Pietra Del Cardosa?? Help!

ctbatchApril 3, 2011

I am in the midst of doing a 2300 sf addition and have everything in the kitchen figured out except counter tops! We are doing crisp white cabinets. I have a small range area for counter tops and then a large peninsula. I am thinking about Pietra Del Cardosa, but see so many mixed reviews. Anyone have any advice?

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rococogurl

Soapstone. Same look. Or granite.

I have pietra on the fireplace. Great color but stains easily with oil. Some do use it in kitchens but there are so many other choices.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 3:59PM
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yellowdog2

I will be using this for my kitchen as well. If you do a search in the box at the bottom of the kitchen threads, type in pietra (you can also google it) and you will find a lot of info. you can also look up schist, which I believe is the type of stone that it is considered. It is very pretty!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 7:16PM
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clafouti

That was choice #1 for me, but I had trouble sourcing it here (and some concern about porosity, given that it would definitely see a lot of action.) I ended up going with "raven" caesarstone. I like it quite a bit, and it has been impervious so far, but the Pietra is really lovely...

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 10:41PM
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bob_cville

When I was looking into counter materials a few years ago I came across the following post written by an expert in the field of stone care, who has unfortunately passed away since then.

Someone wrote: What is the difference between Soapstone and Pietra di Cordoza? Is there a difference at all? We are getting mixed reports from different dealers. We're installing a kitchen countertop and we do like the look of the Cordoza, which is very easy to find here in Portland, OR. But, what is the maintenance like? Is it more porous than Soapstone? What about general maintenance and care? Does it need to be sealed? Which do you recommend?
thank you so very much in advance for all your help. i'm so grateful to have found your site!
best,
niki
portland, oregon usa

And Maurizio Bertoli replied:
Dear Niki:
Some call Pietra di Cardoso sandstone. Some call it soapstone. Some call it schist.

It's none of the above.

Pietra di Cardoso is a unique stone from the village of Cardoso (near Carrara), Italy. There are only two small quarries of the stuff, one across the street (literally) from the other. One quarry cuts the stone along its grain (and that is what some call soapstone). The other quarry cuts it against its grain (and therefore it looks more like sandstone).
The fact in the matter is that Pietra di Cardoso is Calcareus Phillyte, and you do not want that stuff in your kitchen, unless, of course, you use your countertop exclusively as the holder of the telephone you make reservations or order take-outs with!

That stone is sensitive to acidic substances and will get etched like marble.

On the curious side of the whole matter, in Italy they use Pietra di Cardoso exclusively to pave sidewalks and clad buildings, due to the fact that's a tough stone. Only the exclusive importer for the USA decided that it would be a "good bet" (and much more profitable, since Pietra di Cardoso is quite cheap at the origin) to sell it as material for kitchen countertops...

For the intents and purposes of a kitchen countertop, there's no comparaison between Pietra di Cardoso and soapstone. The latter has a huge advantage!!
Ciao and good luck,
Maurizio Bertoli

Trainer-in-chief for the International Training Centers for the Stoneindustry (ITCS)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 4:18PM
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paddytc

I have had Pietra for 6 years. Absolutely no problems. We did seal it with a color enhancer, so I don't know if that makes the difference or not. The enhancer changes the color to soft black/dark gray not the light gray color.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 8:56PM
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ctbatch

thanks everyone! I am looking for the right slab and can't wait.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 5:21PM
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francoise47

Hope you find some beautiful Pietra and post pictures for us.

Out looking for Pietra (as well as other slabs) in Central NJ yesterday I found a stone yard that had Pietra but it wasn't at all beautiful. It had no veining and no swirls. It looked a lot like a lighter version of Absolute Black granite. The saleswoman couldn't really tell me anything about it. I suspect that it wasn't the real thing from Cardoso. Not that that would have mattered, if I had liked it.
But it did not look like the Pietra in this beautiful kitchen:

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 5:29PM
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littlesmokie

yes, we were told the folks who complain about the performance of pietra de cardosa are probably comparing it to true soapstone. We were told PdC needs to be properly and regularly sealed as though it were a porous granite. PdC is a hard stone-much harder than most soapstones we sampled-so it doesn't scratch and chip like soapstone. But PdC will etch and it will stain, unlike soapstone. So, apparently if you just treat it like granite, you'll be golden. :)

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 5:31PM
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Chicagomom70_gmail_com

Could someone please help me with what kind of cleaner and sealer to use for upkeep on my pietra Cardoso kitchen counters? Do I just use the same stuff as I would for granite or is there something special? Also, how often should we treat them? We have had our countertops for 5 years but have never had them retreated/sealed and I'm worried we are ruining them. Thank you for any guidance you can give me!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 7:47AM
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marble_com

MKS: You need an impregnating sealer, preferably water-based. I know of one that is very recommend, it's online order. I'll email you the link so you can check it out. I would reseal once a year or so. You can also "check" when the stone is in need of sealing by just splashing some water on it, and if it darkens very much and absorbs in that spot, you know it's time for a seal. For cleaning, a ph-neutral and gentle natural stone cleaner is recommended. You can buy one at a home improvement store, i'll also send you info on the one that I recommend.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 9:00AM
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sparklekitty

Have Pietra on my perimeter counters. I love the soft look, more gray than black than a soapstone (thought I love soapstone too.) Sales person did not recommend it, but I kept coming back to it. I originally thought we would use an ager, to make it darker like a charcol, but decided to hold off because we could always do it later.

Supposedly it has been sealed, but when I read the post above maybe not. When it gets wet it get a bit darker and lightens as it dries. Regardless, there has been no staining or etching that I have found. It does seem more brittle than other stones - the fabricator had a tough time with the seam (we had them take one side out to re-cut.) We do have a couple of small chips - around the undermount sink & next to the stove. The first one I noticed I was bother by, but the stone is so forgiving visually that it is a non-issue for me. But I wanted to let people know.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 4:57PM
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sparklekitty

PS Raven caesarstone is very beautiful (I considered it but my husband was pro stone) and though it is in a similar color family the effect is different. My friend put it in and it has a dense dark almost brownish feel to the gray. It is much more uniform looking. The pietra has a lighter feel with light gray and whitish swirls. So it depends on the look you are going for.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 6:21PM
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robertcgray

We have used two slabs of Pietra Del Cardosa since 2008 for counter tops, counter-to-floor slab, back splashes and thresholds. Love the look and performance. Constant positive comments and queries about "what it is." Some darker color shift in high work areas, but retains gray shading that soapstone cannot duplicate. Much "harder" than soapstone. We were very particular in choosing slabs with "pleasing patterns." After rejecting, what seemed like, the entire New England inventory, we got support from Stone Source, and traveled from Boston to their national Teterboro warehouse to put our names on a pair of adjacent-cut slabs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Current Stone Source slabs

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 5:47AM
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southernacklover

robertcgray and others: Thank you for posting on your Pietra Del Cardosa. We just installed yesterday. Fabricator didn't seal and said they only recommend oiling tops. I love the shade of gray and definitely don't want to oil and darken. At this point I am running around after everyone with a wet sponge ... afraid of staining. I can't imagine not sealing! How is the stone to be protected?
What has been your experience? Any tips for me? Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 8:31PM
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pchefJU

Jumping into this old post as we are supposed to decide on our countertops this week for our new house.. if anyone has any luck with sealers - please share your experience and if it has worked well in preventing unpleasing stains... Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 10:50AM
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