I'm so excited!

musicteacherJune 11, 2014

I am shopping for new countertops for my 30 year old kitchen. I really don't mind the formica I have except the edges, and now it is getting all warped around the sink. Yesterday I went to a Corian fabricator, (really nice Scottish couple) and I fell in love with the feel and choices of Corian. After I got home though I started thinking it looked dated and might hurt resale and in the lighter colors I wanted it look sort of transluscent.
Today I looked at quartz. I liked some that looked like marble but it was terribly expensive because I have to buy two slabs. They were nice enough (when I asked) to say I could use the leftovers in my bathrooms, for ONLY $32 a square foot for manufacturing. I also looked at honed black granite - the closest thing to soapstone that I could afford. Both of these were more than the Corian.
THEN.... I found a place that has Soapstone (not many here in TX) and the owner who has seen me in there several times without buying anything, offered to sell me the soapstone for $40 a foot. This means I could get my kitchen including tear out, sink and edges, etc. for barely over $3000. That is less than half the price of anywhere I have looked. I was trying to look all nonchalant about it but then another woman came in an was seriously considering the same stone as me. Dang!
So half of me is eager to jump on this chance to have the soapstone I always wanted, and yet I am starting to panic that it is going to make my kitchen too dark. I will def. Now I will need some serious help on picking out a backsplash. All I can think of is white subway tile.

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Can you post a photo of your kitchen?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 8:47PM
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I say go for it. I have black galaxy granite with midtone wood cabs and it didn,t darken things because its a horisontal surface so its not in your face as much as black cabs would be.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 9:09PM
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Sounds like a gift. Take it!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 9:24PM
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Holly- Kay

Soapstone is a lovely choice. I am sure you are thrilled. Go for it and don't look back or second guess.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 9:29PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Love, love, love soapstone! I hope you turned around and went right back to get it. If not, get there tomorrow! Lucky you!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 9:42PM
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Regarding whether soapstone will make your kitchen look too dark, perhaps post some pictures. This can be subjective.

At $40/sq ft (assuming install included--this isn't specifically stated above), this is a fantastic price. Almost too good to be true. But sometimes, what's perceived as a luxury item on a national level, isn't considered such on a regional or local level. If soapstone isn't common in your neck of the woods, then it probably can be had for a good price.

Is this one their only slab? If so, this might explain the price. It may have been sitting there for a while, with no takers.

Are you aware of the characteristics of soapstone (scratches, dings, etc.)? I'm assuming you are, but if not, it has some inherent qualities that aren't apparent on the pretty white kitchen/soapstone counter photos on Houzz. The kitchen forum has more information.

I do recommend getting a sample. Don't rely on what the dealer names it... Many who carry soapstone don't really understand what they have. Therefore, testing it on your own would be helpful.

Again, that's a really good price. As long as you're prepared for the good and the bad of soapstone, then I say go for it. I have soapstone and love it.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 10:15PM
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What part of TX are you in?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 11:54PM
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Picture of my kitchen currently, lots almond countertops and backsplash. Thanks for your advice. Next will be questions about backsplash.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 2:25PM
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Carol Ann

Love your kitchen. Good luck on your remodeling. We will be in the process soon ourselves as we just bought a house. By the way are you the singing music teacher from URU

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 3:15PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I was just talking to the appliance repair guy today and he liked our quartz counter...he said his mother got soapstone and all you can see are "olympic rings" all over it from where she puts down her coffee mug...

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 1:53PM
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We just replaced laminate with a pearly white quartz & love love love it. I suggest reviewing online & question people re what they like & don't like re soapstone.

I learned, while countertop shopping, that honed surfaces (which I prefer over the glossier surfaces) don't hold up as well, so we chose the latter. Ultimately, it's your decision, of course, and you might be happy with the soapstone. I was not aware, for instance, of what Annie learned from her appliance repair guy about soapstone. I debated & debated before we chose ours & nearly drove myself crazy! As I said, love the quartz countertops, but not sure we chose best for our cabinets as far as color goes. Sighâ¦.

I've studied your photo & honestly think the dark counters might look too dark with your cabinets & the amt. of light coming in there. You could do a lighter tile such as subway, or glass tiles, and that might helpâ¦.just my opinion, but I love a light, bright, kitchen. Remember, it's your house :)

This post was edited by lizzie_grow on Fri, Jun 13, 14 at 14:24

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 2:16PM
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Re your first paragraph about loving the Corian, and the lighter translucent look. My brother & his wife recently did a complete gut of their kitchen. They re-chose Corian countertops & love them, and we have some friends who have two homes, and they also installed Corian, which is their preferred countertop material.

Trust your gut & go with what you likeâ¦let us know if you got the Soapstone or what you get! I like the layout in your kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 10:32AM
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Thank you all for your kind words and your advice. I have to say though that I am still so torn. I was planning on painting the cabinets white if I got soapstone but I am married to one of those men who loves wood - even if it looks like zebra - and I am not sure I am confident enough to go against his wishes. I have to admit that it is a lot easier to keep our oak cabinets looking decent than the white ones in the bathroom. I really had this vision though of an old fashioned kitchen with the white and soapstone, and Victorian style faucets. But I have a 70's house so I guess that was kind of silly. I was getting so obsessed about this that I just had to step away for a while and put it all into perspective. I have been perfectly happy in that kitchen for 18 years, formica, oak and all, but to make a change it all has to be perfect? But here I am, everyone else in bed, and I am googling pros and cons of countertop materials. Guess I haven't stepped back that much! : ) I'd like to "trust my gut" but all it tells me is that I am going to make a mistake! lol.
Lascatx: I live in Plano, just north of Dallas.
Thank you all for all your insight, and I will let you know if I ever have the courage to make a decision!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 11:58PM
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Why don't you post your pics & dilemma on the kitchen forum. Maybe you'll get some input there to help with your decision making.
If you don't paint your cabinets, I agree that soapstone might be too dark for your kitchen. You may want to freshen up the current wood finish regardless. My 23 year old oak cabinets were pretty tired looking. My brother sanded & put a few coats of clear finish on them & reinstalled them in his kitchen. They look so much better.
Also, once your husband realizes the sanding/coating process is going to happen, maybe he'll be more open to paint. Refinish a door & paint a door, then see which you prefer.
Some input from the folks in this thread (especially CEFreeman) could get you back to feeling "I'm so excited!"

Here is a link that might be useful: Transforming used cabinets

This post was edited by romy718 on Sun, Jun 15, 14 at 15:45

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 3:36PM
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Imhappy&Iknowit IOWA zone 6b

Have you looked at the new Formica patterns? Lots of granite look. There's a soapstone pattern, too. Your cabinets have the door detail to work around with updating, too. White paint will make them look different, not sure it will be better.

I ended up doing Formica back in '09 because I didn't want to deal with stone upkeep. I've paid my housekeeping dues and now prefer to use my time in other pursuits! Not to mention the difference in $$$$ spent!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 4:49PM
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We must be kindred sisters, musicteacher! We also live in a 70's house (in Carrollton) and I had chosen white cabs, light granite, but also have DH who just loves the wood, so being as he has been so easy going on the rest of our remodel I conceded and we have mid-oak and black galaxy granite. Then on top of that, we added a patio cover right outside. I LOVE how the kitchen turned out but am sure some would just flat out find it too dark. I did add white subway tile to give it a little brightness.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 8:23PM
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mt, if your cabinets are in good, sturdy shape, you might consider painting the boxes and getting new doors. I don't think doors are very expensive. When our new kitchen was installed, I asked the cabinet maker how much new doors would cost me if I didn't like the glass doors I had chosen. He said they would make new doors for $60 each. I'm sure size, material, and your location may mean your price would be different. Ask around. You never know.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 9:25PM
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