What is Soapstone?
Also known as steatite, soapstone contains the mineral talc—yes, as in talcum powder—which makes it relatively soft. But while soapstone may not be as hard as granite or quartz, it is dense, which means it’s more sanitary and easier to wipe clean. It is a favored material for countertops designed to take a beating, which makes it ideal for kitchen applications. A naturally quarried stone, the name comes from the soapy feel of its surface. There are two varieties, artistic and architectural, with artistic grade soapstone having a higher talc content that also makes it easier to carve (sculptors love it!). The architectural grade version has between 50 to 75% talc, which makes it harder and more suitable for countertop use. Soapstone can be easily cut, shaped, and installed. One important factor to keep in mind when considering soapstone countertops for your Albuquerque home is that the material is typically quarried in smaller slabs. If your design includes counters longer than 7 feet, you may need to use several pieces that are seamed together.
Advantages of Soapstone Countertops
One of the nicest features of soapstone countertops is that, unlike some other natural stones, they don't need to be sealed to protect their good looks. Other benefits include:
- Because it's dense and non-porous, it’s highly stain-resistant and reduces the risk of bacterial growth, a plus in both the kitchen and bathroom. Soapstone does darken when liquid pools on it, but when the liquid evaporates or is wiped off, the stone returns to its natural color.
- Because it's what's known as chemically inert, soapstone stands up well too acidic materials like lemon juice.
- Soapstone’s density makes it amazingly heat-resistant.
Two possible downsides to soapstone are that it naturally darkens over time and its tendency to scratch or chip if knives are used directly on its surface or something heavy is dropped on it.
Of all the natural stone products for you to choose from, none has stood the test of time the way soapstone has. Its high-performance track record makes installing soapstone countertops in your Albuquerque home’s kitchen or bath an excellent choice. For more information, contact one of our stone professionals today.