If you’ve been following along since our very first renovation, you probably know- we don’t ever do the same thing twice. In fact, I’m pretty sure we’ve never duplicated a material, a piece of furniture, etc. Therefore, it might have come as shock that we used soapstone for the second time in a year! That’s right… we renovated two kitchens (our previous and our current) within a one year timespan. I know, I know- we like to torture ourselves. Ha! Regardless, that’s how much we love this natural material… enough to want it as our countertop AGAIN. Click through to read why we made the decision, lots of info on the material itself, and a little followup FAQ. I’ve been getting a TON of questions in regards to our countertops, so I figured I’d answer them all in one place. Let’s get to it!
*My countertop slabs were gifted by Polycor. We paid for fabrication. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow us to create unique content while featuring products we actually use & enjoy!
Before I dive in deep, this post contains EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SOAPSTONE. If you missed it last year, it’s definitely worth checking out!
Soapstone is truly a magical material. It has a touch like no other natural stone… it almost has a soft, velvety cool texture. It’s super forgiving, you can easily rub on enhancer or oil to make scratches disappear, it’s versatile, and it patinas beautifully over time! Basically, it’s an easy stone to love.
I was sold on soapstone the first time I laid eyes on a slab in the quarry during a Polycor trip years ago. I ordered it for our previous kitchen and laundry room, but Emmett honestly wasn’t convinced with the sample I brought home. Obviously I proceeded, knowing he’d come around, and within a week- he was totally smitten. It was actually Emmett who requested it this time around. It grew on him SO much, he begged me to include it in our new kitchen design plan. Obviously I wasn’t going to decline because I’m equally as obsessed.
I selected my slabs from The Stone Collection. If you’re in Salt Lake, Denver, Phoenix, Dallas, or Forth Worth- I highly recommend them. They have a gigantic selection of stone at all of their locations. I could’ve spent hours in their slab yard. My rep had already pulled the Polycor options for me and below, you can see the color difference. The slab on the left is natural, dry soapstone. The slab to the right was wiped down with water to enhance the color to better show the veining. Pretty cool, right?! Basically, you can decide if you want to leave your stone natural or enhance it, giving it that jet black look.
Knowing, I’d be permanently enhancing the stone in my own kitchen, I was allllll about that gorgeous veining. After selecting my slabs, the stone was delivered to my fabricator. If you’re wondering how much we used- I ordered 3 slabs (compared to 1 in our previous kitchen)… but we have some of the third slab leftover that we’ll use for another project in our house!
Luckily, Emmett works for a custom cabinetry company and has an excellent fabricator friend at work. He was able to send photos and keep an eye on the entire fabrication process… which was a lot of fun for me. I really enjoyed seeing behind the scenes. You can also see below, the ogee edge profile in the shop, that I specified for our kitchen. So what exactly is an ogee edge? It’s a curved, dramatic, more traditional edge profile. There are many different edge profiles to choose from. In our previous kitchen, I used an “eased edge” for a modern look.
I also wanted to get creative with our soapstone. Rather than only using it on the countertops, I had a vision of continuing the stone onto our new windows and using it as the window sill. The ledge turned out really nice and gave me an opportunity to add another feminine radius curve to the space. I like balancing out a rectangular space with softer curves. It’s a fun detail I was excited to implement! It’s also a functional backsplash that is super easy to clean. Another perk? It acts as a ledge for candles, plants, soap, … whatever I feel like tossing up there.
What do you use to enhance the countertop to make it look rich black?
You can use wax, oil, or ager. I’ve used all 3… just to experiment. Having lived with the material for quite some time (in our previous kitchen), this ager was my favorite and gave me a non-greasy beautiful black that lasts for up to a year. Just like our previous kitchen, it took a few coats of enhancer after installation. The porous stone really has to absorb it, so I applied ager twice in our new kitchen for the best result. I used a sponge for application, then wiped it dry with a rag. I probably won’t have to reapply for at least 8-12 months.
Is soapstone durable- or does it easily scratch? What does “patina over time” mean?
Yes and yes! It’s durable, BUT it does scratch. That doesn’t bother me at all though. Like I previously mentioned- you can easily add some ager, wax, or oil to the scratch, rub it, and watch it disappear like magic. Personally, I’m not disturbed by the natural aging, scratching, or patina process. I cook on the countertop, cut on it, place hot pans directly on top, and it holds up beautifully! Our kitchen is lived in… it’s not a showroom. “Patina” is the process in which a natural material ages. Soapstone will wear with time, absorb oil, darken, and look more lived in. I think it absolutely 100% gets better with time!
Where do you buy soapstone?
I ordered my slabs from The Stone Collection (in Salt Lake City), and the stone is from Polycor. Not all soapstone is created equal, so if you like the look of Polycor stone- you can check out my page on their site, scroll to the bottom, and click “Find a Dealer”. 99% of the natural stone in our home renovations I’ve sourced from Polycor. From marble to soapstone… their quarries produce gorgeous material.
Will your soapstone turn green?
My soapstone slabs will not turn green- even over time. Quality is super important to Polycor and I’ve never had an issue with discolored stone from them. I’ve seen very old slabs in person that still look rich black. You can also leave the stone in the natural state as a beautiful gray… like pictured below.
Is soapstone easy to fabricate?
According to my local fabricators (and Emmett’s friends)– yes. It’s a softer stone, like marble, and that makes the process easier. I also asked for a more complex edge (the ogee profile), and they didn’t have any issues. As long as you’re using a professional fabricator, they shouldn’t have trouble.
For all other questions, they’re most likely answered in this post! Or definitely drop me a comment at the end of this post and I’ll get back to you with an answer.
I’m a natural stone girl through and through. There’s something about the touch, feel, texture, and veining that just can’t be replicated with a manmade product. Installing soapstone countertops AGAIN just felt right… like the countertop material our dream kitchen had to have. Other questions or comments? Please leave them for me below! I hope you guys aren’t sick of kitchen posts quite yet… I have a few more up my sleeve: the budget, the lighting plan, my spice rack sources & DIY, plus a few more! Thanks again for showing up to read all about it. Like I previously mentioned, we’re super proud of this space and your feedback has been so rewarding!