Soapstone counter tops are becoming a popular alternative to granite or quartz. They require very little maintenance and blend well with many design themes.
Soapstone counter tops are durable, and heat- and stain-resistant, like granite. They are simple to install and nearly indestructible. A unique feature is the ability to integrate a soapstone sink into the design, as well.
Also called steatite or soap rock, it is a metamorphic rock composted mostly of talc, and has been used for carving in many cultures for thousands of years. Soapstone counter tops are smooth, but feel somewhat “soapy” when touched. They are commonly used in chemistry labs and industrial kitchens since the material resists acid and does not stain or absorb liquids.
Soapstone is available in a limited color range, and the colors differ depending on where it was quarried. Untreated soapstone normally has a solid light green or gray color to it, but applying a coat of mineral oil can darken it to a shiny black.
It is easy to work with; virtually any custom size or shaped sink can be created. Because it is chemical- and heat-resistant, regular household cleaners can be used without worry, but care should be taken when cutting or chopping, since nicks and scratches can occur. Blemishes can be easily buffed out with sandpaper and mineral oil, however.
installing a new countertop, soapstone is a viable option with a lot of advantages. You’ll enjoy its beauty and resiliency throughout years of use.