In the world of home improvement, countertop choice is one of the most important aspects. Among the many options, soapstone countertops emerge as an amazing option due to their ability to seamlessly combine beauty and durability. Keep reading to learn more about soapstone countertops.
Introduction to Soapstone
Soapstone is a metamorphic rock created within the cost of the earth under incredible amounts of heat and pressure. It is a versatile and captivating material with a wide variety of uses. It is primarily composed of talc, which is a magnesium-rich ingredient. Moreover, it also contains chlorite, micas, and other minerals. This composition grants a smooth texture that has a rich feeling.
Soapstone has a color palette that ranges from deep charcoal to light gray. It can also have subtle blue or green undertones inside some slabs. As soapstone is a natural stone material, each slab will be unique and one of a kind. The luxurious base is generally embellished with ornate veins that contribute to its organic appearance. Moreover, the gorgeous patterns add visual interest to the stone, making it highly elegant and eye-catching.
Advantages of Soapstone Countertops
Soapstone stands out among other countertop materials due to its exceptional list of pros and cons. It offers a lot of advantages that elevate it among the list of competing natural stones. Soapstone slabs are characterized by the dark gray tones that have become a signature.
The unique softness of soapstone is a distinct characteristic that sets it apart from other materials. You might think that its softness makes soapstone an undesirable choice. Yet on the contrary, this unique quality proves itself to be highly advantageous for the durability of the stone. As opposed to materials that are prone to scratches, cracks, or chipping, soapstone countertops withstand the test of time with their soft texture and prove themselves to be a reliable kitchen countertop material.
Moreover, its exceptional heat resistance adds to its longevity and durability. The surface of the stone can resist direct contact with very hot items such as hot pans and pots without taking damage. This is an especially important factor for kitchen countertops or kitchen island tops, making soapstone a practical choice.
Soapstone also boasts the unique feature of developing a natural patina as it interacts with its surroundings during daily use. It continues to evolve each day, showing its character more and more as time passes. This patina adds to the timeless charm and elegance of the slab.
Maintenance and Care
Soapstone countertops require regular maintenance to ensure that their sophisticated appearance can withstand daily wear and tear. An important part of the required care and maintenance is applying mineral oil to its surface. The mineral oil treatment not only enhances the natural beauty of the gray hues of the stone but also adds a protective layer that protects the stone against stains and discoloration. Coats of mineral oil will nourish the surface of the soapstone, thus contributing to its resilience. Moreover, the mineral oil will help the development of its patina. This step should not be skipped as it is a preventative measure against potential damage. Once a stain occurs, it is harder to get it off than it is to prevent it in the first place.
As mentioned before, the softness soapstone has is integral to its structure. Although this quality helps prevent scratches from occurring in daily life, that doesn’t mean the stone is impermeable. Never drag items across the soapstone countertops and avoid using sharp items such as knives directly on the countertops. Instead, use cutting boards to protect your countertops.
To properly care for and maintain the stone you should consider its square foot dimensions. The size of the stone will determine how much care and attention you will need to care for the stone. If it has a larger surface area, you should be more diligent so that every part of the stone can receive the necessary care for a uniform appearance.
Choosing the right countertop material is a process that involves not only aesthetic decisions but also financial ones. The biggest expense of renovating your countertop with soapstone is the price of the material itself. The price of the stone per square foot will depend on factors such as the thickness of the slab, its quality, and rarity. Soapstone, in general, is more affordable compared to high-end options, however, these factors can cause the cost to go up.
Beyond the cost of the slab, the labor costs are also a big part of the final price tag of soapstone countertops. The fabrication and installation of soapstone are areas that require expertise and training. Therefore it is recommended to hire professional installers who will ensure that the stone is properly measured, cut, and installed. Incorrect measurements or installation will result in countertops that are prone to cracking or failing in other ways after a short amount of time. Professional installation can cost more, however, it is an investment in the longevity of your countertops.
Comparing Soapstone with Other Countertop Materials
Before committing to the material, a thorough consideration and comparison can help you make the right decision for your and your house’s needs. Each material has distinct pros and cons that will help you pick the best one for you.
Granite is much harder and stronger than soapstone. It is a very durable stone that is resistant to heat and scratching. The softness of soapstone makes it ideal for customization. They are both natural stones that need sealing, however, soapstone requires them more frequently.
Quartz is an engineered stone that is made up of crushed natural quartzite mixed with resins and pigments. It is non-porous and doesn’t require sealing, offering a low-maintenance option. However, soapstone offers graceful organic veins that are hard to imitate with engineered materials.
Marble is known for its sophistication and luxurious appeal. It is more susceptible to blemishes than soapstone. However, it is beloved for its unique appearance and cherished elegance. If you want to crown your home with a luminous aesthetic, marble is the choice for you. On the other hand, you should pick soapstone for more durability.
In conclusion, soapstone is an amazing alternative for countertops as it combines beauty and durability. It has unique abilities and qualities that separate it from its alternatives. If you are interested in further information about soapstone or any of our other materials you can always reach out to our excellent customer care team.