It's not been treated with oil or wax, just leathered
Looks like leathered granite. Don't believe soapstone can be leathered. Too soft
You can buy leathered soapstone all over the place.
That high-gloss shine on the countertop edges also makes me wonder whether this isn't some kind of serpentine rather than soapstone proper. I also wonder about the leathering -- to the best of my knowledge, it's hard to do on soapstone.
Are you interested in finding a source for this, or is this already your stone and you have questions about it?
I have seen leathered of varying degrees at Dorado's CO shop. I have a hard time believing that stone hasn't been treated with some kind of oil/wax.
I thought this was an interesting question, so googled "can soapstone be leathered?" - got a number of hits from GW, including the one below that references Florida Joshua.
It appears that soapstone can indeed be leathered.
Sorry, threeapples, that I have no idea what kind of soapstone. Maybe email to Florida Joshua?
Here is a link that might be useful: Leathered Soapstone
This is my stone. It was labeled soapstone and was originally not leathered. I'm interested in what type it is just for my own general curiosity.
Maybe Jucca? If there is no oil or wax on the stone then it probably has an enhancing sealant on it, otherwise it would be much more dull. The shiny edge does not mean it is not soapstone just that it was polished more than most.
Here are a few more photos, one which includes an area where I added a tiny bit of wax.
Here are others
It's only letting me post one at a time, sorry.
It still looks a lot darker than mine before any oil touched it. I don't know your variety but can't they tell you what you chose?
I'm going to have to put in another call (they are just calling it black soapstone) to try to get more details.
This post was edited by threeapples on Sun, Mar 31, 13 at 15:19
I looks more like granite than soapstone. Do you have any scraps left over that you can test?
No, they didn't leave any scraps. How can I test what is installed? I did an image search and it kind of looks like Duro Soapstone, but obviously with something applied to it.
Can you scratch the underside of the counter? You should be able to differentiate between soapstone and granite.
The underside has a mesh component that is adhered to the stone. I'm not sure if that's for stability, but it was there when this was in the stone yard. I'll test for powdery fallout as best I can tomorrow. Maybe a butter knife would work?
I've never seen any soapstone with a mesh backing. Only a fragile granite that was resined.
My soapstone samples all have a mesh backing.
I don't think that is soapstone. Several friends and I have soapstone installed in our homes and none of them have a mesh backing.
This post was edited by Eden-Manor on Sun, Mar 31, 13 at 19:08
I don't know the answer to your question but the picture reminds me of farmgirlinky's beautiful soapstone. You may find this interesting: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0611420124473.html
It shows her soapstone before and after honing.
Take a look at Farmgirlinky's stone, it looks similar to yours. Do you like the look of it besides the leathered finish? The pic you show with the oil is how my stone with enhancing sealant looks when I get oil on it, just a little bit darker and wetter looking. Also, the mesh back is not that uncommon on soapstone, of the three rooms that I have soapstone in one slab has mesh backing.
Here is a link that might be useful: farmgirlinky's soapstone
My soapstone had a mesh backing. I had received soapstone from Dorado 2 years ago for my kitchen, and a local source last year for my bathroom. Both different stones, and both with backing. I think the samples that I got from 2 online soapstone sellers had backing too.
Enduring, athomeinva, and orcasgramma, thanks--you all calmed me down because I really want this to be soapstone.
Yes, I do really like the look of it, minus the leathery-orange peel finish.
I'm calling the stone company it was purchased from and the fabricator first thing tomorrow to see what on earth is going on with our stone.
I'll update you all and, in the meantime, check out that link. Thank you.
My soapstone has the mesh as well.
This post was edited by bcafe on Mon, Apr 1, 13 at 0:05
This post was edited by bcafe on Mon, Apr 1, 13 at 0:07
Has it always appeared dark and black? If so its either a granite or its been enhanced. It would have been a very flat matte gray before you oiled it. And it will take numerous oilings before the chameleon like process slows down.
All that really matters is that you like it but its important to find out what it is so that you can take care of it properly. Granite will need to be periodically sealed and you wouldn't want to oil your granite!
Have you decided to keep the unasked for leathered finish? If not then I assume they'll be fining you new slabs anyway?
And the mesh is a nonissue. My soapstone has mesh and so did a granite we used in our former house.
I do like it, but I was really excited to have the smoothness traditionally associated with soapstone. I also don't like that they randomly changed it on me. We have leathered uba tuba in the downstairs laundry room and I love it, but I bought it leathered.
Yes, the stone was always this dark. It felt like soapstone at the stone yard. Now it feels kinda waxy.
Just learned it is Brazilian soapstone with granite-like properties because of its hardness compared to other soapstones. It was untreated in the stone yard.
Just heard from the fabricator. They said this soapstone is more granite-like and, therefore they sealed it. I told him I didn't want it sealed because I wanted to be oiling my soapstone. He said oiling this would not work because it is more like granite and you cannot oil granite. The stone yard said it can be oiled. Ugh!!!
Do you have a record somewhere of having ordered it unsealed and unleathered? Seems to me this mistake is the contractor's, unless you failed to specify these details somewhere in the contract?
I'd bet money that you don't have soapstone.
Tell your GC to work it out with the fabricator.
You expected smooth silky soapstone with a changeable amount of blackness/gray based on your oiling etc. you got a leathered sealed granite.
Has the fabricator ever worked with soapstone before?
And other than the small vein in Virginia that is no longer worked and a minuscule amount from India, ALL soapstone is Brazilian. See if they can tell you a type or who the supplier/importer was.
Just heard back from
Mont. it is in fact soapstone. They talked to their buyer. Mine is not granite. The fabricator is going to use acetone to take the sealant off and then I can oil it. Nobody admits to leathering it so I'm really confused about the texture. I'll see what happens once the acetone is off and post back.
Gbsim- While it is true that most soapstone that is available for counters is from Brazil, the vein in Virginia is currently being quarried and soapstone is quarried in some European countries, for example Juuka is in Finland.
Good grief, Mont maintains it has no name other than "Black Soapstone" and they said it was slightly textured, not completely smooth. Maybe I didn't notice its texture? I'm not sure, but will decide after they remove the sealant.
Alberene in VA must have started back with active quarrying . We live south of there and I did hear last month that there had been ownership and management changes recently. .
For quite a while they had only been working with stone that was quarried in the past. While they were making slabs they weren't cutting out totally new rock. Glad to hear that has changed!
We'd hoped to use it in our build but after visiting and finding only the super soft slabs in small sizes (wed have needed a seam or two in the island) I reluctantly gave up the idea of buying local.
I didn't know that anyone in the US was importing from Europe! Also good to know. It can be frustrating when a stone yard just wants to sell "Brazilian" .... Sort of like saying you have an American car. When you gain a little knowledge the differences in slabs are impressive!
Three Apples, glad you've got it worked out. For the record, anytime the stone yard says that any rock has "granite-like properties" you should give them the stinkeye. Terms like that seem destined to confuse customers.
What you want to know with soapstone is the exact hardness. There is a number for this - ask for a number. Don't settle for an explanation that involves a mythical hybrid of rock types that is geologically impossible.
Anyway, this is water under the bridge because it sounds like you are all set. So my post is just a PSA for those shopping for slabs. :)
My slabs are the Old Dominion which is probably their softest variety but it is not so soft as to be marked by fingernails so I am surprised that you would say that it is super soft. It is too bad that you looked at a time when they only had small slabs, when we bought we requested a hold be put on a particular look and size and were able to get fairly large slabs. BTW, I love what I have seen of your house, it is just so beautiful!
This post was edited by athomeinva on Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 12:08