If you’ve ever considered a kitchen or bathroom remodel, you may have heard of the awesome material that is soapstone. Soapstone has been widely used across the world for centuries in a myriad of forms, but is best known for its natural beauty and versatility. When it comes to the best materials for countertops, soapstone is definitely one of the best options on the market. Below, we’ll dive into this material and why it has been so beloved for so long.
What Is Soapstone?
Soapstone, also referred to as steatite, is a metamorphic rock largely composed of the magnesium-rich mineral talc which gives it a smooth surface. It has been one of the most popular forms of rock for sculptures and carving for thousands of years. The famous “Christ the Redeemer” statue in Rio de Janeiro is made-up largely of soapstone.
Soapstone with lower compositions of talc make for great countertop materials, as the rock is a bit harder and will naturally age well. As the stone gets older, the coloring deepens and the overall appearance gets darker and more refined. This is highly desirable for homes in need of modern, natural elements.
Generally speaking, soapstone is a soft gray color with streaks of cream flowing across its surface. But you may also find variants of soapstone that have hints of green, blue, or black. To speed up the darkening process in countertops, you can also add minerals to accentuate the stone’s natural colors.
How Expensive Is Soapstone?
Typically, soapstone is quite affordable considering all other countertop options on the market. It is pricier than some granite but will often be more affordable than marble and quartzite. It will usually fall somewhere in the middle price-wise.
It is also important to consider that with soapstone, there will generally be no added costs for annual sealing. You will want to maintain these materials and ensure no chipping occurs, but overall, it is a great bang for your buck.
What Makes Soapstone Different?
Despite the softness of the stone, soapstone is incredibly dense and makes for a phenomenal material for countertops and flooring. Unlike many other stone countertops that need to be sealed, soapstone is naturally resistant to heat and stains.
Beyond its performance perks, soapstone is loved for its unique look. Rather than installing a generic granite countertop, soapstone gives any space a raw feeling and more earthy design. It’s similar to concrete in that it will add modern depth and texture to a room. It is a great stone for anyone in need of dimension and interest in their spaces.
This material is also commonly used as cemetery markers, floor tiles, and laboratory surfaces. Since it has such a great natural resistance, it is often installed in places with exposure to harsh chemicals and acids. Soapstone can easily combat these elements and stay performing and looking great for decades.
Is Soapstone Right For You?
Depending on your countertop needs and design desires, soapstone may be the perfect material for you. If you’re looking for a great material all-around that establishes a natural and raw feeling without hurting your wallet, this is a great option. Ultimately, it comes down to what style you’d like and how well you need your materials to perform. We highly recommend this stone for most kitchen and bathroom renovations.