Soapstone backplash - what do I need to know?

honu3421November 6, 2013

I just spent a half hour typing and lost my entire post so this will be short.
We have decided on soapstone counters with a 3-4" backsplash rising to the window. This is our inspiration picture. However, we will have an under mount stainless sink.

What thickness should the backsplash be? My fabricator can modify the thickness. Can we do this without bumping out the sink cabinets and still have room for our faucet? NOTE: we will not have a farm sink.

Fabricator has also suggested extending the soapstone behind the range top up to the hood. Is there a way to do this without bumping out the rangetop cabinet? And is there anything else I should know or keep in mind as I pursue this idea?

I tried to insert a schematic of the kitchen but am unable to get it to show up when I preview the message. Arrrgh! It worked for the backsplash. Can someone please send me a link to the directions for inserting photos?

Thank you so much!

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We have a 6" high Soapstone backsplash that dies under a window sill/ledge, it is the full 3cm thick, and the sill hangs over another 1 1/4" . You might also suggest to your fabricator ( if he hasn't already suggested to you) if he is able cut the splash out of the same slab, and match any veining to line up as best as possible.
Good luck, sounds beautiful, and post pictures when done!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 8:13PM
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@Ctyctm thank you for your response and for posting a picture of your backsplash. That is beautiful stone! Would you mind telling me the name? Did you post a reveal? I searched and was only able to find a picture of your range and your beautiful brick. It looks like you had a lot of room between your sink and your backsplash and were able to accommodate the full 3cm. I wish I could do that. My sink will be more like the picture above with just a standard 24" cabinet. Using the full 3cm does not leave room for a sink, faucet and soap dispenser. I am not giving up this dream just yet!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 11:08AM
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We have yet to oils ours, but here are pics of our soapstone backsplashes behind the stove and sink. For the 4" we did thinner material, but left the large slabs behind the stove and sink full thickness. The stove wall is considerably not straight, the cabinet boxes are built to accommodate this and the countertop scribed as well. But the end result was that the cabinet depth from one side of the stove to the other varies. The recess in the stone for the stove was hand carved to fit the stove and minimize the visible delta. The back splash gets pretty thin behind the stove and slides all the way down to the counter depth. Hope this all makes sense.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 11:49AM
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And the sink wall, please ignore the mess in the sink :)

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 11:51AM
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I have an under mount, standard depth sink within a 24 inch cabinet and did not need to have the soapstone cut down any to fit behind the faucet.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 12:13PM
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@athomeinva, which pulls do you have? Lovely kitchen! You too ctycdm!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 12:47PM
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Katy-lou and athomeinva, thank you for posting your responses. And I am so encouraged to see something other than white cabinets. I fall in love with soapstone and white cabs every time I see them however, our current plan is to use stained wood and seeing your kitchens has solidified that plan. Both of you have lovely cabinets, warm and wonderful with your stone.

@katy-lou, such creative solutions. You have encouraged me to think outside the box. The recess for your stove was such a creative idea. Although I love the look of oiled stone, your unoiled stone is beautiful. Thank you so much for posting.

@athomeinva, I am glad to see your example of no 4" backsplash as this is one of the options I am considering and your example is beautiful. Is the white molding at the base of your backsplash wood or tile? I like that look. I also noticed your pulls - really pretty with your cabinets. Thank you so much for posting.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 1:20PM
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Thank you, yours is too! The pulls are the Dakota wire pull and button knobs from Restoration Hardware. I believe they are the chestnut color.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 1:30PM
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Honu, thank you! The backsplash is wood beadboard with a strip of wood molding at the base. This picture shows it a little better:

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 1:38PM
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Athomeinva, thank you for responding and for posting a second picture of your backsplash. Your cabinets are beautiful. I love the finish.

Thank you all for your responses. I will definitely post a reveal but since this is a new build and we haven't yet poured the slab, it will be a while before that happens.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 2:23PM
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I installed full-height SS backsplashes for some customers, it was 3/4" thick. Cutting the receptacle holes with the grinder was among the most nerve-wracking exercises.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 5:59PM
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Hi Casey, thank you for chiming in. So I guess you are recommending against a full height backsplash? Or are you saying the thinner material was more difficult to control?

I am really trying to keep this build simple without sacrificing too much on the design end. I can go with a 4" SS backsplash and subway above or subway to the counter with no SS on the backsplash other than the sink area. I've seen so many great kitchens on GW I think any one of those combinations would work.

And my fabricator has suggested full height SS behind the range top. Do you have any suggestions or warnings for this concept? We plan to install a wolf 6-burner and I keep thinking I may have to bump it out if we don't cut down the thickness of the SS.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 7:05PM
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honu, I was out all day, and just now responding to your questions... first of all love seeing all the other soapstone counters! I am truly a "soapy" and really enjoy my countertops. You are right, we have a corner sink, so the depth for the faucet was not an issue. Our soapstone is called "Mariana" it is Brazilian we purchased from Walker-Zanger in So Cal. I would say it is medium on the hardness scale. The picture was just after install about nine months ago, and oiled. Since then, I oiled a couple more times, but have lately decided to let it just go natural, which I'm liking very much!
I think your idea of full height behind the range is a great one, sounds gorgeous! (and very practical too)
...and no, I never got around to posting a reveal, partially because my re-do was more of a freshen up, and also I don't know how to add more than one photo in a post ;)

This post was edited by ctycdm on Fri, Nov 8, 13 at 22:22

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 8:13PM
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Ctycdm, thanks for getting back with the name of your stone. I hadn't heard of Mariana before. Most of our stone dealers source from SoCal since we are west of you so I will know if that name comes up I should take a look. BTW yes, I plan (hope) to match the veining from counter to wall. Otherwise, why bother? LOL.

Yes, I am loving the eye candy, too. I think there are a lot more SS backsplashes out there on GW. I should have titled my post "show me your SS backsplash." .........hindsight. ; / TexasPenny posted a SS backsplash/cherry cab reveal back in March, it was really pretty. Her stone, Anasazi, had a lot of veining. Maybe she will see this thread and post another shot of her kitchen.....subtle hint.

Thanks again to all for taking the time to post and offering support for my vision.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 12:23PM
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I also have soapstone backsplashes. My countertop is 3cm but the backsplashes were cut down to 2cm. However, we chose NOT to put it behind the oven because of oiling. When I oiled the countertop I did not want to worry about getting all the way up the wall behind the stove. Instead we did a sheet of brushed stainless steel. We really like how it came out, and it helps break up the soapstone. The link to my reveal is below.

Here is a link that might be useful: GardenWeb Reveal

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 9:13PM
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