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January 21, 2016

Your Complete Guide to Custom Soapstone Sinks

custom-soapstone-sinks
 
A product of nature, soapstone has been gracing homes with beauty and warmth for generations. This metamorphic rock is comprised of mostly talc, which provides softness to the rock, and other trace minerals that provide variations of color and hardness depending on the location of the quarry.

Soapstone has been used for thousands of years for different reasons. Native Americans made bowls, ornaments and cooking slabs as early as 5000 years ago out of this carvable rock. Scandinavians worked with soapstone in the Stone Age for molds to cast metal objects and for weapons. Soapstone has also held its popularity throughout the years for various in-home uses and other practical and artistic applications due to the combination of physical properties, which include:

  • • Pliable and easy to carve
  • • Resistance to chemicals
  • • Resistance to heat
  • • Capacity to absorb and radiate heat slowly
  • • Low electrical conductivity
  • • Non-porous
  • • Non-absorbent

 
Soapstone has been the material of choice for science laboratory counters for over a century because of its durable characteristics. There are also several industrial and business applications, and it has been an increasing favorite for sculpture carving over the years. Soapstone has a wide range of uses, including:soapstone-whiskystones

  • • Whisky stones. Small cubes of soapstone are chilled and placed in a glass of whiskey, keeping it cold and undiluted.
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  • • Welding. Use a soapstone marking pencil to indicate where your welding points are. It leaves a white mark from the talc.
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  • • Grave markers. Due to its soft properties, soapstone is used as a cemetery marker, engraved and carved in memorable designs.
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  • • Electricity blocker. As a low conductor of electricity, soapstone is ideal for electrical projects such as surrounding electrical panels.
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  • • Bed warmer. With its heat-absorbing abilities, a small slab of soapstone makes for a perfect bed warmer. Just heat the slab and put it under the sheets. You can also wrap it in a towel and place in your bed.

 
For building and interior design, the practical and visually-pleasing nature of this unique rock has made it a popular pick for countertops and sinks. Soapstone is a gift from the earth that has been especially enjoyed in homes for centuries.

 

Benefits of Soapstone for Your Home

Soapstone, being very versatile, goes well with many interior design styles and is a favorite for sinks, countertops and around fireplaces. Because of its durability, low maintenance, price and visual appeal, you will find it ideal for many in-home uses, especially where heat is involved, like woodstoves, fireplaces and kitchens. Soapstone even works as cookware. It is an aesthetically appealing and practical material for inside and outside the home, whether as a small accent in a mosaic or a solid slab for a counter.

One of the most adored aspects of soapstone is its timeless look that transcends trends and continues to be as popular now as it was 100 years ago. It has been (and continues to be) a common design element in the country farmhouse, and it fits just as perfectly in a modern interior. The use of mineral oil to treat the surface is optional, but it is an easy maintenance task that darkens the shade of the stone and minimizes imperfections — while ‘popping’ the white veining in the slab.
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Left to its natural look, soapstone has a characteristic greyish tone that will reveal more character over time with dark and light patches that develop, as well as minor chips and scratches. While very strong and durable in the respect of withstanding intense heat, soapstone is easily marked up. But that tends to be a benefit for those who love their soapstone custom countertops. Oiling can lessen, but not eliminate, the natural discolorations, and scratches can be sanded out quite nicely, if you desire.

Soapstone is a much-loved material for interior designing, but it does have those few drawbacks that make it a less-than-ideal choice for some. The surface will collect a few signs of use over time due to its soft, yielding properties. However, the look and feel of this fascinating rock will keep it in the running as a popular material for home interiors.

 

Rock Hard and Smooth as Silk

If your home has a custom soapstone kitchen sink or countertop, generations of families will likely be enjoying that very same counter. Scratches can be smoothed out with fine-grit sandpaper or left to create a natural patina to the surface. Any big chips or gouges in the stone can be easily repaired with a very small piece of soapstone that is fitted and adhered with an epoxy slurry followed by a light sanding.

Since soapstone will not be affected by heat, acids, alkalis and stains, you can find old homes with soapstone counters still creating a charming space and dependable surface hundreds of years later. If you love the sleek wax-like luster of this quarried rock and are attracted to its evolving character over time, then read on to learn more about the options for your home.

 

How to Get Soapstone in Your Home

custom-bathroom-sinks-soapstoneMany areas of your home will be a perfect complement to the forgiving characteristics of soapstone. Custom kitchen sinks, bathroom vanities, tub surrounds or unique furniture tops are all great uses of this smooth stone that is easily molded to any shape and size. Whatever you can imagine, we can likely create it out of soapstone.

A custom soapstone bathroom sink can be formed with curves and roundness or squared and streamlined. Our custom work is top quality, done to your specifications. Whether you are working with a contractor who can provide the measurements or are measuring the layout yourself, we have the process to get your custom piece planned, formed and installed for a perfect fit every time.

Your first step is to get the information we need to provide you with an accurate estimate. We need to know the layout and general dimensions of the space that will be fitted with a soapstone piece. If you’re working with a contractor, they can provide you with these measurements, but you can also follow these two simple steps to do the measurements yourself:

  1. Sketch out the shape of the area to be fitted. For example, if you’re looking for an estimate on custom soapstone kitchen counters and a kitchen sink, draw out the shape of your counter space and mark where your sink and stove will be with length and width noted for the counter and sink.

 

  1. Mark with an “X” all the exposed edges that will need to be polished.

This provides us with enough basic information to give you a quote. Once you have approved the quote, we schedule an in-home appointment so we can create a precise digital templating of your project and ensure measurements are just right. We usually schedule the installation date for seven to ten days after digital template has been completed. After your soapstone has been cut, molded, sanded and polished, it’s ready to go in your home.

custom-soapstone-sink-buying-processHere’s a summary of our soapstone buying process:
 

  • • Rough Measurement for Quote
  • • Contract Consultation
  • • Digital Template / Layout
  • • Fabricate
  • • Install
  • • Enjoy!

 
Deciding that soapstone is your material of choice and measuring out your project tends to be the easier tasks. With various styles of sinks and countertops for kitchens and bathrooms, determining just how you want that custom soapstone to look will take some inspiration.

We can show you many soapstone pieces in our showroom, and you can take our online showroom tour where you’ll likely find some soapstone inspiration. However, we also have some of the top designs below to help you discover what style is right for you.
 
 

Custom Soapstone Sinks for a Personal Touch

A soapstone sink in your home will provide that unique, luxurious touch, but it will also stand up to the test of practicality. Since soapstone will not be affected by chemicals, stains or heat, it is a logical choice for a sink in any part of your home.

It is certainly well loved for its visual properties, but even when the look is of least concern, it is still a top choice for the physical properties that make it a great material for laundry rooms, patios and kitchens. Custom soapstone sinks are made exactly to your specifications with drains, faucets and any unique molding made to suit your space and desires.

 

Examples of Custom Soapstone Sinkscustom-soapstone-bathroom-sink

Soapstone has stood the test of time in a number of kitchen sinks that are still being used after 100+ years. With its soapy, slippery texture and natural aesthetic appeal, every sink is handcrafted to specific dimensions and requests. Kitchen sinks can be carved from a single block of soapstone, which allows for rounded corners in the bottom and unique curves. Sinks can also be created using separate slabs of soapstone that are pieced together in a square or rectangle shape.

If you’re looking for a custom soapstone bathroom sink, the vessel style sink is quite popular as a less common design that shows off the soapstone. These bathroom vessel sinks below were crafted from soapstone slabs and enhanced with decorative drains. They provide a relaxing complement to wood counters and accents, as well as stained glass windows.

Your sink can have a sloped front with a high backsplash, a notched front with a large rectangular basin or be a carved block with slopes and curves however you want them. Having a custom soapstone sink can be an impressive accent to any room, and you’ll still love it years after having it. With a non-porous surface, soapstone won’t take on any stains or hold bacteria. And the natural wear of the stone will only look better as the years go by.

Our custom crafted sinks are strategically milled making water easily flow to the drain. After all sinks are crafted and epoxied, we water test them for two reasons; to make sure there are no leaks and check that the water flows properly to the drain.

 

Soapstone Kitchen and Bathroom Countertops

custom-soapstone-kitchen-sinkThe lightly-veined soapstone takes center stage as a vast, smooth surface. Soapstone counters fit right in as a working area in a kitchen and as an attractive addition to a bathroom. It can be easily cut and shaped to fit in any space and maintained with ease.

The natural color of soapstone is a greyish hue, but a mineral-enhanced piece will darken to a charcoal shade and generally has brighter white veins throughout. Soapstone slabs are cut to about seven feet, so longer counters are joined with an epoxy. If you really want to focus your kitchen or bathroom on soapstone, then a soapstone backsplash will be the perfect finishing touch to your counter installation.

As shown in the picture, soapstone lends well to carving due to its soft properties. An integrated drain board in your custom countertop can be added easily, and while it deals with the practical needs of your kitchen space, it also offers much to the visual appeal of the soapstone.

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Kitchens, bathrooms, dens, offices, foyers and the poolside are all popular places for this workable stone. The possibilities are endless for what shape can be formed and how carving can be done to enhance a space to make it uniquely yours.

This narrow soapstone bathroom counter, for example, is a simple way to add more surface space that will beautifully harmonize with a soapstone sink and tub surround. An attractive option when you have separate pieces of soapstone in one room is to darken one piece with mineral oil applications and leave others in their natural state.

 

Get to Know Soapstone Sink Prices

Soapstone sink prices depend greatly on the type of construction (like whether you want a carved block or slabs built together), the size and the molding required. A custom soapstone sink made from slabs is much more affordable than a solid soapstone block that has a carved out basin. For a comparison example, a slab constructed sink costs $1,200 – $1,800 and a similar sized carved sink would cost anywhere between $2,000 to $4,000. For a basic single bowl, you could pay as little as $800 with the price increasing as the design and molding gets more elaborate.

Soapstone countertops vary in pricing depending on the thickness of the slab, the type of edging and the amount of cutouts needed. You can expect to pay in around the $88 to $120 per square foot range for a custom soapstone countertop to be fabricated and installed.

 

A Stylish Design Choice That Will Outlive You

Depending on where the soapstone is quarried, it can be a light grey with greenish tones, have dominant white veining like marble or have patterning like granite. Over time, this versatile stone darkens, developing a natural patina that invokes a lived-in and loved feeling with each deepening shade. Soapstone is a stylish addition to almost every interior design theme. It blends in with rustic, welcomes the modern edge and can be the center of a classic mood.

While soapstone is not the cheapest material for sinks and countertops, you can be assured that it will be a purchase for a lifetime. It will not only be a joy to live with, but it will also be an intriguing selling feature when it comes time for your property to change owners.

 

We Have the Soapstone for Every Situation

custom-bathroom-soapstone-sinkLesher Natural Stone, Quartz & Tile has been proudly serving the Harrisburg, Hershey and Mechanicsburg area since 1994, providing top-quality products with superior customer service. If you need soapstone for your residential or commercial project, we have the knowledge, production machinery and skills to help you get your space fitted with the right stone.

If you’re still deciding on what material you want, read more about all of our stone products or visit our showroom to see our 5,000 square feet of kitchen and bathroom possibilities. You can also check out a testimonial from one of our happy customers who purchased a custom soapstone sink.

If you’re ready to get moving forward with your counter or sink project, contact us and see how affordable soapstone can be.

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at 1:49 pm
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