Q: What is the appeal and advantage of using soapstone as a countertop material?
A: Soapstone countertops offer a lot of great qualities not to mention looking fantastic in your dream kitchen. Not only do these type countertops look wonderful, they’re also one of the most durable and maintenance-free countertops you can choose.
Why are Soapstone Countertops So Appealing?
The mineral used to make soapstone countertops—steatite—comes from metamorphic rock. This non-porous material offers an ideal medium for applications such as kitchen countertops because it does not absorb liquids. Also, unlike other materials often used for kitchen countertops, including granite, soapstone countertops do not stain because of this unusual characteristic.
Other great qualities include:
Unique Thermal Properties: Another exceptional quality about soapstone countertops lies in its unique thermal properties. Almost heatproof, placing a hot pot or pan directly from the stovetop or oven on it causes no damage to a soapstone countertop. Because of its excellent ability to withstand heat, this mineral is used not only in soapstone countertops, but also in a number of other applications including laboratory counters, oven interiors, grills, and more.
Easy Upkeep: One of the most remarkable and attractive properties of soapstone countertops stems from its upkeep. Maintaining soapstone countertops means nothing more than regularly applying mineral oil to it with a rag. By keeping the same rag sealed in a zip-locked plastic bag and reusing it, one maintains the beauty and luster of soapstone countertops indefinitely. The oiling of soapstone countertops also creates the added benefit of it darkening over time to a dark gray and eventually to a rich, deep black color. Sometimes soapstone countertops develop deep green markings that come from natural-occurring shadings of the stone.
Repair Care: Scratches or marring inevitably occurs in soapstone countertops that receive heavy use. To remedy this, first sand with 120-grit sandpaper, then go over the mark with 220-grit sandpaper and water. Rub mineral oil into the area, wait a few hours and apply more mineral oil. Continue to apply mineral oil over the course of several days until the soapstone that has been repaired matches its surrounding areas.
It’s very possible that soapstone might begin seeing a surge in kitchens as more and more people discover its unique qualities for themselves. Contact us today to learn more about your kitchen redesign and we can walk you through soapstone and other countertop options!