As a homeowner, it’s natural to want the best. In your kitchen, beautiful countertops that are highly functional and easy to maintain are the dream. You’ve probably heard that hard stones like marble and granite are good for this, and that’s true. But, there’s another stone you should consider before you commit to any final decisions: soapstone.
What Is Soapstone
Soapstone (also known as Steatite) is a stone created through the chemical alteration of rocks and minerals. This process is known as metasomatism. This phenomenon takes place in zones where two tectonic plates meet and one is forced under the other. Some of the minerals found in soapstone are talc, micas, quartz, chlorite, carbonates, amphiboles, and magnesite.
This can vary depending on the geographical location. Brazil is where most soapstone quarries are located, but there are a lot fewer quarries for soapstone than other stones (i.e. marble). With less than 10 soapstone quarries being active in Brazil, compared to over 80 active marble quarries in Italy alone. This is one reason for the higher prices associated with soapstone products.
What Are the Benefits of Soapstone Countertops?
Soapstone slabs can be more expensive than other natural stone options. While this might seem like a turn-off to the uninformed, there are an impressive number of benefits to soapstone countertops that homeowners can take advantage of when installing new surfaces in their homes. These benefits can make up for this difference in cost over time. Things like durability, recyclability, and easier installation all make soapstone countertops an appealing option.
Soapstone is not a synthetically manufactured stone. What this means is that chemicals, and therefore chemical waste, do not have any part in soapstone production. Soapstone is also recyclable, which further increases its profile for people who are looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
Soapstone Does Not Stain
Soapstone is non-porous — meaning air and fluids are unable to permeate into the stone. This makes it so any spills and accidents that happen on the counter won’t leave any discolorations or stains. Even liquids with high acidity won’t cause any issues with soapstone countertops.
Since soapstone is not created synthetically, there is no need to worry about any food unsafe chemicals contacting your food when on or around the countertop. This is especially nice in situations where company is over and things like snacks and drinks are out for extended periods of time on countertop surfaces. The non-porous nature of soapstone also reduces the presence of microbes on the countertop.
Since the creation of soapstone happens in very volatile, high heat environments, it is exceptionally heat resistant. There is no need to worry about placing hot materials or items (such as tea kettles) onto the countertop directly. Doing so will not leave any discolorations or damage.
Does Not Crack Easily
Soapstone countertops are an investment that purchasers hope to enjoy for the long term. The fact that soapstone does not easily crack can allay the fears of purchasers that it may not last in the long run. Soapstone is very durable and will be with you long after your initial purchase.
Return on Investment
Soapstone retains more of its value after installation than other stone options. Soapstone is recyclable, durable, and has very few active quarries. All of these qualities mean that purchasers are able to get a lot of their investment back upon selling.
Easy to Maintain
Since soapstone is non-porous and heat resistant, maintaining and cleaning a soapstone surface is very simple. The use of a soft sponge and mild soap is all that is required to clean a soapstone surface.
Compared to other natural stones, soapstone has cheaper installation costs associated with them. Most natural stones are very difficult to install, so this is one way soapstone stands out among its direct competitors.
Probably the first thing that attracts people to a natural stone countertop, like soapstone, is the beauty. Soapstone provides a rustic and natural look that fits into a variety of room layouts and styles. Although, partly due to its non-porous nature, the color selection of soapstone is limited to its naturally-occurring colors.
Soapstone countertops have very few drawbacks compared to this extensive list of positives. If you are looking for a long-term, beautiful natural stone surface, there is no need to look further than soapstone as the option for you.
Where Can I Purchase a Soapstone Countertop?
Soapstone is a great natural stone for homeowners to utilize. Its high durability allows it to maintain its structure and form even in the hot and humid climate of east Texas. The longevity and aesthetic of soapstone are a great fit for any potential buyer. If you are in the market for a new countertop or surface, please come visit Wholesale Granite Direct’s showroom and look at our soapstone countertop options!