Though it isn’t as widely known as granite, marble, and other types of stone, soapstone is quickly gaining popularity for use as kitchen and bathroom countertops. Soapstone has a lot to offer with minimal maintenance, durability, and a beautiful, understated appeal. Here’s what you should know if you’re thinking about having soapstone countertops installed in your home.
What Is Soapstone?
Soapstone is a type of metamorphic rock that’s mostly made up of the mineral talc as well as magnesium. Unlike most types of natural stone, soapstone is not available in a wide array of colors. Soapstone typically comes in shades of gray, green, and black with either no veining or noticeable veining. However, this doesn’t detract from its appeal. The minimalist and subdued look of soapstone works very well in traditional farmhouse kitchens, where it’s been used for centuries, or a sleek, modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances.
Soapstone is used in science labs around the world for a reason: it is incredibly hardy, and it is immune to acids that can damage other types of stone. There is no need to worry about etching from lemon juice, wine, and coffee spills. This quality is why soapstone is so popular for laboratory counters. Soapstone is impervious to most chemicals and liquids, and it has an incredibly long life span. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see soapstone from the 1800s still in use in some parts of the United States.
Needs to Be Sealed with Mineral Oil
Soapstone is a relatively dense natural stone, but it’s porous enough to darken if left unsealed. All natural-stone surfaces need to be sealed regularly to protect against staining and other types of damage. When caring for stone such as granite or marble, it’s recommended to use a specially formulated stone sealer such as Granite Gold Sealer®. However, soapstone is unique, requiring heavy coats of food-grade mineral oil at least once every six months. When the stone begins to lighten, you’ll know it’s time to apply additional coats of mineral oil.
Most homeowners appreciate materials that do not require time-consuming or costly maintenance. Sometimes this is a balancing act with aesthetics. Soapstone offers both beauty and easy care requirements. While soapstone is a soft stone, which makes it prone to nicks and scratches with use, damage can be repaired. Soapstone is also relatively heat-resistant, but to protect the surface you should always use hot pads rather than placing hot items directly on the surface of the stone. All you need to clean soapstone is a stone-safe granite daily cleaner.
If you have soapstone or another type of stone in your home, such as granite, marble, or slate, it’s important to clean it regularly. If you’re not sure how to clean granite countertops, get in touch with Granite Gold® to find out how to do so properly. All of our products are safe to use on all types of natural stone. Give us a call today at 1-800-475-STONE.