This week I had a SIO4 quartz countertop (Martin River) and backsplash installed by Stonnik to finish our new kitchen. I had researched vendors in the summer when I started the kitchen project. I selected Stonnik based on the reviews on HomeStars, their quote for the project, a positive face to face meeting and professional pre-sales communication and interaction with Siavosh. This was the first time working with Stonnik and the first time with a quartz countertop and backsplash installation.
The installation was tentatively booked for Monday this week starting between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. It was pushed back that morning to 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. When no one showed up by 1:30 p.m. I called Siavosh and asked if the installers were still planning to install that day. He was surprised that no one had showed up and told me he would follow up. When he called me back, he said the installers had been in a vehicle accident. It was odd that he would not have been aware of this before or called us to let us know. Nonetheless, the install was moved to the next day, same time. On Tuesday morning, the installers called to advise they were arriving at 9:00 a.m.
For the most part, the installation was ok. I had some concerns during and after the installation and I asked Mohsen to drop by and discuss them before making a final payment. He visited on Wednesday.
1. The kitchen has hardwired undercabinet lighting and a valance is to be installed after the countertop and backsplash installation. The gap between the stone backsplash and the upper kitchen cabinets is slightly more than a ¼ inch. Even though when the countertop and backsplash was measured by Mohsen, I was told there would be a notch in the stone for the electrical cord. I expected the stone to be almost flush with the bottom of the cabinets (assuming minimal space sealed with silicone). I was surprised at the size of the gap. Mohsen explained the reason for the gap was that there was not enough stone (only two slabs) and this was the best that could be done without incurring additional expense (purchasing another slab of stone). If after installing the valance, which he assured me would hide this, if it still bothered me, he offered to pay for the kitchen cabinet company to cover the space with strip of cabinet material. He put this in writing.
2. On the left side of the sink, the stone backsplash is almost flush with the window trim. On the right side of the sink, the stone protrudes a ¼ inch. When we asked why the two sides were not the same and why the right side protruded more, Mohsen explained the wall behind the backsplash on the right side was not level (bulging in the middle). It would have been helpful to know this could be the outcome to the backsplash in order to address leveling the wall beforehand.
3. Before selecting Stonnik, since I was considering quartz with a vein pattern, I asked if the stone would be book matched, especially at the seam from counter top to the backsplash. I was told that Stonnik makes an effort to book match. In the end, there was very minimal book matching from countertop to backsplash. Mohsen explained that to do book matching from the countertop to the backsplash, requires twice as much material/additional expense (3 or 4 slabs).
Renovations are stressful and expensive. I am leaving this review to help educate others who like me are venturing into a quartz countertop and backsplash project for the first time. Even though I thought I had asked enough questions and maybe even the right questions before the installation, I realize that there are never enough questions. Whatever vendor you choose, ask questions and do not make assumptions.