24 June 2009

First Day of Soapstone Installation

At my 38 week prenatal appointment, my doctor said that I could deliver our second child any day now as he'd probably come early (due July 5th). I said that my goal was to make it just another week, so that I could see our soapstone counters going into our new kitchen.

Suffice it to say, my doctor was not prepared for this response. She stared at me for half a second and then realized that I was entirely serious. She said "well, I think you'll probably make it another week." Luckily, our second baby must consider his current residence to be quite satisfactory, as I have been able to at least see the start of the installation. Either he likes his current digs, or he understands well beyond his years that it's best to avoid coming between a kitchen-fanatic and her new soapstone. :)

The fabricators scheduled my installation for three days to be safe, but really expect the installation to take two days. They drove into town mid-this morning (they are from Bend, OR -- 3h away) and then they worked until 9pm tonight! They'll resume again around 8:30a tomorrow. Here's some teaser pics:

Soapstone arriving in my driveway. Three slabs, consecutively cut from the same lot. They expect to use two slabs for my job and brought the third slab as backup.

Getting the first slab squared up for the templating. The variety is "Duro Minas." I love the front corner of the slab with the dramatic bubbles and veining. It will be the front corner of the island. Even though I know soapstone "doesn't stain," I asked if I could test this slab before confirming the template position; they readily agreed. The stone had been sitting in the sun and was about 100 degrees. I poured balsamic vinegar straight on the whitest spots and let it sit for 10 minutes. A squirt of mild dish soap and a wet towel completely removed all traces of the vinegar.

Here is that same slab, mostly fabricated. There's still some sanding work to do. The stone is pretty dusty in this picture. We plan to oil it for a dramatic black/white island. I have never seen soapstone like this with such a large percentage of chunky white -- but I love it. One of the fabricators said this is his new favorite soapstone. The cutout in back middle is for the island prep sink. The missing back corner is where my walnut prep surface snugs into place.

This stone is just set in place to check fit in the butler's pantry. As you can see, I have started labeling drawers with post-it notes so I can start a plan for putting things away. (The sliver of cabinet in the right of the photo is just temporarily there -- the walkway is much wider than this picture implies!)
One surprise with our soapstone is that the exact slab I tagged, was not included in my shipment. I was a little disappointed by this, but at the end of the day I am very happy with the stone they did send. Another surprise is that I expected to love the caramel deposits -- but I don't. I love the aesthetics, but those areas of the slab are also very soft. I only want to use the harder pieces. Some of the caramel veined areas are harder, and included in the kitchen layout, but by and large I won't have the chunky caramel inclusions that I expected. I still just love the stone, so ditching the chunky caramel is no big loss.

I have been pretty quiet on this blog for the last week or so because the vast majority of work that's been happening is cabinetry installation. I already showed you pictures of it being put in place, so showing you pictures of it being actually secured in place is not very visually compelling.

Going forward, progress will really start to happen quickly. The thought is to have most major appliances installed about a week from now! I find it hard to believe that will really happen within a week's time, but no one else seems surprised. We'll see!

1 comment:

mom2reese said...

Oh, man, I cannot wait to see those babies oiled! I'm already drooling.

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