February 10, 2011
Our remodel planning started with a three-ring binder. I am an organizational junkie, so all projects—from big vacations, to recipes I've cut out of magazines—get a dedicated binder. I filled our remodel binder with photos Kurt and I pulled from the Web (or periodicals such as "This Old House" magazine", and sorted them by subject matter. Farmhouse sinks went into the kitchen section, medicine cabinets went in the bathroom section, etc. All of these clipped-out photos reflected our vision of the ultimate dream house. So we hired the construction team at Home Front, I handed my precious "Look Book" over to their designer, Shelby Roberts, to give him an idea of what Kurt and I were thinking style-wise.
Soapstone countertops were prominently featured in the kitchen section of our Look Book. Soapstone is a metamorphic rock, which is gray to green in color, and notable for its high degree of resistance to acids and heat. Each slab has a varying degree of veins throughout. According to Home Front's Steve Pallrand, soapstone needs to be oiled or waxed periodically to maintain its depth to the finish (turns out, this is as easy as dusting a piece of wood furniture with Pledge). The stone itself is non-porous, extremely food safe, and stain-resistant. Since this is a soft stone, any chip or damage can easily be sanded out with 120-grit sandpaper, then oiled back to the original finish.
I'm sure every remodel starts with an elaborate dream—which is then tempered by the harsh realities of the remodeling budget. As it turned out, soapstone was beyond our means. And while we half-heartedly started looking for alternatives, we couldn't get that beautiful stone out of our minds.
Fortunately for us, we met Tim Farr and Denise Pierce of Soapstone International, who showed us affordable options at their Anaheim, California warehouse. Turns out, there is a wide array of soapstone slabs, which vary in price. We were able to find slabs with minor flaws, from which Tim's installation company, Erazo Brothers, could carve out enough material to fit into our kitchen. It's hard to express how stoked we were when it became clear that we would get our fantasy kitchen countertops! When it was installed yesterday, the soapstone sure looked pretty darn dreamy.
(2) CommentsComment on this Blog
I like your soap stone counters too, I had a chance to see them on the webcam and agree with you they really look fantastic. I am sure they told you this but I thought it worth mentioning that you never want to use cooking oil and to only use mineral oil. As for sealing your new countertop that isn't necessary. Just thought that I would put my two cents in. Have a nice day!
In the U-tube video, the "this old house" program lists Tim Farr as a Contractor of stone.
I looked them up so that I could call them with confidence for my job, and Tim does not have a liscense! How can he allow this? The Erazo tile and slab, does not have workmens comp! They put this on Tv? Or U-tube?? I am embarrased for them. Does the show not check there facts? I am so glad I checked on them. The owner has actually never installed stone, just worked the office. I guess you always have to check on these things.