Stainless Steel vs. Soapstone--Who wins?

10 years ago

We thought we had our finish choices all wrapped up, but we've been having misgivings...thinking that our neutral palette is maybe a little washed out. Can you help us choose our perimeter counters? We have several bids in hand and the price is virtually identical, but should we go for stainless or soapstone? Our cabinets go in on the week of the 14th, so we're right down to the wire.

Here's our palette (for the most part, and some more pictures follow below):

Floor: porcelain tile(very pale off white, like pale limestone)

Countertops island: Calacatta carrara marble (that small sample is similar)

Faucets and cabinet hardware: polished nickel

Appliances: stainless (and black--the Wolf range cooktop is all black iron grills and black enamel)

Backsplash: subway tile "alabaster"

Pendants: antique silver and glass

Walls: F&B shaded white / grayed down yellow brick

Mouldings: original wood, stripped and re-stained pale

Perimeter countertops: Soapstone or stainless????????????? That is the question.

From the beginning of our renovation, we thought we would have perimeter counters made of stainless steel for its sheer durability. But seeing some of the gorgeous soapstone in the kitchens on this forum, and elsewhere, we are beginning to feel the need for some contrast. Plus we've scratched and even dented the stainless counters in our temporary kitchen, and even though the scratches can be buffed out, with effort, our stainless never really looks gorgeous to us, just highly functional (unlike Theresse's, which looks beautiful and has us thinking we'd be crazy to do anything else).

I don't have a soapstone sample, so I stuck the cast iron skillet in the picture as a substitute, to indicate the contrast (which probably wouldn't be quite so dramatic with actual soapstone).

Here's our wall-mounted kitchen fireplace:

And our pendants (one of three, plus a glimpse of the brick in the dining area part of the kitchen):

And our shorebird carvings (purchased in Quebec this summer). It may seem crazy, but they'll sit in our kitchen windows and we love their look and their colours, so they do have influence.

I blogged about our dilemma in a bit more detail (you can visit at the link below), but I'm sure we'll get the best advice right here.

Here is a link that might be useful: stainless steel or soapstone

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