Picking Soapstone or Granite – 5 Things You Should Know

black-soapstone-countertopBoth soapstone and granite are popular choices for kitchen countertops among home owners due to their high-quality characteristics. However, before you choose one over the other, there are a few factors you should consider. By doing so, you’ll help ensure that you’re choosing the right product for your personal tastes and lifestyle habits.

The Color, Pattern and Design

If you’re interested in choosing from a wide selection of colors, patterns and designs, granite wins this contest. The options are endless. The most common colors include, gray, brown, black, red, and yellow, but they don’t stop there. In addition to this, the patterns imbedded in granite are naturally occurring and very hard to replicate. This allows you to choose a product that’s not only unique but also extremely beautiful.

On the other hand, the options for soapstone are very limited. In fact, Soapstone is generally only available in black or in a variety of grays with green veins. This isn’t to say that soapstone isn’t beautiful as well, but the limitations are definitely a concern. When choosing between granite or soapstone, it’s important to take into account the color, design, and pattern of the rest of the room.

The Durability of Soapstone and Granite

Both soapstone and granite are highly resistant to heat and won’t be damaged if a hot pan, pot or cookie sheet is placed directly on the surface. This is one common feature among these two materials.

However, the difference between these two materials is that granite can be stained by acidity liquids and cleaning agents with abrasive chemicals. As a result, regular maintenance will be required. Soapstone on the other hand is highly resistant to these substances.

Another different between these two is the physical durability. Soapstone can easily be scratched whereas granite is more scratch resistant. When soapstone is scratched, it can lose its shine but be repaired by having a professional sand and treat it with a mineral oil of some sort.


Between soapstone and granite, granite requires the most maintenance. In fact, granite countertops need to be sealed regularly with a liquid that’s either oil or water-based. The first seal job should be completed directly after the installation is complete and then again either annually or biannually. By sealing your granite regularly, you can maintain the sheen while also helping prevent staining.

Now when it comes to soapstone, sealing these countertops is not necessary, but like mentioned before, scratches on soapstone will need to be buffed out with a mineral oil by a professional.


When cleaning granite, you should only use mild soap and warm water. Using cleaning products with abrasives will not only diminish the polish resulting in a dull finish, it can also lead to spots and blemishes on the surface. Soapstone on the other hand can be cleaned with just about any kind of cleaning agent on the market.


The average cost for both soapstone and granite, before installation rates, are nearly the same. The cost for both materials is on average $70 to $100 for each square foot. However, because granite is available in so many more colors, patterns and design options, you may pay up to $200 a square foot for high-end granite.

The Benefits of Choosing Quartz over Granite countertops for your kitchen

There are several reasons why homeowners over the past few years have been choosing quartz over granite for the interior of their home. Although granite is definitely a fine choice, quartz has become the popular material due to its desirable qualities.

Quartz Countertops are Maintenance Free

One of the great things about quartz is the fact that it’s nearly maintenance free. Not only will this save you time and effort, it will also keep your surfaces looking great for years to come. The secret is in the nonporous surface.

Countertops without a nonporous surface can be permanently stained if liquids like wine, vinegar, cranberry juice and other acidy substances are not cleaned up right away. Quartz on the other hand won’t leave a mark even if the spills are left for hours or more. This is great news for households with small children.

To add to this, quartz also doesn’t need to be regularly sealed, polished or reconditioned like granite, soapstone and marble. This means you can do away with all those messy oils and toxic chemicals for good. By avoiding the use of these expensive products, you’ll make your life easier while also saving a little cash as well.

Wide Selection of Options for Quartz over granite countertops

Another great benefit of choosing quartz over granite is the large array of options you’ll have at hand. Quartz offers a wider selection of styles and designs to choose from, and the customizable options are endless.  This allows you to better match your countertops to the rest of your home.

Investing in countertops is an expensive investment, so make sure you get what you want. By choosing quartz, you can have the look and style you desire without having to compromise on your personal tastes.

Heavy Duty Products

Many homeowners choose granite for its durability and its strength. What most people don’t realize is that quartz is a much stronger product. In fact, quartz is one of the strongest products on the market and falls just below the strength of that of a diamond. Now, that’s tough.

So if you’re worried about cracks, dents, chips and other possible accidents, invest in the quality of quartz. Not only is choosing quartz a smart decision, but you’ll also give yourself piece of mind while ensuring you’ll your countertops will stay in perfect condition years after you purchase them.

Sanitation is easier in case of Quartz Countertops

Between quartz and granite, quartz for the most part tends to maintain a much higher level of cleanliness than granite. This is attributed to the fact that quartz has a nonporous surface and is nearly maintenance free. As a result, germs and other contaminates don’t stick to the surface like they do with granite and other kinds of countertops.

Cost of Quartz vs Granite Countertops

The cost of both granite and quartz are in the same ballpark, but quartz usually sells for a slightly less price. Depending on the quality, both of these products can be purchased around a minimum of $35 to $45 a square foot and go for as high as $85 to $95 a square foot. Due to the comparable prices, there’s no reason not to choose quartz over granite, especially when there are so many more benefits that come with this material.

Increasing the Worth of Your Property

Both quartz and granite are much more expensive products than materials like laminate, porcelain, and tile. By adding these materials to your home, you’ll more than likely boost the value of your property by quite a lot.  However, because of the increased popularity of quartz over granite, homes that have incorporated this luxury material have a better chance of selling for a more and at a much faster rate.


Quartz is by far the better choice of when a homeowner decides it’s time to upgrade their countertops. As mentioned before, quartz countertops are stronger, cleaner, easier to maintain, come in a wider selection of options and are available for a slightly lower price as well. Get the most for your money and choose quartz.

How to Avoid Disaster When Installing Granite Countertops

Investing in granite countertops for your home is quite an expensive investment. In fact, quality granite comes at an average price of about $60 for a square foot and can be even more expensive to repair as well. That’s why it’s essential that follow the tips below, so you can avoid unnecessary disaster.

Invest in the right shade of granite

Choosing the correct color of granite for your specific needs is extremely important. Acidity substances like orange juice, red wine and cranberry juice tend to stain lighter shades of granite much more than darker shades. This is why darker shades are better suited for dining rooms and personal bars. On the other hand, homeowners that are investing in granite for other areas of their home may go with lighter colors like yellow or white.

Select the proper thickness of your granite slabs

Making sure you select the correct thickness of your slabs is also highly crucial. Granite slabs typically come in three different sizes. They are:

  • Three-quarter inch
  • One and one-quarter inch
  • One and one-half inch

It’s important to note that the one and one-half inch slabs generally involve taking two three-quarter inch slabs and fusing them together by the use of a strong glue. The problem with this size of slab is that over the years, the glue can weaken and create undesirable gabs.

Minimize the number of seams in your slabs

Granite countertops with fewer seams tend to maintain their luscious appearance much longer than countertops with a lot of seams. As the years roll on, seams can become more and more visible and quite unsightly. It’s also important to make sure that all the seams are located away from the main focal points of the countertop. You will appreciate this later down the line.

Match the color of your countertops with the rest of your home

To truly bring out the elegance of your kitchen or bathroom, it’s essential that the color and the pattern of your granite countertops match the rest of the interior. This will include the cabinets, the sink and facet, the floors, walls and ceiling as well.

Homes that have a unifying theme are more visual appealing and tend to be sold for a higher price on the market. If you should ever decide to sell, there’s a good chance that you’ll make more of a profit than a home with a mismatched interior.

Leveling the kitchen or bathroom sink

Keeping your granite countertops clean is usually quite important to most homeowners. That’s why making sure the sink is level or lays lower to the surrounding countertops is important. By doing so, wiping food, germs and other contaminates into the sink is much easier than having a sink that’s raised a little higher.

Choose the proper edge for your granite countertops

In order to unify the look of your countertops, choosing the right edge is an essential part of the planning process. Although the edge is a small feature of the surface, applying the wrong color and style will definitely stand out like a sore thumb. Some of the most common styles on the market today include:

  • Straight
  • One-fourth round
  • One-fourth bevel
  • Half bullnose
  • Waterfall
  • Ogee

Measure and have the templating done accurately

Making sure that your measurements are as accurate as possible is very critical. Wrong measurements will not only lead to unnecessary frustration, it’ll can also involve addition work and sometimes extra money to fix the problem. If you are not very experienced in the area of home improvement work, it’s probably best to let a professional gather the proper measurements for you.


upgrading kitchen countertop on a budget

A guide to upgrading your kitchen countertop on a budget

Nothing makes a home look better than brand new kitchen countertops, but unless you shop wisely or get creative, you could end up spending a lot more than you actually wanted to. Take advantage of our cheap kitchen countertop ideas listed below, and you’ll more than likely save yourself some extra cash the next time you decide to update your kitchen countertops.
upgrading kitchen countertop on a budget

Choose laminate or another affordable product

If you’re interested in a cheap countertop option, then laminate is the perfect choice for you. Not only is it easy on the budget, the material itself offers a wide selection of benefits including its durability, its lightweight and its ability to be customized into any kind of countertop you could want.

When choosing the right laminate countertops for your kitchen, you want to go with a color, pattern, style and design that will match the rest of your kitchen. Laminate is available in hundreds of styles, colors, patterns and designs, and you can even personalize your project by using contrasting edge treatments to increase the appearance. This is also a great tip for adding a little bit of flare to your current standard-looking countertops.

If you’re not sure what kind of color, style, pattern or design you’re wanting, start by shopping around. For instance, both the companies Wilsonart and Formica offer one of the widest selections of laminate to choose from. In fact, Wilsonart offers over 215 different choices to choose from while Formica offers over 90 different colors. This does not include all their styles, pattern and designs available as well.

Another benefit to investing in laminate is its ability to look like real stone. Today’s laminate products use faux patterning to give it that stone appearance. Granite can cost up to $100 or even more for every square foot. You can get nearly the same stylish look for a lot less trouble and money. Laminate is a great way to acquire inexpensive countertops for your kitchen.

Refinish for a marvelous look

Refinishing your current countertops is another inexpensive way to beautify your kitchen. Not only will you eliminate the hassle of shopping and having them stalled, you’ll also keep a lot more cash in your wallet. Any pro can eliminate dings, scratches, cracks, and other flaws that have resulted due to wear and tear over the years. You’ll have an inexpensive countertop for your kitchen while holding on to more cash.

Resurface your countertops with stylish tile

If you’re wanting to give your kitchen a brand new look, another inexpensive option is to have your countertops resurfaced with a laminate, clay or porcelain tile. These tiles are usually quite affordable, come in a large array of styles, colors, patterns and designs and are fairly reasonable to have installed.

Save money with paint or a Rust-Oleum

If resurfacing with tile doesn’t interest you, then maybe resurfacing your kitchen countertops with a high-quality paint or Rust-Oleum countertop coating might attract your attention. Many homeowners choose paint or Rust-Oleum as a very low-cost way to give their kichen that special look.

Not only is coating your countertops with paint and Rust-Oleum inexpensive, there are also a lot of colors to choose from. Some of the most popular colors include dark red, dark blue, dark brown, grey, burgundy, and black.

Once you have picked out a color you like, the application process is quite simply. For homeowners with no home improvement skills, hiring a company to apply your paint or Rust-Oleum comes at a fraction of the cost of replacement. If you are unsure on what color would be best for your kitchen, take a picture with your smartphone and ask an expert at a painting or home improvement store for their advice.

If you do decide to choose granite, buy wisely

Granite is a very expensive, and like mentioned earlier, granite can cost up to $100 or even more for a square foot. So, if you do decide to invest in granite, take advantage of these tips:

  • Buy directly from a manufacture or hire a home improvement company that does
  • Invest in granite remnants for smaller kitchens
  • Resurface your current countertop with granite tile
  • Skip the fancy edges and go with a standard eased edge
  • Call local showrooms and check on discounted merchandise

If you take advantage of these helpful tips, you can finally have that granite countertop you’ve always wanted for a lot less.



10 things you should know before buying granite countertops

Before you decide to invest hundreds of dollars into new granite countertops for either your home of commercial business, read these 10 dos and don’ts and utilize them. By doing do, you’ll get the most out of your buying experience.

Clean your countertops right

It’s important to always clean your granite countertops properly and with non-toxic products. This will ensure that you’ll not only protect your investment, they’ll look great for years to come. Some quality tips when it comes to cleaning include:

  • Stay away from lemon juice, oils, or any acidic based products. These chemicals can ruin or diminish the finish. Instead, use soap and water. Soap and water are very effective in removing the dirt, grime and other stains, yet they won’t damage the surface.
  • When you do clean your countertops with soap and water, make sure you clean with a soft sponge or washcloth. Harder bristles can scratch the surface and leave permanent marks.

Clean your countertops right away

All stains should be cleaned up as fast as possible. Different kinds of cooking oils can leave rings on your countertop if left neglected. Wines, soda, and other liquids can also leave hard to remove stains if not cleaned up right away, and as mentioned above, always wipe your countertops with a soft sponge or washcloth.

Always call a professional to fix your countertops

When your countertops become scratched, chipped, or even cracked, call a professional. Some people try and fix the problem themselves. This in many cases just makes the problem worse. By calling a professional, you can feel confident knowing that your countertops will be fixed right the first time.

Use trivets, hot pads and coasters

Granite countertops are very susceptible to damage when hot pans and cold glasses are laid upon them with no protection. It’s very important to use hot pads, trivets and coasters whenever possible and encourage your guests to do the same. This will keep your granite countertops looking fantastic.

Don’t use your granite countertops as a workstation

Granite countertops are not meant to have hammers, tool boxes, screw drivers and other tools laid on it. Doing so could scratch, chip or even crack the surface. Instead, dedicate another area for working on your home projects.

Keep your furry pets off your countertops

Make sure your pets stay off of your granite countertops. Pets can scratch the surface, and if they should have an accident, they can even leave urine stains. In addition to this, the paws of dogs and cats can spread dirt and contaminate your surfaces. This is very unhealthy for you and your family’s well-being.

Keep all your healthcare and hygiene products away from your granite countertops

Products like lotions, nail polishes, and skin care products can all leak and be spilled. The chemicals in these products can damage the surfaces of your granite countertops. Make sure you keep all your personal products in the bathroom. If you have to keep these products on your countertop, use a little basket to hold them in.

Before buying, ask a lot of questions

If you’ve never purchased granite countertops before, it’s essential that you ask a professional in the industry for some reliable countertop buying tips. You can go to most any showroom and talk to an employee who is not only an expert in the area but one who’s also willing to answer all your questions for you. Take advantage of these services.

Hire a local company with the right credentials

Before you purchase your granite countertops from a specific dealer, inquire whether or not their company headquarters is located near you. By choosing product and installation companies located in your area, you can get supplies and repairs much cheaper, quicker and with a lot less of a hassle than companies located out-of-state. In addition to this, read what customers are saying about their experiences with the company. Most well-established companies will have customer reviews on sites like Yelp and Facebook.

Ask for 3-centimeter products

You’ll get the most out of your investment by choosing 3-centimeter granite countertops over countertops of smaller sizes. Granite countertops of this size don’t break as easy as granite countertops with a 2-centimeter size. If you want to have a product that last a long time, 3-centimeter granite countertops are your best bet.