Profile picture for Kaye Norenberg

Soapstone Counters

Has anybody had soapstone counters?  I am trying to decide between soapstone or marble countertops with subway tiles in my 1935 home.  Does anybody have any advice?

  • June 21 2008 - US
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Answers (20)

Soapstone is better for a kitchen application over marble, since its stain resistant (and if it does stain, its only surface stained and can be removed)....but I would use both!

 

Without seeing the kitchen, here is what I would do, in order of preference :

 

Option 1) Use marble on the island (if present) and soapstone on the perimeter with a light color running bond subway tile pattern (white or an ivory. I find that subway tiles look stunning in light colors)

 

Option 2, no island) Use soapstone on the counters and  carrera marble subway size tiles in a running bond pattern (this would look SO beautiful, especially in a historic/older home- it would really make a clean and modern historic statement coupled with the soapstone).

 

Option 3) Use soapstone on the island (if present), and marble on the perimeter with a running bond subway tile pattern (again, in a lighter color).

  • June 23 2008
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Profile picture for dunmoved

Dear Adios,

Have you priced your choices?

(We remodelled our bathroom using floor to ceiling subway tile...at $3 per 3"x6" ceramic tile it was the world's most expensive 5x5 ft. bathroom!)

 

Also it depends on where the countertop is.  Marble is very soft and stains easily so I wouldn't recommend it for a kitchen countertop.

  • June 23 2008
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Profile picture for Kaye Norenberg

I have priced options and will be meeting with contractors over the next few days.  The kitchen is a small space which I hope to open into the dining room for a more expansive look. (Both contractors have architects on staff for load bearing issues)

 

J Steinburg, Thanks for your input it confirms what I want in Option 2.  Would you put in a sink that matched the tile?

  • June 23 2008
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I would use a white porcelain sink (yes, to match the white in the carrera marble tiles). I would consider a single troff (no sink divider- its easier to wash pots, put stuff in the sink, etc.) farm style (one with an apron) to further echo history. If you feel thats too trendy or you just dont like them, go with a straight undermount. That way, you can quickly and easily wipe counters and you dont have to worry about the seams of a top-mount sink. It will also keep the smooth horizontal line of the counter uninterrupted. However, if you are doing stainless appliances, a stainless undermount sink would look great since it will pull from the grey in the carrera marble. In fact, I would for sure use a stainless single-troff undermount sink if you didn't want to do a white procelain apron style sink.

  • June 23 2008
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Profile picture for Kaye Norenberg

Thanks for your feedback.  I am going with the soapstone and  a porcelain undermount sink.  My dishwasher, range hood and fridge will have paneling on them to match the cupboards and then a stainless stove. 

  • June 24 2008
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Out of curiosity, are you doing white cupboards? What color will the soapstone be? (I'm trying to get more of a mental picture going on!)  =)

  • June 25 2008
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Profile picture for Kaye Norenberg

I am going with white cupboards and probably the black soapstone.  I will be using a vintage style silver faucet for the sink and yes the beer tap!

  • June 25 2008
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yay! great choices!

  • June 26 2008
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Profile picture for Kaye Norenberg

Soapstone here is pricing at $110 square foot because of little competition.  I will probably go with a granite or Zodiac to save money even though I love the Soapstone look.

  • August 07 2008
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i think you can still acheive the same look with a different material. soapstone is usually pretty expensive everywhere you go- maybe even more so in your area due to economic factors. thats why when someone says they are doing soapstone- I get all wide eyed like a kid in a candy shop! haha!

  • August 07 2008
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Profile picture for FlooredAgain

For an unbiased view and information on your choices of stone, go to www.stoneworld.com and do a search on what you're considering.  Soapstone has a great feel and patinas out with time but it does stain and is very, very soft, meaning it scratches. Kitchen counters receive the hardest wear of any counter top in your home. Be aware of the draw backs.  Some designers will chose a product such as this without recognizing the practicality or the functionality of the area being considered.  Just know it's limitations and if all is out on the table, so to speak, you know what you're getting from the start. As far as 3x6 subway tiles go, they're usually priced by the square foot unless you're looking at a big box store. Avoid tile there...a lot of seconds and closeouts are carried by those guys. Pricing out a 3x6 tile from say DalTile would run you under $8 sq. ft. which comes to $1 each. Look even at hand made wire cut 3x6's from Gainey Tile out of Sonoma California , (www.gaineytile.com), and you will still be under $24 sq. ft. , which is $3 each. Good luck.

  • August 09 2008
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Profile picture for bsrice

Here is a helpful article that I found on Soapstone Countertops

  • August 10 2008
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Remember, soapstone can be scratched by a fingernail. It's very soft.

  • August 14 2008
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Profile picture for BungalowMo

Hey there adios...what did you decide to go with? It would be great to see some pics!  I just saw a link today on a stunning kitchen remodel in an old house.  They had the soapstone & it was gorgeous! (sigh...mine's old funky 80's somethingorother)

  • December 11 2008
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I know this is an old post, but in case there are more people searching for Soapstone, here is a good link. The type you would use for your kitchen (or any home application, for that matter) is not the feeble material many of you think it is. It is, actually, one of the more perfect kitchen counter materials around!

In case the link does not work:

http://www.kitchendesignnotes.com/2007/09/are-you-thinking-about-soap-stone.html

  • December 11 2008
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Profile picture for Kaye Norenberg

Bungalow,

The soapstone when priced out was outrageous so I went with a Silestone limestone look with a subway tile backsplash.  The island has matching cupboards with a walnut top.  I believe I still stayed true to the vintage of the house yet opened up the space a bit.   There is still quite a bit of finishing work to do before completition.  I will post a picture as soon as complete.

  • December 11 2008
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J Steinberg,

I noticed one of the kitchens in your link had a big flat screen.  Is that request common?

  • December 11 2008
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To clarify, that was not my personal link...just a good one!

Regarding the flat screen, I am currently doing a large project and we are in the Kitchen/Family Room phase. Its a big house, and the kitchen opens to the Family room and a morning room area. The client is requesting two flat screens in his Family Room. One in the normal place to put a TV (a custom built-in I am designing) and one over the Family Room fireplace so my client can watch TV while cooking. These two flat screens will be, oh, about, four feet from each other, (on different walls). I am almost positive he would want one in the kitchen, but there is no wall space. We have a stone backsplash that meets the high base cabinetry and the morning room is all windows that look out to his view. So, yeah....this client, essentially, is putting in an additional TV so he can see it from the kitchen when he cooks.

  • December 12 2008
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I am learning the ins & outs of woodworking so I can possibly build my own cabinets.  I think something "craftsman-looking" with that dark grey soapstone would look sweet here and a matching set across the room:

  • December 12 2008
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Profile picture for BethReynoso
I would also compare local pricing between the two stones. Heres a good link - http://www.construction-bids.com/glass-countertops.php for local pricing.
Soapstone is going to be the softer of the two stones.
  • October 08 2012
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