Blog, Projects

Soapstone Countertops (part 1)

Ugh, do we have our kitchen ready yet? No, but how about a post on how we managed to do our countertops all by ourselves (and with the help of some friends).

As you know from my previous post, I was pretty stingy about where we were spending money. I wanted high-end countertops without the high price tag. Aside from laminate (which wasn’t an option), I couldn’t find anything that would work for us. Until soapstone. Soapstone is a great option, because pretty much has all of the same qualities of granite (stain and heat resistant) and it was easy to work with. I kept seeing these DIY soapstone kits, and I thought, why not? Aside from it being “easy” to work it, I stumbled upon the deal of the century on Craigslist scoring soapstone slabs for $180. But we had to rent a truck, so that brought up the price to about $300.

It tooks us a while to actually work with the soapstone. We had them sitting in our yard for a few months. But once we finally installed all of our kitchen cabinets, the countertops were just begging to be cut.

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After a bunch of research, we had to buy all of the tools to cut and install the soapstone countertops. Yes, soapstone is really easy to cut. No special tools needed. But it’s heavy! And while we did have friends to help us on the day we were supposed to install the countertops. It didn’t go very smoothly. Measurements were off and cutting soapstone turned out to be more difficult than we thought.

Once we started fresh again (and after we reread the How To’s from This Old House) we managed to get the hang of it.

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After we cut out all of the pieces, the next steps were to bring them inside and place them on the cabinets. After a rough layout, we then glued (epoxy) all of the slabs together.

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Next was the hard part, we had to seal off the space where our soapstone was, so we could sand off the epoxy and get the edges smooth.

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This is what took the longest and it was such a mess! We ended up with a few more seams that I would have liked. But for the price and the fact that we managed to install soapstone countertops ourselves, we’re pretty happy.

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