Our trials and tribulations with finding and installing granite in our Philippine home’s kitchen and bathroom counters.
We must have looked at every piece of granite in Iloilo City ten times. We looked at Moostbrand, AM Builders, Citi Hardware and Merit Marble. Merit had some lovely Italian granite, but the price was a bit too high for our budget. Much of the other granite was saw was just too bland for us. Finally we found what we were looking for at AM Builders, Tanza, Iloilo.
Here’s what it looks like installed:
This “Jun Li” granite is from China, as is most granite for sale in the Philippines. The pattern is called “weave white”. The price per 60cm by 220cm slab was P3,990. We required four slabs to do our kitchen and a small counter in our bathroom for a total of P15,960. After some haggling we paid P13,866 including delivery to Tigbauan. AM Builder’s Depot recommended an installer. After negotiation, we hired the recommended installer for P8,000.
The three installers worked almost three days. As usual, they were very nice people, but it was a frustrating process for us and for them. They were really not experts, just guys with an angle grinder who install granite. They did not have a drill and carbide bit to make a hole for the bathroom faucet. Instead, from the bottom of the slab, they cut away the granite using the angle grinder. It was a bit barbaric. Sadly, I had a hammer drill and carbide bit that would have been perfect to make the hole for the faucet, but we did not realize what they were doing until it was too late. They were very big on epoxy. They used it much the same way a carpenter uses wood filler.
The unpigmented epoxy soaks into the granite and stains it, probably permanently. Black pigmented epoxy was used to fill joints. That worked fairly well.
Like other aspects of building our house, we hoped to hire people who would do top quality work. The reality is that getting good work usually requires constant supervision and sometimes unpleasantness. Now that the job is done, it’s not perfect, but we are satisfied. Perhaps part of the problem was that just before the installation started we were in Manila, where we looked at some excellent granite work.
The total cost of the granite and installation was P21,866 or about $490.