop vacs and seal rooms. But I have never found the need to cut in the house. We take 1/4 Inch luwaan board and make a template of the counter top. Take that back to the shop and trace it on the granite and make all the cuts. If we do get on the job and have to adjust things, we actually carry it back outside, cover up things out there and cut it. It’s all about respecting the customers home and property.

  40. Miriam says:

    I have read this post and I am in a panic. We are building a new home and EVERYTHING is going wrong. Our kitchen has 2 sinks and we choose marble. The fabricator is well established, but he cut the sink holes 1/4 inch too small all the way around on both sinks. The sinks are designed to have the counter be flush because they have sliding accessories which only work that way. Plus, we chose the sinks for their sleek look. When we reported the error to one of the crew he told the owner who immediately called my husband and wildly yelled at him for complaining. I was ready for yet another battle on our doomed construction. So, I contacted the sink manufacturer which sent me an email stating that the fabricator cut the stone wrong. Armed with this info, we confronted the fabricator who then agreed that he had messed up. So, two days from now, he is coming to regrind the stone IN PLACE. After reading all this I am VERY NERVOUS about this process. According to the fabricator, the marble will be too difficult to remove and bring back to the shop and it might get damaged if they try that. Hence, my husband and I are covering our new cabinets tomorrow with plastic but we were not going to get zip walls. Perhaps we should? Can someone advise me if we should allow the fabricator to attempt this, or whether we should make them remove the marble (there are two pieces and one is seamed to a third piece) and bring it back to the shop? If it might be ok to grind in place, what precautions should I insist on? As far as I know they are bringing a shop vac, but what other equipment should I inquire about? I appreciate any feedback. Just about everything in our construction is going wrong and we, like many of you, are also hiring seemingly reputable and definitely expensive tradespeople.

  41. Patty says:

    Three years ago when I had granite countertops installed in my kitchen
    a company rep came to my home and laser measured everything. He then measured by hand and then lasered it again. The information gathered was fed directly into the computer. All the cutting and finishing was done at the shop, and when they brought the two pieces in they fit perfectly and look great. I am so sorry this happened to you but I can assure you there are reputable companies out there who will do a great job. It’s such a shame that others will take advantage of customers.

  42. Ken says:

    Hmmm, my fabricator was excellent.i picked the slabs myself at the warehouse in Livermore ca. Next, the measurement guy comes out. He templates everything. If you aren’t getting measurements by template, you should stop the whole process. Next, the fabricator takes about four weeks to cut the stone in their shop. Then the truck arrives and a boatload of equipment. Sink faucet and soap dispenser holes are cut in the granite outside of the home. Took them about five hours, perfect install. Paid about 7300 for a 300 sq,ft kitchen. Save money? Never w granite. Go to the best fabricator and never go,to lowes.

    • Julie says:

      Happy for you Ken. We went to a very reputable company (not Lowes or HD) for our granite and the process was the exact same (they measured digitally and made a template and we went to warehouse to pick it out) until the guys arrived on installation day. They could have cut outside (the last piece had to he cut on site because it was too large), but decided to cut inside due to being tired and late. So please, don’t insinuate that this was our fault due to using Lowes.

  43. Bonnie McNeely says:

    Had granite installed in our kitchen remodel. Measured before. Apron sink was where seam was. Cant see or feel it. Cut out stove top opening and faucet wholes outside. Perfect installation. When thay left everything shiny and clean. I had no idea how lucky I was. Love my granite and my installers.

  44. Serge says:

    I am not surprised on seeing this kind of work. there are so many company’s that promise the world and when is comes down to the work, its the total opposite. I am a contractor and have been working on construction for over 10 years and have spent the time on finding the right guys that have great prices and do the job right the first time. These guys are amazing every time I have them do a job for me they always go that extra mile and add that on thing that leaves me and the home owners with a smile on there faces. The time i have spent working with these guys with there top quality and prices is totally worth it. How many times I have seen granite guys come in and do a horrible job leave and never show up again. I hate seeing this happen to honest working home owners, but it puts a smile on there faces and mine when i have the right guys fix and do the job right.

    Nnybody is in need or interested. RRR Stone Tops. 3037189642

  45. Reuben says:

    Just one thing I missed – there was zero reason not have had your kitchen sink cut prior to delivering your stone, you have a large sink but the jog into your window leave more than enough stone for strength during delivery and install. I can’t how much material is left for the cooktop but it should certainly of been back cut and cored prior to installation to reduce the cut to 1/2 thick stone – with vacuum and misting (wet cutting in a house can cause moisture in cabinets causing swelling and mould growth if too much water is used) in my experience, a spray bottle or a “tent” of wet paper towel is more effective in trapping the fine dust particles.

  46. Phil woolley says:

    Hi there ,i was horrified when i read your story ive been in the granite fitti g industry for many years and in over 20 years i have never cut like that in somebodys house . Sadly there are some inexperienced people in tgis line of work which in turn can effect our industry, i can only asure you that not all granite firms opperate in this manner and i certainly feel your dissapointment . Yours sincerly phil (an experienced granite fitter)

  47. Cheryl says:

    Wow. After reading about your (and others’) story I realized I was very lucky. We went to Lowe’s to have our Quartz countertops done. The installers came, removed all our back splashes and made wood templates. About a week later they installed everything, nothing needed to be cut or adjusted. A couple years later, we had an 82″ long granite vanity with double sinks installed. The granite company chose the installer. They came and measured. Everything was already pre-cut when they installed. Now, in a new house, I wanted to get a hole drilled in the existing granite for a drinking water spigot. I will now rethink that idea. Thank you for posting.

  48. Rick says:

    I just found this browsing around. I grew up in a contractor household where we build homes, apartment buildings etc, so I got a food education when I was young. As a result I do a lot of reno’s on my own, and employ a lot of people. What I have learned is that you can NEVER trust anyone when they tell you they are licensed or they can do this or that. Worse are the cash illegals who will tell you they can do virtually anything but they actually are masters at all, experts at none! The best advice I can give people is never pay more than a small deposit up front, pay in stages for a large job, and document the process very carefully and step by step with material, cleanup etc BEFORE the job and have them sign off on it prior to payment and prior to work. Finally when work begins if something doesnt seem right…then tell them to STOP right then and there and make sure its done right. If your unsure find an expert to get an opinion. What happened to you is an example of a very unprofessional crew. Firstly most granite fabrication is done digitally and they measure and then fabricate EVERYTHING at their shop then bring the granite COMPLETELY done. If there is any adjustments made it should be minor. Sink faucet holes can be drilled in a matter of a minute WITHOUT the slightest amount of dust if they have the right tool. Even cutting and grinding can be accomplished with little or any dust with the right tool. Any cutting or adjustments should have been done OUTSIDE. All they needed to do is carry it outside to do the work (even though this should have been unnecessary). What you got were lazy, incompetent workers who were nothing more than handymen. Remember ANYONE can get a license. Call references, go see their work before hiring. Sorry that you had to go through this, but lesson learned! And yes even I with my background have had experiences like this, and I learned. Be tough and have a well written contract!

  49. Alicia says:

    My nightmare began in August. We picked our granite. This contractor put our reno behind almost a month. He never made the templates. Thankfully the countertops were correct from written measurements. He came to install. My painter was here painting the downstairs. Thankfully he tented the area he was painting however the granite guy comes in starts installing and I hear machinery sanding. I come downstairs to a house filled with dust. I’m like omg. The painter states that the granite guy shouldn’t be doing this mess. Granite guy says ‘it’s okay it’s okay’. The painter shakes his head and says no way he should be doing that.
    The granite guy says he’s done for the day and will be back. I look at my kitchen and EVERYTHING is cover in white dust, the new cabinets, the $5500 stove, the televisions, the walls and floors, good in the pantry. The vents have stuff hanging from them the dust is so heavy and thick. The windows frosted with whitr dust. Why? He broke my 9 foot island and was trying to hide the evidence. Oh and he never said a word. When i told the contractor he confronted him and was told it was not broken but a natural color line. NOT! The break was all the way through and he tried to sand it out. Upon inspection there were three significant breaks. I brought 3 slabs of the same piece to be sure there was enough
    I told him to bring all pieces useful or not to me because I paid for it. He did. However when he came back to finish the install he loaded up those extra pieces and took them back. Oh yeah he was to prove my kitchen sink. We agreed upon a 50/50, he brought a 60/40. He took it back and was to return with that same evening. That was a week ago. Still no sink and he won’t return any calls. He has put the contractor in a bad place because I now have little confidence in him. We do have insurance for a situation like this but we shouldn’t have to deal with “professionals” like this. From past experience he will only get a slap on the hand and continue doing shoddy work making it hard for tose who try to do the right thing.
    I have developed a tick in my eyelid I contribute to this mess. I’m too old to deal with this b.s. No matter how much research you do to find a good contractor it is a cheap shoot.

    End of rant.

    • Julie says:

      Alicia, I am so sorry this happened to you! I hope everything clears up for you quickly and you can enjoy your new kitchen. Thank you for sharing your story that will help bring awareness. ~ Julie

  50. Kathy bauman says:

    Same thing happened to me when we built a house!
    It was a nightmare! So sorry to hear it!

  51. Jessi R. says:

    I am so sorry to hear what happened and what a crazy mess you ended up with. Makes me glad we went the route we did with our granite. We found “prefabbed” granite counters at our local store (honed and already polished and edged) and did the cuts ourselves outside with a dismond blade and garden hose. Used a drop in sink so we didn’t have to have a perfect cut there. Since we did it ourselves we controlled every bit of what happened and all mess remained outside. Only smell we had was the epoxy for the seem. It’s gorgeous and worked in out budget, I paid less than $500 for our small kitchen. The local counter place wanted almost $3,000.

  52. TES says:

    Julie, I’m so thankful to you for this post that you started almost 6 years ago. I find it shameful and deceitful that many owners/fabricators/installers aren’t sharing the facts about dry cutting inside the house. Instead of being upfront with customers some are intentionally using misleading words such as “cut on site” when they know full well that they should be saying “cut inside”. Perhaps they intend to clarify this after they get a large deposit and customers feel they can’t get refunded We’re getting ready for granite & or quartz counter tops to be installed. Many hours spent looking at slabs & speaking to people at one of the larger places in my area that sells and installs counter tops. The owner came to my home to measure. As he was leaving, I realized that all the cut outs were discussed except the drop-in cook top. So I brought it up & it was then that I learned that they plan to “cut” the opening for the cook top “on sight” due to potential damage during transport. Found out later through a sales person that “on sight” actually means “INSIDE THE HOUSE” and that they never wet cut inside therefore it’s called “dry cutting.” Then they said it will be “REAL dusty so I should remove everything I can and cover the rest with plastic”. I’m still dealing with sheet rock dust almost 2 yrs later after having our walls re-done by incompetent so called professionals. I decided to do an online search for information about granite/quartz dust and that led me here. I found another installer after reading this blog. They said that they NEVER EVER dry cut any type of stone inside or even outside of a persons home. They will ONLY do wet cutting and use a plastic barrier to capture water. The only water will be on top of the counter and that can be wiped off. I am definitely not using the first company. I’d rather have stainless steal or even laminate before I let another company do more damage to my home and possibly my health. I wish that the info you provided was more readily available to home owners.

    • Julie says:

      Hi Tes… I have helped a few, but yes I agree. I wish it was, too. I share this on Pinterest daily, so many have read it and maybe not commented. So happy you found us!

  53. Serge says:

    I am not surprised on seeing this kind of work. there are so many company’s that promise the world and when is comes down to the work, its the total opposite. I am a contractor and have been working on construction for over 10 years and have spent the time on finding the right guys that have great prices and do the job right the first time. These guys are amazing every time I have them do a job for me they always go that extra mile and add that on thing that leaves me and the home owners with a smile on there faces. The time i have spent working with these guys with there top quality and prices is totally worth it. How many times I have seen granite guys come in and do a horrible job leave and never show up again. I hate seeing this happen to honest working home owners, but it puts a smile on there faces and mine when i have the right guys fix and do the job right.

  54. Sherry says:

    Just in time as I had spoken to an installer who sad he would do all of the cuts right in the kitchen and it’d be “No Problem At All!!!”

  55. Peggy says:

    We have an 8 foot granite counter top already in place and want to cut the 13 inch overhang off so the counter top is flush to the cabinet base. We will be installing banquette seating against the counter base and the overhang is preventing us from doing that.

    Not sure if we are hiring a contractor to come in or if we’ll be doing it ourselves. Contractors want $500-$800 to cut it.

    Regardless of who does it, we will definitely be installing zip walls as close to the job site as possible, sealing any air vents in the area, laying down tarps on the flooring & exposed cabinets, and using all means possible to contain and eliminate the granite dust.

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