Installing DIY soapstone countertops is easy for handy homeowners looking to add a personal touch to their kitchen, bathroom, or other living area. Skip the installation costs when you choose a soapstone slab or DIY countertop kit and install your own kitchen or bathroom counter, bartop, or even a tile countertop for an impressive renovation that doesn’t break the bank.
What Is the Easiest Way to Cut Soapstone?
We use a variety of tools for custom soapstone fabrication and installation, including a Robot SawJet, but if you’re preparing to install your own DIY countertops from a whole slab or a pre-cut kit, you may be wondering what tools you need to cut soapstone. You can cut and shape your soapstone countertops using a circular saw or jigsaw. While a diamond blade is ideal, a masonry blade will suffice.
You can prepare and install your soapstone surfaces using a drill or driver, grinder, and sander. Because soapstone is softer than other types of stone, you don’t need any special tools to cut it—which is great news if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and do the work yourself.
Creating your sink and cooktop cutouts may seem daunting, but it’s a straightforward process: After measuring and marking your cut lines, drill the inside corners, move to a jigsaw or circular saw to continue cutting—leaving the pencil line intact to ensure you don’t over-cut—then sand the edges to your pencil line for a perfect fit. To finish your edges yourself using a sander, begin with 100-grit sandpaper to shape cut edges, then progress to 220-grit sandpaper to sand to a smooth finish. For more specific instructions, explore the step-by-step soapstone installation guide from This Old House.
Does Soapstone Crack Easily?
Soapstone is a soft, easy-to-cut natural stone, but it resists cracking and chipping when cutting. This is good news for homeowners looking to cut their own soapstone surfaces. While the stone resists cracking, you’ll want to protect against scratches by applying painter’s tape to the underside of the saw to create a buffer between the saw and stone. Scratches during installation are inevitable, but they’re easy to buff out using sandpaper, and if desired, mineral oil treatment.
Safety Considerations for Working With Soapstone
While DIYers can easily manage to template and cut soapstone at home, there are a few safety steps to consider. The same softness that makes soapstone easy to cut means powdery dust and stone debris will result. Cutting soapstone is best done outside, and you must wear a properly fitted dust mask and eye protection such as safety goggles.
Because soapstone is heavy—weighing in at 20 pounds per square foot—you may also need to recruit some assistants to lift and move your soapstone slabs and cut pieces. To prevent the stone from breaking while moving it, carry it vertically, rather than flat (face-up), to prevent stressing the stone during transport.
Can You Buy Pre-Cut Soapstone?
If you’re not ready to cut your own soapstone countertops, but are prepared to install them yourself, our pre-cut soapstone countertop DIY kits may be the perfect option. Similarly, we can provide a quote for custom-cut or fabricated soapstone pieces, which you can install yourself—no cutting required. And because a soapstone slab is installed directly on your base, you don’t need to cut or install any underlayment.
Using Soapstone Tiles for DIY Countertop Inspiration
While soapstone slabs are a popular option for countertop installations, random-cut soapstone floor tiles have provided inspiration for crafty homeowners. Our reclaimed soapstone tiles create gorgeous natural stone flooring, and you can bring that same element to your bathroom or kitchen counter, bartop, or even build your own soapstone-topped table.
If you choose to forego the single-piece style surfaces and instead install your own tile countertop using soapstone, you have options: You can cut your own tiles from a soapstone remnant or slab, choose from our stock of 12- by 12-inch and 18- by 18-inch tiles, or purchase tiles custom-cut to your desired size. While a soapstone countertop doesn’t require underlayment, a tiled surface requires additional considerations for support—and you’ll need to plan for grout line width and grout type to ensure a quality installation.
If you want to incorporate a tiled design into your kitchen but aren’t quite ready to tackle puzzling together a countertop installation, consider a soapstone subway tile backsplash instead. It offers a classic look that perfectly complements a variety of natural stone surfaces.
DIY Soapstone Installation Success Story
Justin of Bridgewater, NJ recently reached out to let us know how beautiful his newly remodeled kitchen looks with one of our affordable Soapstone Slabs. Justin touted the project as a unique aspect of his remodel, only requiring a little patience, diamond blades and routers, and a few strong friends to help lift the slabs. He also managed to complete the whole countertop installation with only one small seam, barely visible behind the sink.
Justin’s kitchen is a prime example of achieving your dream kitchen for just a fraction of the cost. Fabricating and installing your own soapstone slabs is an incredibly affordable way to produce a high-end, tasteful result on a tight budget. We love to see these success stories; if you have one to share please email us at email@example.com!