What is Soapstone Kitchen Countertop
Soapstone itself is metamorphic rock basically. There are currently two types of materials, at least well-known, that can be categorized as “soapstone”. The first material is going to be Talc which is the softest material known on earth and is primarily used in things like makeup, cosmetics, sculpting and other every day common items such as toothpaste, baby powders and even things like bubble gum. The other material is called steatite.
The steatite which we refer to plainly as soapstone is the material that is used in soapstone kitchen countertops, as well as the other things like flooring, walls, sinks, etc. Soapstone in the beginning phases will be a plain gray color, or different shades of it, unlike Talc which might actually come in multiple different colors to choose from.
This stone is going to be softer than many other naturally occurring minerals, and even though it may be soft, it’s still extremely dense, meaning non-porous, and even more than marble minerals, as well as limestone, granite, which is another popular choice for countertops. Soapstone itself is virtually impenetrable which means it’s not going to stain because no liquid will get through its non-porous surface level.
This is an invaluable quality to have in your kitchen countertop material selection, which is a big reason soapstone is so popular of a choice. Other countertop materials have a propensity to become soiled, which is why soapstone is often used in areas like chemistry labs or others that have liquids that need not enter the surface of the countertop.
When you choose soapstone countertops, you are going with a trusted and quality brand of countertops that many homeowners are choosing every day. If you want a beautiful and exclusive material for your choice in your house then there are many good reasons to choose soapstone. Because soapstone does not stain, it’s an obvious choice for countertops.
They also won’t be harmed by other common things that will occur in a kitchen, such as hot pans being placed on them, or highly stainable liquids such as wines or juices. Soapstone is easy to take care of, with one of the only things required is that you give them a mineral oil treatment so that it will enhance the darkening process that occurs naturally with soapstone. You can clean soapstone with any standard cleaning materials. You won’t need to buy any special cleaning products that you might have had to do if you went with other common countertop selection choices.
One interesting thing about soapstone is that the color is based on what part of the world the soapstone comes from. Soapstone colors are determined by if they came from the U.S., Canada, China or everywhere in-between. Because Soapstone is metamorphic, it’s made from talc, which affects its color. The basic soapstone colors are white, gray, green.
They aren’t solid colors, but instead, are mottled and textured by other materials from their natural state. When soapstone is in a discolored state, the colors are more similar to red or brown. The color also depends on the light it can reflect. One cool thing about modern technology is that given enough time people will figure out how to get anything how they want it, and because of this soapstone is available in more colors than nature intended. Colors like red, black, pink and dark greens.
These are the colors most used in contemporary style homes with modern decor. The best way to keep this color bright and shining is to keep it clean. And use the mineral oil technique regularly to keep it as illustrious as it can be.
The Common Colors
Here is an example of some of the earthier dark tones that Soapstone has to offer. Blue Green Polish, Brown Polished, Ice Flower, Natural, Night Blue, Sandblasted in that order. These are great colors for your Soapstone to be for sinks, or cabinets, in your kitchen or bathroom. These colors will hold for a long time. And you can’t tell if they were installed today, or 5 years ago if you take care of them.
When choosing your color, it’s important to put a lot of thought into it, more so than you might for the color of your walls or even floor. Countertops are not easily changed, and when you spend the kind of money you might on a new soapstone countertop, you want to make sure you are happy with it.
You can typically ask for Soapstone samples from a manufacturer or supplier of Soapstone. So you can get a better idea of the color in real life, and not just from the Internet. These can be mailed to you, or if you live near a supplier, you can go in and pick some out.
Buy Soapstone Kitchen Countertops
Soapstone has many possible uses for your home, not just countertops. Although those will be the most common that you run across. Anything that you need a good quality, stain & heat resistant material, you can basically use soapstone for it. Here we will go over a few of the most common things you will find soapstone being used for.
Obviously countertops are a prime choice for soapstone, for some the main reasons being that they are resistant to any common liquids that you will be using in your kitchen area, or your bathroom. It’s also very resistant to heat. So if you are cooking and put a hot pan down, you won’t have to worry about damaging the countertop.
It’s always recommended that you still use a hot pad or a trivet to prevent it from happening. When using soapstone countertops you also don’t have to worry about buying any special cleaning products. You can instead just use common household cleaning materials.
Another popular use for soapstone is to be used for bathroom surfaces such as bathtubs or sinks. People have been using soapstone for these purposes since the 1800s. Simply because they are so durable and have very low maintenance requirements.
There are tons of homes in the world that still have the original soapstone baths and sinks that were installed so many years ago in the 1800s. That is a true testament to how long-lasting and high-quality soapstone really is. If you decide on going with soapstone for your bathroom you typically will be choosing from smaller slabs or one big slab that the entire sink will be carved from.
Because soapstone is so durable, and also because it’s the ability to resist stains because of its non-porous nature, it’s a great choice. If you are in a cold environment soapstone is an excellent choice for your flooring needs. Because it doesn’t have a cold underfoot like many other flooring materials that could be used. Should you need to warm up a room, simply use some in-floor radiant heat and it will be done quite efficiently.
If you are considering soapstone for outside flooring it’s especially a great choice. One of the main reasons is that it doesn’t get slippery when it gets wet. Also because of the other qualities such as stain resistance, you won’t have to worry about outside chemicals and liquids staining or ruining it. Dirt, oils and other spills can be easily washed out and leave your floor look like new.
Another popular choice for soapstone is wood stoves. Typically the woodstove will be surrounded by a range of either a small amount of soapstone, to almost the entire surface. Using soapstone is a lower-cost alternative to other materials, or using a masonry heater. You get the same heating benefits, but with a beautiful and natural soapstone appearance.
Whatever you choose to use soapstone for, hopefully, you will better understand the benefits of it. And how it can help you in making your home a more beautiful and attractive place.
How To Clean Soapstone Kitchen Countertops
Soapstone countertops are one of the strongest you can buy. But that doesn’t mean you can clean them however you’d like. You still need to make sure you are following the proper steps to get your soapstone countertops as clean as can be, and as safe as possible. Soapstone is a nonporous metamorphic natural mineral made primarily from talc, magnesium, chlorate, and silicate. It is by far one of the most stain-resistant surfaces you can buy. And because of this, is extremely easy to maintain.
It’s so resistant to heat that people use it to make pizza ovens, cooking pots and heaters of all sorts. That right there is a good example of how powerful it is. Resistant to heat, and stains make it ideal for your kitchen. The truth remains, that no matter how powerful it is, it still needs to be cleaned.
When you look at the cost of soapstone, you’ll realize why you are paying so much. Soapstone pricing is there for a reason because it’s simply worth it. Here are some basic guidelines on keeping your investment looking nice and clean.
Easy to Clean
Some of the things you’ll need to clean your soapstone counters are a soft rag or cloth, a bucket, mild dishwashing liquid, warm to luke-warm water, a dry soft towel.
The first thing you do is add just a few drops of the dishwashing liquid to your bucket. Stir it around in the warm water until you have some nice collection of suds forming. Wet your cloth, dip it in the muddy water and wipe your soapstone down. Rinse out the cloth, and repeat until it’s all clean.
Then take your dry towel and wipe it down. It can be a little damp. But you need to make sure you don’t leave any puddles or heavy wet spots. Instead of dishwashing liquid to clean your soapstone, some people use the all-purpose cleaner as well.
Everyone once in a while, say every month or few, you will want to do a deeper cleaning, usually something like mineral oil, which works the same way. It collects the deeper dirt and leaves the soapstone looking shinier and healthier. When you first get the soapstone, for about the first year or so, this should be done more often, until it’s settled in.
Soapstone, while strong, can still get scratched. So if you do get your countertop scratched, you can go over it with a piece of small, fine sandpaper in a circular motion. Wet the sandpaper, repeat. Wet a sponge and wipe away the dust that has formed. Put mineral oil on the spot, and rub it in. This will help remove the scratches and keep it looking brand new.
Our articles on this topic:
- Best Kitchen Countertop Options
- Soapstone Kitchen Countertops
- Concrete Kitchen Countertop
- Granite Kitchen Countertops
- Bamboo Kitchen Countertops
- Eco-friendly Kitchen Countertops and Solid Worktops