If you want to select soapstone countertops for as a countertop replacement, then you should be familiar with them first. These FAQs will clear your mind of all the misconceptions that you might have and also will provide you with all the possible information about soapstone.
Is soapstone a good countertop material?
Yes, soapstone is a valuable material for countertops that have been used for centuries. It gives a retro and rustic appeal to your kitchen and house, a classic look that many homeowners love. Other than its aesthetic appeal it offers many advantages such as durability and heat resistance, making it the perfect choice for your kitchen.
What is soapstone made of?
Soapstone is a naturally occurring stone. It is a steatite stone made from quarried stone and includes minerals such as magnesite, chlorite, dolomite, and talc. The white and powdery tinge is given by talc which actually gives soapstone its beauty, charm, and rustic appearance.
Is soapstone an expensive material?
Since naturally occurring stones are generally more expensive than artificial or man-made countertops, soapstone is also costly. However, the cost will be worthwhile as it will add value to your home and increase years due to its durability and other characteristics.
Some soapstone qualities are more expensive while some have a midrange. The cost depends on its design, the rarer the design, the more expensive it will be.
Is soapstone available in a variety of colors and designs?
Typically, soapstone is available in shades of gray, blue, green, off-white, white, and black. The best part about soapstone is it gets darker with age. It offers versatility and a charm that can be used in vintage as well as modern and elegant homes. It is a timeless material and becomes more graceful with age. It typically has thin streaks or veins or sometimes abstract patterns.
The pure white soapstone looks beautiful and all its designs offer an outstanding marbling effect. It is a natural stone that will add a warmth and homely appeal to your kitchen and that is why it is preferred for homes. However, if you want better patterns and designs, look into marble countertops NC.
Is it a durable material for countertops?
Soapstone is a very sturdy and durable material for your kitchen countertops. For your countertops soapstone with less talc is used as it is harder and more durable. The best trait of soapstone is its non-porosity. This means that no form of liquids, spills, or juices can penetrate the material so you need not worry about cleaning spills quickly or taking care of it.
It is also extremely dense so it can withstand weight, pressure, and stress if any, and cannot break or chip easily. Its density also makes it resistant to bacteria so you need not worry about your food stuff being placed directly on your countertop as bacteria will not be able to stay on your countertop. A completely safe and sturdy option for your countertop.
Is soapstone resistant to scratches?
Soapstone is a durable and hard material but not as hard as granite or marble. It does not easily get cracked or chipped but it can get scratched often as it is a little soft due to the talc mineral. So, you need to be careful while using knives or cutting utensils for your vegetables and fruits and not use them directly on your soapstone countertops but use a cutting board to protect them. Also, do not use sharp objects which might lead to abrasion and scratches on your soapstone countertop.
In case you get scratches on your countertop, you can hide them by using mineral oil and if the scratch is deep then it can be sanded to correct the scratch and treated with mineral oil for a smooth look. In other words, it can be scratched but the scratches can be cured so you need not worry.
Is soapstone heat resistant?
Oh yes!! It is completely heat resistant and that is what makes it the perfect choice for your kitchen countertops. Although it is always recommended to use a heat pad when placing your hot pots and pans on the countertop, even if you directly place your hot pans and pots on your soapstone countertop, they will not crack, break, or be damaged in any form.
Does soapstone require a sealant?
Fortunately, unlike granite and marble, soapstone does not require any form of sealant or sealing even on an annual basis or once in two years because it is non-porous so there is no requirement for a sealant.
This means that there is only a one-time cost of purchasing and installing your soapstone countertop and no accumulated costs of sealants over the years.
Then what treatment does soapstone require?
Oiling is recommended for your soapstone countertop. This is not any form of treatment but to improve the quality of your countertop. The oil will help your soapstone darken evenly and gracefully. As you know, the characteristic of soapstone countertops is to get dark with time so oil will assist in the process of darkening throughout and evenly.
Is oiling soapstone necessary?
It is not necessary but if you want your soapstone to darken evenly and give value to your home then it should be done. However, if you do not oil your soapstone then it will darken but it will be uneven.
It will be darker in areas of more usage and less in areas which are used less. Leaving it untreated will lead to a rustic and rough appearance which is also preferred by some homeowners and you can always treat it with oil later on if you are not happy with the results.
Similarly, you can prevent your soapstone from darkening but if you do not prefer a dark shade then you can clean your soapstone regularly to lighten the shade.
How to maintain and clean your soapstone countertop?
Soapstone countertop is basically a low-maintenance countertop and has high value for money. You just need a soft wet washcloth and soapy water to clean and maintain your countertop and it will be as good as new. You need not worry about bacterial growth so it is completely safe, dense, and non-porous.
You don’t need to seal your countertop and just need to periodically oil it to look more beautiful and for a natural dark color to be attained evenly throughout.
Soapstone is a relatively sturdy and durable material perfect for your kitchen countertops because it is heat and water-resistant and somewhat resistant to scratches but even if it gets scratched, it can be easily cured through sandstone. It has antibacterial properties which will make it easy for you to place your food items without worrying about bacterial growth.
Also, it does not require sealants on an annual basis, unlike other expensive countertops such as marble and granite, though it does require oiling for even darkening mainly for the look. You do not need expensive treatments of cleaning agents to clean your countertop buy a soft cloth and soapy water will serve the purpose. No form of spills or liquids can seep inside due to it being non-porous and you can place your hot pots and pans without fear because it is resistant to heat. Plus, they can be installed by granite countertop installers Durham NC. All in all, a great choice for your kitchen.