Introducing.... Another Soapstone Alternative

niffyNovember 19, 2009

Just had these installed on Tuesday and we're thrilled. We decided against soapstone because the samples I got were just too soft. But I loved the look. I was about to go with Jet Mist when.... across the warehouse... I saw these slabs and thought they might be soapstone or some type of marble (there were some polished ones too). Turns out they are Aqua Grantique - which is actually a "granitic gneiss". Took home a piece of the brushed finish version and that thing was indestructible. No staining, no etching, no dings when I attacked it with the point of a paring knife.... Plus my husband fell in love with it to. SO, without further ado, I believe I introduce the first Aqua Grantique countertops on this board!

And now that I have hopefully figured out how to post photos, I shall start another thread and hit you up for backsplash ideas for this new pet rock of mine;)

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That is incredible. Looks just like it!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2009 at 11:53PM
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Is that herringbone backspalsh Carerra Marble?

Any info on Brand/Price?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 12:08AM
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The herringbone is statuary - suppposedly. There are portions that look suspiciously like carrera, though it is pretty white. It's from Maestro Mosaics. Just left the guy a message today as I'm not sure on price.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 12:15AM
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I LIKE it!!! I'm not usually a fan of granite, but you are right, it looks like soapstone. On steroids!

Enjoy, and congrats on being a trendsetter here at the Kitchens board!


    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 8:04AM
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Is the Aqua Grantique classified as a granite or slate?
I did some searches and it seems to be a slate? Does it have a smooth surface or is it a little textured?

Whatever it is, it is gorgeous! I love it!


    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 8:16AM
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we are in a parallel universe....I did install soapstone though. I think I've brought home the exact same tile samples you have and if that is your wall color I have 3 sample swatches on my walls that are very close. My worry over tile is that it will compete with the soapstone, so of your choices I like the simple subway the most

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 8:43AM
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Gorgeous! Just gorgeous --
And how nice that it was indestructable!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 10:55AM
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pbear - I don't think it's either. They so have polished slabs, which are completely smooth and shiny and like marble or granite. I got the brushed finish, which is matte and has a slight texture (not bumpy).

Here's the info on it. Note the absoption rate of ZERO. It is supplied by Krukowski Stone in Wisconsin (the only supplier).

Aqua Grantique
Material Type: Granitic Gneiss
Material Class: Metamorphic
ASTM C97-96
Dry Density
189.3 pcf
ASTM C97-96
Bulk Specific Gravity
ASTM C97-96
ASTM C293-94
Modulus of Rupture
2,910 psi
ASTM C170-90
Compressive Strength
22,710 psi
ASTM C67-94
Freeze-Thaw Weight Loss Mohs Hardness

weidii - my wall color is tba. There are splotches of colors all over my kitchen as I sort that one out. That is actually our primer. I had planned Revere Pewter, but now I'm not so sure....

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 11:00AM
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Just beautiful, now I have something else to look at for counters :) Personally, I like that sexy herringbone with it, but that's just me.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 11:12AM
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I love it, but am afraid to ask.........price?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 12:16PM
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your countertop is drop-dead gorgeous! ~ do you live in wisconsin? ~ we are in a northern suburb of chicago & have not come across aqua grantigue ~

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 7:40PM
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Love it! But blast, I fear it will be another soapstone lookalike that I won't be able to find in my neck of the woods. My inquiries about Jet Mist have been met with blank stares. But you can bet I'm gonna try any way!

Can't wait to see the rest of your kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 8:01PM
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Stunning!! I loved the look of soapstone when I saw it three years ago, at our initial stages . . . loved the look and the feel but felt I needed something more carefree. Every time I see some GWebber's soapstone I'm jealous again. Although I love what I ended up with, I sure wish I'd seen your Aqua Grantique!! It's just gorgeous! Congratulations on showing us something new!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 8:26PM
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bravo!! i love it! can't wait to see the install, when will it be ready???

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 8:49PM
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It looks very similar to something OHM is selling as "soapstone granite." It looked very real; you could either leave it plain or use a glossy sealer on it.

Of course they proudly swiped it will water to show what it would look like glossy and I thought the gloss ruined the look. :)

Yours has a lot more movement in it; this stuff was more subtle.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 8:52PM
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Thanks so much for posting. It's really pretty! I, too, am interested in the cost. Also, it's hard to tell the true color from computer pics. Is it greenish or just black?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 9:06PM
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Thanks everybody! I've been dying to have something to show off here and our house went from clipping along to going at a snail's pace. I think I have whiplash from the change! This, at least, feels like progress.

Not sure exactly how much this ended up price-wise, luv2designinva. Our builder gave us a price for all the granite/marble in the house, and since I could live with the total, I decided not to ask for the breakdown, lest I hate myself. It's not cheap, that I know. I did have the builder price the slab months before the fabicator got involved, so I'd have some idea of cost. Slab was $1800 for a big slab - it's likely the fabricator ultimately negotiated a better deal on it than that.

Phyl345- I'm in the Western Suburbs of Chicago. The only 2 places in Chicagoland that have this stuff are Damar in Northbrook and Stone Design in Glendale Heights . They call it "Phantom Green" at Stone Design (not sure why - it's really pretty black, although there are some greeny veins along with caramel colored ones). The slabs at Damar had more "stuff" and movement in them, so I opted for those. They do have more slabs there;)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 9:11PM
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This granite is really interesting. Any additional pics? Has it been installed yet? I'd love to see and hear more about it. I too was looking into Virginia Mist as a SS alternative but this really seems to look a lot closer to it.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 4:17PM
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Oh WOW. I love my Black Galaxy granite, but I would have loved to have this as an option. I just wasn't sure I was up to handling soapstone....that granite is stunning and looks just like soapstone to me.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 4:53PM
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niffy: ooo la la!! just stunning. I love the beautiful veining. I have BM revere pewter on my walls and love the color. It is quite cameleon-like, looking more gray or tan depending on the lighting and other items in the room.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 4:59PM
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Oh wow that is so nice!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 7:48PM
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I'm curious about a different aspect of your beautiful counters: near windows, do you see marks when water is left on the counters? I know it happens a lot with polished black counters, but I'm hoping it's not true of brushed counters. (In my daughter's kitchen, water marks and wipe marks ALWAYS show when light is reflecting off the counters.)


    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 9:15PM
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Darn Darn Darn!!! You all will HAVE to stop presenting me so many options or we may not build for 10 more years! That is beautiful, I love soapstone, but it just isn't my maintenance level.

I've always wanted the counters out of science lab tops. But I was a biology teacher, so perhaps that is why... I'm going to have to ask about that stone now. Love it.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 9:54PM
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midwestmama- I had to laugh. My husband runs a medical research lab, so he too was fascinated by the idea of soapstone. We loved Minas, though - until we "practiced" throwing our keys on our sample and discovered annoying divots immediately. It wasn't for us.....

mairin - I owe you BIG TIME. It was your posts mentioning Damar that sent me searching there for marble slabs - and there I found both this and my island statuary slab. I'd never heard of the place before. Now I've been nearly everywhere in Chicagoland, repeatedly. I think I counted 23 trips to the stoneyards before I was done. And that doesn't include the search for backsplash materials!

thereddogruby- unfortunately I don't have much more to show yet. Still waiting to move in. Hopefully I will have "finished" photos in about 3 weeks or so. I knew this stone was on the fabricator's black list awhile ago, but I also had heard the supplier had done something to their slabs to minimize cracks and breakage (I believe hidden fissures and pure hardness of the stone were the issues). Apparently they bake an epoxy into it to fill in any crack or fissures, then remove it from the top - and voila - no longer a fabricator's nightmare! Ours had no trouble with it.

marytw- we haven't really lived with the counters yet, but I can tell you the brushed finish hides a lot. It's not reflective at all.... We did have a couple of weird water rings a few weeks ago,but it was after the faucet was installed and I think it was mineral/gunk deposits coming from the new faucet. I've cleaned it with no visible wipe marks at all.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 9:52PM
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