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#405299 - 06/10/14 12:25 PM SoapStone Kitchen Countertops
Strider53 Offline
old hand

Registered: 04/11/12
Posts: 77
Loc: Detroit
Hey All,

Anyone here with any personal experiences with using SoapStone as the material for their Countertops? We like the matte finish (not too reflective), chemical and heat resistance and also like the veining not being too busy.
I would like to hear from others though, before I sign the Contract with the Fabricator! I didn't find alot of information on this material on line and only found 1 local Shop who stocks it.
thanks in advance,Jeff
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#405310 - 06/10/14 03:21 PM Re: SoapStone Kitchen Countertops [Re: Strider53]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1008
We recently saw a sample soapstone counter top at our kitchen cabinet place.

Looked nice but duller than what we are used to seeing. The owners said that it can be quite soft as contrasted to other material types & therefore more prone to damage; however, it can be easily repaired or refinished. The relative softness allows for those wonderful Soapstone carvings that are produced by out northern people.

Quartz seems to be the most durable. We went with a light coloured quartz for 3 counter tops plus back splash that is not too busy looking - a relatively new colour called Creme Brulee - that doesn't show dirt or spills like black does. Ours has more of a satin finish with some gloss. After a year we are very pleased with our installation - no visible wear at all...

TAM

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#405313 - 06/10/14 04:57 PM Re: SoapStone Kitchen Countertops [Re: Strider53]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6609
Loc: It's all about the location.
I've never seen a soapstone counter top before, but as Tom mentioned , it's a rather soft material. It also has a dry, slippery texture to it, kind of like graphite. I would check to make sure it's easy to clean, seal(if required) and doesn't hold bacteria during use before you buy it.
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#405316 - 06/10/14 05:28 PM Re: SoapStone Kitchen Countertops [Re: Adrian]
BobKay Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 3131
Loc: Massachusetts Badlands
Soapstone was in heavy use in the US until about 25 years ago. The most prized was Vermont Soapstone. Kitchens were not intended to be showplaces in those days and it was used because it worked well, wore like iron, was local, and inexpensive, but not pretty. Most of it was used in industrial or public applications, laboratory bench tops, and the like.

Vermont ran out of soapstone about two decades ago. Dealers will still sell you stuff that's even labeled as "Vermont," but no such thing is extant. You can buy Vermont soapstone form Vermont "quarries" and they are getting it from the same place as everyone else around the globe gets soapstone these days----Brazil. That is where most natural countertop stones come from. Now THERE's a carbon footprint for you, as they are shipped in 1.25" thick slabs that are, on overage, 8 x 10!'

I had clients who had one made for their mudroom sink/short run counter in their NH "country house." They still are happy with their choice almost a decade later. Plus, it really looks great with the architecture of the house.

Aside from the super retro look (turn of the 19th/20th C's),
I see no reason to use it over any other choice.

Edit: Forgot! Before you buy any natural stone for countertops, be sure to check out its radon emission quotient, if at all possible. Almost all emit some. Some stone countertops give off more than should be in your house.


Edited by BobKay (06/10/14 05:37 PM)
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#405321 - 06/10/14 07:01 PM Re: SoapStone Kitchen Countertops [Re: Strider53]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1008
Thanks for that. I learn something every day, ha!

TAM

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#405350 - 06/11/14 09:55 AM Re: SoapStone Kitchen Countertops [Re: Strider53]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 5820
Loc: Some random location
I only remember soapstone from my army stint in South Korea. Seems they carved just about everything out of it in an attempt to try and sell it to you.

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#405374 - 06/11/14 12:07 PM Re: SoapStone Kitchen Countertops [Re: Strider53]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3889
Loc: Up yonder
The only soapstone I have seen is the Tulikavi fire place a friend of mine has. It's stunningly gorgeous. Puts out a tremendous amount of heat too. But, as others have mentioned, it’s kind of soft. I would be hesitant to use it for a counter top material, unless it’s a harder rock than what I am aware of, or has some type of coating that will provide wear and chip resistance.

I have granite counters, and even as hard as they are, I have managed to scuff mine up over the years. Not sure if I’d go with granite again. It’s quite painful to put a chip or scratch in a rock that costs ten grand or more, and there ain’t no fixin it……
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#405429 - 06/11/14 09:15 PM Re: SoapStone Kitchen Countertops [Re: Strider53]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4801
Loc: western canada
Concrete can have dull grey look. Properly sealed it is easy to maintain and repair if necessary.
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