Soapstone Sinks

Soapstone sinks have been used for hundreds of years! We have recently discovered several soapstone sinks around the New England area that were built in 1900's. All of these soapstone sinks are still in use and many owners have incorporated their soapstone sinks into their kitchen remodel. We often get asked "how durable is soapstone?" These sinks are over 100 years old. Pretty durable, huh? 

We were able to sit down and talk to homeowner Neil Cella who still has his grandmother's soapstone sink. After 50+ years Neil still remembers using the sink when he was a boy. He told us "I remember everyone getting together for the holidays and my grandmother always made us go to the soapstone kitchen sink and wash our hands before we sat down to eat Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner. These were great memories and I am glad I got to keep the sink! I just love it and can't wait for my grandkids to use it!" 

Soapstone sinks are available in several different models and styles. For a homeowner who has a particular style in mind they can customize any sink as well! Some of the most popular styles are the farm house double bowl, custom hand carved apron fronts or under-mount single bowls

Soapstone sinks age beautifully and never go out of style. Soapstone's durability speaks for it self and its natural beautiful color goes with any design. Therefore you never have to worry about it being a fad or the style changing. It is truely timeless.

Custom Triple Bowl Apron Front Sink
Transitional Undermount Sink  
Custom Multilevel Double Bowl
Apron Front Sink in Construction


A Complete Video Collection About Soapstone & How Take Care Of It

A Introduction to Soapstone
(Click Title To View Video)

Soapstone is a metamorphic rock composed of compressed talc, magnesium and other minerals Soapstone is a naturally quarried stone that is found in various locations around the world. Soapstone is a dense, non-porous material, which has a naturally luxurious quality that compliments all architectural designs or styles. Each piece of soapstone varies in its colors, movements and veining depending on the location it was quarried from in Brazil.

Traditional Black Soapstone
The Stain Test. How Counter tops Compare
(Click Title To View Video)

Unlike all other natural stones, you DO NOT seal Soapstone because it is nonporous. Because it is completely nonporous lemons will not etch it, red wine will not satin it and cleaning products will not discolor it. Soapstone is often found in chemistry labs because it can not be damaged and the MOST durable natural stone on the market!!!

The only care for soapstone is an optional application of mineral oil or wax; which is used for aesthetic purposes only. It enhances the color or darkens the stone and if desired evens out the stone’s natural patina. 
Never having to seal Soapstone allows it to be used in its natural finish. Another unique advantage to this non-porous material is that it is a hygienic surface. Soapstone is completely food-safe and will not harbor any bacteria growth. Extreme heat or cold will not hurt soapstone or discolor the stone either; which makes Soapstone a great surface for outdoors!

Unlike Most Countertops Lemons, Red Wine, Tomatoes or Harsh Chemicals
Will NOT Etch or Damage Your Counter Tops

Mineral Oiling Your Soapstone.mp4
(Click Title To View Video)

If you choose to darken your Soapstone we recommend Dorado Soapstone Dry Wax or 100% mineral oil. Both will give you the same look and are 100% food safe! The only difference between the two products is the mineral oil has to be applied more frequently in the beginning because it evaporates more quickly than the dry wax. The dry wax is made of carnauba wax, walnut oil and beeswax. 
1/2 Olied - 1/2 Natural

Dorado Soapstone of Texas Informational Soapstone Videos 
(Click Link To View All Video)


Dorado Soapstone Masonry Heaters

Dorado Soapstone Masonry eater Install in Ridgeway, Colorado. This Custom Vitoria Masonry heater has a bake oven and a hot water system that ties into their in floor radiant heat, heats 2,400 sq.ft. 
Breath Taking Views
Home Under Construction

Custom Masonry Vitoria Heater
All Dorado Masonary Heaters are custom made. The two tpes of Soapstone is used. The green is from India and the black is from the US

A masonry heater from Dorado Soapstone is the most comfortable, efficient and effective way to heat your home using wood for your fuel source. Though soapstone is a soft rock, it is not porous and has a solid structure that has amazing heat-retention properties. The practice of heating stone for its warmth retention qualities has been known for thousands of years. Stretching back to ancient times, man used heated stones to keep warm and to cook food. Now, Dorado Soapstone combines this long-known practice with state of the art engineering, technology and design to bring you the finest heating source in the world… a soapstone masonry heater.

For More Information Please Contact Dorado Soapstone at 512-444-8600 or visit www.doradosoapstone.com


Soapstone on Sinks and Countertops

The Elegance In Your Kitchen
For quite some time people in using soapstone for making beautiful and exquisite counter tops. This article describes what soapstone is and why is it ideal for a modern kitchen design.
Soapstone is a perfect material for counter tops, among other items, such as backsplashes; sinks with drain boards; and islands.
Soapstone will bring sophistication to your modern kitchen, or an old world kitchen, and are becoming quite fashionable.

They are quite practical too; as unlike most natural stone orconcrete, these counter tops do not require sealers. Stains are easily removed with fine sand paper, as they do not penetrate below the surface.
Soapstone has been used in the United States to make counter tops, among other things, since the 19th century. Brazil has the best soapstone, but it is also imported from India, as well as from Finland, to make a variety of items, including counters. This ‘original stone countertop’ is admired for its beauty, along with its strength, durability and versatility.

Soapstone is inert to all household chemicals, and is extremely heat resistant. It is made of mineral deposits, with the main components being talc, chlorite, dolomite and magnetite.  It is a steatite – a metamorphic rock – and comes in various degrees of hardness, with talc being the softer soapstone.
Countertops are made from the harder versions of steatite, as it requires being durable. It gives a warm and rustic look, and is soft to the touch.

Due to its heat resistant and retention quality, soapstone is commonly used for masonry heater fireplaces, wood stoves, fireplace liners and pizza ovens. The rugged and dense soapstone, with its heat resistant quality makes it appropriate for counter tops, as you can literally a place red hot cookware on its surface, without any adverse effect.
With age, its natural shades, such as green-gray, blue-gray and charcoal gray color, change to a darker color. Alternately, you can apply mineral oil evenly to darken it, or oxidize it with water. Its color and appearance can be enhanced by regular application of mineral oil. If you wish to have the original gray color back, you simply need to sand paper it!
Soapstone As Countertops
Soapstone can be categorized into two types: the artistic, and the architectural soapstone. The artistic soapstone has higher talc content, is soft, and is used by artists for carving sculptures, making ornaments and other art pieces.
soapstone westUn-oiled Piracema Split island with dramatic white vein
The architectural soapstone is harder, has little talc content, is very durable and is used for countertops, among other uses, where structural integrity is needed.
As architectural soapstone is dense, it makes it non-porous, and so resistant to staining of any kind. There is a common misconception that it is too soft for construction projects.
On the contrary, it is preferred over granite and marble in many cases. As counters, soapstone adds elegance to your kitchen and value to your home.
Piracema soapstone island. Prominent white veining.
Soapstone is not only used as countertops for kitchen , but also in the laboratories in schools and colleges.
granite countertopThe main reason being its inertness, and the ability to resist reacting to chemicals and acid, as well as all stains, including spills from lemon, tomato sauce, olive oil, vinegar, or wine, etc.
This time tested material has been in use in old farmhouses for centuries, and the original soapstone sinks and countertops are still in use today. Its easy workability and durability makes it the material of choice for countertops.
soapstone countertop with matching custom farm front sink
This is one stone every ones loves to use as a countertop, as soapstone can easily be cut with a saw, and hand finished with sand paper. Due to its easy workability, soapstone countertops can be easily made to your specifications, along with any type of edge profile you wish for, such as a bull nose, bevel, or ogee, or the popular plank edge – with softened top and bottom corners – giving it an old world appearance.
If you are looking for soapstone countertops, have a look at the advantages soapstone has over other stones:
  • It is denser than granite and marble, and so will not absorb stains.
  • It is easy to cut using a diamond blade, so edges can be given any shape required easily.
  • It is completely non-porous.
  • It requires no sealant.
  • It has great thermal qualities and is resistant to bacteria.
  • As it is highly durable, and will last several lifetimes.
  • As it is resistant to chemicals and acids, it is ideal as laboratory countertops.
  • Any scratches can easily be removed by just rubbing mineral oil on it.
  • It is very smooth to feel.
  • Can be returned to its original pristine condition, and look, even after years of use.
  • It has the ability to blend in with any style or design.
Countertops made from soapstone require regular maintenance with applications of mineral oil, to maintain its patina. This could be true with countertops made of other stones, too. However, these countertops can be brought back to their original condition just with the help of a sand paper.
The soapstone countertops fit well into all types of environs, whether in an historic home, or in a most modern setup.

Home Decorating Review


Pro Portfolio: A 1960 House Updated for Greener Times

The Los Angeles Times recently published an article in their Living Section, “A 1960 Undated For Greener Times” that highlights a local Sonoma home originally build in 1960 updated to reflect the trends and needs of today.  Amongst an endless list of creative and unique design ideas the Interior designer, Jann Blazona and Architect Jarrod Denton, Lail Design Group, used Soapstone in several applications including a fireplace surround and kitchen counter tops.  Counter tops are often what people automatically think of when they picture Soapstone in the home, but a Fireplace surround just as appropriate as an application.   The Soapstone for this project was provided by Dorado Soapstone and the fabrication was provided by Teresina Soapstone.

On Mondays, we post a new home whose design is presented in the builder's or designer's own words. This week:
Builder: Rick Milburn, Solar Knights Construction, Napa, Calif. Architect: Jarrod Denton, Lail Design Group, St. Helena, Calif. Passive house consulting: Graham Irwin,  Essential Habitat ConsultingInterior design: Jann Blazona, Sonoma, Calif. Landscape architect: Chandler & Chandler, Napa.    
Location: Sonoma
Project description: Constructed in 1960, the residence was originally two structures set on a concrete slab and linked by a covered breezeway. The new design updates the existing structures and converts the breezeway into a kitchen, expanding the floor plan by 400 feet and uniting the two wings while improving comfort, air quality and energy efficiency. The residence is now a 2,400-square-foot modern farmhouse, white-washed with a street-facing front porch, metal standing-seam roof and bright interior courtyard. In July, the project was certified by the Passive House Institute U.S. as the first passive house in California and the first retrofit passive project in the country. A retrofit passive house refers to replacing the existing home’s “active” heating and cooling systems with high levels of insulation, efficient windows, optimized passive solar gain, airtight construction and a "fresh-air" furnace that recaptures energy used in the house that can be reused for heating and cooling. The temperature in the house does not exceed 76 degrees, even during extreme summer heat. The house has been selected for the Department of Energy's Building America Program as a prototype home. The program highlights new products and innovative construction methods and will monitor and verify the house's energy savings.  Despite our dedication to efficiency, the house doesn't look like an experiment; in fact, it looks quite normal. Comfort and a pleasing design were not sacrificed.
Keep reading to see more details and photos ...

A soft, neutral palette of creams, blacks and grays was used in the open, airy great room, which has wide-plank reclaimed oak floors and painted millwork. Missing from ceiling are the big return grills used with a forced-air system. The house's energy recovery ventilator, or fresh-air furnace, uses much smaller ducts and supplies fresh air at much slower speeds. This results in higher indoor air quality and no noise.The highly efficient LED fixtures in the ceiling are used to illuminate artwork.  
The ethanol-burning fireplace by EcoSmart is faced with soapstone. It needs no venting.

A sliding barn door can be closed to hide the computer clutter in the office/reading room. All the cabinetry in the house, here used for storage and to hold books, was built with responsibly harvested wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Old-fashioned pendants from Wilmette Lighting illuminate the new kitchen, built in what had been a breezeway connecting two parts of the house. The stainless-steel farmhouse sink is by Blanco America;the counters are soapstone. 

Highly insulated, energy efficient Optiwin windows and doors are used throughout the house. Here, a 16-foot-long, triple-glazed sliding door opens the kitchen to the courtyard.
Kohler farmhouse sink was chosen for the laundry room, which also includes an Asko washer and non-venting dryer (not shown). The heat from the dryer is recycled for use in the house.  
The softly hued bedrooms, like the rest of the house, were painted in 
Benjamin Moore colors.  
In the master bathroom, a pendant lamp from the owner's previous home was used over the freestanding tub from Sunrise Specialty. The counter top and hexagonal floor tiles are honed Carrara marble.
A standard closet holds the house's water system, which supplies 90% of the hot-water demand. The storage tank, at right, holds the water, which is heated by a Heliodyne solar thermal system. A backup hot-water system by Rinnai is on the wall at left.

A solar panel provides the energy needed to recirculate the water used by the hybrid table-fountain-planter in the courtyard. Solar Knights fabricated it out of concrete and stainless steel. 
Two Bushman tanks holding 1,200 gallons of water capture runoff from the roof. That water irrigates the yards. The raised vegetable beds are made with recycled wood.   
-- Anne Harnagel
Photos: Ned Bonzi

L.A. Times

Pro Portfolio: A 1960 house updated for greener times

October 18, 2010


An interview with a Soapstone Countertop Homeowner

The Granite Gurus: An interview with a Soapstone Countertop Homeowner...: "Soapstone is a very misunderstood countertop material, so I thought it would be fun to do an interview with someone who has Soapstone counte..."