Steven Schrenk 


Sarah Gibson, Blogger and DIY designer.

Sarah Gibson, Blogger and DIY designer.

Gibson chose to give her soapstone countertops a wax finish, to darken the surface and make it ”saturated and rich.”

Gibson chose to give her soapstone countertops a wax finish, to darken the surface and make it ”saturated and rich.”

Laundry day might just be Sarah Gibson’s favorite time of the week.

Hours spent sorting and folding a load of wash no longer feels like a tedious act — the process has actually become quite meditative thanks to Gibson’s recently renovated space in her home in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“I’m already more inclined to do laundry,” Gibson said. “It makes me so happy to have that space done. It feels spacious and clean and organized and like I can finally breathe again.”

Gibson, the blogger and DIY designer behind Room For Tuesday, took part in the One Room Challenge, in which she had six weeks to transform a room in her home from start to finish — all while documenting the journey.

She chose to transform her laundry room, which acts as a highly trafficked area. The room leads out to the backyard and serves as a space to store leashes, crates, and dog bowls for her and her husband’s two dogs — Johnny Cash and Finn.

“We don’t have kids so our pets are definitely our children,” Gibson added with a laugh. “They’re our little fur babies.”

The newly renovated space features custom designed cabinetry with plenty of storage space, a cozy built-in dog crate, Polycor’s soapstone countertops, DIY pedestal dog feeders with a slab of soapstone, conveniently placed wall hooks for leashes, hats, and jackets, a neutral colored rug that can easily be cleaned with a hose, and of course, little touches, like a portrait Gibson personally painted of her dogs.

The first three weeks of the renovation were dedicated to the basics, like planning the design, demolition, plumbing, electrical, and designing an integrated dog crate. While the remaining weeks, were all about the aesthetic and little details, like choosing the right backsplash tile, countertops, cabinetry, upholstery, and decorations.

Gibson, who’s been blogging about her personal design projects since 2014, said she prefers working with companies that work with her vision.

“I really love working with Polycor,” Gibson said. “They’re one of my favorites because they’re super friendly and encouraging of my creativity. I chose to use soapstone for the countertops because I really wanted to bring in some high contrast with the custom cabinetry. I ended up enhancing the soapstone with the wax — I really like that it darkened it and made it feel saturated and rich.”)

She first learned about Alberene Soapstone when she visited Polycor’s Georgia quarry back in 2016. The material’s durability, smoothness, and stain resistant properties, and unique look is a major appeal for homeowners.

“It was during that visit I really fell in love with soapstone,” Gibson said. “It just had a really nice feel in the hand. It feels luxurious, and it’s darker, which is different than what most people are doing right now. I like to embrace the difference.”

Gibson’s One Room Challenge transformed her highly-trafficked laundry room into a space both functional and beautiful. Custom cabinets (lower) conceal a dog crate, topped by Alberene soapstone.

Gibson’s One Room Challenge transformed her highly-trafficked laundry room into a space both functional and beautiful. Custom cabinets (lower) conceal a dog crate, topped by Alberene soapstone.

Gibson and her husband had a small soapstone remnant and decided to give their dogs a little taste of luxury.

She asked her fabricator to take the extra soapstone slab material and cut holes that could fit stainless steel dog dishes. The pedestal feeding stations, she said, creates the perfect amount of consistency to her new space.

Since installing the stone, she’s noticed how easy cleanup can be with soapstone. She simply has to wipe after a mess. We find a little soap and water goes a long way too.

“You can see the laundry room from the breakfast nook and the kitchen. If people are coming over to the house, that room is out and about for everyone to see,” Gibson said. “I love putting so much attention in the details because from living in such a small house, I’ve learned that every square foot counts.”

For more information about selecting, darkening or waxing soapstone, visit

A Simple Guide to Waxing Soapstone in Four Easy Steps

Honed Alberene Soapstone

Honed Alberene Soapstone 


1. Start with a clean surface and apply wax with a towel. 

You can use mild dish soap and water. Soapstone generally does not need a lot of cleaning. Then follow with a dry wax, Dry wax is a favorite for treating soapstone countertops because it is 100 percent  natural and food safe, and can take a beating from an active family, spilled sodas and pickle jars.

The wax gives the natural stone a look that is different from its natural gray color and makes for a much longer lasting effect with less reapplication required. 

Simply apply the wax by rubbing it into the stone with a dry towel, or even your hands, and instantly see the difference between the treated and untreated look of the Alberene soapstone.

2. Watch the veining pop!

Enhanced soapstone has a signature look that’s rich in color and contrast. The finished application of wax also produces a subtle satin luster. Most soapstone owners want it be as dark as possible, because the darker it is, the more the veining shows, and the more the characteristics of the stone show. 

3. Let the wax rest. 

Allow the wax to sit on the soapstone for 30 minutes before wiping it off, or even leave it on overnight.

4. Reapply to suit your look.

Alberene Soapstone wax can be applied as frequently as needed depending on the shade of black that you desire. Try applying the wax weekly in the beginning to make the soapstone darken faster than normal. After several back to back applications it will remain dark for a long time - the more you wax it, the darker it becomes and the longer the color stays. 

Darkening soapstone can give a kitchen the European feel many consumers are seeking – warmer, cozier and as if bread was baking in the oven. 

With its ability to be enhanced Alberene Soapstone can have many looks from rustic, to modern, industrial and eclectic. See how designers use American soapstone to achieve a variety of looks on the Polycor website.