AGI Favorites: Silestone and Soapstone

Being a designer means we are constantly  inundated with information about new products.  It can be overwhelming to try to keep all of them in my head, so we try to maintain a resource library that is stocked mainly with a lot of go-to materials that work well in many settings, but can be combined with unique elements to make a design one-of-a-kind.  One of the newer products the team at AGI is crazy about is Silestone's version of Soapstone.  We used it recently in a client's kitchen where we wanted a slightly European vibe, and the client wanted little-to-no maintenance.

 Photo:  Robert Radifera  

I was so impressed with the look and feel of the product!  The veining is subtle, but accurate, and the sueded finish feels incredible!  No smudgy fingerprints in sight!  It combined beautifully with the highly-veined marble we used for backsplash, and warm gray cabinets.

A few thoughts if you're debating whether to use true soapstone:  My personal opinion is that a kitchen will always look most authentic and unique with natural stone.  If your budget and maintenance preferences allow, I absolutely say go with natural soapstone.  If, however, you want something nearly effortless to maintain, and are happy with getting a look that is very close to the "real deal," Silestone soapstone is a fantastic option.

 Silestone Soapstone

Silestone Soapstone

Pros of Silestone:

- Made from engineered stone - quartz crystals crushed and held together with resin. Resistant to heat, stains, scratches and cracks. No sealing required.  Non-porous, and easy to clean. Uniformity of color.  Large slab sizes.


Cons of Silestone:  

- Unable to fully replicate the intricate patterns and uniqueness of soapstone.

 Soapstone

Soapstone

Pros of Soapstone:

- Natural stone, more pliable/less brittle, non-porous, so easy to clean, and very sanitary. No sealing required like granite or marble.


Cons of Soapstone:

- More susceptible to scratches b/c of its softer nature