For soapstone shoppers - Majestic

laurajane02March 23, 2013

I just had my soapstone installed today. I was a little unsure about the Majestic variety as I couldn't find many photos online, but I love it. Here's my sink run (excuse the photo, our house doesn't have lighting yet and the ss isn't fully enhanced around the sink)

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You're scaring me. Your whole scheme is a little too close to mine--in that frightening, I'm running down the alley hoping one of these doors open kinda way. Are those yellow cabs, aqua walls with black stone? Stop copying me!

Back to the Majestic.

It shows poorly in online photographs of slabs. A common comment is that it looks dead. However, it looks great in your photo. Do you notice a difference from the pics you saw online and what you have? What else can you tell us about how it looks or feels?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 1:02AM
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Marcolo~Haha, my scheme is very different than yours, I'm sure. My cabinets are mascarpone, but probably reading yellow from the sun shining in. Grey Cashmere on the walls, but most of that will be covered by backsplash.

I agree, the online photos of majestic slabs are not inspiring. I didn't have a choice though, I live in a very rural area of British Columbia. Everyone person who sees my counters is seeing soapstone for the first time.

I don't want to comment too much on the ss though, as I don't want to say anything misleading. I've only seen a handful of varieties irl, so it's probably better if I just show you photos. Let me know if you want to see anything specific.

This post was edited by laurajane02 on Sat, Mar 23, 13 at 8:14

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 7:52AM
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Love the soapstone, Laurajane. Everthing looks lovely. Is it a harder soaptone?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 8:33AM
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That looks beautiful--MAjestic is going on my list...
Marcolo, what have you decided about counters? Soapstone? I noticed you said, "black counters..." in your reply...
We are about 2 weeks from having our master bath finished, and then we can proceed with phase 2, the kitchen.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 8:57AM
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laurajane02, I'd also like to know how hard they are. You haven't used them yet but your fabricators would know. And also how "vein-y" they are. I'm looking for quiet.

home4all6, I am still up in the air. I want dark charcoal counters, not pitch black. I want them to be somewhat interesting up close but otherwise very quiet--no green, minimal veins. And it's OK if they dent up a little but they can't be too soft. Problem is that the soapstones that meet that description are currently hard or impossible to get. So the backup plan is some sort of leathered granite, maybe.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 9:09AM
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Beautiful soapstone! I wanted SS, but DH wanted granite. Enjoy your beautiful kitchen!!!

Marcolo - What about a honed granite?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 10:06AM
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Honed is a possibility, if I can Method my way to fingerprint-free bliss.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 10:07AM
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We getting one of the very last slabs of the original PA anywhere, so I feel lucky because it is one of the more desirable I believe because of its qualities.

I have a sample of the Majestic that my local dealer gave to me because he doesn't have any more of this, and I don't know if he can get any more. So, you may want to check with Green Mountain to see if this is another of those that is mined out. The sample of Majestic I have is hard, somewhat mottled in appearance, with a smallish semi-vein but not the type of prominent vein I have seen in other slabs. It is not nearly as green as some of the other varieties I've seen in person (names unknown because locally the dealers only know the names of some varieties) but not absolute charcoal or black either.

Marcolo--Soapstone has been a family project this past month because we are replacing our counters and my son and DIL did a kitchen gut and just had the cabinets installed. They wanted what you are looking for except they wanted veins. My DIL was incessant in her quest due to her obsession with trying to find a hard ss and being leery of the stone because of its potential for scratching. I can't tell you how many places they visited and how many slabs of various things they saw (including all of they typically mentioned granites that are honed and classified as replacements for ss lovers). They finally settled on ss. One more thing they were interested in that is never discussed here is paper stone because it does have many of the characteristics you are discussing wanting (except it is pretty bland with no variation at all). They liked the idea until they got the quote--nearly twice as much as the soapstone and twice as much as the granite.

This post was edited by needinfo1 on Sat, Mar 23, 13 at 11:59

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 10:29AM
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I did think that the original PA soapstone was prettier. The Majestic is more mottled, exactly as needinfo1 described it. However, I did expect it to look more green, and I don't think it looks green in person, just a little lighter than other soapstones (compare it to my Blanco anthracite sinks). From what I've read here, it may darken with age.

Something I learned about majestic ss is that it's easy to get similar slabs. Also, with its appearance, you basically can't find the seams. We had 4 friends over last night and they could not find the 2 seams in my sink run without guidance.

Marcolo, I'll include a picture that shows one of my favorite veins across the sink. The veins aren't visible from a distance, which I like. I think the biggest issue for you will be deciding if you're ok with the more mottled look.

Anyway, the bottom line is that I love my soapstone. My fabricator was extremely precise with his templating, so I don't have any spaces against my walls and the seams are perfect.


These are the most prominent veins:

Blurry image, but you can see how the counters look from a distance:

There has been some discussion on GW about enhancing SS. This is what was used on mine:

I'm happy to take some more photos if it helps .

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 11:38AM
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laurajane, your SS countertops are wonderful. I love the mottling admixed with some veining. What an attribute to the kitchen.

I see three holes in the SS sink area. What are you putting in? Is it difficult to drill holes in Majestic? I notice many keep the number of SS sink apertures down and have wondered if it's because of the look or the realities surrounding holes.

Thanks for sharing you photos.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 3:41PM
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Laurajane, I love your counters! Nice pick.

Sparkling water: It is very easy to drill holes in soapstone. Took me about (literally) 20 seconds per hole. I thought EVERYONE wanted to minimize the number of holes, where possible.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 6:45PM
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Thanks, Angie.

Yes I get desire to minimize sink holes but how do you do so with a modern faucet pull down with spray, a soap dispenser (I dislike having my Dove on the counter top), the air switch for the GD (wet hands on wall switch over the years always creeped me out), and perhaps a filtered Insta-Hot to cut down on expensive water consumption? That's four holes.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 6:55PM
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Hence the "where possible"! Anyway, my point was that there was nothing about soapstone that limits the number of holes.

I have three holes: faucet (pull-down, so no side sprayer), soap dispenser, and code-required airgap. I didn't know about air switches, but the wall switch does not bother me at all.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 7:05PM
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SparklingWater ~ The holes are for my faucet, soap dispenser, and reverse osmosis drinking water (the rest of our house water needs to be softened as we have hard well water). I don't think the holes were hard to drill at all, our fabricator had to make one of them larger on the spot.

Thanks Angie!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 7:14PM
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Your soapstone counters are gorgeous and you'll love them. We chose a black soapstone from a dealer in the Chicago area and could not be happier with the result. The slabs had a subtle vein running through them--we needed two--and everything runs in the same direction. Our soapstone is sealed but we don't oil it--hence, a lovely matte look. Apologies for the photo; it doesn't do it justice.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 7:27PM
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How hard was your soapstone?

Fabricators around here are not used to working with SS's and are telling me all kinds of stories how hard it'd be to do XYZ.

I am hoping to get one of the last slabs of the Original PA (keeping fingers crossed till I know more next week). As far as I know, it is one of the hardest ones. (BTW, I was told that the correct term is "denseness", not "hardness").

I am concerned they'd start charging me more with more holes.

Also, I remember seeing your album on PhotoBucket (or another website). Could you post a link? I wanted to show them your progress in pix.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 8:02PM
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How many coats of the enhancer did you apply?

If more than one, did your Majestic look different after one coat?

I had a sample of Majestic with some oil on it and it looked dark green with no gray. After a day or two, the oil "wore off" (IDK how to better describe it) and stone started looking very gray with just a hint of green.

I love the looks of yours. On the screen, it seems to show some gray. Is that so or it is just the light?

It is important to me because Majestic is my #2 choice (in case the other slab does not work out due to size limitations).


    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 9:24PM
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Laurajane: You are a patient woman to put up with all of our threadjacking! Consider it a compliment to that gorgeous soapstone that you have us all thinking about!

Eleena: My soapstone variety was "Python" from M. Teixeira, and it is middling hard. It is softer than Cobra or Belvedere, but harder than Santa Rita, Baroca, and the other softies. It does have some hard inclusions and veins that are probably quartz. These posed no problems.

In any event, I do not believe that the hardest soapstone you can find would be difficult to drill a hole in with a carbide hole saw.

Regarding denseness and hardness: these refer to two different physical properties that have little to do with each other. Lead, for example, is very dense, but not at all hard. Denseness refers to the mass per unit volume (grams per cc). Hardness refers to ability to resist scratching, and is measured on the Mohs scale. The Mohs scale is just a measure of relative hardness, not absolute. (Soapstone is typically a wee bit denser than granite, but not nearly as hard.)

I think this is the link you want: DIY Soapstone People, show us your counters!"

My Photobucket album can be reached through the pictures posted there.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 9:32PM
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Laurajane- Your counters are beautiful ! What a relief to have your sink back right ?
Until I got my SS installed(June) I never thought I could appreciate looking at a counter so much. :) Windowsills to be installed soon. WOO HOO ! Miss puss can't wait...She has been falling off the sheetrock/wood and is very perturbed.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 10:00PM
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Thank you!

Yes, I know the difference between hardness and denseness but someone from a stone company I called (cannot remember which one as I called several) was simply adamant that with soapstone, it is the denseness that matters and is misleading when people refer to hardness. I was just passing the info, LOL.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 10:47PM
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I think it was the woman at Green Mountain who said this. I called there too. : )

By the way, what area are you in where there is still a slab of the original PA still available?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 11:03PM
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EATREALFOOD ~ It's so nice to have the stone installed! I kept going to the house today just to look at it. Then tonight, I covered it all with cardboard, because I'm not sure if it would occur to the trades not to set things on it.

Eleena ~ My fabricator used just one coat of enhancer. He said that I can re-apply as needed, but not too often or I will get a build-up. Something like every 6 months to 1 year depending on the area. I would say that my soapstone looks black from a distance, but a little charcoal-ly up close. Not green.

Fwiw, the enhancer is very thick.

Angie ~ I don't consider this my thread at all. I just wanted to share some majestic photos, because I don't think anyone else has yet.

Kathryn ~ Your counters are lovely. By black, do you mean "Noire soapstone"?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 11:31PM
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someone from a stone company ... was simply adamant that with soapstone, it is the denseness that matters and is misleading when people refer to hardness

Well, you know you cannot believe everything you hear or read....

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 11:14AM
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laurajane, your counters are lovely! Our SS counters "Maraiana" have been in about a month now, and we're just loving them! Much wilder veining than yours, but perfect for our eclectic and casual kitchen. Soapstone lovers unite, enjoy! ..and I'm in the fewer holes the better camp, two only here, the faucet and a filtered water tap.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 11:41AM
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Kathryn606, I, too, am shopping for SS in the Chicago suburbs. Yours looks lovely, can you tell me where you found it?
I ordered samples from Dorado months ago, and I definitely liked Noire the best, but I've read here that noire is not such a good choice.
Where are we in soapstone selections now, summer 2013? What's available and desirable, since the supplies seem to be constantly changing?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 4:36PM
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laurajane - You have a beautiful soapstone! I have a softer variety that has knicked and scratched some, but still beautiful, and silky smooth.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 5:32PM
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Another one here with Majestic. I donâÂÂt post much, but some of you may have noted that I am doing a vintage cottage reno, in process now as I type. The soapstone went in last week, and IâÂÂll take photos this weekend and post them. It looks gorgeous. IâÂÂm in CT and got the stone from Green Mountain Soapstone. It is very muted, grayish in tone, and speckly, not overly dramatic -- which is what I wanted. But it has definite veining with movement, with just more of a subtle difference between the veins and the ground. It is a hard stone, but the texture is silky, exactly what you want in the soapstone. IâÂÂm thrilled with mine!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:27PM
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