Kitchen Remodeling -- Advice Needed

isomerFebruary 4, 2014

Hello, I always enjoy reading this forum.

I'm going to remodel the 18' x 12' kitchen of my 1950s no-style style house, which I plan to sell within 10 years. It's a modest house, but because of its prime location in the San Francisco bay area, its value is likely 700K ~ 800K.

I'll replace all cabinets (seem to be original) and appliances (bought when I moved in 15 years ago). The following are materials I plan to install. Would you please scrutinize if they are appropriate/effective/reasonable for my project?

Liebherr freestanding 36" bottom mount refridgerator, $5,000
ILVE freestanding induction range, $5,000
Kobe 36" under cabinet range hood, $900
Miele Futura Classic 24" dish washer, $1,000
Kohler 36" x 19" x 10" under-mount single-bowl SS sink, $750
Waterstone PLP pulldown faucet with soap dispenser and air switch, $1,550
Cabinets: Canyon Creek Valley Forge Solid, Rustic Alder with Caraway stain; framed top, frameless bottom

My second question is about the countertop. I really like soapstone, but my KD says it's too soft and expensive. My next choice was honed Absolute Black granite, but I've read many horror stories about keeping it clean. Is there some material that looks like soapstone but harder and less expensive?

Thank you very much in advance.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
raynag

Soapstone - yes, expensive. Yes, it can chip and scratch. But it is low maintenance - never shows dirt and you can just clean it with dish detergent.
You can put hot pots right off the stove or out of the oven directly on it and it will never crack. Always looks great! Some people oil their soapstone to make it dark and shiny. I keep mine natural. Trust me, you will not regret it and you should get something you love!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 9:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
magsnj

Pietra Cardosa or slate come to mind. From what I understand, just like soapstone the color can vary and will be lighter or darker depening on the sealant.

Pietra Cardosa:

Contemporary Kitchen by Palo Alto Design-Build Firms Norwell Design Build

Slate:

Traditional Kitchen by Libertyville General Contractors Century Bay Builders

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 9:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
detroit_burb

black pearl granite with leathered finish.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 9:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ineffablespace

I don't think in the context of your appliance choices soapstone would be "expensive". Of course I live on the east coast and when I wanted soapstone I had the choice of several local reputable dealers, and it is genuine soapstone, not something else, which are all issues in other parts of the country. (Availability, cost, and actual species of stone).

What is your particular attraction to the Ilve range?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 10:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Pipdog
    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 10:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Trebruchet

"You can put hot pots right off the stove or out of the oven directly on it and it will never crack."

raynag:

Would you please share your substantiation of this statement?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 11:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hsw_sc

Trebuchet, I used to take my grill baskets off of the grill and put them directly on my counters. Never cracked.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 12:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nosoccermom

If your house is modest, I find your allocated budget for the appliances and faucet quite high. I live in an area where a modest house, too, is 800K+, and buyers would not expect these appliances; not sure they would recognize them.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 12:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
isomer

Thank you very much for your quick responses.

raynag: OK, I'll keep soapstone as a possibility. When my KD finishes the layout, I'll get a better idea whether I can afford it or not.

magsnj: I searched GW and learned Pietra Cardosa is limestone which is harder than soapstone. I love its look.

detroit_burb: I'll look into leathered granite.

ineffablespace: I want an induction range, but there are not many choices. I like the old-fashioned style of Ilve. My second choice is the GE Profile. I'm not interested in the Electrolux style.

pipdog: What finish is it?

nosoccermom: Do you think so? Most houses in this area sell between 700K ~ 1.3M, and many have Sub-Zero & Wolf. I definitely don't want to go that high. But appliances below my selection are scarce. GE Profile?

I've just found the Silestone Suede finish. My KD loves modern styles, and I love rustic ones. So for every selection, I have to convince her, which requires me to research hard.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 2:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Gooster

Whether it is appropriate really depends on what part of the Bay Area you are in; in many parts of the Bay Area, that level of finish is pretty rare at the 700/800K price point, from what I've seen. $1.2M+ is another whole price band, so you really shouldn't be using those homes as a reference if you want to stay within range of your comps, imho.

Per pipdog, I also was going to suggest Jet Mist. I've seen it at IRG in Brisbane. I believe they had it both in polished and honed, but this was some time ago. I was warned away from Pietra Cardosa by the stoneyard for counters, although many people here have used it. It is harder, but it is porous and etches. It is beautiful, though.

If you are near the City, go to M. Texeira to check out the soapstone for yourself. Some of the varieties you can dent with your fingernail, others are much tougher. Pricewise, I think most of it falls in the moderate range for stone.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 3:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
isomer

Dear gooster,

Thank you for your advice. Now I think I may not upgrade the current GE Profile fridge and Maytag DW. I nevertheless want to replace the KA electric range. I really want an induction one. I can then save a lot of money.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 4:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sjhockeyfan325

The OP doesn't plan to sell for 10 years. Resale really shouldn't be a consideration in this remodel.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 11:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dretutz

Soapstone is no more expensive here in So Cal than most granite and the fabrication is less expensive. No seal needed. It is low maintenance and will never crack with hot pans from 500 degree oven. It does not feel cold to touch as granite.
I would never have another counter.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 11:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Gooster

OP wrote "within 10 years", which I took it to mean at any time between 2 and 10 years. But I still agree that if it is something you really want, you should go ahead and do it (but being aware that your future comps may not be as nicely equipped)

I would replace the DW with either the Miele or a Bosch; 15 years is beginning to push it with a DW in terms of expected life.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 11:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sjhockeyfan325

Oh, I missed that - you're right, I thought it said "in" 10 years.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 11:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
itsallaboutthefood

I think this might substantiate the heat properties of soapstone.

Here is a link that might be useful: Geology.com soapstone page

This post was edited by itsallaboutthefood on Wed, Feb 5, 14 at 13:11

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 1:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Annette Holbrook

What about paperstone/richlite for the countertops. May be a good "green" option for the SFO area.
On a side note, by best friend put soapstone in her kitchen about 5 years ago. She and her husband are avid cooks so her kitchen really gets used. I was at her house on Monday and mentioned to her that the countertops still looked amazing. The only thing that looked a bit worse for wear was the sink (yes she did a soapstone sink as well). I have been to her house for Thanksgiving with 30+ people and the bar height section counters were lined with casserole dishes and crock pots from all the stuff everyone brought. She does have a handful of cork trivets she puts out for the really hot stuff, but heck I do that on my quartz countertops, too.

Annette

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 1:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ineffablespace

They make fireplaces and stove lining of true soapstone. It's very heat resistant.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 1:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Trebruchet

While I appreciate the links, according to them soapstone is heat resistant, not heat proof. While some can give anecdotal evidence of the heat resistance of soapstone, I can give anecdotal evidence of other countertop stones that have failed from the heat of a dishwasher, heat lamp, or pot. The Marble Institute of America, the trade association of the natural stone industry, does not recommend using natural stone countertops without trivets to protect from heat damage.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 8:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ineffablespace

Soapstone Woodstove:

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 8:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nosoccermom

I would look at www.redfin.com and analyze the kitchens in the 700-800K price range, or maybe 900K i your area. You can also search for sold houses, and if you read the descriptions, you'll see what the asking price was and the closing price (and maybe even how long they were on the market).

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 8:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ineffablespace

Used as a baking / grilling surface Inside the above oven:

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 9:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
isomer

Thank you very much for sharing your wisdom. I've learned that upgrading appliances is a foolish idea. During the past 15 yeas, I used my DW only several times and my oven only 2-3 times. They are in good condition functionally as well as cosmetically. And yet, even the Habitat for Humanity doesn't want them.

I'll spend the saved money on those that can last much longer. I've been doing a lot of research, and my current selections for the countertop are (i) soapstone and (ii) leathered Ubatuba. For the leather finish, Ubatuba seems more interesting than Absolute Black or Jet/Verginia Mist.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 9:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ControlfreakECS

You've gotten lots of great advice.

Just wanted to say that I dreamed of soapstone, but my husband was thoroughly unimpressed and very concerned about issues with softness. We compromised with leathered black pearl. I have no complaints and feel I got that matte charcoal color I was looking for. Good luck in your final decision.

And Trebuchet - soapstone is often used as a cooking vessel. They make casserole dishes and pizza stones out of it, so I hardly think putting a hot pan on it would be a problem. It is the only stone that fabricators have said you can do it. Trivets used to protect other counters are made out of it.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 8:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nosoccermom

Scary but true: Many buyers have no clue about Miele, Liebherr, etc. As long as the appliances are SS, they are happy, never mind it's Frigidaire (just using a lower end brand here for illustration).
I also would not spend 1150.00 on a faucet unless YOU really want it. Check out the Costco Hansgrohe faucets. They work and look great.
Costco also sells sinks and hoods at great prices and has a really good return policy, just in case.

Here is a link that might be useful: Costco faucet

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 10:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jackfre

We just moved into the new kitchen a few months ago and put about an acre of soapstone in the kitchen and master bath. Ours is the Cruz Azul (greenish) sourced and installed by Sierra Soapstone in Rockland, CA. Excellent fabrication and installation. The boss and I both think it is terrific. I've only oiled it once about 3 months ago. I'll get around to doing it again one of these days, or maybe not. No big deal. We live in our house. Things may get dinged. The SS may get scratched and I'll wrinkle up some more. So what! It is a great material and looks terrific. We couldn't be happier. Also, a suggestion on the sink. We went with the Kohler Whitehaven Apron front sink. We have stainless appliances. With the soapstone the whitehaven looks great. I went with the 36". It is enormous, but a great sink. The 30" might have been a better choice. I have to figure out how to post pictures!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 12:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
isomer

I went to a slab yard today for the first time in my life. It's a small one carrying only one soapstone, two leathered granite, and several honed slabs. All others were polished. I didn't find anything interesting, but it was nevertheless worth visiting because it became very clear that I don't want polished stone for my kitchen countertop.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 9:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Mags438

Consider what you want for your kitchen and what works for you. Go with the best layout possible. Appliances can always be changed out later to what the going sale market requires at sale time.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 8:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
isomer

My KD has convinced me to go for quartz countertops. Like many wise advisers here regarding the appliances, she says most buyers don't know what soapstone is. Furthermore, it is necessarily 3cm thick (i.e. heavy), whereas other materials can be 2cm. I prefer lighter countertops. I can live with honed quarts, that is Silestone Suede. I'll have alder cabinets with medium stain with some glazing. I now have to decide between marble-like Silestone Lyra or Lagoon and soapstone-like Itsmo, Dreis, Doradus, Merope, Altair, and Cygnus. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 1:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Trebruchet

inefffablespace:

While I appreciate the photographs, they aren't relevant.

The soapstone is obviously a cladding on the stove. That and the soapstone baking pan both share the luxury of consistent even heating. You could stick a Corian top in an oven and as long as the heat was even, no harm would come.

The hot pot/stone problem comes from the dissimilar temperatures created when the heat of a pan is transferred to a small area while the rest of the stone remains cool.

Are you going to crack soapstone with a hot pot? Probably not, but if I just plunked down 5 large or so for a countertop, it's not a gamble I'd be willing to take.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 6:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
isomer

My kitchen remodel will start on June 6. These are what I've ordered so far:

GC: $13,100 (not paid yet)
Cabinets: Cannyon Creek frameless base + framed upper, $14,595
Floor: Forna Glue-Down Cork Flooring, $465
Sink: Blanco BL441024 18 x 28 x 9" SS Single Bowl Undermount, $251
Faucet: Moen S7208CSL Woodmere Stainless, $426
Soap Dispenser: Moen 3944CSL Stainless, $77
Garbage Disposal: InSinkErator Evolution Compact 3/4 HP, $202

My contractor recommends MORRIS PRODUCTS: http://www.morrisproducts.com/pc_product_detail.asp?key=D6A71FC17C4449B08E4B16A9D271A5A4

Does anyone know about their UC LED lights?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 8:31PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
thoughts about Grabill and/ or Superior Woodcraft kitchen cabinets
Hi, everyone. Does anyone here have experience with...
katherine10583
"Ledge" sinks and accessories -- do you use them?
I'm considering an undermount stainless sink that has...
denizenx
Why is a backsplash so hard to choose?
Got the counters in place today...love my Taj Mahal...
ssg7741
Can you look at my kitchen layout and tell me what I'm missing?
Sorry I posted this once previously, but I wanted to...
happyallison
the cabinets are coming, the cabinets are coming...
some may recall the debacle with our cabinets. delivery...
lmgch
Sponsored Products
InvisiLED 24V Pro High-Output 3 LED L Connector by WAC Lighting
| Lumens
Opus Storage Jar .75L - Rosendahl
$28.00 | HORNE
LED Organic Amber Glass 41" Ceiling Track Fixture
Lamps Plus
Cocktail Hibiscus Blossoms - Set of 2 Jars
$19.99 | Dot & Bo
Lippa Dining Side Chair in Black
$159.00 | LexMod
Frontporch Owls Grey Rectangular: 2 Ft. 3 In. x 6 Ft. Indoor/Outdoor Rug
$98.00 | Bellacor
50 Round Stir Sticks
$60.00 | Horchow
Braided Accent Rug: Parkview Puddle Blue 2' x 4'
Home Depot
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™