Preventing Marble Tops from Cracking During Shipping

      A quick tip for reinforcing marble countertops with steel rod. April 10, 2007

Question
We have been trying to ship some 3/4 marble to a national customer. It is various sizes, but approximately 30" x 50". The problem is the tops are breaking in shipping.

Here is the way that we have been building the crates. We line a crate (edges and both faces) with Styrofoam, then bubble wrap the marble. We put the countertop into the crate and it fits pretty tight. We screw the face onto the crate and stand the crate up on a pallet. We then screw angled supports to the pallet and crate so that it will stand upright. When the business receives the crate, there is absolutely no damage to it. So far 4 out of 8 have been broken. Anybody have a suggestion?

Forum Responses
(Laminate and Solid Surface Forum)
Have you considered rodding the back of your slabs? My shop runs into situations all the time where Iím almost positive a piece will break in transit. In those situations I have my guys cut a groove in the back of the piece, 1/4"deep x 1/4" wide. I use 1/4" x 1/4" solid square steel stock. The glue is the trick, though. Mastics like polyester resin donít seem to bond very well with the steel (or the stone for that matter). Thatís why I donít use it. I use a two part flowing epoxy called Stoneweld, made by American Synthetics. This stuff is incredibly strong. I do all my laminating with it. It bonds to the stone and the steel very well and 90% of the time it adds a great amount of strength to questionable pieces. Iíve seen other shops that rod almost all of their stone just for peace of mind. It adds a little more time, but I bet it would solve your breakage problems. I find that if the pieces still break, they only have hairline cracks but do not separate.



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