How Much Do Soapstone Countertops Cost?
The typical cost range for soapstone countertops is from $1,700 to $4,200.
Some of the biggest factors that influence soapstone countertops cost are the size of the countertops, the installation location, the style of edging chosen, the cost of labor, and the home’s geographic location.
Soapstone countertops have numerous benefits, including stain, heat, and erosion resistance; durability; eco-friendliness; and low maintenance requirements.
A handy homeowner can likely complete a basic soapstone installation project on their own, but hiring a professional can ensure a precise and safe installation that will last for years to come.
Countertops are the finishing touch that ties together a kitchen’s style. With so many options available, homeowners may wonder which countertop material is best for them. One variety that seems to be gaining in popularity is soapstone.
Soapstone is a metamorphic rock used in kitchens and bathrooms on countertops, islands, and vanities. It’s mostly made up of talc, giving it a soft and soapy feeling. It’s durable, resistant to stains, and low maintenance and is available in several different colors, including gray, green, and black.
According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, soapstone countertops cost between $1,700 and $4,200 for materials and installation. This guide will help homeowners understand the factors that affect the final price tag, the unique benefits of soapstone, and the kitchen countertop materials that require professional installation along with those that offer DIY potential.
Factors in Calculating Soapstone Countertops Cost
Soapstone countertops can be a great investment for a home. But just how much this investment will cost depends on several factors, including countertop size, installation location, and edging style. By understanding the following factors, homeowners can make a more informed decision about their soapstone countertop budget.
The cost of soapstone countertops is usually determined by the square foot, with costs ranging from $70 to $120 per square foot.
Homeowners will want to consider both material and installation costs when calculating the cost of a soapstone countertop. In addition to the soapstone material itself, installation expenses can range from $550 to $750 for a 50-square-foot countertop. Homeowners are advised to keep in mind that it’s better to have slightly more soapstone than needed to ensure proper coverage rather than running short.
The following chart gives a quick breakdown of how countertop size impacts costs. Homeowners will want to keep in mind that the following price ranges are for materials only and exclude installation.
Cost Range (Materials Only)
30 square feet
$2,100 to $3,600
40 square feet
$2,800 to $4,800
50 square feet
$3,500 to $6,000
When it comes to installing soapstone countertops, the location of the installation plays a significant role in cost considerations. Kitchen installations generally involve larger surface areas than bathroom installations and typically exceed 30 square feet, which can result in higher material and installation expenses.
By contrast, bathroom installations cover smaller areas, typically ranging from 6 to 12 square feet. Consequently, the costs associated with materials and installation for a soapstone bathroom counter are generally lower than those for a kitchen countertop.
When the numbers are crunched, soapstone kitchen countertops can be nearly 142 percent more expensive than bathroom countertops. In certain cases, a bathroom countertop might be more expensive than a kitchen countertop if it has unique features such as integrated sinks or complex edge profiles.
The choice of edging style can significantly impact the cost of soapstone countertops. What follows is a summary of the various edging styles and their price ranges.
No additional cost:
Square: Elegant 90-degree straight edge
Eased: Smoothly rounded corners and flat sides
Costs a bit extra ($10 to $12 per linear foot):
Half Bullnose: Flat bottom with a bullnose curve
Full Bullnose: Curved on top and bottom for a smooth appearance
Bevel: Has a 45-degree angle with a seamless border
Costs a bit more extra ($20 to $25 per linear foot):
Ogee: A large-depth curve that resembles an S
Dupont: Features a 90-degree angle above a rounded edge
Mitre: Often used for waterfalls or specialty edges between countertops and adjoining stone
Quirk: Top edge has an L-shape, and the bottom edge is straight
Costs the most extra ($30 to $35 per linear foot)
French Cove: Features a square bottom edge with a recessed top edge
When it comes to installing soapstone countertops, labor is an important part of the process. It includes the skilled work needed to correctly make and put in the countertops. This includes measuring, cutting, shaping, polishing, and fitting the soapstone slabs.
However, labor costs don’t include the price of the soapstone or any extra services like plumbing or electrical work. The cost of labor can change depending on the complexity of the project, the size and layout of the countertops, and the installation location.
It is best for a homeowner to consult with experienced contractors or countertop installers to determine the approximate labor costs for soapstone countertops.
The price of soapstone, including both the material itself and installation, can vary based on geographic location. Different cities across the United States have their own average costs for soapstone countertops.
As an example, soapstone countertops cost an average of $4,215 to $5,405 in cities like Boston and Chicago, whereas Omaha and Seattle have lower average costs, ranging from $2,130 to $2,870. These average costs reflect the local market conditions, availability, and transportation factors.
Considering a property’s geographical location is crucial when homeowners are budgeting for soapstone countertops. Consulting with local suppliers and professionals can provide accurate pricing information for a specific area.
Soapstone vs. Other Countertop Materials
When homeowners are comparing the cost of countertop materials, such as soapstone vs. granite, it’s essential that they consider both the features and the costs. At $50 to $120 per square foot, soapstone falls within the middle range of pricing among various countertop options. The following is a comparison of soapstone with other popular materials.
Granite and marble: These natural stones are similar in price to soapstone, ranging from $40 to $100 per square foot. They offer durability and a wide range of colors and patterns, but they may require regular sealing to maintain their appearance.
Silestone and quartz: These engineered quartz materials can cost $50 to $200 per square foot. They are durable and nonporous, and they require little maintenance, with a wide selection of colors and patterns.
Caesarstone: This high-end option ranges from $55 to $400 per square foot. It offers exceptional durability and stain resistance, and a wide variety of colors are available.
Limestone and quartzite: These materials range from $70 to $210 per square foot. Although they provide a unique aesthetic, they can be more difficult to maintain than other materials.
In general, soapstone offers a good balance between cost, durability, and aesthetic appeal. For homeowners who don’t want to pay the cost of quartz countertops but who are interested in the look of soapstone and the benefits of quartz, a soapstone-quartz hybrid may be an option worth considering.
Soapstone countertops offer the advantage of easy shaping, allowing for the addition of various extra features. One popular choice homeowners may decide to add during a kitchen remodel is an integrated drainboard, which efficiently channels water from washed dishes into the sink. Drainboards come in different styles and prices:
Flat style: This is the least expensive option, featuring a flat surface for water drainage.
Raised or recessed grooves: These options are priced higher and provide a more intricate design. The grooves are either raised or recessed, guiding the water flow toward the sink.
Custom design: The most costly choice allows for a personalized drainboard tailored to the homeowner’s specific preferences and needs.
In addition to drainboards, other features can be incorporated. These may include built-in trivets, cutting boards, or even custom soapstone sink designs. The versatility of soapstone makes it possible to create unique and functional features that enhance the countertop’s overall usability and aesthetic appeal, though every customization can increase the overall cost.
Benefits of Choosing Soapstone Countertops
Soapstone is becoming more popular among homeowners looking for a unique and durable countertop material. What follows are some of the benefits of using soapstone in a home and reasons it’s a great option for nearly any kitchen or bathroom.
Stain resistance is a significant benefit of soapstone countertops for homeowners, setting it apart from other countertop materials. Soapstone is naturally nonporous, which means it doesn’t easily absorb liquids or develop stubborn stains.
Even if they don’t choose black soapstone countertops, homeowners can rest assured that accidental spills, such as coffee, tomato sauce, and red wine, won’t leave lasting marks. If something should spill on a kitchen’s white soapstone countertops, a quick wipe with a soft cloth and mild dish soap will likely take care of it.
Nonporous soapstone also prevents bacteria growth, making it a hygienic choice for kitchen countertops. Homeowners can look forward to many years of beautiful, stain-free soapstone countertops.
Soapstone countertops offer exceptional heat resistance, making them a reliable kitchen countertop material for homeowners who love to cook and bake. The natural properties of soapstone prevent it from warping or cracking at high temperatures. A soapstone countertop can accommodate hot pots, pans, and baking trays without requiring additional protection.
High temperatures can damage or discolor a countertop if it is not heat resistant. Without heat resistance, there’s also a risk of burns and accidents if the countertop becomes too hot to touch.
The heat resistance of soapstone ensures that the countertops will last for many years while also providing a safe and convenient way to cook. Homeowners can get rid of trivets and hot pads and embrace the worry-free versatility of soapstone.
Soapstone countertops offer the benefit of erosion resistance, which means they can withstand the test of time without significant wear or damage. This durability stems from soapstone's natural composition and structure. With its dense and compact nature, soapstone is highly resistant to erosion caused by daily use, cleaning, and exposure to various substances.
Soapstone can withstand the daily grind without showing signs of erosion or wear, whether it’s from acidic liquids, abrasive materials, or constant wiping. This makes it an ideal choice for busy kitchens, where countertops are subjected to frequent use and potential damage.
Homeowners can rely on soapstone countertops to maintain their beauty and integrity over the years, providing a long-lasting, low-maintenance surface that meets everyday life’s demands.
Soapstone countertops boast exceptional durability, making them ideal for homeowners seeking long-lasting surfaces that can withstand daily wear and tear. Soapstone is incredibly compact, allowing it to resist scratches, chips, and cracks even in the face of daily use.
Less durable countertops are more susceptible to damage and have a limited lifespan. They’re also likely to reduce a home’s resale value and require more frequent maintenance and repairs.
Whether they’re withstanding the weight of heavy cookware, enduring impacts, or handling the rigors of a bustling kitchen, soapstone countertops are reliable and robust. With the lasting strength of this countertop material, homeowners can rest assured that their soapstone countertops will maintain their beauty and functionality for years to come.
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Soapstone countertops offer several eco-friendly benefits, making them a sustainable choice for environmentally conscious homeowners. One of the key advantages is that soapstone is a natural and renewable material. It is quarried from the earth without depleting finite resources, ensuring a continuous supply. In addition, soapstone is nontoxic and chemical-free.
Soapstone countertops can last for years, especially when properly maintained, but when the day does eventually come that they need to be replaced, soapstone countertops can be recycled and repurposed. Soapstone production is also a low-energy process compared to the process used to make other countertop materials. For all of these reasons, soapstone countertops have a smaller carbon footprint than other countertop options.
Low Maintenance Requirements
Soapstone countertops are highly regarded for their low maintenance requirements, making them an attractive choice for homeowners seeking convenience and ease of care. One of the reasons soapstone is low maintenance is its natural resistance to stains and bacteria growth. This means homeowners don’t have to worry about yconstantly cleaning or applying sealants to protect the surface. Soapstone is also heat-resistant, allowing hot pots and pans to be placed directly on the countertop without causing damage.
In contrast, high-maintenance countertop materials often require regular sealing, special cleaning products, and delicate handling to avoid stains or scratches. These additional maintenance tasks can be time-consuming and costly and may restrict countertop use. With soapstone, homeowners can enjoy a worry-free experience and spend less time on upkeep.
Soapstone countertop care consists of cleaning them with a soft cloth, mild soap, and water and avoiding harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners. Soapstone’s low-maintenance nature allows homeowners to focus on enjoying their countertops rather than constantly tending to their upkeep.
Soapstone Countertops Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
A homeowner can easily install a DIY soapstone countertop with the right tools and skill set. Soapstone is a soft countertop material that can be cut using basic woodworking tools. It’s worth noting that cutting soapstone creates a lot of dust, so this step will need to be completed outdoors. A DIY soapstone countertop installation can save anywhere from $550 to $750 in kitchen remodeling costs, making it a very attractive option for homeowners on a tight budget.
However, any type of countertop installation is a specialized job. Soapstone is no exception, and a DIY approach can be risky for homeowners without the proper experience. While a DIY installation could be flawless, there is potential for error.
Improper measurements can lead to poorly fitting countertops.
Countertops may chip or break during cutting or installation.
Inaccurate cuts can result in uneven edges or unsightly gaps.
Soapstone slabs are heavy and fragile, putting homeowners and their property at risk for injury or damage.
Lack of experience can lead to mistakes that can drag out the installation timeline and compromise the integrity of the countertop, leading to additional costs.
For many homeowners, hiring a professional is the best choice when it comes to soapstone counter installation. Professional installers have the perfect combination of expertise and equipment to ensure a soapstone countertop installation goes off without a hitch.
While homeowners will want to weigh the cost savings of a DIY soapstone countertop installation against the potential risks, working with a professional can provide peace of mind. Ultimately, qualified and confident homeowners can save money by installing their soapstone countertops. But if a homeowner is underqualified or unsure, they may want to strongly consider hiring a professional for the job.
How to Save Money on Soapstone Countertops Cost
Soapstone countertops offer natural beauty and notable durability. But they also come with a hefty price tag. Luckily, budget-conscious homeowners can save on soapstone countertop costs in several ways without sacrificing style.
Look for deals. Shop around for discounted soapstone slabs to find the best price, starting with local suppliers to save on transportation costs.
Shop around. Get quotes from multiple installation companies, focusing on value rather than cost alone.
Minimize use. Use soapstone in a smaller kitchen or bathroom area, such as a kitchen island or bathroom vanity, rather than for all surfaces in a space.
Stick to basic edge options. Avoid intricate edge profiles that can add to installation costs.
Take on the installation work. Consider a DIY installation, but only if the risk for error is marginal.
Opt for a cheaper grade. Accept a lower grade of soapstone, which may have more imperfections but also a lower price tag.
Choose tiles over a slab. Utilize soapstone tiles rather than a solid slab; tiles offer the same look and benefits at a lower cost.
Questions to Ask About Soapstone Countertops Installation
Homeowners in search of the best countertop installers will want to consider narrowing down their options by asking each contender a series of qualifying questions. A homeowner can ensure they understand their new soapstone countertop’s installation process, pricing, and features by asking an appropriate combination of the following questions.
How much experience do you have with soapstone countertops?
Do you have a portfolio or references you can share?
Are you licensed and insured?
How far booked out is your schedule?
How long will the project take to complete?
Can you provide a written estimate of the job, including materials and labor?
Do you suspect any potential issues that could arise during the installation process?
Do you recommend soapstone countertops?
Do you offer green soapstone countertops?
Who will oversee the project and keep me updated on the progress?
How should a soapstone countertop be cleaned and maintained?
Do you offer any warranties on the countertop itself or the installation?
Soapstone countertops are a popular choice for homeowners looking to add a durable, stylish, low-maintenance countertop material to their kitchens and bathrooms. While soapstone countertops cost more than other material options, soapstone offers a timeless and elegant look that’s sure to be appreciated for years to come. The following FAQs may offer additional information for those interested in soapstone countertops but still have questions about the material’s features.
Q. How do I clean soapstone?
Cleaning soapstone countertops is a quick and simple process. Add a small amount of dish soap to a bucket of warm water. Wet a clean sponge with the soapy water and wipe down the countertop, focusing on any areas with visible stains. Rinse the sponge as needed, and wipe away excess soap. Allow the counter to air dry.
Q. Can I put hot plates on soapstone?
Soapstone is heat-resistant and won’t crack or scorch under hot plates. However, it’s a softer countertop material and more prone to scratches. Homeowners will want to use a hot pad or trivet under hot casserole dishes or serving plates to avoid scratches if this is a concern, though they’re not required for heat alone. It’s also recommended that food be prepared on cutting boards or mats rather than directly on the countertop.
Q. Will bleach damage soapstone?
Bleach is safe to use on soapstone. Soapstone is chemically inert and is not affected by most chemicals. However, cleaning soapstone with harsh cleaning solutions that include bleach is unnecessary. Soapstone is also nonporous and bacteria-resistant. All it takes to clean a soapstone countertop is a simple solution of diluted vinegar or soapy water.
Q. Is soapstone better than quartz?
Soapstone certainly offers several benefits over quartz. To start, soapstone is more affordable and can even be installed by a homeowner, offering additional savings in labor costs. It’s also easy to clean and resistant to staining. Additionally, soapstone offers unique natural veining and coloring. However, it’s softer than quartz and more prone to scratches.
Q. Is it hard to maintain soapstone?
Compared to other countertop materials, soapstone is relatively low maintenance. Soapstone is nonporous and doesn’t require regular sealing to prevent staining. While the material can scratch, it can be buffed out with a simple mineral oil treatment. Soapstone is also heat-resistant and chemically inert, making it a durable and resilient material that can stand up to heavy traffic in kitchens and bathrooms.
Q. Does soapstone emit radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that naturally escapes the earth’s soil. It can be dangerous for humans and pets when inhaled over an extended period. Many natural materials, including brick, concrete, and soapstone, can emit radon. However, it’s unlikely that radon levels in a home would reach a dangerous level solely from a soapstone countertop.
Sources: Angi, HomeAdvisor