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(Musings of a Stone Designer)
Friday, April 30 2010
If your kitchen countertop needs an upgrade, you love the look of soapstone, and you’re a pretty handy guy (or gal)…maybe you should do it yourself.
…OR MAYBE NOT!
- Soapstone is very dense, which makes it very heavy—even heavier than granite. One sq. ft of soapstone weighs about 20 lbs! That is why professional stone fabricators use cranes, forklifts, carts, and specially equipped vehicles to reposition and transport the stone.
- Soapstone is expensive! You need to spend a large amount of cash before you even know if you are capable of completing the project yourself.
- With DIY slabs, you have to buy the stone sight useen.
- You also need a way to receive the shipment of stone.
- It is a professional fabricator’s responsibility to insure that there is enough material to complete the job. With a DIY project, running short (because of breakage, mistakes, or miscalculation) would be a potentially costly risk taken by the homeowner.
And then there are the little details:
DIY slabs come in smaller sizes with maximum widths of 30,” so you may have to put a seam or two where you wouldn’t normally want one, like smack down the middle of an island.
And by the way, if there is any natural veining or movement at that seam, you can bet it won’t match up. You may end up with the effect of having a stone tile countertop rather than a continuous slab countertop.
It will be impossible to have nice, rounded, easy-to-clean radius corners when two straight edges meet at the corner to form the “L”.
There will also be an awkward seam at every corner.
A kitchen wall is rarely perfectly straight and square--this is why an exact template of the countertop is made by professional fabricators. The “do-it-yourselfer” may end up with gaps between the wall and stone that would be larger than the thickness of most tile and so would not be able to be covered.
In conclusion, if your kitchen has only short, straight runs, and few (if any) cutouts, and your free labor is quite experienced with all aspects of home improvement projects, then yes, a DIY soapstone countertop is a good way to save some money.
But remember, with all the piecing and the seams that need fitted and sanded and with the potential gaps that require additional trimming and filling, a DIY stone countertop has plenty of opportunities to showcase its imperfections.
Located in Batesville Indiana/
Serving parts of Indiana, Ohio, & Kentucky
*Please Note: We reserve Saturdays, by appointment, for slab viewing and tours.
To receive an estimate,
or to schedule an appointment,
call us today.
We work directly with you,
to ensure outstanding service.
Pete & Marlene Wukusick, owners
Natural Stone & the Green Movement Countertop selection is often the first place people look to when opting to go green. Natural stone (especially Soapstone) is a top choice for the environmentally-friendly.