Are you remodeling your kitchen and trying to decide on a countertop material? Many people get hung up on granite, quartz, slate or marble and overlook the natural charm of soapstone countertops. If you are interested in a natural stone for your kitchen, soapstone is worth considering.
Soapstone is a natural quarried stone. It is a type of metamorphic rock that contains varying levels of dolomite, magnesite, chlorite and talc. The milky, powdery look and feel of the stone is due to the talc. The more talc a slab contains the softer the stone is. For countertops, you will want a harder, less talc-y stone.
Soapstone countertops are both beautiful and durable. They offer outstanding design versatility working well in traditional and modern style homes. They add an amazing amount of warmth and come in a range of colors from almost pure white with some marbling to a nearly solid charcoal.
Although not as hard as granite, soapstone is less brittle and more pliable. This means it is less likely to suddenly crack from stress or weight. It is non-porous and doesn’t require sealing and much less likely to stain from wine or oil spills. The primary care that soapstone may require is periodic oiling, but this is mainly for aesthetic reasons.
One of the drawbacks of soapstone is that it tends to be a little softer than other natural stones. It may scratch or dent more easily, so you should avoid cutting directly on it. Unlike other material, these imperfections can usually be sanded out.
Soapstone countertops are worth considering if you are looking for a low-maintenance natural stone. You won’t find the range of pinks, greens and blues, but soapstone can be found in a unique range of whites and charcoals with beautiful marble-like veining. Its non-porous surface makes it resistant to stains and imperfections can be easily mended.