Soapstone is a popular option for those looking to create a durable and stylish surface to match their home’s modern aesthetic. Soapstone slabs have a velvety, smooth texture, similar to a dry bar of soap, thanks to the talc component. This also makes it softer than other natural stone countertop selections.
This article will provide you with all the information you need about soapstone countertops to help make your decision easier. If you are looking for soapstone countertops for your kitchen, you can get more information at https://www.caesarstone.ca/blog/pros-and-cons-of-soapstone-countertops/.
What Is Soapstone and How Does It Work?
Soapstone, unlike much other natural stone, is often found in grey, green, or black, with little visible veining or visible subtle shading. You can also find them in color variations such as light rose to deep charcoal.
Soapstone’s basic and understated appearance performs well in classic country kitchens, where it has been used for generations. They go well even with a clean, contemporary diner with steel appliances.
On the other hand, manufactured soapstone countertops have a hardness comparable to marble and can even be tougher due to the addition of quartz.
What Are the Best Features of Soapstone Countertops?
There are many benefits of buying soapstone countertops, and the best features include:
Countertops Made of Soapstone Are Long-Lasting
Soapstone is solid, waterproof, and heat-resistant, which are all desirable attributes in a countertop. However, soapstone is easier to carve and shape due to its high talc concentration.
As a result, you’ll be able to carve your design features into your countertop. Integrated drainage channels adjacent to the sink for speedy dish drying, soap holders, and little depressions that can be used as pinch bowls, are just a few examples of customizations you can go for.
Simple To Form And Shape
Soapstone can develop nicks and scratches due to its natural softness, which is part of its natural beauty. If you prefer a smooth surface, ensure to use kitchen utensils when preparing meals and sandpaper off any flaws using soft sandpaper.
Countertops Made of Soapstone Are Low-Maintenance
Soapstone does not require much sealing for stain protection since it is not as porous as marble. You can seal it every 3-4 years for color preservation. Being pH-neutral, you don’t have to worry about applying pH-neutral cleaners on soapstone.
Acidic spills like wine and alcohol will also damage soapstone less than granite or marble. It only requires a simple wipe-down with food-safe mineral oil after installation rather than sealing.
This darkens the rock and gives an attractive gloss (natural stone darkens gradually with time). If the countertop becomes dull, mineral oil will restore it to factory condition.
Soapstone is also heat resistant, allowing hot pans to be correctly placed on the surface without damaging the countertop. While you should still use trivets to protect the counter from nicks and damages, this might be beneficial if you need to take hot food off a crowded burner quickly.
Some Things to Keep in Mind Before Purchasing
There are few things to keep in mind before purchasing soapstone countertops.
Mineral Oil Must Be Used to Seal
Although soapstone is a dense natural stone, it is permeable and will discolor if not sealed every 3-4 years. To avoid stains and other sorts of damage, all natural-stone surfaces should be sealed accordingly.
Soapstone, on the other hand, is one-of-a-kind, necessitating heavy coats of mineral oil once every 6 months.
Examining soapstone samples from your local countertop store will help you obtain a better understanding of the material. Scratching soapstone samples can produce some fascinating outcomes. Some people scratch with their fingernails, while others scratch with a pocketknife.
The hardness of a single stone will vary depending on its talc concentration, with even a single stone displaying varied hardness in different regions.
Resistant to Acid
Soapstone is highly resistant to stains and acid damage. Its texture is very smooth with density which makes it resistant to acids and alkalis. It may also contain calcite veins and magnesite on some occasions, which keeps it resistant to acid.
What Is the Best Way to Choose Soapstone?
Soapstone colors vary from soft white to light grey to deep charcoal, depending on the area where it’s mined, with most forms having delicate veining. Some have touches of pearl, turquoise, or emerald, although whites and greys are the most common.
Remember that soapstone tends to darken over time: a light grey countertop will eventually deepen to richer grey, and a dark grey countertop will darken to practically black.
And, because soapstone slabs are natural items, no two will be exactly alike, so expect some variation between linked slabs.
Cleaning Soapstone Countertops
You can clean soapstone with mineral oil by applying it gently. After the mineral oil treatment, you can clean your soapstone with any home cleaning. Typically, simply wiping the soapstone with soap and water suffices.
Any basic cleanser will not harm a soapstone counter. When necessary, a small vegetable brush can be used to keep sink corners clean.
Soapstone Countertops Price
Most soapstone countertops are priced differently based on the source, grade, depth, style, and size. Installation can add another $65 per square foot to the cost, bringing the total to between $95 and $150 for each square foot for properly installed soapstone countertops.
Custom add-ons like grooved drainage boards and sophisticated edge profiles, as well as thicker slabs, will increase the final cost.
Soapstone’s beauty has fascinated artists for centuries. Its endurance and convenience make it suitable for countertops in a wide range of applications, from household kitchens to science labs.
If you’re buying soapstone for your home, make sure you get structural quality soapstone, which is ideal for kitchen and bathroom countertops. Its natural beauty makes it ideal for modern and unconventional homes. Thus, if you are pondering upon the decision, it is best to talk to an expert who can guide you.