What is Soapstone?
Soapstone is a softer natural stone. It contains minerals that give it a lighter color and feels smooth to the touch due to its talc content. The colors tend to be warmer but neutral, so you’re sure to find an option that compliments your overall style. But if you prefer counters that stand out, soapstone also has natural swirls of blues and greens, making it an exquisite choice for your farm-style kitchen.
What are the Pros of Soapstone?
- Soapstone’s natural beauty speaks for itself. For the people who want their homes to have an earthy, grounding feel, this is the choice countertop for you.
- It is durable and heat-tolerant. You can set your hot pans on it and not worry that it’ll mar the beauty of your countertop. There are some speculations that soapstone can withstand almost 3000° Fahrenheit.
- It is nonporous. You don’t have to worry about spilling acidic liquids on it or reapplying sealant every three to six months. You also don’t have to feel anxious when your fresh vegetables sit on your counters because there’s no way that bacteria can build up if you keep them wiped clean.
What are the Cons of Soapstone?
- Due to its high talc content, this softer stone is prone to scratches. Using cutting boards for all your cooking will help avoid scratching.
- Soapstone can be prone to chipping. However, you can buff out scratches and etches with sandpaper. (We recommend adding mineral oil after buffing to bring it back to its original shine!)
- The durability of the stone depends on its mineral makeup, so make sure that you pick a harder type of soapstone if you plan to use it frequently.
- While you don’t have to add sealant, if you want your soapstone countertops to keep their original color and shine, you’ll need to apply a coat of mineral oil every so often (Every six months or so.). Soapstone naturally reacts with the environment and darkens. Mineral oil helps keep that from happening.
- It can be expensive. However, soapstone will last a lifetime if properly cared for, so it’s worth the investment.
How to Care and Maintain Soapstone
- Wipe clean with a damp cloth and use a mild cleaner.
- In the first year, plan to oil your counters once a month. Afterward, you can reapply the oil when the stones appear darker.
The Best Uses of Soapstone
Soapstone adds a restful, rustic touch to your home. It can also enhance your family room if applied around a fireplace. It also brings a sense of tranquility to your kitchen or bathroom.