A beautiful countertop is an a lovely addition to any home’s aesthetic. Given the many different types of countertop materials available in the market, it is normal for a buyer to be torn between several types. One of the main determinants when purchasing a countertop is the cost. People who are building or renovating their homes most often have a budget, and they strive to stick to it. Picking an item that is out of the budget range can either ruin the overall budget or lower the value of a home. Soapstone is one of the most commonly stones used to make countertops.
What is soapstone?
Soapstone is a metamorphic rock that is formed when talc and other minerals combine. Soapstone is a natural stone with a soapy feel that’s comparable to the touch of a dry bar of soap. Its softness or hardness is determined by the amount of talc in the stone. A soapstone that has a high talc content tends to be softer and is referred to as artistic soapstone. The other type is architectural soapstone. This has a low talc content and is harder. In carving, the softer soapstone is preferred.
How much do soapstone countertops cost?
Soapstone is a rare stone. This makes it relatively more expensive compared to man-made countertop materials. The average cost of soapstone countertops ranges between $70 to $120 per square foot, excluding installation. Without considering the installation cost, a 50-square soapstone foot slab costs approximately $2,100 to $3,600. The installation cost can vary with different providers however, it ranges between $550 to $750. This brings the total cost of a 50-square foot soapstone countertop to $2,700 to $4,200.
It is important to consider other costs such as delivery, cut-outs and backsplashes. And with a soapstone countertop, carved grooves are important to allow dishes to easily drain off water. The more intricate you want your soapstone design to be, the more expensive it will be. Also, the thickness of the slabs will affect the cost of the soapstone countertops as discussed below.
Among other factors that affect the cost of soapstone countertops include:
The colour– Soapstone is mostly available in grey. However, slabs with hues of green and blue can also be found. These colours are rare and come with a larger price tag than grey soapstone.
The edge cut– The standard soapstone countertop has an eased edge. If you opt for more intricate edge designs such as cove, a full bullnose, chiselled, ogee or other designs, the cost of the countertop will increase.
The source– This is mainly determined by the cost of labour. As such, the cost of soapstone mined in the U.S tends to be more expensive than that which is mined in low labour locations.
Drainboard– The cost of the soapstone countertop will also be determined by the design of the drainboard. For instance, you can opt for a flat drainboard style, raised or recessed grooves or a custom design, which might raise the cost.
The size and thickness of the slab– If you choose a wider slab, the soapstone countertop cost may rise by even 30% compared to a standard countertop. Also, Thicker slabs, usually up to 6cm, are more expensive since the production cost is higher. These also require additional support, raising the soapstone countertop cost further.
Here are some soapstone countertops pricing and installation tips:
Shop around- When shopping for a soapstone countertop, get quotes from several different companies. The different pricing strategies can make the price of the same stone significantly different depending on who you purchase from.
Discounts- Purchasing and installing soapstone countertops can be expensive. Saving and purchasing the soapstone countertops on a discount will help you stay within budget.
To hire or DIY? – While the cost of installing soapstone countertops can be a bit high, prioritize getting a professional installation as opposed to DIY. Ask for recommendations and hire based on referrals. If you have basic carpentry skills and are capable of handling power tools, you may be able to install the soapstone countertop yourself. Since countertop soapstone has a high talc content, it should be simple to cut the slabs with a saw. Ensure you have a diamond-tip-fitted saw. To cut holes for drop-in sinks and a shaped profile edge, use a router with a diamond bit.
Availability of colours. Soapstone is only available in very few colours. This is because each slab is only available in the natural colours of the stone. Quartz countertops are available in a variety of colours. This means that you can get a uniform design and colour that blends with your home’s aesthetic, regardless of the size of your space.
Soapstone darkens over time– While soapstone countertops are durable, they darken over time. It’s possible to slow the darkening by applying mineral oil to the surface regularly but you will inevitably end up with a darker countertop than you had initially envisioned for your space. Quartz countertops maintain their look ages after installation without any special treatment.
Soapstone is rough to the touch– If you prefer a textured surface, then a soapstone countertop is the right choice for you. However, if you want a soft feel, quartz countertops will work perfectly in your space.
Lack of uniformity– Natural stones are quarried in smaller slabs. As such, it is difficult to get exact colours and patterns from soapstone. The contrasting hues of grey may cause a dramatic look in your space. However, with quartz countertops, you are spoiled for choice with endless possibilities in terms of colour, pattern and finish.
Caesarstone takes the safety of our employees, customers, vendors, and partners as its utmost priority and primary concern at all times, especially due to the situation with COVID-19. While some of our Canadian distribution centres currently remain open, please check our offices for updates.