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Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

Posted by donna214 (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 13, 08 at 20:28

I am in the planning phase of a total kitchen reno and I have always had my heart set on honed Calcutta Gold marble for the counters. Recently, pictures on this site and the FKB of soapstone have really caught my fancy. Is soapstone a lot more expensive than marble or is the price comparable? I am planning on the perimeter cabinets in a very creamy color (the color is brie and that about sums up what the color looks like). The peninsula will be a medium stained maple with a black glaze. I do like the countertops to contrast with the cabinet color, so now I am thinking of soapstone on the perimeter and marble on the peninsula. Any input would be great.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

I had estimates done for my counters by a local high end stone supplier for soapstone, carrera marble, and honed granite. The marble was the least expensive and the soapstone was the most expensive. I really wanted the soapstone so I shopped and shopped and my DH and I agreed to do some of it DIY so that we could get it into our budget. Not sure how the calcutta gold compares in cost to the carrera but whatever you decide there are usually ways to manage it. HTH


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

In my area, carrera was about $13/sq ft, soapstone $25-$35/sq ft, Calacutta about $30-$40/sq ft. These prices were for material only. I compared prices at 3 different stone yards. One place told me that the fabrication for soapstone was usually a little cheaper because they don't have to laminate the edge. Not sure if that is generally true or not.
HTH


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

The material cost might vary a few dollars a square foot depending on the area or supplier, but I think California Dreamer has the relationship right. Soapstone would not be laminated, but neither would 3 cm slabs of marble -- unless you want a really chunky edge and have your drawers low enough to handle it. Laminating seemed to add about $10 a foot to the edge most places I saw. You might also need to pay for marble to be honed or for a fancier edge treatment if that is what you want.

Soapstone would have been more than my marble, but it might be less than the Calcutta you are looking at. There is also the issue of what you can find in a given area at any given time.

I generally like contrast between cabinets and counters and have always loved the classic black on white look. I have white cabinets, but I decided to put the white marble on them and put my black counter on top of my cherry island and hutch. I am really happy I did it that way. Although I am seeing the white on white in more magazine pictures lately, I still feel like it is less common -- and it just seem to have the right flow and feel for the room. It sounds like you could go either way too.

What is your flooring? What would you do for backsplash? There are other ways to have contrast and variety in a room. You do want some -- but not everywhere.


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

Thanks to all for your input.
Lascatx, I guess I really need to go and actually se some slabs and touch and feel them. I have always loved the look of marble and always planned on using it for all counters in my kitchen. I never even thought of soapstone until I saw some of the beautiful varieties some here have in their kitchens. I am in NJ and have no idea what the costs of these counters will be. We will probably not be ready to start our project until May or June and my kitchen designer advises it is a bit early to shop for stone. I think I need to go and see and touch the marble and soapstone before I make up my mind.

My floors will be stained pine with a tung oil finish and I am leaning towards a darker color, so I will have contrast there, but the backsplash will not be much of a contrast. I definitely could go either way.

So what marble do you have in your kitchen and is your black counter on your island soapstone? Would love to see pics if you have any.


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

Donna,

If you are in NJ, you should really visit M. Teixeira (www.soapstones.com) in Hackensack -- they are one of the leading soapstone suppliers and probably the best place to see a variety of soapstones. If you go now, you'll have plenty of time to test (abuse!) samples before making your decision. While you are there, you can also visit All Granite & Marble (www.marble.com) in Ridgefield Park (maybe a 10 minute drive from Hackensack) so you can also see & get marble samples (although they are one of those places that discourages marble for kitchen countertops).


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

I'm the opposite - marble (honed carrara on my island and soapstone on the perimeter) Here's a pic.

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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

Hoffman, thanks for the info. Would I have to make an appointment to visit these places or can I just drop in? Hackensack is about a 40 minute drive for me and I would have to squeeze it in while the kids are in school. I actually was doing a bit of research on the internet last night and I came across the M. Teixeira site.

Coleen, thanks of the picture of your beautiful kitchen. Believe me, it is one of the kitchens I have been studying on the FKB. Are you happy with your chioces of marble and soapstone? Do you like one stone more than the other? If you have kids, do they abuse the marble on your island? Thanks!


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

You need an appointment at M. Teix but not at All Granite (which is more of a factory). Not sure I would recommend actually buying from All Granite (I've read mixed reviews), but it's a great resource for researching your options. If you take a drawing of your kitchen layout, they will give you an estimate on the spot (literally -- it takes 5 minutes). Assuming your kids are in school for 5 - 6 hours, you should be able to hit both in one day.

I would make an appt. at M. Teix for 40 minutes after you drop off your last kid & then drive over to All Granite whenever you finish at M. Teix. You can mapquest the directions between them -- they are very close to each other.


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

Thank you!


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

Mine is just reversed of Colleen's, and I love hers too. You really can go either way. My marble is white venetino -- not sure I'm spelling htat right and not going to look it up now. LOL

Below is a link to a photo that shows the counters just after they were put in and everything else is still in progress. What a mess! That's the last one I took before the camera got dropped and broken. I'm waiting on a piece of trim to be installed and then I will take my "finished" photos. You can see the white on white in one of the drawer photos and the black on the cherry island in front of the photo of the fridge (even that one is before the final adjustment on the fridge). So take them with a grain of salt and look at Colleen's and imagine the reverse cleaned up. My splash (noit in any of those) is a white subway with a triple liner in the upper 1/3).

I really do think you can go either way. I like mine because I thinkthe white on white is less common, it gives me the careless surface on the workhorse island (my black is Cambrian Black brushed granitew -- I couldn't find soapstone that worked for it at the time). I'am also glad that the black island top flows visually as you look at it from the family room. The white marble would be an eye catcher there and would stop your eye before hitting hte stainless fridge and blue cabinets -- competing with them and probably making hte room look shorter. I'd like to say I thought of that and planned it, but I got lucky there. I did do drawings and color them both ways. I looked at them over and over and kept coming back to the dark onthe cherry (which has a black glaze).

Good luck. Have fun shopping!


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

Link please, I really want to see it!!


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

I saw coleen's kitchen above and had to do a double take. Looks like we have very similar kitchens. At least the layout and the materials. I have soapstone perimeters and carerra on the island. My soapstone was $5 more per square foot than my marble.

Kitchen


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

You might also want to check out Jay Tauber at Garden State Soapstone. He's a supplier and fabricator of soapstone and slate and he is located in Milltown (near North Brunswick). Jay's shop is quite small in comparison to M. Teix. That means that the selection is limited. However, he carries Green Mountain soapstone (M. Teix does not) which many of us prefer. Perhaps because his shop is so small, I also found him to be considerably better on the customer relations side of things than M. Teix.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden State Soapstone


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble

soonermagic, I have been eyeing your kitchen on the FKB also. Stunning. Your floors are also beautiful.

Martha, thanks for the info on Garden State Soapstone. Can you tell me about Green Mountain Soapstone and why you prefer it over other kinds?


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

I love both the stones - but, I must admit, I'm having the marble re-honed on Friday. There are an incredible number of etchings and things - the installers applied a sealer to it and they told me not to apply anymore and it clearly wasn't enough. So a restorer is coming out and we'll get it right this time. I hope.

sooner - your kitchen is GORGEOUS! You have great taste!!!


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

Coleen, a sealer will prevent stains on marble, but not etching. My fabricator said that the selaer provided some (i.e., minimal) resistnace to etching so that something not too strongly acidic wiped up quickly will not etch. That is consistent with my experience with it, but most folks will tell you that a sealer will not protect against etching period. There is one product called a sealer, but it is really a coating that you can tell in on the surface of the stone and if you love the stone, you won't like it.

If you left the marble alone and continued to use it, your etchings would develop into a new patina that the honing was approximating. Mine has etching. I have buffed out a couple of spots that were particularly obvious (like a string of drips across a corner near a window), but mostly, you live with it. It's something you really need to understand about marble. I compare it to wearing linen or soft, faded denim.

donna, I'm sorry for forgetting the link. I was hurrying off to a meeting. I would say that maybe it was a sign my messy pictures shouldn't be shown again, but since you've aske and waited patiently, I'll try again. I wish I had one that showed them better and had the backsplash in place.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen in progress -- can you tell it's marble?


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

lsacatx - how did you buff them out? I see things like rings from bowls, etc. It's only really bothersome when the morning sun comes in and highlights it! I thought only acidic things caused etchings and I'm really careful with those - I know etchings are inevitable and I was prepared for it but uit was so much so fast!


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

I wouldn't expect rings from bowls unless you have really low pH in your water or drip a lot of salad dressings or tomatoes sauces around the bowls. Do you have hard water and could it be mineral deposits? Maybe sealer would help that. Maybe they didn't seal it well or use the right sealer -- not all of them are good for marble. I'm not sure.

Anyway, to answer your question, I stood with my installers and learned what they did to even out any spots and then he let me try a spot. He used a 220 grit sandpaper and lightly buffed in a circular motion. A few motions is all most things would require, and when you are done, wipe the surface clean and reapply sealer. This will help with something that really bothers you, but if you do it for everything, you will eventually (5 years, 10? 100? I have no way of guessing) wear down your stone, make yourself crazy and you will never really enjoy your marble. I realized that I had to resist the temptation to try to keep my marble spotless once I knew how. That can be harder that is should be when you have a kitchen full of new things you want to keep perfect. I'm happy knowing anything awful can be dealt with and anything else probably doesn't matter.

Your kitchen is lovely. Enjoy it.

Sooner, love yours too.


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

lsacatx thanks for the link, love the blue cabinets!


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

I wish you could really see the marble, but it doesn't really show up there. You can see a bit more of it in the open drawer photo, but it really looks better than you can tell in that photo. Good luck deciding. I'm sure it will look beautiful either way.


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

Donna - I have to chime in here about Garden State Soapstone, where I fell madly in love with a piece of green Green Mountain soapstone (also, with Marthavila's grey with caramel veins that was already tagged with her name). I still covet it, but she's not giving it up!

Green Mountain is quarried in Brazil, also (VT quarries are closed), but they have different quarries than M.Tex. I just like the stone from the Green Mountain quarries, what can I say?

I had been to M.Tex in Hackensack, about 1/2 hour from where I live and did not find anything I liked. To be fair, I stopped in without an appointment and the young woman in the office gave me a pile of 4x4" samples to take home. I didn't like the look or the feel of any of the black ones. I liked the green serpentine but it was harder and slicker than soapstone and didn't really have any veins to speak of. I was there twice. They have so many zillions of slabs that I was too overwhelmed to look at any of them. I was looking for green.

Then somebody on this list mentioned Garden State, not far from New Brunswick - maybe an hour from me. Jay is a small operation - he's it -- and he seems to have a personal relationship with the stone -- you can tell he loves it. He did not have a huge selection but I found what I wanted in about 2 seconds - green with big, beautiful light green veins.
Photobucket
Here it is, with either oil or water - I can't remember. But I love it light and will probably not oil it. I want this to be my island; I care less about the perimeter since the longest run there will be 46" and the rest will be smaller.
a closer look
I called Jay's references and they all raved. M. Tex. has a great reputation, but they didn't have the soapstone I wanted and truthfully, I prefer to deal with an individual entrepreneur when I can. Soapstone is expensive if you are not DIY'ing it: M. Tex installed ranges from $85-110 and Garden State is $90. I'm hoping we have enough stone left from where the fridge is going, to do the vanity top in the powder room.

Bottom line - if you are within driving distance, call him to see when he is there and take a ride to Garden State.


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

How is it that lascatx's beautiful kitchen is not in the FKB?


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

Hi Donna,

My pal Raynag pretty much answered the question you put to me. All I can tell you is this: soapstone is a fabulous stone -- no matter where it comes from. There is no question that when I went to M. Teix in Hackensack I saw stone there that I was ready to die for. But, unlike most, I had an absolutely miserable encounter with M. Teix during the quote stage. It became clear we would not be a good match for each other.

That sad discovery led me to read the GW soapstone posts more closely in search of alternative suppliers. Through the process, I discovered there to be quite a large group of GW stoners who were actively posting at the time who had bought their stones either directly from Green Mountain or from GM suppliers. It was also during this time that I learned about Garden State. When I went to visit Jay at his yard, I learned that he and his wife are transplanted Vermonters. Having actually worked for Green Mountain, Jay now uses them as his supplier in his own business.

I felt like I had hit paydirt when I saw the GM slabs! As Raynag mentioned, I scored on a utterly gorgeous, unusual slab, the likes of which I've seen nowhere else, including M. Teixiera. I can't wait until install (sometime late winter/early spring) when I can finally join the 'Stoner club myself!


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

Not sure where in NJ you live, but I've also heard good things about Bucks County Soapstone. They're in Pennsylvania.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bucks County Soapstone


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

rmkitchen, it's not in the FKB because it STILL isn't finished! Some my fault for not pulling it together (exhausted and other things in life that needed attention) and some not (lack of follow through on one end, repaiering some things on another -- just stuff that gets in the way). I'm about to mount my campaign to get it wound up again. If there are no suprises, maybe I'll have new pictures soon.

And I still love soapstone. I couldn't find what I wanted for my kitchen, but I'm still thinking about putting it in my laundry room. I'm going to get a piece somewhere!


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

Martha and Raynag, thanks for the input. I think I'll have to vivit both Garden State and M. tex and see for myself.

I think New Brunswick is probably an hour from me. Should I make an appt. at Garden State?

Another quick question. It sounds as if you both have not hhad your soapstone installed yet. How far in advance did you order your slab? I'm looking at a May/June start date (fingers crossed) and I'm wondering if it is too early to order soapstone.

My KD has told me that most stone yards will not hold a slab for that long (marble anyway. I haven't yet told her I'm thinking of adding soapstone to the mix). Is it different with soapstone?

Malhgold, I live in Chatham in Morris County. Not sure how far Bucks County is. Has anyone else used them??


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

Not one of those, but my stoneyard wouldn't hold a slab more than a day or two to allow us to have the fabricator check it and pay for it. They don't really hold them. Once paid for, it went to the fabricator's yard to wait for the cutting and installation. Others may vary.


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

Donna,

Yes. You definitely need to make an appointment with Garden State. But not to worry. When I went, I took 2 hours looking at slabs and learning all about what might be best for my specific application, from both Jay and his wife (who, IIRC,shares your name of Donna). I was the only customer they were dealing with at the time (although another couple showed up as I was preparing to leave). No undivided attention there!

As for worrying about how long they will hold it, now I'm really laughing. I put my slab on hold in April '07!! Because of a series of setbacks and reversals I will not bore you with, I may not get to the actual install of my counters until April '08 (believe me, I'm crossing my fingers it won't take that long). Through it all, Jay has been great. Occasionally he'll email or call and ask me how things are going. But he never gets aggressive or complains about how long it is taking for me to get my kitchen remodel act together. He is not charging me for slab storage. Again, I think his patience and good humor has a lot to do with his ability, as a small, very customer-friendly supplier/fabricator, to have flexibility in his business practices. At the same time, if you don't see yourself getting started until May or June, I think you might want to just spend this time researching, viewing the various soapstone offerings in the area, but delaying your actual order until you are closer to your start date.


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

Martha, I can't believe he is holding your slab that long without charging you! OK, it's time do do some looking. Thanks everyone for all of you input.


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

One last thing that maybe I should mention, Donna. Jay is not just holding my slab in order to be nice to me. I think it has more to do with my $1k deposit that's been sitting on it all this time! :)


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

I agree with Marthavila that you need to call Jay to make sure he will be there. He's a one-man operation and if he's out on a templating or installation you're out of luck if you don't have an appointment. He's off of Route 131.

Mahlgold, I will say that if I hadn't found what I wanted at Garden State, I would have gone to Buck's County next.

Jay has had our deposit since October and they are not starting my kitchen till early Feb. I am going to visit a friend near New Brunswick on Thurs and think I'll call Jay to see if I can stop by afterwards. I need to give him my cabinet layout so if he's there, I'll fondle my soapstone and admire my friend Marthavila's piece.


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

I'm going to call today and try to make some appointments. I have become obsessed with soapstone over the past few days, talking about soapstone and looking for pictures online. My house is a mess and things are piling up because this is all I want to do.

I posted this in another thread, but last night I realized that the old sink in my basement that my washer water runs into is an old SOAPSTONE sink!! I was touching it all over last night, and it is so soft. I can't believe I never noticed before, but then I never really had a ny concept of what soapstone was. It is painted on the outside, but not the inside. I want to oil the inside and see what happens!!

Oh well..time to get the kiddies ready for school.


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

Look at these from Dorado Soapstone!!! much more interesting pieces than any i have seen before

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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

what do the dorado pieces look like oiled though???

most of mtexs stuff looks completely different dry vs oiled


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RE: Is soapstone more expensive than marble?

donna, what did you decide? did you get your soapstone? we're in chatham too, in love with soapstone and about to go out looking. would love to see photos if your kitchen is complete and you're still around....


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