Soapstone’s natural beauty has attracted sculptors for ages, while its durability and ease of maintenance makes it the material of choice for countertops everywhere, from home kitchens to science labs. If you’re considering soapstone countertops, here’s what you need to know:
Soapstone countertops are durable, but easy to shape
Soapstone is dense, non-porous and heat-resistant – all good qualities for a countertop to have. However, because of soapstone’s high talc content, it’s also easy to carve and shape. This means you can carve unique design elements into your countertop. These might include integrated draining channels next to the sink for quick dish drying, or perhaps soap holders and small depressions, which can be used as pinch bowls.
Soapstone’s natural softness means that it may collect nicks and scratches, but this can be considered a part of its natural beauty. If you’d rather maintain a smooth countertop, just make sure to use cutting boards during food prep, and gently sandpaper out any irregularities that occur.
Soapstone countertops are low-maintenance
Because soapstone isn’t as porous as marble, it doesn’t need to be sealed for stain-resistance. And because soapstone itself is pH-neutral, you don’t have to worry about using pH-neutral cleaners on it. Acidic spills from vinegar and wine will also pose less of a threat to soapstone than to granite or marble.
Instead of sealing, soapstone just needs a quick wipe-down with a food-safe mineral oil upon installation. This will darken the stone (soapstone darkens naturally with age) and bring out an elegant sheen. Soapstone may not absorb all the mineral oil, but after 30 minutes, any excess can be wiped off. If your countertop starts to dull, a quick re-application of mineral oil will bring it back to showroom quality again.
Soapstone also has a high heat resistance, meaning hot pans can be placed directly on the stone without worrying about damage. While you might still use trivets in order to prevent any nicks or scratches to the counter, this can be useful if you need to move a hot dish off a crowded stove in a hurry.
If you want to learn more about how soapstone countertops can perform in your St. Louis home, don’t hesitate to contact us at Arch City Granite & Marble, Inc!