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Friday, September 23, 2011

Soapstone or Granite?

These are some soapstone samples I ordered. They arrived three days ago and I still can't make up my mind about which variety I like best. I don't even know if I'm completely sold on soapstone at all. I know I don't want anything too flashy, like a polished granite. I'm going for sort of a cozy cottage kitchen look and I don't think shiny would look right. The only other option my husband and I have been thinking about is honed black granite.
But the soapstones are so pretty, aren't they? My main issue with a soapstone countertop is that it scratches easily. Some of these samples here, you can even scratch with a fingernail. The darkest samples seem to be the toughest. The good news is that you can rub a little oil on there to get rid of the scratches, or use sandpaper for deeper scratches. Most reviews I've read from soapstone countertop owners have been glowing, with only a handful of negative comments.
You're supposed to wipe the countertops with oil once a month for the first several months. The stone gets darker with the oil treatments. I got these samples, shown here, damp to get an idea of what they would look like after a few months.
I think this might be the toughest house decorating decision I've had to make so far.

What kind of countertop material excites you? Granite or quartz? Butcher block? Concrete? Stainless steel? Of course, if anyone has soapstone countertops, I'd love to hear about it!
Via Country Living. Photographer: Keith Scott Morgan
Here's a gorgeous kitchen with Vermont soapstone countertops from Country Living.  

Via Veranda. Photographer: David Meredith
And some honed black granite countertops from Veranda.


 
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