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Average Joe
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back story.

Designer ordered 3 slabs of cultured marble for a fireplace that we were to install. Special order, cutouts for fireplace and a t.v..

Order arrived 2 weeks ago to the site.

Today we opened it for install. 3 pieces :
- 97" x 48"
- 97" x 7 1/4"
- 97" x 7 1/4"

3/4" thick.

We hauled the big piece upstairs, set it by the fireplace and as we were raising it to slide 2x beneath it so we can raise it up into place it snapped in 4 spots right in the middle :shutup:

It literally buckled under it's own weight. So we stopped breathing for a few minutes, trying to figure out just what the heck happened.

Then we went downstairs to move the other 2 smaller pieces ( 7 1/4" x 97") and we got the first one literally 2 inches off the ground and it buckled and snapped also :shutup::cry:

This has never happened to me before.

My Insurance will cover it but there's a $1000 deductible and my rates will go up. I'm not sure what they paid for it, but I'm guessing at least a couple of grand. Plus the cost to replace...I'm looking at probably $5000 of damage here. The stuff came in from Montreal.

-Is it a manufacturer's problem? The stuff literally snaps as soon as you touch it. Cultured marble is supposed to have higher tensile strength than regular marble and just lifting the thing caused it to snap...even the small 7" x 8' piece...that is not supposed to happen.
-Can I make a case for this?
-Do I have to eat this up?

Any opinions/experience with this would greatly help. It was in my hands when it broke but I was hardly moving it, I am not looking forward to having to pay for this. Do you think I have to?
 

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My Insurance will cover it but there's a $1000 deductible and my rates will go up.
Could you say how you have come to believe your (GL) insurance will cover it ? What kind of policy covers this type of damage ? I'd be interested ?

My (GL) insurance has never covered "what I'm working on" you might say. Just the results of the problem that occurred. If I'm installing a $3500 atrium window and it falls out of the opening, crashes through a 120 lite picture window and onto a Mercedes, No pay for my atrium window but the 120 lite picture window and the Mercedes are covered.
 

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Average Joe
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Could you say how you have come to believe your (GL) insurance will cover it ? What kind of policy covers this type of damage ? I'd be interested ?

My (GL) insurance has never covered "what I'm working on" you might say. Just the results of the problem that occurred. If I'm installing a $3500 atrium window and it falls out of the opening, crashes through a 120 lite picture window and onto a Mercedes, No pay for my atrium window but the 120 lite picture window and the Mercedes are covered.
Installation floater.

Quote:
"Covers property of the insured or of others for which the insured is legally liable and which is being installed. Coverage applies while property is in transit to the installation site, during loading and unloading as well as in the course of installation until completed...Then it goes on about coverage restricted to Canada and US.

That's the clause in my contract...$1000 deductible and I'm covered for up to 10k.
 

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It's pretty obvious that you got a bad batch.

Have you contacted the manufacturer? They should stand behind their product.

If they wish to be difficult there are product testing companies that can verify your suspicions.


Your insurance co. may have a name for you. The cultured marble people must have an association that might have a testing outfit that they use.

Occasional manufacturing failures happen. I'd start by seeing if the maker as a good business man or a skunk.--MIKE--
 

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Average Joe
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Ciot is the manufacturer (ciot.com).

Good point on having it tested.

The other thing to take into consideration is that they made an opening for a fireplace insert in the slab (28" W x 20"H).

That left ten inches on either side for 20", the opening weakened the slap and that's where it snapped. They should have reinforced that opening or the sides. The installer should have the reasonable expectation that the slab has been properly reinforced to not snap as it's being lifted into position. I really can't think how else we could have lifted it into place. We put one end down, then raising the other.

Yet that still doesn't explain why the smaller piece also snapped, it had not cutouts. It literally snapped on touch.
 

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That product is usually pretty tough. I would have broken it too. Ther seems to be enough material left for normal -careful handling.

Good luck with that--You have had a couple of odd mishaps --Bad luck strikes in threes??

I'd start with the maker- good luck--MIKE--
 

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defiantly call the manufacture, like others said it could be a bad batch.. and if your insurance covers it i would go that route unless your rates increase will cost you over 4 grand in the pocket
 

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Thom
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It sounds like it froze before it was cured.

I'd call the manufacturer and talk to the designer. If you must pay, tell the designer you won't work with that manufacturers material.

I don't understand why you would have cultured marble shipped anyway. Isn't there a local company that could make it?
 

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Definately a manufactures defect, contact these guhttp://www.icpa-hq.org/ICPAregions/PCMA/index.cfmys, They are a cultured marble association, Google them if the link does not work. Get someone on the phone, get them a sample of the material, get them to write some kind of report or analysis. You need leverage, right now, you have none. GMOD.
 

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Maker of Fine Sawdust
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Wow, it must have been packed pretty damn good for it to not break during transit.

Really weird, keep us posted on what the outcome is.
I bet it just got racked around enough to weaken it so when you applied your feathers to it, it snapped.
 

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I don't know... I can easily see it snapping right where it did if not handled properly, that's a definite dangerous stress point on something that large, a ton of leverage can be applied to that point pretty easily. Just have to give you the benefit of the doubt that your guys handled it properly. I could easily see any solid surface material, whether it was CM, granite, marble, quartz or whatever being easily snapped like that. Even in granite around here that section would be back bored and rodded to reinforce or at a minimum meshed, if not the handling of it would have been very precarious with any slight racking causing a similar result.

Like I said, I wasn't there, so gotta give you and your guys the benefit of the doubt that you handled it properly.

Edit - hmm, now that I look at it more carefully, I probably have to take that back, that didn't break at the corner of the openning where it would have been the weakest, but up the leg a few inches. That probably changes everything.
 

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Average Joe
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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
From the pics, you can tell which side is the bottom and which side is the top. The side closest to the window is the bottom.

We placed the bottom close to the fireplace (right of picture).

As we started to lift it up and were just a few inches off the ground on the top side it buckled. It snapped clean off on the top of the opening, and cracked at the bottom of the opening. The top is heavier than the bottom.

It was handled with as much care as we could muster, definitely no racking, bouncing, jerking. It was on the ground, we started to slowly lift the one end and snap.

I just zoomed in to some of the other pics and I didn't notice earlier but no mesh backer either. The piece you see leaning on the right (1st pic), you're looking at the back of the piece.
 

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Well, one thing I gotta say that is the nicest looking cultured marble I have ever seen. It looks like limestone. Even in the close ups of the crack lines you can see tiny chips like real limestone would make little pieces like that. Around here we always have the fabricator do the install of their products (all counter tops though). Rarely do sheet big sheets like that, but I could see us having to install Swanstone ourselves.

Hope you get it worked out. That's a hard hit to have to eat. :thumbdown
 

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It probably would have been a better idea to spec that surround in 4 pieces, 2 horiz seams, and 2 vert. Also, if you tried to tabletop that piece, i would def snap, your only chance would be to move it in a vert posistion, GMOD.
 

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I am sure you know what you bought, But I have to say.....It looks much more like travertine to me, the break is too jagged, and you can see what looks like filler in some areas. If it is travertine, or manufactured with voids, then voids filled, I can see that you had little chance to move this around without completely supporting with slings and straightedges.

I do not think his should have left the factory without a mesh epoxied to the backside of the slab.
 
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