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Quartz vs Soapstone Countertops: What’s the Difference?

Quartz vs Soapstone Countertops

Choosing the right materials for your countertops can be a daunting task. As there are so many countertop materials, the differences and similarities between them can be hard to keep track of. Quartz and soapstone are two popular options and they both have their distinct advantages and disadvantages. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between quartz vs soapstone countertops, their cost per square foot, and maintenance steps. 

Introduction to quartz countertops 

Quartz is an engineered stone that consists of 90-95% of natural quartzite. The rest of the slab is made up of resins, binders, and pigments, making the slab incredibly durable and versatile. It has a non-porous surface that is highly resistant to stains and it is available in a wide range of colors. 

Unlike natural stones, like granite countertops, they don’t require sealing or resealing. As quartz countertops are a manufactured stone they boast a uniform appearance and they don’t scratch easily. 

What are soapstone countertops?

Soapstone countertops are made from soapstone, which is a natural stone. Soapstone is mostly comprised of talc, which gives it a soft texture, resembling soap. As soapstone is a naturally occurring stone, it is most commonly found in gray tones. 

Unlike manufactured materials, soapstone has an organic and earthy feel. It can have small blemishes or uneven patterns that make it unique. This gives the countertops a unique, lived-in character that sets it apart from its competitors. 

Comparing the appearance of quartz vs soapstone countertops 

Quartz countertops are known for their versatility and ability to fit in with a wide range of aesthetics. Moreover, they can be manufactured to mimic the appearance of natural stone countertops such as marble or granite. This makes it a viable option for those looking to achieve the elegant look of natural stones without having to commit to maintenance. 

Soapstone countertops have a naturally matte finish and subtle veins. This combination brings a subtle rustic charm to the space. It is mostly available in gray tones with hints of blue. Over time, soapstone develops a patina that will add a sense of history to the countertops. In other words, the countertops will age and acquire memories alongside you and your family. 


Durability is one of the most important factors for kitchen countertops. Quartz countertops are extremely durable and resistant to wear and tear. The added materials to the slabs ensure it doesn’t get scratched easily and can withstand high-traffic areas while maintaining their pristine condition. Moreover, its non-porous surface is resistant to staining and bacteria, which contributes to a hygienic kitchen environment. 

Soapstone countertops are also durable, however, their majority talc composition means they are softer. This softness means they can get scratches, but they can also be easily sanded to remove said scratches. The inherent softness of soapstone isn’t an immediate dealbreaker, as small damages can be easily dealt with. 

Heat resistance 

Although quartzite, which makes up 90% of quartz countertops, is highly resistant to heat, quartz slabs aren’t exactly heatproof. The added resins and binders can get damaged if they come into direct contact with hot objects. Therefore, it isn’t advised to directly place hot pans on quartz countertops. You can use trivets to protect your quartz countertops and ensure their longevity. 

On the contrary, soapstone has incredibly high heat resistance. You can put hot pans and pots directly after removing them from the stove or oven on your soapstone countertops. This won’t cause the stone to get damaged or discolored. This useful quality makes it an ideal option for frequent cooks and bakers. 

Stain resistance 

Quartz and soapstone are both stain resistant materials. Quartz has resins in it that make it a non-porous material. Therefore liquids, food particles, or dirt can’t seep into the stone to cause stains or bacterial growth. Quartz countertops are a great option for anyone looking for low maintenance countertops because you won’t have to spend a lot of time maintaining or cleaning them. 

Similarly, soapstone is also a non-porous stone. This makes soapstone a unique option as most other natural stones, such as marble and granite, have porous compositions that leave them open to stains, bacteria and even mold if they are not sealed. Soapstone, however, doesn’t need sealing to maintain its resistance to liquids and dirt. 


Quartz countertops are incredibly easy to maintain. All you need to do to keep them clean is to frequently wipe them using mild dish soap and soft cloths. During this cleaning process, any dirt and debris will come off easily. The only thing to keep in mind is to avoid harsh cleaners and tools such as bleach and steel wool. 

Soapstone countertops require a bit more attention. Regular mineral oil application is important for the maintenance soapstone requires to enhance its natural beauty and to encourage the development of the patina. The upside is you will need to apply the mineral oil less frequently over time as the patina develops. 

Knowing the pros and cons of these amazing options will help you make the best-informed decision. Having this list can help you figure out which option meets more of your needs and requirements for your countertops and see which one has potential dealbreakers.