WWYD in this kitchen for counters--all soapstone or ss & marble?

needinfo1February 15, 2013

What would you do in my situation? We are just doing a few minor upgrades--range, new venting (not installed yet and will go where the pot rack is), and new counters. I have looked at everything for counter tops and have decided that my original gut level choices are still my favorites and most appropriate for a house of this vintage--1916.

Because of the limited availability of soapstone in my area (I have visited every dealer in our large metro area), here are my two choices:

1. I love the original Green Mountain PA soapstone, and it has a nice hardness. But, the quarry is now mined out, and I can only get one slab. If I go with this soapstone, I need to put marble on one side of my kitchen. The soapstone would go on the entire long wall by the sink (including where there is now the piece of granite) and around the range area--the area where most of the real cooking is done. I would put a white marble ---Venatino-- on the counters on the other wall (the one with just the two counters).

2. Or, I can buy two slabs of a different soapstone that I don't like as well and is softer (I can scratch it with my fingernail). Then, all of my counters could be soapstone.

What would you do, and do you think one choice would be more appropriate for my style kitchen?


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Sorry my photos disappeared.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:28PM
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And the other one that disappeared...

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:31PM
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I would go for the mixed marble/SS.

You also could continue searching for a SS that you like that has plenty of availability, even if it means having it trucked in.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 11:46PM
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Yes, mixed SS and marble.
That is beautiful kitchen, and I can't wait to see the new counters!

Where are you going to put your pots?


    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 8:18AM
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My vote is to find ss and do the whole kitchen in it because you seem to be interested in green ss. I can see black ss with marble.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 8:30AM
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Well, having to get rid of the pot rack is an incentive for us to clean out and clear out all of the cupboards in our kitchen that have needed to be reorganized for a long time. The pots are going to go in a cupboard.

Yes, I prefer the soapstones with the greenish overtones, rather than the solid black look or solid charcoal look. But, I am not planning on one that is truly the evergreen color. To me most soapstone really does appear to be in the darker charcoaly range if it is oiled.

I really do not want to shop online for this. The place here that has the largest selection in the area will not be getting another shipment in for about 10 weeks, and then they are still unable to get any more of the variety I most like because the quarry is mined out (I've talked to the Green Mountain rep).

I am okay with the appearance of choice #2 and could live with it, but I am leery because I was able to scratch it with my fingernail. I have been reading here about people who haven't been as thrilled with their softer soapstones.

Thanks for your help. Anyone else with comments?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 10:06AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Is that a marble slab on the lowered counter across from the sink wall? That looks like a good spot for a baking counter, where marble would be appropriate. I am biased because I have dark perimeters with a carrara island.

Your kitchen is wonderful--either choice will be lovely.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 10:14AM
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Mixing, especially since your second choice SS can be scratched with your finger nail.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 11:52AM
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mama--Yes that is a marble piece I have had sitting there for the past week or so trying to get a feel for what marble would be like there.

nosoccermom--Is that your kitchen? If so, it is truly lovely. And, if it is yours, are you enjoying the mix of materials?

I did just spend some time googling to learn more about soapstone that can be scratched with a fingernai, and I am a tad concerned.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 1:38PM
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Needinfo, you have such a charming kitchen! Do you really hate the tile counters? I think that they look nice but soapstone and marble would look really nice too. That said, I would not put in a soapstone that can be scratched by fingernails, my ss is not the hardest but cannot be scratched by fingernails and anything softer would be very hard to live with. Maybe hold out until you can find something a bit harder?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 2:39PM
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athomeinva--Thanks for the compliment. My kitchen is now nearly twenty years old and needs a bit of freshening. My husband would love your suggestion because, since this has become such an ordeal, he says just leave the current counters. But, a few are cracked and chipped. I've got some replacement tiles we could put in (I did all the tiling myself when we did the kitchen), but I am ready for something different. When we did the kitchen I did the type of tile we have to replicate the look of counters from an earlier era and to save money. It was a good choice, and I think has served us well.

I have definitely decided to not go with the softer soapstone, and our decision was just made even easier as far as eliminating the type in choice #2 because we just heard today that the local distributor is returning the entire batch (even some slabs that people have on hold) to the company because the quality of the stone is so poor.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 5:26PM
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just a test to see if GW will let me post on this thread. It would not let me post on the kitchen reveal.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 5:34PM
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One more quick question please. If the softness of the soapstone did not come into play, would you choose soapstone for all the counters or soapstone on one side and marble on the other side of the kitchen as far as appearance? Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 11:02PM
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I think that marble only on the lower counter areas and soapstone everywhere else would look nice, not sure about one on each side.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 7:50AM
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To be honest, I think your current white counters are too cool toned against your warm toned cabinets. I am not familiar with valatino marble, but you describe it as white. If it was me, I would look for a warmer colored countertop, perhaps something with cream tones.

Just my two cents, I have no design experience. Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 8:14AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

If you can find enough suitable soapstone for all the counters, that would be my first choice--I think the dark counters will be perfect with the tone of your cabinets. And, you already have a marble slab to use for pastry.

I'm linking a thread that has pics of a couple of GW members' kitchens, which are similar in tone. (And gorgeous, BTW.)

**Edited to correct spelling of cotehele. My apologies.

Here is a link that might be useful: GW thread with cotehele's and sombreuil_mongrel's kitchens

This post was edited by mama_goose on Tue, Feb 19, 13 at 10:08

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 9:35AM
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needinfo, no that's not my kitchen. Wish it were.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 11:37AM
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Thanks for the advice. First I thought shopping for a range was a difficult decision, and now I am finding that shopping for countertops is just as big of a pain (or more since every slab is different and every place has different slabs).

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 6:10PM
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Just wondering what you decided and if you have any updates. :)

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 11:57AM
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Read the thread with tips I posted in the last few days about my counters now that they are in (used both soapstone and marble).


    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 6:02PM
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Awesome thanks! Which soapstone and marble did you choose? You mentioned shying away from some of the softer soapstones...that is just about what I was going to do after I got some samples but now you are giving me pause. Do you happen to have any pictures? I really love your kitchen (before the new counters) so I am sure after it is a real knockout.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 10:25PM
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No photos yet, but thanks for the compliment about the kitchen. One of these days when we get a few other things put back together.........This little "refresh" ended up being much more complicated than I'd ever anticipated.

I went with the Original PA from Green Mountain (no longer available). And, for the marble I have regular Carrera.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 11:32PM
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