Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Soapstone vs Granite.

All along our plan has been to do Absolute Black Granite countertops in a honed finish for the main part of the kitchen.

On our last house, Jeff and I were really torn between the black granite or Venetian Gold granite. We ended up going with the Venetian Gold because it generally was a softer look and really complimented the glass backsplash tile we had chosen.

We've been looking forward to trying something completely different with the honed finish and uberly dark counters, but lately, I've had a little crush on an equally luxe look. Meet Soapstone

What I love about Soapstone is how well I think it would tie in with the white carrera marble that will be on the green/gray Butler's pantry. The movement in the stone seems very similar to the marble and would really flow from surface to surface.

I've been doing some research on them and it seems there are pros and cons to both granite and soapstone. Here are how they measure up:

- Difficult to scratch
- Difficult to chip
- Don't require much maintenance (if any)
- Porous and can stain

- Easier to scratch
- Scratches are very easy to repair and can literally be sanded with 80 grit sand paper and oiled back to new condition
- Less porous, virtually impossible to stain
- Overall a softer stone
- Heat isn't an issue, the stone is actually used for sinks because it absorbs heat nicely and keeps dishwater warm for long periods of time

When I priced the two out, Soapstone came back about 30% more per square foot. Ouch. Farewell Soapstone. But if the numbers had come back equally, I likely would have gone with granite anyway. While aesthetically, I am head over heels for the look of Soapstone, the idea of having to sand my countertops and constantly be oiling and maintaining them at THAT high of a price doesn't sit well. They are spectacular, but with a home full of kids and our two huge families, these counters are sure to take a blissful beating. So granite it is.

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