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ADVICE WANTED!   July 31, 2002
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Repair of broken items

Issues: cracked counters, broken items, etc.

Q 2203: I am using a resin glue to repair granite. When I apply it, how do I clean the excess glue without harming the stone? Ferdmann, July 12,
R2: I recommend to use the Red Devil scraping blade which they use for windows to remove away the excess. Blunt the 2 sharp corners before using. Remaining residue can be easily remove by thinner or sealer and adhesive remover. TAN, Singapore.
A 2058: I inherited a pair of nightstands from Germany with marble tops, one is broken in two - can it be glued???? If so, with what type of glue? The other has a rust colored stain, although the origin is unknown. Is it safe to start with a peroxide solution to treat before moving on to stronger solvents? Thanks, Karon, June 13,
R1: Dear Karon: Yes it can be glue with epoxy glue for stone. Don't waste your time with the rust stain. It will never come out. Maurizio, USA
A 1831:We have tumbled marble in our foyer that has developed some cracks. We won't be able to replace it right now. Is there something we can use to repair or fill the cracks? Stephens, May 14.
R2: Dear Stephen: Yes, there's a way, but it's my own personal technique than involves a 
little rotary tool with a special blade to widen the crack with, and then filling it with epoxy glue to match the color. After proper curing (24 hours), you have to sand it flush with the surface of the stone, and use finer grit until you get a finish as close to factory as possible. I don't consider that a DIY project. I also know that no other stone restoration company knows about this technique (besides those that I trained). Maurizio, USA
R1: Without looking at the floor I would suggest a cementious grout. Mix it up to the consistency of soup so that it will fill and settle in. It may take more than one application. This will fill the cavity until you deem it time to replace the tiles. If they are really tight cracks use non-sanded grout. Regards, Steven, USA
A 1828:I am having Uba Tuba installed in a new home. On one countertop, I have a huge "Y" shape crack, You can feel the crack with your finger (there is a noticeable ridge). They have also chipped around the sink (not smooth finish) On my backsplash, they have also cracked in two places the granite all the way through. Where there is a seam there is a chuck missing which it looks like they are trying to fill in. I have told them that this job was unacceptable and have asked for replacement or maybe a new installer. The home builder is saying that they are not done yet & that everything is fixable. Is this true? Regards Maria, May 14.
R2: Yes, Everything you describe is reparable. The salient point to extract from the builder is whether after the repairs are done, will the builder stand behind the repair enough to guarantee your satisfaction. Or properly restated, if you don't like the repair will they replace that which you don't like? Regards, Steven, USA
R1: Dear Mary: Giving you the benefit of the doubt, no, those cracks are not reparable.  Insist to have your countertop replaced completely.   Maurizio, USA
A 1813: I just had a brown "quartz type" granite installed on my kitchen countertop. I found a crack along the bullnose edge. The owner said this is natural. The crack extends through to the underside. Is this true? You can feel the crack along the top too. Duce, May 14.
R1: Yes, In many materials there are fissures or cracks that can be seen and felt. As long as the counter is well supported and installed properly then the crack will not get worse. However, it is not yet determined whether the crack was there prior to being installed as your counters. 
Do you notice other fissures? Can the person who installed it come out and do something like filling the fissure with epoxy and polishing smooth? Ask these questions.
For my own interest, Did you look at the slabs prior to having counters made from them?
Regards, Steven, USA
A 1809:The Granite slab installed in my new home has a 3 inch jagged crack that goes through the slab (top & bottom). Can this be repaired to look "perfect" or does the slab need to be replaced? Goldrag, May 14.
R2: The repair will not be invisible, but can be done well enough so that you won't feel the crack. Regards, Steven, USA
R1: Dear Goldrag: Every case is different, but, in the vast majority of the instances, the only way to repair the crack is to replace the slab. Maurizio, USA
A 1801: I have a granite counter top that was cut too close to the sink. Chunks have fallen out. What do you recommend to fill the voids. I'll worry about matching the color later 2) My kitchen is black granite abou1 inch thick and overhangs about 1 foot. People often heavy lean or want to jump up and sit on this ledge. Can the granite withstand such pressure or will it break? Love your site, Thanks,Dr. Mike, May 14.
R2: 1)The overhang should have some supports underneath. So, yes, be concerned. They are known as corbels, or brackets. Purchase some load bearing ones soon. 2) Some colored epoxy or polyester resin should do the trick. Have the fabricator perform the repair for you. Regards, Steven, USA
R1: Dear Dr. Mike: Get hold of a pro about the chippings. While he is there, let him assess the overhang thing. If your granite is 3 cm. thick (1 1/4") and the overhang is no more than 10", max. you should have any problem, Yet ... jumping up and down on it?! ... I wouldn't that! Maurizio, USA
A 1800: We are about to buy a house and requested granite tops for the kitchen. The granite tops look great - HOWEVER, we noticed what appeared to be a crack in one of the counter tops on the bar. The crack also appears on the underside to the granite. Is there a bell ringing test as with crystal? When we pointed this out to the builder he agreed. He was wondering why the top had been polished with the crack. The supplier visited and stated that it was not a crack but a vein in the granite and that is normal. Are we being taken? Thanks John ,May 14.
R2: I don't know. Some stones to have veins and fissures. It depends on the material.
Did you review the material before counters were made from it? Regards, Steven, USA
R1: Dear John: without seeing it it's hard to tell, but for what you report to us, I think 
that, yes, you've been taken. No natural veining (fissure would better define what your fabricator is trying to say) can ever appear on the bottom of the slab. That's a crack, all right and you don't have to accept it (sorry, no "best test"!). No, the fabricator did not polish over the crack. Fabricators don't polish stone, they only cut it to size (already polished by the factory) and polish the edges, period. Maurizio, USA
A 1723: Is an epoxy product such as Sonneborn's EpoGel appropriate for mending broken exterior marble and EpoFil for crack filling? Walt, April 17.
R1: Check the UV tolerance of the epoxies selected. Regards, Steven, USA
A 1710: We have about a 2000 sq ft Saturnia floor. It is hollow throughout. Lippage and cracking has developed. The builder feels replacing just the cracked tile and using a product called "inject-a-floor" in the rest (about 1900 ft) and then grinding down the floor to remove the lippage will solve the problem. Do you agree? Sally, April 15.
R3: I don't know. Without seeing the floor I can't help you. If you trust your builder, then trust the builder's judgment. If not, call an independent stone installation or refinishing professional to inspect the floor. Regards, Steven, USA.
R2: Dear Sally: Nobody could give you an intelligent answer without actually inspecting the
installation and having a whole bunch of technical information. I guess you will have to give a builder a chance, providing that you put in writing, in non uncertain terms, that if anything will go wrong within a year, they will be responsible. Maurizio, USA.
R1: Dear Sally: Without actually seeing and -- most importantly -- testing the installation it's hard to tell. It would be just a guess. 
All I can tell is that previous experiences that sound similar to the one you're reporting, and that I had the opportunity to witness in the (even recent) past, they all turned out to be totally faulty and without a real remedy, short of a total replacement of the floor, after proper rearrangements of the joist, subfloor, etc. 
Considering the size of the job, I strongly encourage you to get hold of an expert to evaluate the situation. I'd really love you kept me posted. Maurizio, USA
A 1679: We have an incredibly heavy marble swivel chair (3 intact) one we dropped and cracked down the middle while trying to glue the seat to the pedestal  base. Is there any possibility of repairing it or getting it repaired? Thanks, Nola, April 9.
R1: Laticrete makes a 2 part glue that will most likely hold it together. It is pink in color. Mark, USA. 
A 1586: After installation of a 7000 dollar granite countertop which I love, I have noticed a hairline crack coming from an inside corner. It goes through the thickness of the slab, an inch and quarter, and travels about one foot into the slab. After coming to the house to view it and the company rep was initially very cooperative about finding a solution and 'making us happy' but then never returned our phone calls. After repeated requests to come to terms, their only offer was to put on an epoxy and polish, leaving us with damaged merchandise that might further crack. My first choice would be to remove the piece, approx 2' x 8' but it is seamed in and they said it was not possible and might break the remaining pieces. They also didn't know if they had any matching granite. So our only recourse would be a financial compromise. What would be fair, since it is about one third of the entire job? We felt that one third back was a fair offer. We are taking the risk in the future it will split apart and need considerable repair. Also we have to 'baby' the area next to the stove, making sure nothing of any weight is put on it - forever. So my questions are - what is a fair settlement and if a piece is seamed in, is it permanent and are you not able to remove and replace? Thanks for your advice, Mclab, March 25.
R2: Depending of the type of granite, fissures and cracks are sometimes the nature of the product, thus being natural. If you chose a specific material with the understanding of it's natural characteristics, then I feel you should compromise with the fabricator. Maybe have an understanding that if this crack opens up more, then the fabricator is responsible for taking the necessary steps to fix it on sit. If you chose a material that does not have these characteristics, then the fabricator should replace the specific piece if they have a matching lot, otherwise replace the entire kitchen with a new lot. Regards Rob, USA.
R1: Dear Mclab: I don't want to go into the "fair settlement" thing. The only thing I can tell you is that removing a part of the countertop -- especially if it's not sandwiched in between two other sections -- is not a problem at all. Finding matching granite could be, though. Maurizio, USA,  
A 1582: I recently had Blue Wave Granite installed in my kitchen. Upon installation there were no apparent fissures or cracks. Four months later many, many cracks are appearing, why is this occurring? Thank you, Monica, March 23.  
R1: Dear Monica: Installation failure. Sorry. I hope I'm dead wrong, but you're gonna have a hard time to get the problem rectified ie.the whole countertop replaced, that is! Maurizio, USA,
A 1563:  I'm hoping you can give me some insight on a problem I am having with my granite countertop. I believe it is a common color called Baltic Brown. It's not the greatest quality of granite that I have seen for it has a lot of pits.  My house is 2 years old and I have a hairline crack along my kitchen sink (the front of it) it keeps growing.  I noticed it after about 9 months of living in the house.  It started out at an inch long and now has grown to 2 1/2 feet and it is pitting!  I have contacted the  subcontracter who put it in and he said there is no way the crack was there when he put it in.  My builder has asked me to gather some information and that what has led me to you. I have never dropped anything heavy on the counter or banged it. Sometimes the kids or I lean against the sink while doing dishes. (FYI we  are  all of normal weight!)  I would greatly appreciate any advice you  could give  me. Vicki, March 20.
R4: Dear Vicki: It's a tough call, my friend! You will need an expert to check your situation out. Your only possible recourse is if the expert finds out that there was no sufficient support under the stone where it cracked. I also guess that it was not rodded, but that, unfortunately, is only a recommendation, not a requirement. Maurizio, USA,
R3: Have the builder come out and inspect the cabinet supports. The granite is not adequately supported. As to who will pay to have it fixed, is any one's guess right now. Regards, Steven, USA,
R2: Please check if the construction which bears the countertop, is solid. Arja, Finland.
R1: The material Baltic Brown used in the sink normally is very strong and according to my personal experience of similar use for over 20 years I have never had this type of problems.
Have you perhaps put a very hot sauce pan or similar on it without any underneath protection? If this is the case then you should try to stop further cracking with the use of "epossydic resin". First, you should try to get this type of resin from a dealer/your contractor and apply it on the crack and let it dry for at least a couple of days. This should stop the development of the crack. Kristina, Finland.
Thanks for your response, but to be clear, the crack is in front of the sink, there is only 3 inches, depth wise, of granite in front of the sink and no room to set a hot pan on. Besides, I never set hot pans on my granite. I cannot fix the crack with epossydic resin, for it is 2 and a 1/2 feet big now and growing. They tried that when is was smaller, but it still grew and just looked like a filled crack. What I am looking for is what you think could have caused this. I hope you'll be able to take the time and respond again. Thanks Vicki
Referring to your message of Friday last. I have now discussed the matter with our people here. However, they say that it is not possible to give any answer as to what has caused the problem without seeing it with their own eyes. Therefore the best would be to contact
a granite manufacturer who also do fixings of granite and marble slabs in similar projects. 
We are sorry but we cannot be of more help to you. 
Wishing you the best for a Happy Easter time. With kindest regards, Kristina. Finland.
A 1538: We have a slab of Cardoso stone acting as a table top. Recently my daughter managed to break the corner off (100 x 50mm). Would we be able to get this polished off by a regular stonemason? (we were thinking that we could change the style from square corners to round corners) Many Thanks, Fiona. March 14.
R1: Dear Fiona.. Although it is possible that a stone mason could do this job for you, you would probably get better results by going to a granite and marble counter top fabricator. These shops would have the necessary equipment and skills to do the job. I am not familiar with Cardosa stone, but if it is a polished surface, most masons would not have the polishing equipment necessary. Good luck, JVC, USA,
A 1489: I also have an alabaster chandelier on which the main alabaster plate has cracked through the middle. It is separated in two pieces but fits neatly together. Can it be glued together? If so, how and with what type of glue? Thanks, Mike, March 4,
R2: Yes, use a standard stone polyester epoxy. Back cut a little or drill inside the stone so that the glue does not go to the edge and create a visible line. You can color the epoxy with fiberglass colors but it is better not to fill the seam if you do it like the above. Paul, USA,
R1: Dear Mike: Yes, it can. The ideal would be to use epoxy glue to match the color (but then, it ain't easy to match alabaster!), but it's not easy to find and to use. The next best thing, I'd use "Crazy glue". Maurizio, USA,
A 1466: I had a granite countertop install with 3 large cracks / fissures 13" long going across the grain. We told them to stop the installation but they didn't , saying the flaws were natural and we would have to accept them. Please advise me!  Being Leined on Greg, Feb 22.
R2: Dear Greg, There are several aspects to consider here.  Most importantly, did you personally inspect and choose the granite slabs used in the manufacture of the benchtops?  If not why not?  If you did and the slabs did not have the cracks that you describe, then you have a serious complaint against your installer.  Cracks of the size and orientation described, in granite, would be regarded as a structural defect as well as an aesthetic one.  When you run your fingernail across the cracks can you feel them?  Can you see if there is a small depression in the cracks?  When you wet the area of the granite and let it dry, is the crack noticeably darker after the adjoining granite has dried?  Are you sure that the cracks are not small veinlets of a mineralogical composition different to that of the host granite?  Unfortunately, you did not mention what the granite was called.  Although very uncommon, it is possible to get natural fissures in granite.  Most of these fissures would be structural and usually they are healed (filled with another mineral that has been introduced at a later stage).  Another type is related to elevated fluid activity during granite crystallization but, in these, a tell-tale sign is the occurrence of well-shaped crystals lining the fissure.  Because you described that the cracks cut across the grain, there is a high probability that they are not natural.  If the cracks are en echelon, there is good reason to believe that they are related to the quarrying technique (i.e. due to the explosives used).  Take some photos and have an experienced stone scientist look at your problem and then take action if you need to. (Dr.) Hans, Australia
R1: Greg, I am not sure what to say to you. I think everything depends on interpretation. Some fissures are characteristics of the material so if they remove the countertops would you choose the same material again?
There are situations where the fissures can be filled and polished. Would you accept a repair? If you had to take them to court would they fold their tents and capitulate? I am sorry that I can't think of an adequate solution for you. My experience is that I don't let situations like this occur without trying to work it out with my customers. Regards, Steven, USA
A 1380: The top section of my marble parsons table has broken in half. Is there any way to repair this? I've wondered if I could glue the two halves to a plywood base. Is there any glue that would hold it together? The broken piece is about 5 feet long and 18 inches deep. It is a slab about 1/2 inch thick. There is a 3 - 4 inch lip around the edge. The marble is called "Italian Rose". Please help. Karen, Jan 28.
R3: The cracks will eventually run through and crack the top. You may use a polyester resin to fill out the cracks. The resin will hve to be suitably pigmented to match colour and then the top will have to be refinished to remove excess resin leftovers. Regards  Arun, India,
R2: Karen, Maybe it can be repaired, maybe not. Look in your yellow pages for a granite and marble fabricator, and have them check it out. They will probably want to rod the back in addition to the glue work. There are glues formulated for this kind of work, and coloring agents to add to the glue (epoxy or polyester). Good luck JVC, USA,
R1: This is not a repair I would like you to carry out. If the piece has a number of veins in it, then I believe a good fabrication facility could repair it for you where it won't be quite so noticeable. If it does not have a lot of veins, then I believe it can still be repaired but you will see the line. Regards, Steven, USA,
A 1356: I have a travertine dining room table for about 15 years. The crack is now running (lightly) across the width, topside only. What can I do to stop it from enlarging? Will it eventually run through and crack the marble? Jan 21.

R1: You can start with trying to see how the stone flexed enough to cause a surface crack. You can call a fabrication facility and have them reinforce the table top with steel, and try and epoxy impregnate the crack. The crack will always be visible but this may stop it from continuing. Fair warning though, no one will want to pick it up without having you tell them it is not their responsibility if it breaks while they work on it. Regards, Steven, USA,
A 1254: I have an antique sandstone chess set. It belonged to my father, who has passed away. In shipping, two of the pieces are broken. How can I fix them? Can you fix them?  Please send me any and all information that you can, as this chess set is very sentimental and I would like to fix it. Sincerely, Kristin, AZ. Dec 12.
R2: Kristen, Take your chess set to one of the fabrication facilities in Scottsdale and they should be able to fix it for you. Best regards Steven, USA,
R1: Dear Kristin: Yes, those two pieces can be fixed, but don't expect an invisible mending. Polyester glue to match the color should be used, then, when properly cured, shaped with a special tools to blend in with the shape of the piece. Maurizio, USA,
A 1233: How can I re-attach the arm of St. Michael to the statue on my grandmother's headstone? John L. 
Dec 3,
R2: The reattachment can be complicated because adhesive alone will not do the trick. You need professional assistance. The arm needs to be cored out on both sides of the break and a stainless steel rod needs to be glued with epoxy in there. Then the aesthetic portion of the repair can start polishing and filling as necessary. Steven, USA,
R1: What is the composition of the statue? Marble, Granite, ???? If is stone - you can use a rapid setting epoxy putty designed for this purpose. Art, USA,
A 1215: I understand that there are some kinds of chemical - liquid Epoxy with color mixture to help repair
crack lines on marble.
It's a color mixture that comes in a tube and the epoxy glue is transparent and mix with a hardener. Please advise the cost of the material and the supplier. Thank you & warmest regards, Chong, Nov 25.
R2: Chong, There are many such products for the restoration and repair of marble & granite. I will say many times it takes experience to do the repair properly. Try and find a stone fabrication facility or a stone restoration facility in your area to do the work for you. Best regards, Steven, USA,
R1: There are several manufactures (brands) and many supply sources. There are two types of product.. Epoxies which are usually a 50-50 mixture and polyester resins which use a small amount of hardener. Both work well, but personally I prefer the polyester types because of there fast cure time and the fact that the repaired stone can be worked soon after mending. JVC, USA,
A 1110: I have a slab of marble which has been broken in 3 pieces, I am an artist and plan to make a table of them.  Could you give me an idea of a recommended adhesive- epoxy which I could use to bind them together?  It is a marble, which varies from a light bright green to a gray, and is very soft (like powder) in spots, and crystal like in others. Gina, USA, Sept 24.

R4: I would suggest that you use either an epoxy or a polyester type resin adhesive for this repair. The epoxy will make for an extra strength repair but will require a minimum of 24 hrs to cure. The polyester will set up much faster but will not have as much strength. Both would probably be suitable. Both can be colored with pigments. Give our customer service dept. a call to discuss in detail. Bob, USA. 

R3: There are many epoxy and polyster adhesives formulated for stone on the market. Check with a local counter top fabricator or marble tile retailer as to how to order some, and follow the mixing directions closely.  In fact, a local counter top shop (marble / granite) may be your best solution as they will have the epoxy, coloring agents to hide the glue joint, and the necessary clamps to get a good glue joint. JVC, USA,

R2: Dear Gina: All epoxy-type glues are pretty good. I can't recommend a particular brand. The fact is that you should consider "rodding" to do a good job. I have a  problem, though: I don't like the way you describe that particular marble. It sounds like very inconsistent. As a mechanic, I wouldn't bother. Maurizio, USA,

R1: You have to inherence the parts with steel rods in the bake. Use transparent glue and add color (pigment). Pini, USA,

A 1098: My mother bought me a small but very pretty vase made of sandstone. It broke during her travel, the pieces fit together perfectly but I don't know what to use to bond it together. Please help me. Thank you, Carolyn, USA, Sept 11,

R2: When we repair objects like your vase, we ask questions first. How are going to use the repaired item? Will the vase hold water? Do you expect the repaired item to look as if it had never broken? Since the pieces go back together perfectly, we could use flowing polyester adhesive. If you want the vase to hold water, we would use epoxy. Either would then require us to hone the vase after it is repaired. We could not guarantee an unobtrusive repair. Best of luck, Steven, USA,
R1: Dear Carolyn: I always try to keep it as simple as possible. Go to your local supermarket, go to the section where they keep the glues, get a little tube of household cement, follow the direction, and ... Voila! (You will always see the seams where it was broken, though). Ciao, Maurizio, USA,
Q 919: I have an antique cabinet with a marble slab top. The slab broke into two large pieces. Someone said there is a way to bond the marble together. Is that true and how is it done and with what material? Please help me if you can. This piece was my great grandmothers and is very special to me. Terrie, USA, March 28,
R2:  Yes, of course, there are ways to glue your marble back together. The type of bonding agents available are either epoxy cement, or polyester two-part glue. They both work very well, but there's a little tiny problem: They don't work by themselves! And, since they are not user-friendly, nor are they the final stage of the process, you're better off looking for a fabrication facility and / or a stone restoration company that could do the job for you. Just for your information, you have to first mix the cement with some coloring agent to match -- as much as possible -- the color of the marble; second, you have the put together the two pieces on a flat surface, with the good face of the marble upside down; third, you have to let the whole thing cure for a couple of days; fourth, you have to rod the back of the slab (the part that is now upside) with 2 or more metal rods, according to the width of the slab (1 rod every 4 inches is a good rule of thumb; fifth, once the rodding is done properly and properly cured (another couple of days) you turn the slab with the finished part of the marble upside, and check that along the cracks there are no voids (if there are fill them with the colored glue and let cure for a couple of days); sixth and finally, you grind along the crack to make the glue become flush with the rest of the slab, then you hone and polish the whole thing. Did I scare you good? I sure hope so. Get a professional! Good luck! Maurizio, USA,
R1: The best method with materials that would be accessible to you would be to use a 2-part epoxy type adhesive, available in most hardware stores. One of the best to use is the type that comes in what looks like a double barrel syringe, which ensures a true 50/50 mix. Follow the instructions on the package to "glue" the two piece back together. When you press the two pieces of marble together after applying the epoxy to both broken edges, be sure to have the pieces press together as tightly as possible and stay tight until dry. Depending on the size of the marble piece, many a times its own weight will hold it tight. If not use clamps if possible or use strapping tape and tape tightly together. Some material will "squish" out. Wait until the epoxy just starts to thicken (or gel), then using a razor blade carefully to cut off any excess material flush with the table top. Let cure fully. Bill, USA,

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