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I've changed my mind about the material I would like for our new kitchen countertops. Rather than go with a synthetic, "stone-look" material I've decided on either slate or soapstone, for two main reasons: 1) they don't require sealing, and 2) they're non-reactive to acids or anything else I might spill on them. I realize that many synthetic and engineered stone surfaces have these qualities, but in addition to looks, the materials and processes used in making them - not to mention how they will "degrade" (or not) once their useful lives are finished - make me question whether these are the most responsible choice. Real stone requires no processing, and there are many quarries that adhere to a set of standards regarding water usage and waste (see http://www.marble-institute.com/consumers/). One additional requirement for me is that the stone be quarried in the U.S., and I can get soapstone from Virginia and slate from Vermont. Granted, either granite or marble would make the most sense from a geography standpoint as I live in the southeast; but I'm not aware of a locally-quarried stone slab that doesn't require sealing. Show me one, and I may change my mind - again ;).

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Decaf Java

I just love the vintage warmth of soapstone. It's not for everyone: it's soft and takes a lot of lemon oil to reach it's optimal color (like seasoning a cast iron pan). But I love the character and patina it has. We used it in a kitchen.

Tacoma Circle · More Info

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Corian ash concrete
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