Can I fix this?
October 5, 2015 12:14 PM   Subscribe

I did my kitchen last year, now the countertops are splitting?

I did a complete kitchen remodel and wound up with not so great countertop work. The only real issue is there is a seem right above the dishwasher adn due to heat adn moisture this seem is splitting pretty badly.

That section of counter top is tiedinto a farm sink and it would be a major deal to replace it or change anything that invloves pulling it up. Do I have any options.

photo 1, photo 2, photo 3
posted by silsurf to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Countertops, like bathtubs, have a whole industry devoted to covering them up instead of replacing them, so yeah, you've got all kinds of options there.

But since it's so new: Is the countertop covered by a warranty at all?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:30 PM on October 5, 2015

Fill it? Like really carefully and really well? You can get teeny tiny containers of DAP. I love DAP because it is best applied with a wet finger and that's it.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:40 PM on October 5, 2015

That is a horrible place for a seam. The counter looks like corian. I would call an installer and see if you can have them fill and buff it out.
posted by saradarlin at 12:43 PM on October 5, 2015 [5 favorites]

I agree with saradarlin; it's a bad place for a seam. Moisture is unlikely to have anything to do with it but regular heating and cooling cycles surely do. Is there a layer of plywood underneath, or just a ledger against the wall, with the rest of it cantilevered out over the DW? If there's no plywood underneath then you might be able to reinforce the joint by epoxying something across it. You could also buffer the temperature swings by adding some insulation in whatever space is available above the DW. I would do that sort of thing before filling and buffing out the cracks, because if it keeps moving around then the seam will just open again.
posted by jon1270 at 1:15 PM on October 5, 2015

Yep, terrible place for a seam. Even if it didn't split, that's just not a good place aesthetically for one anyway. If it was done by an installer, then, yeah, it's worth a call to see if they will cover their work. If it was do-it-yourself, then you'll just have to fill it, but be prepared to keep fixing it, probably once a year.

As an avid (by financial necessity) DIY-er myself (I redid my kitchen right to the walls last year) I understand that sometimes we must do things in a way that a pro might not.

In any case, to help mitigate the appearance of the seam, I'd get a really nice show-piece cutting board to leave on that part of the counter. It will cover most of the seam, and also serve as a trivet/staging area so you can avoid banging things on the seam, making the problem worse.

I linked to a glass cutting board, because they have the most diverse range of styles available. But I would never actually cut anything on one. As I said, use as a trivet/staging area.
posted by The Deej at 1:33 PM on October 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you scan the discussion on this page, you'll come to somebody posting as "coriansucks" with the same problem, big crack in seam over the dishwasher. The next poster, "heaphy" says that "Your original fabricator should have reinforced the seam with a second layer of Corian bonded to the underside of the seam. Was this done? If not, you should file a written complaint with the fabricator, and ask them to help you solve your problem." This problem doesn't appear to be covered by Corian's manufacturing warranty, but the installer should stand behind their work, recognize they did it wrong, and fix it.
posted by beagle at 2:36 PM on October 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: its not Corian, its a synthetic called Eurostone. Thanks for the suggestions
posted by silsurf at 4:16 PM on October 5, 2015

What is the material filling the seam? Is it a caulk or a hard epoxy? I have only seen these installed on TV shows so I am no expert. On the show they used a two part epoxy and then grind and polish it. When they are done you cannot see the seam. You could call an installer and see what they suggest. Having them repair it should not be very expensive.
posted by tman99 at 5:42 AM on October 6, 2015

See the Eurostone fabrication/installation manual. It has the same kinds of cautions/caveats as Corian:

Dishwasher cavity - Cleat the bench top to the back wall for the support required
Avoid joint placement over dishwashers, over under bench ovens, or beneath direct heat sources, e.g. bench top appliances.
Your substrate board needs to be adequate for the dimensions and overhangs of the bench top.
Avoid joints around dishwashers, sink and hob cut outs and overhangs.
Do not join a substrate directly below a Eurostone® joint.
Dishwasher: Make sure this area has been completely sealed (as referred to on page 11, sealing of substrates). Another good practice is to place a 70mm minimum barrier tape set in 3mm from front clashing and extending backwards. Steam from the appliance will deflect from the barrier tape, to prevent moisture becoming absorbed by the substrate.

See also schematic showing dishwasher installation. If there is a substrate across the dishwasher, have a look to see if the substrate joint is in the same location (breaks that rule above). (You might have to pull the DW out a little to check this.) If they broke any of the rules above, you've got a good case to persuade the installers to fix the problem, not just by patching but by redoing that area correctly.
posted by beagle at 8:14 AM on October 6, 2015 [2 favorites]

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