Soapstone with tan veins?

kam76August 1, 2013

I went to a slab yard yesterday to look at their soapstone. They had three different types. The first they called "Julia". It was from India and came in larger slabs. It did not scratch with my fingernail. When oiled it read black but had lots of green running through.
This is oiled and un oiled...these slabs were outside in the bright sun so sorry for the picture quality:

Here is a close up so you can see the green:

The next they called "Valentino" from Brazil. This was what I had in my head when I think of soapstone. Soft, fingernail scratches it almost all black with some white veins. This slab had a dramatic white vein.

The third one perplexed me a bit. They called this their "Classic", from Brazil. Fingernail scratches it but slightly harder than the Valentino. It had all these tan veins running through with sea glass green/blue veins and inclusions. It looked like a city does when you fly over it at night with all the lights on. Really pretty. I was just curious if this is common for soapstone to have these tan veins. I did a search on here and couldn't find much in reference to it.

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We had Santa Rita Venata at first, and it had the tan veins and the sea glass looking areas. Loved the look of it. It had some defects so our fabricator let us decide to let them fix or replace it. We replaced it with Belvedere. Much harder stone but nowhere as pretty as the Santa Rita Venata was. I don't regret it, but man was that first stone pretty.

Here is a link that might be useful: Santa Rita Venata

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 3:36PM
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I'd agree that last one sure looks like our Santa Rita Venata. Really gorgeous stone/slab!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 4:01PM
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fivefootzero can I ask what the issues with it were? Your countertops in the link are gorgeous. Looks like the same stuff. I wish they would use consistent names!! So frustrating. I am so torn because I really really like the tan vein one but I am a little nervous about how soft it is. I am a total worn blue jeans kinda gal but I just don't want my counter tops to chip and ding all over the place.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 4:52PM
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Hi Kam...after our initial Santa Rita Venata was installed, they oiled it. What appeared to be "fillings" were noticed, darker areas that looked irregular, but were smooth with the surface. I sent the pics to M. Tex and Roger the owner came out to inspect them. Roger said that it was resin, and that it was done at the quarry. He told us that the slabs should have never been installed, and that he would make things right. I was heartbroken because after a long struggle to convince my husband that soapstone was right for our kitchen, this happened. So they sent out fabricators who would try to correct the problem, and if it weren't to our liking, Roger said he would replace everything at no cost to us.

After 6 hours of "repair", my husband and I were not satisfied with the look so we went back to pick different slabs. We went with a harder stone, Belvedere. I love it, but it doesn't have the same bling that the SRV had, the sea glass inclusions, the veining. My Belvedere is rock hard, doesn't scratch easily, can take a beating, and still looks new after 2+ years.

I would recommend M. Tex to anyone in the area. In the end they just wanted us to be happy and were very helpful in picking new slabs. Even the installer told me that when they went back after the inspection of the defects, the remaining slabs were pulled and not for sale. That impressed me.

Here's a pic of what the resin looks like. You couldn't notice it unoiled, but when oiled, they really stood out.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 8:41AM
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Just chiming in to say we have "julia" and absolutely love it.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 10:42AM
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Yes, when choosing slabs carefully inspect. One variety that I liked, and it was one with lots of veining, upon close inspection had some strange different colored resin "fixes" that I know we wouldn't have been happy with. We eliminated those slabs. And, at a different stone yard we also saw some slabs that really appealed to us because of all of the veining, but we were concerned because they seemed to have quite a bit of pitting. When we went back a week later to take a second look, the dealer had marked the entire batch as non-saleable due to the imperfections.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 11:16AM
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We have Belvedere too and our slabs do have a lot of veining. We do not plan to oil it currently. Be sure that they finish it in an appropriate grit. Often with harder soapstone, they will finish it like a granite with higher grit to a gloss and that is prone to water rings etc.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 1:08PM
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We have Belvedere I said. LOVE it...but it does not have that traditional white's almost a reverse negative effect. We don't oil or wax either.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 2:49PM
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Thanks for all the comments everyone. Such beautiful stone! fivefootzero would you have kept it if it didn't have the resin spots? I will have to look closely for those, thanks for the heads up everyone. Also I love you backsplash...what did you use marble?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 12:59PM
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I think we would have kept was really beautiful.

The backsplash is carerra marble subway tile from Home Depot. One quarter of the price of same tile from tile store.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 8:04AM
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