Measure and Build the Templates
Soapstone is a malleable stone with exceptional density that feels to the touch like a dry bar of soap. It makes a great, elegant countertop material.
To cut and install custom-cut soapstone for any countertops, backsplashes or islands, it is critical to first measure precisely.
Measure each part of the countertop area, taking into account and eliminating irregularities in the back wall. Include a 1-1/4” overhang at the front edge of the countertops. Before you begin cutting any stone, double-check those measurements.
Use a level and nylon string to make sure your cabinets are plumb and square.
Next, build a template (Image 1) for each piece of stone that needs to be cut. This is especially helpful for those pieces that have unusual shapes and are not strictly rectangular. Make the template using 3/8” or 1/2” luan plywood. It's best to make the template fit the cabinet bases perfectly, nailing and gluing the pieces together and then placing the template right on the counter bases to get an exact measurement.
When the template is ready, lay it directly on the stone and hold the template in place with clamps. Trace round the with a pen mark that you can see when cutting (Image 2).