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Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

Posted by AJinNH (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 26, 13 at 12:09

I'm considering using classic (Barroca) soapstone on the perimeter of our kitchen and using the Nordic Black on the island. They have a similar satiny finish and the NB has some white veining, although not quite the same as the SS. The samples that I have look great together, but I'm not sure how that will translate in the big picture. We have 60 sqft of perimeter and 36 sqft of island. Any opinions or suggestion welcome!

Another option is Cambrian Black leathered (granite) or Kodiac leathered for the island. The color would be black/brown without the veining for the island. I prefer a matte finish on dark stone.

Also, I'm open to any neutral suggestions for the island in light to medium tones as well as long as it doesn't stain or etch from food, etc.

I would do all soapstone, but I think I would like the island to be less maintenance.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

What maintenance is there for soapstone? I thought it had none. I would do all soapstone.


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RE: Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

I agree with debrak, either all soapstone, or something all together different like wood, or even white marble...


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RE: Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

No, absolutely not. That's like choosing between a black Honda Civic sedan and a black Honda Civic coupe. The visual difference is so slight that many people wouldn't even notice the difference at all. If you are going to choose two different materials, make them visually much less similar. Like a maple butcher block and soapstone. Or a light granite with the granite. Obviously different.


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RE: Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

I would prob do something a little different on island, unless you don't won't there to be a lot of visible difference. I do agree to do something less maintenance on the island. I have a soft variety SS on perimeter, and I'm glad it's not on the island. It scratches easily, which blends pretty well with mineral oil. However, we sit everything on our island, and the wood on it is holding up well.


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RE: Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

I love soapstone, but our sample scratches too easily, which I wouldn't mind on the perimeter, but our island will be a workhorse and I'd prefer to not be constantly tending to scratches and dings. I know that they disappear eventually, but again, looking for lower maintenance on the island.

We are considering wood, I love the warmth, especially around the seating area vs cold stone. I'm concerned that the wood would wear differently in the prep area. How is your wood finished Lake Girl? What type of wood do you have? We currently have a butcher block island and it does take a lot of maintenance, similar to soapstone, with oiling and occasional sanding. It's not a polished finish, so it doesn't show scratches.

I'm not sure that I need a lot of visual difference. I'd love to see pictures if anyone has SS on the perimeter and something different on the island.

Thanks all for the input.

Here is a link that might be useful: Soapstone on perimeter.


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RE: Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

I posted a link in my last reply that I forgot to mention. I love the look of that kitchen and I'm shooting for a similar feel, minus the farm sink.


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RE: Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

I answered based on my thinking that I love the way SS wears and any marks are just more character. I guess you love it or you don't. I wanted SS but my DH just can't deal with the characteristics of it. Maybe in the next house.

Sounds like maybe SS is not the right fit for your kitchen. Have you considered a different variety?

I will say do all the same or make the island completely different.

Leathered Kodiak is a very nice stone.


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RE: Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

debrak2008, I actually feel the same as you about SS, but it's my DH that has the issues with it on the island.

I thought that the Nordic Black would look like I had SS on everything, they really do look very similar.

My cabinets will either be natural cherry or a cherry or red birch with a light stain. The darker countertops look really nice with that combo.

Most of the other SS have a lot of green in them. I do like the grey/green look of some of them unoiled, but I'm not sure how they'd wear, plus we'd be back to DH not wanting it on the island.

This's why I said that it's my least favorite/most difficult part of the remodel. Every option has it's pluses and minuses. If I could find a granite or quartz that compliments the SS perimeter and is not a busy pattern as well as goes great with my cabinets then perhaps I can get this done!

Sorry that I'm so indecisive, could you imagine living with me now!!??

Do they have designers who help select countertops?


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RE: Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

I did SS on most of the perimeters but agree with the other SS owners about it being soft and not wanting to do the 'heavy' work on it. I did marble on the island and small perimeter (dark green) which complements the SS but is much more 'work' friendly. I love them both but didn't want them to look the same. I have a green Blue Star range and hood in the SS perimeter which is right behind the green island.


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RE: Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

I've got the opposite reaction to those some ss owners who have posted above. I have ss on the workhorse counters and marble on the more lightly used area counters. My ss does get a few light scratches, but it is certainly not what I'd call vulnerable. Just use a cutting board as you would elsewhere, and you'll be fine with ss.

And, I agree that if you want two different materials you should use a contrast rather than something that is nearly identical. Also, could you choose a different variety of ss? I believe when I was looking for my ss I'd read that Barocca is one of the softer varieties.


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RE: Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

Our wood island is oak bb finished with Waterlox. It has exceeded my expectations really. It has a satin finish, and cleans up great. We tend to sit everything on the island (purses, grocery bags, school stuff, you name it), since it's very close to the back door. Soapstones vary greatly, so try to get the hardest one you can find. The place I went with only had a soft variety, so we used it. It's beautiful, but it scratches and knicks. Have you considered a SS look alike in a granite? I think it's honed virginia jet mist? I think we can all agree that we use our countertops in different ways, so you're smart to think about that in choosing what to go with. All the best to you.


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RE: Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

I agree with needinfo, soapstone IS a workhorse counter! Those that feel they need to baby soapstone would probably be happier with a different material. It has been used on high school and college lab counters, and I doubt those students babied it! I think of soapstone as I do an old maple butcher block, ...it just gets better with age and use.


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RE: Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

Needinfo, thank you for the encouragement. I do really love SS. What type do you have, and do you oil it?

Lake Girl, I hear Waterlox is great. Do you apply it yourself? How often? As far as soft SS goes, I'm told that the soft SS is easier to repair than the harder varieties. Has that been your experience?

Ctycdm, I agree with you! I just need to convince DH ;)

Thank you SO much for taking the time to respond.


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RE: Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

Mistman, your kitchen sounds beautiful! Have you posted pictures?


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RE: Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

Barocca does scratch. Are you getting your soapstone from M.Texeira? How about Belevedere or Brazilian Black then? I have Belevedere and it feels pretty hard working. If you really don't want spapstone in your island, I would suggest a completly visually different material like many of the others have suggested.


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RE: Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

I have original PA soapstone, but I believe that is mined out now so I had a tough time finding it. It is a harder variety though.


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RE: Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

My DH applied the waterlox himself on the new bb about 2yrs ago. We've not done anything to it since. We don't cut directly on our wood though. As far as soft SS goes, take it for what it's worth, I'd get the hardest variety I could if I did it again. It's been a year and half and we've not sanded or anything like that. It's still beautiful despite the scratches and dings:) Again, they are camouflaged pretty well with mineral oil.


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RE: Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

You were all so helpful, thank you for preventing me from making that mistake!

Now the test to see if I'm getting any better at this. What do you think of this combination of Typhoon Bordeaux on the island, natural cherry cabinets and soapstone perimeter?

Does the TB compete with the soapstone?
Typhoon Bordeaux photo c44a9571-7536-4092-adad-5c3b2601730a_zps40261145.jpg


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RE: Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

AJ I'm guessing you are in New Hampshire. Take a look at The Soapstone Works located on Lee, NH. My brother recently remodeled his kitchen and used them for a ss perimeter and a wood (maple, I think) island. My brother built their cabinets out of oak. The island is painted. The whole look came together nicely. I understand your DH doesn't want a painted island. My brother didn't want this either...hates to paint over perfectly good wood, but went along with my SIL. Maybe you could convince him. Their island is finished with Waterlox. I love the feel and warmth the wood gives. They entertain alot and thus far are very happy with it holding up. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: The Soapstone Works


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RE: Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

I am not fond of TB with soapstone. I think they both are independantly nice but not together. I think wood island (like a walnut island) is a better choice. Warm natural and a nice contrast.


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RE: Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

NH baskets, LOL! I just got off the phone with Soapstone Works before I read your post. Great minds...

I think that DH is coming around. Keep your fingers crossed.


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RE: Soapstone on perimeter and Nordic Black leathered on island?

GWlolo, I agree. Wood would give me the look and feel that I've been aiming for.

I would LOVE to get this decision behind us.


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