In the Northwest we have embraced the Green movement, embraced the move to utilize materials that are manufactured in a sustainable way, materials that use recycled materials and or can be easily recycled themselves. So with dismay I discovered that one product that I was very excited about turns out to be VERY SCRATCHABLE and another popular product turns out to be VERY STAINABLE!
Buyer Beware! BEWARE what the manufacturers tell you whether in person or in their websites. Ask for telephone numbers of people that have used their products and call them to see how they really hold up. Obtain a sample from the company and try to ‘kill’ it.
The beautiful and elegant GLASS2 product turns out to be difficult to work with by both glass and stone trades people. Furthermore, the surface is so delicate it can be scratched with your fingernail. Not a great product to be used as a counter, and unfortunately it is being promoted as such and sold by the slab next to granite and marble slabs that are sold and made into counters. Is this why there are only 17 pictures on the website of examples of use? We tried 2 slabs over 4 months to create a simple bar counter, without success and came away very disappointed.
VETRAZZO is another very beautiful and stunning material. Made of recycled glass of fairly nice size chunks, it has a tendency to chip away, particularly at any edge. (The piece of glass breaks off leaving a hole.) So the holes are supposed to be fixed before the counter gets to the customer but…..such is not always the case. The hole problem, however, is not the whole problem (Hah!). The bigger problem is that the cement that the glass pieces are floating in is extremely porous. So we have a counter product that instantly stains!!! IF you ask Vetrazzo, they recommend removing the stain with some liquid soap and water. Well, that does not work. If you ask their recommended fabricators, they will tell you to use bleach, which does work. Further along in the ‘care and maintenance’ document they mention ‘sealing’ the product which ‘is applied during installation’ then further on they recommend that you apply wax to the surface after installation (right away) and ‘a couple times of year thereafter.’ (translation: every six months) Yet in another paragraph in the document they recommend that ‘when the mood strikes you, buff it with wax a few times a year…’ (isn’t that every four months now?) It seems to me that if you are up front with the issues and provide a detailed schedule for maintenance you will have happier clients because they will have consciously decided to install this product with the knowledge of the level of maintenance.
I’m disappointed and disillusioned and have stains on my green fingers.