Pros & Cons of Soapstone vs. Slate for ...

johnnytoobadApril 26, 2013

kitchen countertops please ! Will probably go with one or the other. This in a small kitchen remodel of an older, but very cool and charming log cabin / cottage. Thanks, cheers, John

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You might consider other alternatives there are a lot
Below you can find the info on each one of them

Here is a link that might be useful: Countertops info

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 6:27AM
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Search this forum using Google. Soapstone has been discussed "to death". There have been several recent threads. There were also a few slate discussions in the past. I don't have the links, sorry.

The only two "cons" of soapstone (I know of) are limited choice of colors and the fact that it may scratch (especially if of softer variety).

If you want slate, you need to get a hard type as well, like Vermont slate. It is also available only in certain colors. It was my second top contender but the color did not work out, so I picked soapstone.


(Edited for omitted words)

This post was edited by eleena on Fri, Apr 26, 13 at 9:52

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 9:50AM
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Soapstone (in all but a few rare cases, and only with smaller slabs) is brought from overseas quarries.

Slate, depending on where you are, might be a local product.

The energy needed to quarry and transport soapstone (and also most granites) most of the way around the world troubles me.

I have narrowed my search to only local (East coast of the US) stones. There is a surprising amount: slate, of course in greens, grays and black, some purplish-reds which I can't abide, marble; schist; bluestone, to name a few. There's even a small amount of soapstone from a quarry in northern VA (Alberene), though the slabs aren't huge.

The front runner (today, it changes often) in my mind is a gorgeous green Vermont slate. It has some of the tactile qualities (It's "pet-able") as soap stone.

It's hard to find local stones, because there is "no market" for them. Stone dealers understandably don't carry what people don't ask for. Most people don't know that we have handsome stones in the US.

Let's start asking for them!


    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 12:16PM
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Cheers for Liriodendron! I agree!

Same goes for landscaping rock, for which there is a better market for US and local products. I fell for some beautiful Bluestone slabs for a sidewalk project, but couldn't stomach the thought of the cross-country shipping. Instead we're using sandstone that is quarried nearby, which definitely makes me like it more. :)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 3:10PM
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FYI, Alberene is quarrying larger size blocks so they now have larger slabs. The amount of fabricators that use Alberene has increased too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Alberene soapstone distributers

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 5:00PM
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Pennsylvania has beautiful gray/black slate. There is a mine in Penn Argyl and one in Slatington. I wanted to have it on my counter, but I was afraid to have it fabricated then shipped out of state. Cost not the issue, but I was afraid it might not fit correctly. I will have room on one wall for a 12" wide counter, so maybe I will get that in slate, even though it is not on the plan for now, I am having slate flooring shipped from PA for my entry, so if I can't eat off of it, I will walk on it!


    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 1:24AM
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I don't mean to be cranky, but the cost as in the money spent, for shipping is only one "cost".

There's the energy cost for the shipping as well. I know you are trading money for that energy. You may have plenty of that, but the Earth doesn't have unlimited energy sources. And rocks take a lot of energy to move around, because they are really heavy!

How about finding some local stones, instead? Almost every place in the US has rocks (some Western desert areas may be a little shy of rocks).

Keep asking locally, I bet you can find beautiful stones near you. And the more people who ask, the more the local market will respond.

And a side benefit: your kitchen will have a unique aspect to it. That's what will make it extra-special.

(Getting off soapbox, now)


    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 10:54AM
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