How much does it cost to install soapstone countertops?
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Soapstone Countertop Installation Cost Guide
Updated: Jan 01, 1970
Kitchen countertops as well as those in a bathroom and outdoor area play an important part in how the space looks and functions. So when planning to update your countertops and want a material that is durable, beautiful, and unique, consider soapstone.
This unique metamorphic stone is dense, non-porous, and wonderfully smooth to the touch. It comes in several colors and has lower maintenance than most natural stones. Like all materials, it has a range of costs, depending on the style, color, and availability.
The national average cost for a soapstone countertop is $2,100 to $3,600, with most homeowners paying around $2,550 for a 30 sq.ft. gray soapstone countertop with an undermounted sink and eased edge. The low cost for this project is $500 for a 10 sq.ft. prefabricated bathroom vanity countertop. This project’s high cost is $5,000 for a 40 sq.ft. white soapstone countertop with two undermounted sinks, a cooktop cutout, and an eased edge.
Soapstone Countertops Cost
|Cost to Install Soapstone Countertops|
|National average cost||$2,550|
What Is a Soapstone Countertop?
Soapstone is the commercial name for a metamorphic stone called steatite. It contains between 50% to more than 80% talc, along with chlorite, magnesite, and dolomite. The presence of talc makes the material feel smooth and soft to the touch. It gets its name because it feels very similar to the texture of a dry bar of soap.
Soapstone makes a great countertop because it naturally resists heat, stains, and most chemicals. It does not need sealing, although it develops a patina over time. Most people choose to oil their soapstone to control how the patina develops, but this is not necessary.
Soapstone Countertops Cost per Square Foot
Soapstone comes in several colors and availabilities, meaning it has a range of costs. Costs are determined by the stone rarity, slab size, and how complex the project is. Most soapstone costs between $70 and $120 per square foot installed. It is possible to find a limited amount of uncut stone meant for DIY use and some prefabricated slabs in a limited number of sizes. These usually have lower costs, but you may have additional costs for equipment or installation.
|Countertop Size||Average Costs per Sq.Ft. (Installed)|
|10 sq.ft.||$700 - $1,200|
|20 sq.ft.||$1,400 - $2,400|
|30 sq.ft.||$2,100 - $3,600|
|40 sq.ft.||$2,800 - $4,800|
Soapstone Countertops Cost by Location
Soapstone is a beautiful material that works well nearly anywhere. It is impervious to many things, so it works in kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoors. The project cost is tied to the overall countertop size and complexity. The following costs are based on the average sizes for kitchens, outdoor kitchens, and bathrooms.
|Bathroom||$420 - $1,440|
|Outdoor Kitchen||$840 - $2,400|
|Kitchen||$2,100 - $4,800|
Soapstone Bathroom Countertops
The cost of a bathroom soapstone countertop is $420 to $1,400. Most bathrooms have countertops that range between 6 and 12 sq.ft. in size. It is possible to have a countertop that is larger or smaller than this, however. In this case, your costs could differ. Soapstone makes an excellent material for the bathroom. It can be used not only on the countertop but for shower benches, tub surrounds, and thresholds.
Soapstone Outdoor Countertops
The cost of soapstone countertops for an outdoor kitchen ranges from $840 to $2,400. The average size of an outdoor countertop is between 12 and 20 sq.ft. It is possible to have a countertop that is larger or smaller in size. In this case, your costs may differ. Soapstone makes a great addition to outdoor kitchens. It is non-porous and not affected by rain, snow, or ice, so it holds up better than other stones in many instances.
Soapstone Kitchen Countertops
The cost of soapstone counters for the kitchen averages $2,100 to $4,800. Most kitchens need around 30 sq.ft. of countertops. A few need as much as 40 sq.ft. It is possible to have smaller kitchens or larger kitchens with peninsulas and islands. In either case, your costs could be different. Soapstone works very well in kitchens because it does not stain or require sealing like other stones. It works particularly well in homes that have a rustic feel.
Average Cost of Soapstone Countertops by Construction Type
Most soapstone countertops are made from large slabs that are cut and shaped to fit your countertops. However, soapstone is also sold as tiles, and as an alternative to a slab, you could have the tiles fitted to your countertop. This is often a less expensive method but has other considerations, such as an underlayment for the tile, how to finish the edge, and the grout joints involved.
|Construction Type||Average Costs per Sq.Ft. (Installed)|
|Tile||$30 - $40|
|Prefab||$40 - $60|
|Slab||$70 - $120|
Soapstone Tile Countertop
The average price of a soapstone tile countertop ranges from $30 to $40 per square foot. This includes the soapstone tile price, underlayment, setting material, and grout. Because soapstone is a natural stone, its edge can be shaped or bullnosed on a tile saw. This means you do not need a special tile or material to complete the edge, but your installer must have access to tools to shape the soapstone. Most people oil their soapstone countertops to help them develop an even patina. You cannot oil the grout in the same way, so the oiling process could be more time-consuming with this countertop.
Prefab Soapstone Countertops
The cost of a prefab soapstone countertop is $40 to $60 a square foot. This is a pre-cut slab designed for either DIY installation or a simple installation by a contractor who puts in a bathroom vanity or small run of cabinets. Sizes and colors of these slabs are limited. There are no edge choices beyond square or eased. Some bathroom prefab slabs have a sink attached, while kitchens only have a generic cutout. You need to use a sink the size and shape of the cutout to have it fit.
The cost of a soapstone slab countertop averages $70 to $120 a square foot installed. This includes the material, fabrication, and final installation of the countertop. In most cases, it also includes the removal of the old countertop. It does not include specialty edging or sink or cooktop cutouts, which are extra. All slab counters can have a square or eased edge at no additional cost. If you choose to have the installer apply the first coat of oil, this increases costs.
Soapstone Countertops Price by Color
Soapstone comes in a range of beautiful colors. Most are dark in shades of black, gray, green, or blue, but there is also a white soapstone available. All have varying degrees of veining, and each slab is different. Some slabs may be lighter or darker, so it is best to see the slab in person to make sure it is the right choice for your project.
|Soapstone Color||Average Costs per Sq.Ft. (Material Only)|
|Black||$20 - $44|
|Green||$25 - $48|
|Gray||$26 - $50|
|Blue||$52 - $72|
|White||$55 - $70|
Black Soapstone Countertops
The price of black soapstone countertops is $20 to $44 per square foot for the material. Black soapstone countertops come in a few varieties, from a few sources. All have a very rich, black background. Some have minor veining in a dark gray, some are entirely black with little-to-no veining, and some have very dramatic, thick, white marshmallow veining over the entire surface. Black soapstone does not patina as much as lighter colors. For this reason, some people choose not to oil this stone color.
Green Soapstone Countertops
Green soapstone materials average $25 to $48 a square foot. There are several different shades of green soapstone to choose from. This includes a very dark green that borders on black and a much lighter emerald green. All green soapstones have varying amounts of veining. The veins are typically white but can be other colors as well. It is not uncommon to see red mixed into the stone.
Gray Soapstone Countertops
Gray soapstone countertops range from $26 to $50 per square foot for the material. There are many colors and shades of gray soapstone. This includes some very bright stones that border on silver and dark stones approaching black. Gray soapstone can be uniform in color, mottled, or have veining. The veins are usually white and come in many sizes. Gray soapstone develops a patina, so it needs oiling to help it develop evenly.
Blue Soapstone Countertops
Blue soapstone countertop materials cost between $52 and $72 a square foot. Blue soapstone is very rarely true blue in color. It is usually closer to a blue/gray. This varies from light to dark, depending on the slab. It can also contain veins of white, green, gray, or even red at times. These veins can be subtle or prominent, depending on the stone. Blue develops a patina, so oiling helps it patina evenly.
White Soapstone Countertops
The cost of white soapstone countertops averages $55 to $70 a square foot for materials. White soapstone is one of the most dramatic colors. It has a fairly bright white background, with dark veining present over much of the slab. This veining can be brown, black, gray, or even red, depending on the slab. The veins are usually thick and create a very noticeable focal point in any room. This stone does not patina as noticeably as other stones, but it will patina eventually.
Soapstone Countertop Edging
Like granite and marble, soapstone is sold in large slabs that are fabricated and cut to match the dimensions of your cabinets. This fabrication process also includes the finished edges of the countertop. Soapstone can be shaped very easily into any edge. Keep in mind that soapstone can be more brittle than other stones. Therefore, edges that tend to get thinner in places, such as Ogees or French Coves, can be more easily damaged than an eased or square edge.
Most countertops come with a square or eased edge at no additional cost. Choosing another edge has a cost per linear foot for the finished edge.
|Edge||Average Cost per Linear Foot|
|Square||No additional cost|
|Eased||No additional cost|
|Half Bullnose||$10 - $12|
|Full Bullnose||$10 - $12|
|Bevel||$10 - $12|
|Ogee||$20 - $25|
|Dupont||$20 - $25|
|Mitre||$20 - $25|
|Quirk||$20 - $25|
|French Cove||$30 - $35|
Soapstone Countertops Installation Cost
Soapstone countertops are sold in either raw slabs or prefab sections for DIY installation. However, if you choose to have custom soapstone countertops made, you will have costs for fabrication and installation in addition to the material cost.
Prices average $50 to $80 per square foot, depending on the installation complexity and countertop hardness. These pricings include making a template of your cabinets, fabricating the countertop, and installation. They frequently also include the removal of the old countertop, although this depends on the installer.
For a 30 sq.ft. countertop of gray soapstone, the installation is usually around $65 a square foot or $1,950 out of the $2,550 total.
Soapstone Countertop Add-Ons
Soapstone makes a beautiful addition to the kitchen. So much so, that you may want to use it for more than your perimeter countertops. You can also have it on your backsplash, island, or formed into a sink for a seamless, cohesive design.
|Island Countertop||$1,400 - $2,400|
|Sink||$2,000 - $3,000|
|Backsplash||$2,100 - $3,600|
Soapstone Island Countertop
The average cost of a soapstone island countertop is between $1,400 and $2,400. Most islands need around 20 sq.ft. of countertop. However, it is possible to have smaller or larger countertops, which impacts costs. Soapstone makes a beautiful addition to kitchen islands. It is common to use soapstone on the island, with another material used on the perimeters. This is particularly true if you have a rustic kitchen or choose a dramatic soapstone to be the centerpiece of your kitchen design.
Soapstone Farmhouse Sink
The cost of a soapstone farmhouse sink ranges from $2,000 to $3,000. Soapstone sinks are made in one of two ways. They can be carved from a single stone block or made using a slab that is cut and pieced together. With the first method, it will likely be made from a different source as your countertop and may not match. For an exact match, have the sink built from a slab that is in the same lot as your countertop.
The cost of a soapstone backsplash averages $2,100 to $3,600. Most kitchens have around 30 sq.ft. of backsplash. This is the area between the countertop and upper cabinets. Some kitchens have less space, while others have a large area behind the cooktop that raises the square footage. In this case, your costs could be different. It is very common to use the same soapstone on your countertops and backsplash. Doing so gives your kitchen a more contemporary and cohesive look.
Soapstone Countertops Pros and Cons
Soapstone is a unique material that is not only beautiful but durable and low maintenance as well. It has a smooth, soft texture that is pleasing to the touch and a naturally matte, rustic appearance. It comes in several colors with varying vein patterns, meaning slabs are available for many home styles.
Soapstone is stain and heat-resistant. It does not require any sealing or special cleaners. However, it can scratch easily and patinas. This patina develops naturally over time, particularly in places where it is touched. This is because the surface takes on the oil of your skin, darkening it. To avoid a blotchy appearance, most people oil their stone with mineral oil to help darken it evenly. This may need to be done several times a year for the best results.
Soapstone Countertop Maintenance
Soapstone is a relatively low-maintenance stone. It does not require sealers or special cleaners. However, it patinas, so most people choose to oil it regularly by rubbing mineral oil into its surface to darken it more uniformly.
It can also scratch easily. You can remove surface scratches by sanding the area down and re-oiling. Otherwise, the stone can be cleaned as needed with your preferred cleaner.
Sanding Soapstone Countertops
If your soapstone gets a noticeable scratch, you can sand it out with a piece of 120 grit sandpaper. You can do this dry or with a small amount of water. Work the sandpaper in a circle over the scratch, moving in small motions. Check periodically until you no longer see the scratch. If you oil your countertop, the sanded area will be lighter than the surrounding areas. You will need to oil the sanded area a few times to rebuild the patina until it matches the rest of the countertop.
Soapstone vs Quartz Countertops
Soapstone and quartz countertops are both beautiful, low-maintenance materials that can be used in any area of the home. They are very different from one another, regarding looks, feel, and maintenance. Soapstone is a natural stone containing talc. It has a soft, matte appearance and a smooth, soapy feel. It resists staining and burning, but it can scratch easily. It should be oiled regularly to help it develop an even patina.
Quartz is a manufactured stone made of roughly 93% natural quartz with pigments and resins. It is resistant to heat, scratches, and stains and does not require special cleaners or maintenance. It is much harder than soapstone and can have different finishes. Quartz also has a wider cost range than soapstone because it is produced by so many companies.
|Material||Average Costs per Sq.Ft.|
|Quartz||$40 - $100|
|Soapstone||$70 - $120|
Soapstone Countertops vs Granite
Both soapstone and granite are natural materials that make beautiful, one-of-a-kind countertops. Both have a wide range of colors and variations between slabs or within each slab. Both are also usually measured and cut to order for your home, requiring you to choose the slab you want to ensure you get the colors you expect.
Of the two, granite has a wider range of costs than soapstone, mostly because there are more options for granite. Granite is slightly higher in maintenance than soapstone, but both are very durable choices for any home.
|Material||Average Cost per Sq.Ft.|
|Granite||$40 - $200|
|Soapstone||$70 - $120|
Soapstone vs Marble
Soapstone and marble are both metamorphic stones that have stunning veining, soft colors, and a beautiful finish. Both can be used for countertops in many areas of the home. Of the two, soapstone is more durable and easier to maintain. Marble is much softer and prone to etching, staining, and scratching, requiring frequent sealing and special cleaners. Soapstone does not require sealing and naturally resists stains. Marble has a wide range of costs, including some lower and higher than soapstone.
|Material||Average Costs per Sq.Ft.|
|Marble||$40 - $200|
|Soapstone||$70 - $120|
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
If you choose, you can have a cooktop undermounted in your soapstone countertop. Doing so requires a cutout in the stone, which has a $200 fee. The cost of the cooktop and installation averages $500 to $1,000.
Old Countertop Removal
When replacing your countertop, you need your old one removed before the soapstone can be installed. Most installers remove and dispose of this as part of the new countertop cost. However, some charge $50 to $200.
Updating your countertop can be a great way to improve the appearance of your kitchen. You may also choose to update your cabinets at the same time to increase functionality and aesthetics simultaneously. The cost of new cabinets averages $6,450.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Resale value. Soapstone countertops are a beautiful and durable addition to any home. In some areas, they can be considered very desirable and may raise the value of your home.
- Oiling. Soapstone is a very dense material that does not require sealing. Therefore, when oiling it, the oil stays fairly close to the surface. This is why it lightens when sanded.
- Look and feel. Soapstone is a unique stone. It does not look or feel like granite, marble, or other materials. This is due to the high talc content, making the stone have a very soft look and feel.
- Warranty. Soapstone is a natural material and cannot be warrantied. However, some installers guarantee their installation for a limited time. Check with your installer to see if this is possible.
- Do soapstone countertops scratch easily?
Yes and no. If you cut food directly on the countertop, it will scratch. However, it can take a good amount of abuse with very few marks showing.
- Is soapstone high maintenance?
Soapstone is not considered a high-maintenance stone. It does not require sealing or special cleaners. You may choose to oil it to help it develop a patina more easily, but this is a personal choice.
- Can soapstone get wet?
Yes, absolutely. Soapstone is a very durable material, and water and moisture do not harm it.
- Can you use vinegar on soapstone?
While soapstone is less reactive to acids than marble, straight vinegar could cause some weaker surface particles to come away from the countertop. This can dull its finish, so avoid vinegar.
- Should soapstone be sealed?
Soapstone is non-porous and does not need to be sealed. You can oil it to help it develop a more even patina, but this is a personal choice.
- Is soapstone always black?
Not at all! Soapstone comes in many shades of gray, green, blue, and white. It is a versatile stone with movement and veining.
- Where is soapstone found in the U.S.?
Soapstone is quarried in several states, including Virginia, Vermont, and Georgia.
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.