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enduring

DIY Soapstone People Show Your Counters !

enduring
9 years ago

For those who asked about DYI soapstone counters on Angie_DYI 's post (new soapstone in her backyard) inquiring if there has been a post to show DYI counter...


Lets show them.

First counter installed, small one that was very pretty:

Large sink portion with seam down the center that Dorado pre cut for me that was very good! I glued! This is before I had a local fabricator come out and cut my sink hole:

Recent install of several scraps I glued together to complete my "nook". No factory cut seam here but take my word for it, you can't tell the diff with my cut and glue. It is very good. I am proud. I still need to caulk in place and put a tile backsplash to finish it off:

My other short wall area with 2 pieces installed:

Glamour shot with my marble backsplash:

Whats Next?

I've got 30sf of SS remnants that I am going to use in my bathroom remodel, which is just off the kitchen. I will make my own soapstone sink. I've got plenty of material to practice.

Comments (103)

  • TxMarti
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Not too long at all. I love learning this, though I may never have a use for it. I think your curve looks perfect, though I realize you have a better view. I bet no one else will ever notice.

  • laxsupermom
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Angie, the curve looks perfect to me. I had forgot to mention before how we handled our inside curves. I took a hole saw(the big circle things for your drill) to the inside corner than used the jigsaw or circular saw to make the straight cuts toward the hole. IIRC, we used a 2 1/4" radius hole saw.

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  • angie_diy
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Lax: that is what I am intending to do for the sink cutouts. I bought a 6-3/8" dia. carbide hole saw meant for cutting the holes for recessed lights. It is a perfect match for the corners of my sink template!

  • mama goose_gw zn6OH
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Another strong woman with power tools!! Angie, thanks for the progress pics and info. Everything looks great--with your DIY attitude, I'm sure you can handle the runnels, or anything else that comes along. Are you using the scraps to make 'ice' cubes? Ooooooh, and trivets, and paper weights, and door stops, and ...

    deb52899, :)

  • mabeldingeldine_gw
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Angie, thanks for the post about the method, very useful info there. I am a long time DIYer but have never used a circular saw! Table saw, chop saw, jig saw, bandsaw, I'm a veteran, but circular saw... time pull up my big girl panties and DO IT.

    Enduring, Mamagoode, Angie, Macybaby, tell me what tools (type/brand) you have. Macy I've never hears of the Festool sander, some details?

    We won't be doing this very soon, we've got a big x-country road trip planned for the summer, but 2013 is a blank soapstone!

  • enduring
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    *Angie, great descriptions of your process. Thanks a lot. Question: What jigsaw blade are you using? Is it a 4" blade? Where did you get your blade? I need one that I can use for my jigsaw. So far I haven't been able to use my jigsaw because I can't find a long blade :/

    *Mabeldingeldine, I have a Dewalt circular saw that I did my main straight cuts, using a blade I got at Lowes. It is for cutting dry, I think it is a carbide blade or maybe a diamond blade, I can't remember. You will need a strong drill and proper hole bits, for cutting the faucet holes. I haven't had the chance to do this yet as I mention below. My next project will be a bathroom remodel and I will need to drill the stone for my faucet, so I will find out the tricks to that step soon.

    I have a Festool jigsaw that I bought to do the sink hole but that didn't happen cause I couldn't find a long blade in my area. I couldn't find one on the internet either. I tried to find the one that the Canadian Soapstone folks recommended but no luck there either. Next time around I would probably piece together my sink opening, like Oldhousegal did. The stone makes such nice seams they are really a non issue, visually. I suppose if you have a really busy stone there might be issues matching the veining. As I have mentioned before, on other post, I had paid a marble fabricator to come out and cut my sink hole. I also had him drill my faucet hole. It was not the ideal situation for him because my stone was in place and I was not going to allow moving it off of the cabinets. They had to work in place. But I had an over mount sink so it didn't have to be perfect. If I had an undermount sink the slab would have needed to be lifted and cut.

    I had a range of very large files that I would use to take off some of the edge if I didn't want to get the saw out. I loved doing the file work. The stone works very easy.

    I hand sanded my stone. I bought a palm sander but It left wiggly marks on the stone. Since I have such small counters it was easy to hand sand everything.

  • angie_diy
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Mabel: I am amazed (and envious) at the saws you have used, but never a circular saw! For me, it was just the opposite. My father had a circular saw and saber saw (jigsaw), but nothing else. That was all I knew. I have gradually acquired other saws, but I am fearful of, for example, my table saw. I guess it is what you are used to! I now have a reciprocating saw (Dewalt), miter saw (Hitachi), jigsaw (Bosch), and table saw (cheap ol' Skil Saw, I think). That brings me to your question about brands. For the last 20 years, my circular saw has been a Craftsman (you can see it in the picture above). Tomorrow, it may be something better! I basically wore out the bearings by abusing it the way I did with the composite blade. I really overcooked the bearings, and the blade is now loosey-goosey. (Sorry, mamagoose!) Mea culpa.

    Here is my take on tool brands. (I hope this inflames no religious wars!) In my book there are about 5 levels of power tools. There is the (1) really cheapo stuff (i.e., Harbor Freight's offerings or the like), there is (2) low-end consumer grade (Ryobi, Skil, Black and Decker), (3) high-end consumer (Hitachi, Dewalt, Porter Cable, Makita, Bosch), (4) contractor grade (Milwaukee, Hilti, and some high-end offerings from the makers listed under #3), and (5) fine specialty grade (Festool, Fein). I try to only buy from list #3 or 4 in the wisdom of my old age. (Broke too many from #1 and 2, trying to be cheap. I sometimes buy used, high-quality tools from ebay or Craigslist.)

    Enduring, my jigsaw blade is a Bosch carbide 30 grit (T130RF1) that I bought at Lowe's. It is only about 2.25" long. Why do you need a 4 " blade? I also bought a Lenox diamond blade, but decided to use the carbide Bosch one instead.

  • oldhousegal
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Another woman who loves her power tools and, oh, I so agree with you Angie on your tool list!

    As for cutting out your faucet holes, I found my Bosch Hammerdrill combined with a diamond tile hole saw (got at Lowes for about $15) was a breeze. I recently added a counter mounted soap dispenser and had to cut the soapstone after it was installed. Piece. Of. Cake. Took all of 2 minutes to cut through the soapstone and the cut was absolutely perfect. As for shaving off a bit of the edge of the stone, my Fein Multimaster handled the task like a pro. Of course my soapstone came with an extra piece or two, and I've put plenty of holes in those to practice!

    For those of you looking to buy tools for your projects, I recommend CPOtools.com. I cannot afford to buy new, high quality tools, so I buy new to me, reconditioned, high quality tools from this company. My hammerdrill was $99 and is a great tool to use. It handled a 6 inch hole saw through the old growth lumber on my house quite easily. I also bought a DeWalt cordless nailer from them, 2 sanders, and my Fein. Never had a problem with any of my tools purchased there.

    The only tool I've bought at Harbor Freight was a $45 tile saw, combined with a $12 diamond blade, it did my entire kitchen, pieces of my friends soapstone (long story there!), and my other friends kitchen tile. Best buy in tools yet!

  • enduring
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    *Angie, I don't know, I thought I needed a 4" blade...maybe I made it up...I think I tried the shorter one but it didn't cut through entirely if I remember correctly. I will definitely try the jigsaw again with my remnants. I've got to find out what I did wrong last time with the shorter blade :) Thanks for the info, it is encouraging.

    *Oldhousegal, Thanks for the tool internet site. I will take a look. I might need a palm nailer.

  • mabeldingeldine_gw
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Angie, I think I've never used a circular saw because the old saws are so heavy. My dad had an aluminum casing skil saw, and DH had a good quality circular saw from his carpenter dad, also very heavy, and in need of new bushings, so it would spark and skip on start up and freaked me out!

    I grew up working on prejects with my dad, and once on my own, took woodworking classes at adult ed to lean skills and make things- that gave me a lot of confidence. We've added tools as projects demanded. When we replaced our deck we bought a chop saw and wondered why we waited so long! To think I cut enough shiplap siding to cover a 15' wall with a hand saw....

    Oldhousegal, thanks for that link! I will definitely be exploring that. I agree with Angie that is makes the most sense to buy the best tool you can afford. I am still using the Milwaulke palm sander my dad gave me 20+ years ago and I love it! We inherited some tools from DH's dad which have come in exceptionally handy. Good tools give you the confidence you need to do the job. And GW is a powerful tool!

  • angie_diy
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Okay, major progress has been made, and it is time for a photo-heavy update! (Sorry, dial-up users.)

    My jig for cutting the runnels:

    gives us this: (We have runnels!)

    .
    I even designed my many-$ soapstone to fit my $20 drain rack. Sheesh. Tail wag the dog much? :-)

    I lined up some nice young men to carry the slabs. (I helped, too. Probably did not heft my fair share!) Here the slabs are in the kitchen, but they overlap just a hair. Need to cut some off:

    Let's build a "booth" to try (operative word : try) to contain the dust.

    .
    This is how I planned to pull the slabs together to minimize the seam:

    and here is the resultant seam (before epoxying):

    I was really happy with this. Unfortunately, I ran into a problem when doing the actual epoxy. I did a practice piece, and I carefully followed the directions (even using a scale to weigh out the two parts of the epoxy). However, the working time was very short. It was supposed to be 5 to 7 minutes, but it became gelid after just a couple of minutes. I really did not have enough time to slather it on the slabs and pull the joint tight before it began to set up. Consequently, the seam is thicker than it ought to be:

    It is not as bad as it appears here, as the goop had spread out over the sides a bit. (I used masking tape to limit where the epoxy would touch the stone.)

    Now time to make the sink cutout. You have to support the stone when cutting so that the weight of the stone does not break off the part you are trying to cut. I followed doggonegardner's advice and did all my cutting on foam insulation:


    Hmmm, but what is supporting the foam? Let's just say that it is an undocumented use for the Sink Setter!
    .
    First I cut out the sink corners. The sink I used had corners with diameters of almost exactly 6-3/8", which is the same size, fortuitously, as the carbide hole saw available for installing recessed light cans:


    This was a breeze, by the way. It took maybe 30 seconds per hole. I thought I may have to pull out my high-torque 1/2" drill (my cement mixer), but the little guy had no trouble.

    I then connected the tangents to the corners using a circular saw, and the cutout was completed:


    Next, I cleaned up the inside edges with a belt sander. I used the nose of the belt sander for inside the corners. Let me tell you that, despite the containment booth, the dust got everywhere in the first floor. I spent lots of time cleaning that up.
    Next, I routed the perimeter of the sink with a 1/4" roundover bit, and eased the front edge with a 1/8" roundover bit:
    .

    Finally, I installed the sink and caulked it before mating it to the countertop with the Sink Setter.

    I still have some work to do. I need to glue one more seam, between the big piece to the left of the sink and a small piece (14" wide) to the right of the range. First, though, I have to make the small slab about 1/8" thinner so that it mates up with the large piece. (My slabs were remnants and so the thicknesses did not match.)

    So far, I am loving the stone!

  • mama goose_gw zn6OH
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Angie_DIY, Great job!! I'm so impressed--you are an inspiration. Those seams? Pffft. They are fine, and soon you won't even notice them. All you'll notice is the beautiful stone and those wonderful runnels. I can't wait to see everything finished.

  • macybaby
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Angie, your problem with the seam was the clamp, those ones won't get super tight if you've got to squeeze something like epoxy. Bar camps are the only thing you can get tight enough.

    BTW- we have an assortment of pressure clamps, and have found the Irwin are the worst at staying tight and holding pressure. I know it won't help you now, but maybe it will help someone else in the future.

  • angie_diy
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks, Mamagoose!

    Macybaby: That is a shame, because I do have a set of Pony pipe clamps. Drat. Oh, well, the seam is not that bad.

    There have been so many things on this project that I managed to do a decent job on, but that I know I could do much better if I had it to do over again. And, yes, I have been doing practice steps on most of the things I have done. Of course, I realized this sad fact going into the project, but it still bugs me a bit. (Not enough to want to do another kitchen yet!)

  • mama goose_gw zn6OH
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Angie, I didn't want to sound too gushy before, but what the heck! You have done an amazing job (as have all the other soapstone DIYers on this thread.)

    The sheer physical exertion of procuring and moving those heavy pieces of stone, gathering all the tools, planning, prepping, cleaning and then second-guessing yourself is exhausting! There will always be small regrets, especially if this is a first-time experience for you.

    In the last pics, the seams aren't as noticeable, and if you're planning on oiling, I'm betting they'll almost disappear when the SS darkens. You should be so proud of yourself--you are very resourceful! Just enjoy the gorgeous counters and don't worry about the little bobbles that only you will notice, and as I said before, pretty soon you won't even think about them. (Remember I wanted longer runnels, but didn't know that I should have decreased the router speed? I use the [short] runnels all the time--they work great, and I'm happy to have them at all.)

    Don't beat yourself up--when you post pics of the finished counters, be ready to take a bow!!

  • enduring
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    OMG! When I saw "hand holds" on the stone, I went "what did she design into her counters?" Then I saw they were very cleaver clamp holes! What a wonderful sink job you did. Thanks for posting.

  • angie_diy
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Mamagoose: Thanks for the support. I apologize -- I did not mean to sound like I was unhappy or disappointed in myself. I am thrilled with how they turned out! I am so thrilled that there are soapstone countertops in my little kitchen that I could sing! This was a major milestone that I had been dreading.

    if you're planning on oiling, I'm betting they'll almost disappear when the SS darkens.
    We are as yet undecided on whether to oil. One thought I had, after it was too late, was that I should have used JB Weld for the seams! The advantage of the stuff I got (from M. Teixeira) is that it cures really hard, harder than normal epoxy. This allows you to shape it like stone. But JB Weld also cures very hard, and it is gray, AND it take a long time to set up. It would have worked out better for me, provided I leave the countertops unoiled. If oiled, the black is better, I agree.

    Enduring: thanks! The holes were also useful during moving time, too! The real useful part, however, was removing part of the sink cutout at the seam. This (a) made the seaming process less demanding, and (b) made the installation easier; we could put the slab down, with the "arms" interdigitated. (I guess if I use the word "interdigitated," I should say "with the fingers interdigitated, huh?) Then, after the stone was resting on the counter, we could maneuver it the last little bit. (Or would have been able to if it were not 1/8" too long!)

    BTW, notice that the circular saw you see in the picture is no longer my old Craftsman, but a new Porter Cable. Cannot say I am real upset that I ruined the old one! ;-)

  • mabeldingeldine_gw
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Angie, your GW name should be Amazing Angie! That is amazing work. I would be in a total panic over attempting a sink cutout like that! And the runnels!! So superfabulous.

    Thanks for taking the time to document this process with photos. I owe you big time, as I know I will be referring to this again and again when I do my counters. You let me know the next time you come to Maine!

  • laxsupermom
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    WOW!!!!!! Amazing job! The clamp holes were such a smart idea, and the runnels look fantastic! Really incredible! I'm so looking forward to seeing more!

  • oldhousegal
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    WOW! Absolutely WOW! I am so impressed by both the fantastic job you did and by your taking the time to photograph it for everyone to see, as well as your creative clamping holes- sheer ss genious!

    It looks amazing, and those seems will seem to disappear after you oil it. I no longer oil my stone, but I don't notice the seams as much anymore.

    You are one smart, and talented gal!

  • jlb1003
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    ttt

  • thirdkitchenremodel
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    GAH! Just about the time I talk myself out of soapstone this thread pops back up and my heart goes thumpity thump...

    Gotta sign myself up for some extra shifts if it's gonna happen...

  • enduring
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I'm bumping this thread so that hopefully others will see & read it. BTW, I am going to be building my SS sink this month! I hope all goes like I have dreamed and drawn.

  • macybaby
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I working on talking DH into cutting runnels in our soapstone. I'm sure tired of using a grungy dish rack base.

    Don't you think runnels would be perfect here? It was made so anything that drips off the edge goes right into the sink.

  • enduring
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Macybaby, do you think that the runnels will land on your sink ledge instead of into the sink? It looks like it could :(

    BTW, nice herringbone floor.

  • oldhousegal
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Macybaby- I agree with enduring, the runnels there look like they would drip onto your sink edge. Does water currently make it into the sink? It's always hard to tell in a photo....

    Not sure if any engineers on this thread, but perhaps if you really put an angle on the last inch or so of the runnel, it would give the water a bit of a boost to make it to the sink?

    Otherwise, I would put a bead of clear silicone on the sink edge to prevent the water from running toward the front of the sink and down your cabinets.

    I do love my runnels though, and encourage anyone who wants them to go for it!

  • angie_diy
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    If you really cut the counter so that drips off the edge go into the sink, then Yes! Runnels would be great there! (I have to say I agree with the others' impression that the drips would hit the sink ledge. But you are there in person and we are in internet-land!)

    Wait! I think I can convince myself you are correct, even from this picture. We can see the inside surface of the sink, but we cannot see the outer edge of the soapstone. The soapstone must be farther to the right than the sink edge.

    if you really put an angle on the last inch or so of the runnel, it would give the water a bit of a boost to make it to the sink?

    I don't think so. The surface energy (surface tension) of water is too high; unless we are talking about a rivulet, it will just stick to the counter.

    If it does become a problem, how would you feel about putting a wedged piece of soapstone on your sink ledge?

  • liriodendron
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    @Macybaby

    To make sure water doesn't flow down the forward (sink) edge of the SS and then run backwards under the slab towards the cab side, you could cut a drip groove like one does for window sills. You could also bevel the underside so it's got a slightly upward slant (from edge towards the cab) on the space between the edge and drip groove to further encourage the water to drip off smartly, rather than cling to itself and flow where you don't want it.

    Do you have any scraps you can play around with to test various edge/runnel/reverse slant/drip groove options. I'm sure there is one solution that will work without allowing water to hit the sink edge nor allowing it to run back to the cab and down that side.

    HTH

    L

  • angie_diy
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Enduring: How did you make out with your soapstone sink project?

  • enduring
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Angie, just saw this update question. I am getting REAL close to starting the sink. I have the bathroom walls partially redone, the plumbing rough-ins in place. Now today I'm calling the carpenter, who will make the cabinet, and ask that he stop by. He needs to see what I've been up to and I want his input on my sink building plans. I will make the sink before he builds.

    I am SCARED. My DH, just says "oh, don't worry, we'll just get some more stone if you need it" He is a very sweet man. But I have enough stone remnants to make several mistakes I think.

    I've got my hand drawings of the joints that I want to make. It will be a simple 10" deep box, 18x18" with a 10" high backsplash that extends across the cabinet. The sink will sit in the cabinet offset to one side, to optimize counter space on the 36" base. I watched a sink building YouTube video that Bucks County Soapstone has on their website. It took a lot of "stop and start" activity while watching so I could draw their procedure.

    I have a plan, now its time to start. I will definitely keep GW posted on this project.

  • angie_diy
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    You go, girl! Make us proud! I had contemplated making one, but decided against it. I did not see the Bucks County Soapstone video. I had figured on using a rabbet and dado type joint -- I will have to look to see what they use.

    I am hoping to update this thread with my finished counters some day. I just wanted to mention to you that I DID use JB Weld for my last seam. It is gray and takes hours to firm up completely, giving one plenty of time to position things just so. (Of course, they need to be clamped for hours, then, too.) Hardens rock hard. You may think about it. What epoxy are you planning to use?

  • enduring
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Angie can't wait to see your kitchen. You've been so instrumental in helping others, I've really appreciated all you've contributed to this forum.

    The joints I'm going to make are rabbet type and are shown on the video. While I had a stretch of solitary time to myself last spring, I drew up a detailed construction plan that was an "exploded" perspective rendition. It was accurate except for the sides. I needed that video to help me clarify the sides.

    I don't remember what epoxy I used for my counters. It had a clear color though, and has been great for the counters. I have some left so will take a look, I think I remember the box stating that it can be used on stone. I will keep my eye open for the JB Weld brand. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Bucks County Soapstone Hand Built Sinks (video)

  • lizzie_nh
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I found this thread while googling, and I'm dredging it up because I think it is AMAZING.

    Here's the main thing (among several) that I love so much about it: it shows a very high-end countertop material in "regular" kitchens. I love soapstone - I think it's beautiful and understated, unlike polished black granite. And yet, it often costs much more per square foot, putting it in a luxury category. I've really wanted it for my somewhat "country" kitchen in rural NH, but my husband is concerned about upgrading beyond the market. (Frankly most people around here have laminate counters and are not seeking or expecting luxury finishes when buying houses.)

    All the pictures I have seen of soapstone counters, until this thread, have been in magazine-ready kitchens (usually paired with the now-ubiquitous white cabinets.) We have oak cabinets, which I have actually grown to really like. We've recently installed hardwood floors throughout the whole downstairs, and I imagine that another understated natural material like soapstone would look great with both the cabinets and floors (while polished black granite would look a bit out of place.) These pictures are really providing inspiration! I think we might go for it.

  • lizzie_nh
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Also - those epoxy resin countertops are amazing! I've thought of that as a less-expensive and more durable option, but my husband thought they'd look "weird." They look wonderful!

  • angie_diy
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Great point, lizzie. Soapstone for the masses!

    Since this is a DIY thread, I will point out that soapstone was affordable for me, whereas granite may not have been. I was able to save on the SS fabrication costs, whereas I could not have done the fabrication of the granite.

  • rggrrgbrg
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Don�t try this at home, Soapstone sink.

  • angie_diy
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Don't try this at home, Soapstone sink.

    Why not? Did you have trouble putting it together? It looks totally fine to me.

  • mateo21
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Nice work, everyone! I had missed this thread before... I'm always amazed with the vehemence with which DIYers are called out on this forum (generally just shy of saying you'll ruin your house, your life, and any chance at resell), it's refreshing to see some DIY priase!!

  • enduring
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Angie, it looks like " rggrrgbrg " registered yesterday to post his/her comment about sinks.

    And Angie, no, my sink is not started yet :( I am too slow. I am still planning on the fabrication though. I've got some direction from a woodworker at a local woodworking supply store. It was helpful. I am currently installing my slate herringbone floor. The carpenter was over measuring for the cabinets he will build. He will build the stand for my sink when I get that far. I have a self imposed deadline of Christmas.

    I know one reason I am slow is that I get nervous about the execution of each project. I've got over the hump of my walls, my electrical heated floor installation, and now my Ditra and Tile. Next will be the freakout about the Laticrete epoxy that I will custom blend (color) for the floor.

    THEN its on to that SS SINK.

    You have given me so much courage Angie_DIY!

  • angie_diy
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Enduring: I totally understand about the need to work up one's nerves for each new project, especially a new kind of one. We haven't done any of these things before; somehow we know we CAN do them, but it isn't clear HOW at the outset. I felt that way about each phase of the project.

    One thing I found surprising was how short the "relapse" period is for me. When I recently did the tile in my landing area, it took me surprisingly long to remember all that I had learned in doing the main floor just 6 mos. prior. Once I was underway, I was fine, but it took a mini-talking-myself-up to it stage.

    So happy you were able to tackle the electrical heated floors. I probably mentioned all this before, but I found that to be VERY challenging; the need to cover it with thinset, but have everything (including areas with no heater cables) come out to the same thickness -- well, it was tough for me. I did that thinset and Ditra for the whole kitchen in one day, as I felt kinda committed with the wet thinset at each seam. That day was 20 hrs long! Super pleased you were able to get it done.

    I found grouting with Spectralock to be fairly straightforward. I did not have much tile-grouting experience before, but I had played with cement/mortar/thinset enough with other projects over the years to get comfortable. I first grouted underneath my cabinets with cementitious grout, so that gave me a little low-stakes experience. In my limited experience, the main thing one has to be careful with for epoxy grout is to watch your timing. Have a clock visible. Take the phone off the hook. Don't get too far ahead. By the end, I was able to (1) mix and apply one mini-unit of Spectralock, (2) perform the initial wash on that area, (3) mix and apply a second unit while the first was drying, (4) perform the initial wash on the second area. (5) perform the second wash on first area, (6) rest, (7) perform the second wash on the second area. I don't recommend trying to have more balls in the air than that!

    As for the courage: I completely believe you have the courage. However, I didn't really give any to you; like for the cowardly lion, it was there all along. I just help remind you that you had it! And you have done the same for me. Thanks.


    Warmly, A_D

  • enduring
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    You are great! And thanks for that fine medal, I love it!

    Additionally I found your post very helpful in a practical sense. Helps get things in perspective. BTY your small hall is very nice and looks perfectly installed.

  • angie_diy
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    The medal is a picture of the actual one from the Wizard of Oz! (Courtesy of Wikipedia.)

  • mabeldingeldine_gw
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Angie, that info about the epoxy grout could not come at a better time as I am screwing up my courage to tile a new shower surround and I want to use epoxy grout for mold resistance. That floor is drop dead gorgeous.

    Enduring, you totally amaze me with your projects! You can do it!

    Thanks!

  • enduring
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    mabeldingeldine, thanks, ;)

  • gpraceman55
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    This thread is worthy of a bump. Thanks @enduring for pointing it out to me.

    I will say that it is great to see a bunch of ladies that aren't afraid of power tools.

    While everyone here is showing off their lovely DIY soapstone kitchen counters, I'll show off my modest DIY bath vanity countertop.

    Well, we redid our small powder room recently along with our kitchen and family room reno. We found a vanity that we liked, off of the Home Depot website. The stain is close to that of the cabinets that went into our kitchen. We didn't particularly like the black granite top that it came with. With our good experience with redoing our fireplace surround and hearth with soapstone, I decided to do a DIY soapstone countertop and backsplash for it.

    I got a slab remnant and a 12" tile from M Tex. in Denver. To get the front contour of the counter, I first used my jig saw with a diamond grit blade to do the rough cut. For the finish cut, I built a wood template and clamped that to the slab. I used a guide bushing mounted on the router base, to follow the template to take off that last little bit of material. I then used the router to round over the sides and front edges (top only). For the sink cutout, I started it with a diamond grit hole saw and then used the jig saw. The hole saw was then used to make the holes for the faucet. A belt sander cleaned up the edges and an orbital sander for the top surface, followed by some hand sanding here and there.

    The tile was cut into 4" strips, with a tile saw, to make up the backsplash. The outer pieces were shaped with the jig saw to provide some interest. I saw that profile somewhere on the web and just had to do it. A square file helped clean up the corners.

    All in all, it was a great little DIY project.

    Here's a closer look. We thought about oiling it, like the soapstone around our fireplace, but we are liking the unoiled color.

    Here's the earlier fireplace project. I designed and built the surround and mantle. Soapstone tiles are inlaid into the columns and frieze. In the frieze, they are actually raised out of the wood a bit. Soapstone tile around the firebox and a soapstone slab for the hearth. Soapstone will pickup the heat from the fireplace and radiate it into the room well after the fireplace is turned off.

    So, now I have to figure out what to do with the piece left over from the sink cutout. Maybe make it into a cheese board. I also have two wedges from the front contour that I can do something with.

    Eventually, we will tackle our master bath and I'm sure that soapstone will make it in there somewhere. Maybe the counters or the floors and/or shower pan. Soapstone floor tile would be great with in floor heating.

  • enduring
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I'm posting my soapstone sink and counters that I did this past winter: I am now making a second sink for my second bathroom remodel.
    Last winter project:

  • gpraceman55
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    @enduring - I do love your vanity. That is some nice joinery that you did on that sink. I assume that you used a router to do that. Is that correct? Did you do a joint to hold the bottom in as well?

  • enduring
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Yes I used a router. I made the sink like the Buck Co. Soapstone people show on their Youtube video. I started and stopped it over and over to get the details down. I think I linked the video above someplace. Yes, on July 14 2012 it is linked above.

    I used a carbide bit from a woodworking store, 5/8" straight.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    6 years ago

    Looks like that poor dog tired himself out running that Gem sander.

  • elbell19
    5 years ago

    subscribed