Cost Comparison: Soapstone vs. Granite

coysmumJanuary 28, 2008

We're in the process of building a new Craftsman Style home in the Pacific Northwest and EVERYONE around here does Granite. I'd love to do something "different".

My husband is a project manager for a flooring contractor and has never had a client ask for soapstone (mostly granite, Silestone, etc...), so he's unsure of it. He's sold on granite, but hesitiates when I mention soapstone. I'm putting together my case but have no idea what the cost comparison would be. I can't ask him to research it, because I've already discovered he's biased.

I've told him there are people on this website that have a love affair with their soapstone, and I want one too!

Thanks for any insight you can offer in advance.

I should also mention I'm aware of the price levels of granite based on the rarity, fabrication, etc... I'm assuming, these same price levels will be in affect for Soapstone as well as far as rarity, difficulty in fabrication.

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This is just my experience on the east coast. I found granite from 30 dollars a square foot for common 3 cm on super sale-to 200 a sf for the really lovely stuff. I found soapstone from 69 sf for a very soft stone from Home Depot Expo (basically can't choose your slab or seams) to 110 sf. So, I found the soapstone did not have such a wide range of prices and was generally more expensive than all but the nicest granites. I am the biggest cheapskate and I never regret SPENDING more money on my soapstone! I LOVE IT!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 9:49PM
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There will also be variations in pricing depending on the geography involved -- how far it is transported and by what method. The granite I got came from Canada by truck and was a higher price than a number of those that come from other continents by boat.

The soapstone I looked at was in the same price range as the mid to high mid range granites.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 10:11PM
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I am near Portland, Oregon as well. I am beginning a kitchen remodel and am in the same situation as you. I got a "quote" from this company (Stonemasters...there address is and they are located in Troutdale) by measuring my countertops. It was a general estimate and I never saw samples of the soapstone. I plan to go there as we begin to move forward. You may want to check them out.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 12:07AM
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This is a tricky comparison. In our case, soapstone was going for around $30 per square foot. That is just for the material, and doesn't include the fabrication. Granites go from the teens up to the hundreds for the material. Also remember that you typically buy the whole slab, so the actual cost per area installed depends on how efficiently you can use that slab! Also keep in mind that the fabrication and installation can run much more than the cost of the stone material.

We did look very closely at Virginia Mist granite, which is a nice grey with some white material swirling through. Many people think this is very similar to soapstone in appearance. The Virginia mist can be prepared with a honed, or an antiqued finish that make it more appropriate for an older home (non-shiny look). It has the advantage of being much harder, and so the dings and scratches that will occur with soapstone would be avoided. On top of those attributes, the Virginia mist is very popular in our area, and our fabricator uses it so much that he could essentially sell us based on the actual amount of square feet needed! So the Virginia mist would only be around $14 per square foot times the actual number of square feet needed.

I was really happy that my DH loved the soapstone enough that we took the plunge. The soapstone we found was just so much more beautiful than the inconspicuous virginia mist.

I just thought I'd mention the various factors that go into the decision - there are lots of considerations.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 12:26AM
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As someone who does not understand some folks fascination here with soapstone (granite to me is so much nicer but to each their own), I can't answer your question. However, I do have a question for you. You say you are trying to make the case but the only real reason you have laid out above is everyone in your area does granite and you want something different. I guess thats one argument, but it wouldn't be a convincing one to me.

Just pointing this out so you can strengthen your case if thats the direction you really want to go

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 9:08AM
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For me, the soapstone was cheaper because we had the option of fabricating and installing ourselves. We wouldn't be able to do that with granite. Good thing, because I really just wanted the soapstone! :-)


    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 11:39AM
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Good point berryberry, I guess I'm not putting a very good case together!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 12:51PM
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Soapstone is a high end product. That means its gonna cost some cash. It should get you in the same ballpark as a granite. Just remember, which ever you choose...both are LUXURY items. No one will ever know if you try to pass off some cheap granite remnant that you got for $10/Sq Ft but you will. No one wants to be the girl with the fake louis vuitton standing in a group of girls with real ones. Plus granite is EVERYWHERE. Soapstone will set you apart. in a good way ;-)

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 5:52PM
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Can anyone give me an honest opinion of this sort of up-charge cost for kitchen cherry cabinets?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 8:14PM
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We had estimates on granite and soapstone from local suppliers. We even picked out a beautiful slab of granite because the cost of soapstone locally was way out of our budget. After reading some posts here and asking a few questions, we decided to try to do some of it DIY so we could get the soapstone we wanted. By doing the template and installing the cut stone, the cost of the soapstone was just $250 more than the installed granite. Our stones are scheduled to arrive tomorrow. I hope we don't discover any hidden costs or problems that may increase our expense. If they come out one half as beautiful as some I have seen on this forum it will be well worth the work and the money.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 8:23PM
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My soapstone cost $4100 for 49 sq. ft. and the granite I would have used was going to be $3300. Relative to the total remodel cost, I think the jump was more than worth it.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 8:50PM
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For me, soapstone would have been less than granite, but I want a rather expensive granite.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 11:39PM
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I'm just getting informed about soapstone and I'd love to hear from all of you who has installed it since Jan or Feb - how's it holding up??? I do absolutely love it! Lynn

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 12:32PM
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I have worked in lab's that use soapstone, and it forms a gummy residue on the surface after a few years of use. Has anyone experienced that?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 12:23PM
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Just recently built a new home and decided on soapstone in kitchen, granite in bathrooms. The soapstone is SO easy to maintain and I love the "honed" look as opposed to the shiny granite which shows everything including dust. Purchased from Doradosoapstone in Denver, CO. Prices are comparable to mid-high priced granite. Granite is in now, but time will tell if it's still vague. Soapstone on the otherhand is timeless and can fit into any decor - mine is transitional, i.e., contemporary with traditional. Have gotten many, many compliments on my soapstone counters.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 1:03PM
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Susan said, I have worked in lab's that use soapstone, and it forms a gummy residue on the surface after a few years of use. Has anyone experienced that?

You have to clean the counters occasionally :)

It's probably because your housekeeping staff is using an excess of something that builds up on the counters. Or else, like the cleaning crews I remember, they are terrified of everything in the lab and don't clean at all. They scurry in and grab the trash baskets and RUN for the door. :)

We cleaned our own counters with soap and a scrub brush about once a year, and wiped them down with ordinary counter cleaner or a bleach/water sanitizing mix between deep cleanings.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 4:18PM
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Debbi Branka

So wait - is soapstone man-made?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:14AM
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I think comparing the two materials by cost is a strange way to choose one. You are comparing oranges to apples here. Decide on the material you want, then shop for that within your budget. You are either a soapstone person or not, it's not for everyone, and the same goes for granite, or tile, or wood...

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:26AM
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Am I reading the date stamp correctly? Is this thread really 5 years old?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 12:11PM
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