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Soapstone is a soft stone that can be cut and shaped without any special stone working tools. Did you know that more than half the cost of natural stone counters comes from labor? With soapstone you can eliminate that expense and have natural stone countertops for a fraction of the cost! Save with a Do it Yourself (DIY) soapstone project and self-installation.
Are you interested in a custom DIY soapstone project? Looking to build the perfect soapstone kitchen countertop or soapstone bathroom sink? We will even give you a "practice piece" for you to test before you commit to doing it.
Can't decide which soapstone slab to buy? M Teixeira Sospstone offers a Complete Soapstone Sample Package. Order yours today!
We stock a variety of pre cut sizes and offer a few different DIY programs:
1- Complete DIY : If you want to do everything yourself and take advantage of most savings, just order the pre cut slabs from us and do everyting else. We stock pre cut 26" and 30" widths by 4',5',6',7',8' and 9' long DIY slabs.
2- Cut To Size: The most time consuming part of the fabrication is cutting the slabs to size. The cut to size option we offer, will save you a lot of time, and we only charge $14.00/sq.ft.(this price may vary at our different locations)to cut it. You will get the slabs cut to your specifications , then just do the edge treatment , cut outs and installation. This option is good for those who need to use larger/heavier non DIY slabs , and need to get the larger slabs to a more manageable size. We always have sales on slabs that include the cut to size option for free, please check the "soapstone on sale" link for details.
3- Cut to Size and Edge Finish : Another time saver option, we'll deliver the slabs to you cut to size and with a finished edge of your choice. We always have sales on slabs that include the cut to size and edge treatment option for free, please check the "soapstone on sale" link for details.
4- Full Pre Fabricated Option: This option is for those who choose not to do any fabrication and just want to install the counters. We will get templates or precise drawings from you, assisting you all the way to provide us with the information that we need to get the job done for you. Everything is included in this option, the countertops are ready to go on the cabinets.
Help is always available, to answer technical questions, before, during and after the DIY project, we have our own branches in three different US time zones that ensure ,no matter where you are calling from during business hours, we are open!
The online store link is on the upper right hand corner of this site, or click here to go there.
Are you installing a Do it Yourself (DIY) soapstone countertop? Check out this Step by Step guide from This Old House Magazine
Kitchen To Go Kit Dry
Kitchen To Go Kit Wet
We did most of the work, all you need to do is the edges and any drill cut outs. Full instructions on DIY soapstone countertops can be see at the article below which we did for This Old House: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20207908,00.htmlClick here to purchase Soapstone Kitchen-to-Go Kit
First, we want to make sure that the soapstone slabs being cut are on a flat surface and fully supported, not allowing a piece that is being cut from the slab to fall. This will chip the soapstone at the end of the cut.
You will use a straight edge to ensure a perfect straight cut.
Although soapstone can be cut with a masonry blade, we recommend that you invest an additional $50.00 on a diamond blade (wet/dry) to get a faster and smoother cut. This blade can be found at your local hardware store and will go right on your circular saw.
You can cut the soapstone dry. Make sure to use a respirator mask, and, because of the amount of dust, cut the soapstone slab outside if you can. Do not force the saw to go faster. Apply a light forward pressure and let the blade walk through the cut. Be especially careful on the last 2" of the cut. On COBRA soapstone we recommend making two passes per cut (stone is 1 1/4" thick, cut 3/4", then 1/2"). On the other stones you can cut it in a single pass.
To avoid scratching the face of the soapstone you may want to use a masking tape to cover the metal on the saw, or you can place the masking tape on the soapstone wherever there is contact between the saw and the stone.
We also recommend that you do a practice cut on a section of the soapstone slab that you will not be using, just to feel it before you actually start the project.
If the edge finish you want on your soapstone countertops is a simple one, like a bevel, eased edge or straight polished, you can do it with your orbital sander or a belt sander or even by hand using a sanding pad. You can start using 80 grit, then 120 grit and finally a 220 grit (Cobra soapstone, go an additional 320 and 400 grit) to match the factory finish we put on top of the slabs. Do not worry if your finish comes out a bit lighter than ours, after you apply mineral oil to the soapstone countertop that slight difference will disappear. Your new soapstone kitchen will be a thing of beauty.
If you like a full bull nose or an ogee for example, you will need to use a router with carbide bits.
We also recommend doing a practice edge finish, before you actually start finishing your final soapstone product.
To do an under mount sink cut out, you have a few options. You can use a jig-saw (with a metal speed blade), an angle grinder with a carbide or diamond blade, or your circular saw. The trickiest part is the radius corners, which vary on each sink model. You can use a hole saw to drill holes in each corner and let your jig saw do the radius, or just do the whole cut out with your angle grinder. The angle grinder also comes in handy to clean up the corners.
To polish (hone) the cut out edge, follow the same procedure mentioned in step 2.
We recommend allowing for 1/4" of stone to overlap the sink all around instead of making the cut out flush with the sink.
For farmer's (apron) sinks, like our soapstone sinks, you will save yourself some time, since you do not need to do a cut out. There will be a countertop to the left and one to the right of the sink, and a small piece of soapstone in the back of the sink seamed to the two countertops. Believe us, if you follow our instructions the seams will be almost invisible.
For your faucet holes, your hole saw will do the job just fine.
Unlike granite, seams on soapstone are almost invisible. You will have to really look for them to see them, and you cannot feel them. Your guests will never know there are seams on your countertops (if seams are required).
You will use a knife grade black stone epoxy, which we can supply.
Using your angle grinder, "scar" the edges that will be seamed (about 1/8" deep) to allow some epoxy to go in when the pieces are pressed together.
"Butter" the two pieces generously with the epoxy/hardener mix (the epoxy only gives you 10 mins. of working time, so make sure you are ready to seam before mixing in the hardener). Press the two pieces together as tight as possible. Some excess epoxy will "ooze" from the top. Remove the excess epoxy with a spatula and let it dry (10/15 mins.) Sand about a 4" area around the seam using 120, then 220, grit sandpaper with your sander. You will notice the seam line getting thinner. Once you apply the mineral oil to the countertops, you will barely be able to see that seam.
Please place the countertops on the cabinets and seam them in place, instead of seaming them first, then mov them to the cabinets.
There is no need for a plywood base on the cabinets to accommodate the soapstone. Your soapstone countertop can go right on top of the cabinets.
After the countertops are on the cabinets, you will run a bead of silicone wherever there is contact of soapstone and cabinets from the bottom and inside the cabinets.
We recommend drilling slots on the bottom of the stone on the 4 corners of the sink cut out. You will drill a slot that can accommodate a screw head in the stone, so you can attach your clips to secure the sink to the stone. You will also run a bead of silicone along the edge where the sink is in contact with the stone.
If there is anything we did not cover here, we do offer live support on our toll free line 877.478.8170.