leathered soapstone

guy_in_newhouseNovember 9, 2008

Has anyone lived with leathered soapstone...if so, any issues? Any issues keeping it looking like you bought it(aside from some character-induced flaws from normal wear)?

I'm leaning toward soapstone for the kitchen countertops & windows sills and looked at a number of slabs yesterday. One supplier had leathered finish, very dark green (when wet with water) that was gorgeous. Great smooth feel to it and yet had the visual interest of the slightly raised veining.

The stone would be with lightly-stained, natural cherry cabs & navajo-white 3 inch on-center beadboard peninsula.


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Do you think it is a true soapstone? I saw lots of "leathered or river wash granite" but not soapstone. It is much softer and I don't know how it would hold up with use. I ended up going with a leathered granite in the powder room and a river washed granite on the perimeter of the kitchen. I love soapstone,but just ended up choosing something else. I didn't want the shiny hotel look of polished granite so I love the leathered granite. I also love the look and feel of soapstone. I can't imagine why one would leather" soapstone as the texture already feels so great.
what would you use for a backsplash?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 3:26PM
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mustbnuts zone 9 sunset 9

Yes, there are leathered soap stones. I think there are pictures out there on the Terecina website. You might want to call them (they are very nice and very helpful) and ask how people like the leathered finish. I think it is gorgeous!

Here is a link that might be useful: teresina soap stone

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 4:05PM
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I would think the biggest issue would be the inevitable scratches that would occur and how you would handle that. A traditional matte finish soapstone can just be sanded out by the homeowner, whereas the specialty finishes like leathering aren't readily reproducible in the home. That would mean if you sanded out a scratch, that it would have a different finish than the rest of your countertop. Magnify that by a couple of years of use. It's going to look hodgepodge, even with oiling, until you have it professionally refinshed. That's not an expense or hassle that I would personally want to deal with. Obviously, leathered granite doesn't have the same issues as it's much much harder.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 5:53PM
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Lucy..not sure on the backsplash yet, but I was looking at soapstone rather than granite.

livewire..the scratches is why I asked & for the same reason as you've described. Beautiful material, but it may not stand the test of the real world like normal soapstone. Looks like normal soapstone is in the cards for me.


    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 1:13PM
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Just got back from the granite yard (5th time) and they showed me a leathered green soapstone which they also called a granite. They said it's really a granite. It's so hard to tell when so many stones have so many different names. Anyone have any more pics of cream cabinets with green soapstone (esp leathered) countertops?

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 4:27PM
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We've done a couple of leathered soapstone countertops and Joshua is out actually doing a leathered kitchen today. The leathering process does not affect the integrity of the soapstone, it's just a texture difference.

The typical customer who likes the leathered soapstone tends to leave it unoiled and they also don't mind the scratches in the stone since the leathered stone looks pretty rustic to begin with. We actually have the diamond brushes in house so we can leather any type of soapstone and we also have some quarry leathered stone as well.. I personally like our finishes better since we can make the stone look more or less dramatic.

I personally have a leathered piece on a wine rack and really enjoy it.. but it's a wine rack, not a complete kitchen and I've left it unoiled. I agree with the mindset that if you don't want the scratches and sanded them the countertop would look hodge-podge.

below are some pictures... just in case you change your mind :)

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 4:43PM
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Thank you, Florida Mimi. Those pics looks great. That looks like a green...am I right?

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 5:42PM
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Nice pics...I can feel it just by looking at it. Awesome material.

But alas, I'm an oiler & taking a chance on it not looking good for the long term would probably keep me awake at night.

I have another question on soapstone...but I'm start another thread.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 5:42PM
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It's amazing how Soapstone can take on the tones of what's around it....

The first pic was of Python which is real black when oiled
The second of Black Venata which also tends to have more black tones.. and the third is of Brazilian Black which normally shows a lot of green.. but in this picture looks almost pure black.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 9:38PM
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