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SoapStone Kitchen Countertops
#405299 06/10/14 04:25 PM
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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

Re: SoapStone Kitchen Countertops
Jeff_in_the_D #405310 06/10/14 07:21 PM
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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

Re: SoapStone Kitchen Countertops
Jeff_in_the_D #405313 06/10/14 08:57 PM
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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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Re: SoapStone Kitchen Countertops
Adrian #405316 06/10/14 09:28 PM
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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.

Last edited by BobKay; 06/10/14 09:37 PM.

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Re: SoapStone Kitchen Countertops
Jeff_in_the_D #405321 06/10/14 11:01 PM
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Thanks for that. I learn something every day, ha!

TAM

Re: SoapStone Kitchen Countertops
Jeff_in_the_D #405350 06/11/14 01:55 PM
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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.

Re: SoapStone Kitchen Countertops
Jeff_in_the_D #405374 06/11/14 04:07 PM
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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……

Re: SoapStone Kitchen Countertops
Jeff_in_the_D #405429 06/12/14 01:15 AM
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Concrete can have dull grey look. Properly sealed it is easy to maintain and repair if necessary.


"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."
Re: SoapStone Kitchen Countertops
chesseroo #407655 10/15/14 12:35 PM
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Ok, so four months later an update, we decided on the Soapstone, the Countertops are in, just finished with putting up the matching stone switch/oulet covers and the final caulking. Yes, the stone is from South America. Yes it can be scratched very easily but the scratches are rubbed out quickly.
It came down to Absolute Black Granite and the Soapstone, my wife preferred the Soapstone, there you go, will attempt to post pictures at some time, before and after.
All in all am satisfied at this point, we'll see a year or so from now.
/Jeff


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