Selecting a countertop to install is not as simple as choosing the one that looks the prettiest. Soapstone countertops are a great choice if you value very low maintenance, beauty, and the durability to withstand all types of use.
What exactly is soapstone?
Coming from natural quarries, the soapy metamorphic rock has a distinct presence of talc. Soapstone Slabs that have a lower talc content are going to make better countertops because they are the most durable. A higher talc content is best for artistic use because it’s very soft and easy to carve.
Soapstone is not going to be as strong as marble or granite, but it’s easy to cut and install. Since the slabs are typically smaller when quarried, it might be necessary to match several pieces for a single countertop.
Why is soapstone such a great countertop material?
Unlike a lot of other popular countertops, soapstone is actually a heat conductor that can withstand direct exposure to a hot pan.
It is not going to etch from acids like harsh cleansers or lemon juice, so it’s great in a kitchen. The nonporous surface is so dense that it is not going to stain, even if dark liquids are not cleaned immediately.
Is sealing necessary for soapstone countertops?
No protection is necessary to keep soapstone looking as perfect as the day it was installed. It actually offers a bit of an environmental advantage because no chemicals are needed for fabrication or care.
What colors are available in soapstone?
All of the soapstone slabs are some shade of gray, but they can feature unique undertones of green or blue.
Every quarry is going to offer a unique material that might have some degree of veining.
What is required for soapstone cleaning and maintenance?
As mentioned, the majority of people that choose soapstone are looking for little to no maintenance. Soapstone resists bacteria and it’s non-absorbent so cleaning rarely requires anything more than soap and water.
If the slab is on the softer side, it is a good idea to add a layer of protection with a cutting board when preparing food. If scratches do show, it is easy to eliminate on your own by buffing with a sandpaper.