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(Musings of a Stone Designer)

Wednesday, April 18 2012

Contrary to popular myth, taking care of soapstone is actually quite easy. I recommend using a damp cloth with a gentle soap, such as dish soap, to regularly clean the stone. A harsh cleaner will not harm the soapstone, but it will strip off the oil patina that has begun to oxidize on the surface of the stone, making it necessary to increase your frequency of oil applications.

To keep an even appearance, mineral oil should be applied to the stone surface whenever it begins to look dry or blotchy--a couple of times a week at first, and less often as time passes. Usually after about a year, it only requires an occasional touch-up to maintain its fresh appearance. Remember, the oil is just an esthetic preference. It is in no way necessary to protect the surface of the stone. As a matter of fact, some homeowners actually prefer the un-oiled look. It is very freeing to know that if you neglect to oil your countertops for months, or even indefinitely, no harm will come to the stone because of it.

Soapstone looking a bit dry

Freshly oiled surface

Personally, I like to oil my countertop. It brings me pleasure to watch it come to life, as the dark part of the stone intensifies and the veining pattern becomes more prominent. (I should mention, that I also like to clean my house, and I like rainy days and Mondays, so take my opinion as you will)

Nonetheless, like everyone else I know, I often get too busy to even get a haircut, let alone to indulge in weekly, leisurely house cleaning sessions and home maintenance tasks. So I, too, need to keep my maintenance chores to a minimum.

That is why, after over ten years of living with soapstone (very satisfying years, I might add) I have developed my own little "soapstone maintenance kit."

The kit consists of three tools that every soapstone kitchen should have:
1. A cloth, slightly damp with mineral oil. 
The damp cloth is kept in a small plastic container under my sink. (I use a recycled ice cream bucket, but even a plastic bag will do) Occasionally I need to spray on a bit of additional oil, but most of the time, the damp cloth is more than adequate. This method is very quick and keeps my surface from looking oily.

2. A black Sharpee marker.
Whenever the surface of my soapstone becomes scratched, I simply wipe on a bit of mineral oil to make the mark disappear. However, if the scratch is too deep and a white mark remains even after applying the oil, as sometimes happens, I get out the Sharpee.  Simply fill in the scratch or chip with the black marker, then oil as usual--you will never know the scratch was there.

3. A large cutting board.
This seems like a no-brainer, but I include it here because I recommend using this tool for more than just cutting. In my own kitchen, I keep a very large plastic board conveniently under my cooktop, right next to my most often-used prep surface. I frequently pull it out to protect the surface whenever I am opening cans or large jars, crushing spices or pounding chicken.  

Inevitably, scratches happen on soapstone. So while I try my best to avoid them, when they do occur, I am reminded that they don't bother me a bit--I even think they look kind of good! (remember, I like gray skies and dusting)

My camera found this scratch that the naked eye couldn't see

This interview is a must-read for anyone considering soapstone in their home.
Interview with a soapstone owner

Soapstone is not for everyone, but it is definitely for me.

Posted by: Marlene Wukusick AT 09:53 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, April 09 2012
As I may have mentioned a few times before, here at the Stone Studio, we love soapstone!  We find it goes with every color...looks good with any style...suits all personalities...conjures every dream.

Photo courtesy of Granite Gurus

Photo courtesy of Dorado Soapstone

Photo courtesy of Dorado Soapstone

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of Granite Gurus

Photo courtesy of Vignette Design

No matter what the surroundings, our soapstone installations look as though they belong. 

Admittedly, we are slightly biased, but in our opinion, soapstone can stand alone, and often does. It needs nothing else. It is perfect just as it is--a pretty tough material to improve on.

However, we have noticed, as we've installed soapstone in so many stunning, unique, and well-designed kitchens, that incorporating another natural material will often enhance the beauty of the soapstone.

Photo courtesy of Granite Gurus

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

The Stone Studio

It is especially appealing to add contrast. For example, the union becomes even more striking when complimenting the honed finish of the soapstone with the polished surface of a natural stone such as quartzite. (not to be confused with "Quartz", which is a man-made product)
Drawing attention to the light veins of the dark soapstone by adding a complimentary surface will only make you love your soapstone more.

Since our conception as a business in 2006, we have been committed to offering the biggest and best selection of quality soapstone slabs in this area and beyond. As we continue to strive for a large soapstone inventory that is beautiful, varied and unique, we have decided to incorporate a second line of natural stone slabs hand-picked for their exceptional compatibility with soapstone.

We are very excited to introduce our quartzite Whisper Collection, imported directly from Italy. Here are three selections due to arrive at our shop soon.

White Smoke Quartzite imitates marble with its subtlety and gentle movement; but don't be fooled, this stone is extremely hard and doesn't have the maintenance issues that marble has.  Appropriately named, White Smoke features a white background with smoke-colored veins.

Grigio Perla, also a quartzite, has an understated, natural beauty about it. A material can't get any more "real" than this! Add this gray beauty to your home to create a calm and soothing environment, like nature itself.

Dolce Vite, an extremely hard, very durable exotic quartzite, is as much at home in a contemporary setting as it is in a rustic retreat or a country French cottage. This highly prized stunner brings a subtle elegance to any room.

Any one of these beautiful new one-of-a-kind materials in shades of gray, added to the timelessness of soapstone, are what dreams are made of...

Posted by: Marlene Wukusick AT 07:04 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email


Located in Batesville Indiana/
Serving parts of Indiana, Ohio, & Kentucky

*Please Note: We reserve Saturdays, by appointment, for slab viewing and tours.

To receive an estimate,
or to schedule an appointment,
call us today.
We work directly with you,
the homeowner,
to ensure outstanding service.


Pete & Marlene Wukusick in Batesville, IN on Houzz

Remodeling and Home Design

Pete & Marlene Wukusick in Batesville, IN on Houzz
Pete & Marlene Wukusick in Batesville, IN on Houzz

Pete & Marlene Wukusick in Batesville, IN on Houzz

Pete & Marlene Wukusick in Batesville, IN on Houzz

Pete & Marlene Wukusick in Batesville, IN on Houzz
Pete & Marlene Wukusick in Batesville, IN on Houzz
Pete & Marlene Wukusick in Batesville, IN on Houzz

Sebastian and Angie Moster, Owners

Natural Stone & the Green Movement  Countertop selection is often the first place people look to when opting to go green. Natural stone (especially Soapstone) is a top choice for the environmentally-friendly. 

The Stone Studio
20157 Five Point Road, Batesville, IN 47006
Phone: (812) 933-0200