What is Soapstone?
Soapstone is a mineral called steatite. The name "soapstone" was given to steatite because it contains at least 50% talc, which makes it feel similar to soap. The rest of the stone comes from a variety of minerals, including magnesite. If soapstone is extremely high in talc, it is soft and can be used by artists and sculptors. Stone with a lower talc content is harder, so it can be used to make sinks, windowsills, and countertops. Like any countertop material, soapstone has advantages and disadvantages that need to be examined before installation in your Albany premises.
Soapstone is a beautiful material, offering a unique look since no two slabs are alike. Unlike granite, soapstone does not have a porous surface, which prevents staining and harboring bacteria. That makes it easier to clean. Soapstone is also very durable. Some sinks and countertops made from soapstone in the 1800s are still being used today.
Because it is a soft stone, soapstone is pliable and more resistant to cracking compared to other countertop materials. It also has good heat resistance. You can set a hot pan directly on the countertop with no damage or burn marks. In addition, the material is very eco-friendly because it contains no chemicals and is 100% recyclable.
The softness of soapstone makes it less brittle, but it is also vulnerable to damage from objects dropped on it. In addition, when choosing your soapstone for countertops, it is necessary to select one with a smooth finish. If the soapstone is not smooth enough, your china and glassware can become scratched.
When selecting soapstone, you will notice that you have limited color choices. Soapstone comes in different shades of gray, with some having a blue tint and others a more green tint. The stone darkens as it ages, so it must be treated regularly with mineral oil to even the darkening. Oiling also helps eliminate water marks on the surface.
If you have a tight remodeling budget, it's important to note that soapstone countertops can be expensive to install. They are a worthwhile investment due to durability, but they can be cost-prohibitive, depending on your job budget. Soapstone costs between approximately $70 and $120 per square food, depending on thickness and the stone's grade. No special cutting tools are required, so you can install soapstone countertops yourself to save money. However, a moderate level of skill is needed, along with time and patience.