We are beginning an entire kitchen renovation and the only bit undecided is the sink. We are either going with a fireclay (Shaw) farmhouse but because having soapstone as the countertop material, have considered a farmhouse apron front made from the same slab. I can find very little online from folks having soapstone as an actual SINK material and am worried about waterspotting, hardwater buildup, etc even beyond the first year of seasoning. Does anyone have experience with this? Thank you!
We did the same thing 7 years ago. I have to say I LOVE my sink! I wouldn't trade it for anything. But I'll tell you the downside:
• No waterspotting, hard water build up or chipping in hard constant use. My counter has had its share of dings, but not my sink. BUT
• when you have a soapstone sink they have tight 90˚ corners at the bottom and sides. You will have to periodically take a brush to the soft debris that collects there.
• Your sink will, likely, be canted to the drain but it is a much shallower angle than conventional sinks. So you'll be chasing small debris to the drain on a regular basis.
• It's a very HARD material so you will probably want to protect your dishes with a silicone or other sort of mat to absorb shocks when wet things slip.
Now, here's the upside:
• They're BEAUTIFUL and they age even more beautifully. I got mine because I remember my great grandmother's which was god-only-knows how old when I came along. It was and always had been a thing of utility. But it was also a thing of unsurpassing patinaed beauty such that I recognized it as a mere 8 or 9yo and held it in my memory for some 50 years before I could have my own.
• You didn't ask but since these things are basically cemented together, I worried about leaks. Mine hasn't but I got a lifetime guarantee from the VT craftsperson who made it. I haven't been concerned about a leak since I got it installed.
• For not a lot more than the cost of standard soapstone sinks I got mine customized so that Ii have one humongous side that will fit the largest roasting pan I've got and a second side narrow enough to fit a 10" dish drainer that hangs inside it.
I thought I'd have a better picture but this is all I can find that shows my counter and sink at all: https://www.flickr.com/photos/7566763...
Ask yourself if you're buying it for now or for your forever. If you want something for forever and you're going to use it all the time it's soooo worth the expense, in my personal opinion.
I am getting soapstone counter and apron-front soapstone sink for my remodel. I visited Bucks County Soapstone Company in PA, and saw all the different types of soapstone sinks in real life.
For the main kitchen sink, they offer two different types of construction:
a) five soapstone slabs pieced together, using tongue and groove technique.
b) one piece sink carved out of a single soapstone block.
The second type has rounded corners inside, so you won't have to "periodically take a brush to the soft debris that collects there", like rainey mentioned above, as it doesn't have the "tight 90˚ corners".
However, the one piece sink costs about twice as much as the 5-piece sink. While my husband likes the one-piece sink, I think we will have to go with the 5-piece for budget reason.
Forgot about the carved option but it's not that big a deal for me to use a brush (I use a denture brush) once a week. I just wanted to let daintaly know exactly what to expect.
CookieCookies, I hope and trust you will love your sink as I love mine. They really are for the ages. And for something that you're going to use about every day for the rest of your life (or at least your time in that particular kitchen) you might as well have something that's going to be a joy.
Yes, the pros and cons you listed are very comprehensive. I am sure it will help a lot of people who are considering soapstone sink.
I surely hope my soapstone sink and counter will outlast me. I feel almost guilty to get one installed, knowing that I will only live there for like 30 years (till retirement). I guess I can only hope that the next owner will appreciate soapstone as much as we do, and hope they won't throw it out during their remodel... (husband says I worry too much.)
Haha! You sound like me. we just moved into this (Savannah, GA) home a few months ago and I already fear leaving the kitchen I have designed to my exact specifications only to have a future buyer not appreciate it. I am confident choosing soapstone now even if difficult to find down in this neck of the woods on account of the age of the home and the overall fit.
You do not have to answer, but can someone ballpark for me the cost and dimensions - seeking about 18"x30" - of a carved soapstone sink? I know I can get a 'prefab' (their words) for around $2200 and for double the cost have one built from the same slab as my countertops (I would choose this option on account of differences in aging, color change, etc.) Thanks for your previous replies, I am meeting my contractor with this decision this week.
For what it's worth, I'm in Los Angeles and bought my Brazilian soapstone counter locally. I had to order the sink from VT. It was made from stone I selected from a picture.
It seemed close enough to the counter to work for me. I was aware even then that I was only working from colors that were going to begin to change. Nevertheless, what I wanted was natural materials and I got comfortable with the idea that there is a lot of variation in nature and there might as well be in my kitchen.
As it turned out, the stone on my counters had a good bit of dark green in it. The sink was purely black with a single highly visible white vein that my counters don't have (wish they did!). Even so, they look great together. I think I'm the only person who can see that they're not matched. In strong light I can still see the green in my counters but soapstone seems to default to black over time whatever you do so this is probably less of an issue than you're anticipating.
PS I don't oil my counters anymore. Haven't in years. I oiled my brand new sink exactly once.
If you're going to be oiling yours Black & Decker makes a neat little rotary polishing/sanding tool for about $30 that speeds up the process. It makes a big difference if you have lots of counter or deep ones like my 4' deep peninsula. Pressing out and down at the same time is a b*tch!
I have soapstone counters, but went with a fireclay farmhouse sink.
One thought I had is that (whatever sink material you choose) you may want to consider using a simple plastic dishpan (!). Old-fashioned, I know. But I have really come to love this style of doing dishes (my main sink basin is ~huge~ ) the simple plastic dishpan is small and light and easy to disinfect. I also don't feel about about recycling/disposing of it. It's softer than either soapstone or fireclay and easier on dishes (chipping-wise).
Good luck with the remodel!
okay, rec'd the quote tonight for the sink and it costs $4500, nearly the total cost for the soapstone countertops! I did ask to have it made from the slab as my countertops. Is this what I should expect or do they have me over a barrel since there aren't many others providing them in my area? Uggh!