Soapstone Countertops FAQ
While most homeowner’s considering natural stone countertops for their home think of popular choices like quartz or granite, soapstone has unique characteristics that make it an ideal choice for many applications.
If you’re considering incorporating the timeless beauty of natural stone into your home, soapstone could be the right choice. All American Granite has put together answers to some of the most frequently asked questions homeowners visiting our Burnsville showroom have about soapstone countertops.
What is soapstone?
Soapstone is a metamorphic rock that consists primarily of talc, giving it a soft and soapy feel – hence the name. Its unique composition makes it perfect for various applications, especially countertops.
Why should I consider soapstone for my countertops?
Soapstone offers numerous benefits:
Durability: It is resistant to stains, heat, and chemicals.
Non-porous: Unlike some other natural stones, it doesn’t require sealing.
Aesthetic appeal: It has a unique, velvety matte finish and rich veining that can range from subtle to dramatic.
How does soapstone compare to quartz?
Soapstone is a natural metamorphic rock, primarily made of talc, which gives it its soft feel. It is mined from quarries. Technically called “engineered quartz”, Quartz is a man-made material comprising about 90-95% ground natural quartz and 5-10% resins, polymers, and pigments.
Quartz is extremely hard and will be more resistant to scratches, stains, and acids compared to soapstone. Quartz doesn’t require sealing and is non-porous, making it highly resistant to bacteria. However, soapstone has natural anti-bacterial qualities.
As a manufactured stone, quartz is available is available in an endless range of colors and patterns, meaning you are more likely to find a look that fits your style. If you like the variety of quartz available, but prefer the soft look and feel of soapstone, consider a quartz with a leathered finish. It reduces the gloss to give quartz a more matte-like finish.
The choice between soapstone and quartz comes down to personal preferences related to aesthetics, the level of maintenance one is comfortable with, budget, and desired durability. Both are excellent choices for countertops and offer unique advantages.
How does soapstone compare to granite and marble?
While all three are popular countertop choices, there are distinct differences:
Maintenance: Soapstone requires less maintenance than marble and doesn’t need to be sealed like most granite countertops.
Durability: While granite is harder than soapstone, soapstone doesn’t chip as easily. Marble is softer and more prone to scratches and stains than both.
Look and feel: Soapstone has a warmer, softer touch compared to the cold rigidity of granite and marble.
How do I care for my soapstone countertop?
Soapstone is relatively low maintenance. Use a mild dish soap and water for cleaning. While it doesn’t require sealers, many homeowners apply mineral oil to darken and enhance its natural patina.
Does soapstone scratch easily?
Due to its talc content, soapstone is softer than some other stones, making it more prone to scratches. However, light scratches can often be buffed out with sandpaper, and the stone’s natural patina helps mask them over time.
Is soapstone expensive?
The cost of soapstone is comparable to other high-end countertop materials. Pricing factors include the stone’s grade, vein pattern, thickness, and the current supply-demand in the Twin Cities area and nationally.
Can I put hot pots directly on my soapstone countertop?
Yes! Soapstone is highly heat resistant. You can place hot pots or pans directly onto the surface without worrying about damage. However, All American Granite recommends using trivets or other heat-protective surfaces under hot pots on all types of countertops.
Will soapstone darken over time?
Soapstone naturally darkens and develops a patina over time, especially when exposed to oils and greases. This characteristic is often what homeowners appreciate most, as it gives the stone an evolving, lived-in appearance.
Where else can I use soapstone in my home?
Apart from kitchen countertops, soapstone is great for:
- Fireplace surrounds
- Bathroom vanities
- Outdoor patios
How environmentally friendly is soapstone?
Soapstone is a sustainable choice. It’s quarried in smaller amounts and often sourced locally in Minnesota and surrounding states, reducing transportation-related impacts. Additionally, its longevity means less frequent replacement, contributing to reduced waste.
Twin Cities Soapstone Countertops
With its unique and unparalleled natural beauty, durability, and low maintenance, soapstone is a top choice for many homeowners. If you’re considering natural stone, this timeless classic might be the perfect fit for your home!
Want to experience the beauty of soapstone in person? Stop by our Burnsville showroom to explore our range of soapstone options and talk to our helpful design consultants about your project.