If you are looking for the perfect stone for your countertops and outdoor kitchen, you have plenty of choices. Marble, granite, and quartz are some of the most popular options. However, there is another type of natural stone: soapstone. While it is not as popular as marble or granite, this stone is durable and can look great in any space.
What Is Soapstone?
Soapstone is a natural stone that is quarried from the ground. When you touch soapstone, it will have that soft feel of soap. You can find soapstone in the United States, especially in the Appalachians. However, some of this stone is quarried from Finland or Brazil.
You might think that there is only one type of soapstone, but there are two varieties defined by the amount of talc in the stone.
You might have seen artistic soapstone. With this type of stone, the high talc concentration allows it to be easily carved into jewelry or other pieces. This is not the stone you will use for your home’s high-traffic areas.
The other type of soapstone is architectural soapstone. With its slightly less talc content, it is a harder stone than the artistic version. No, soapstone does not have the same hardness as marble or quartz, but you can have an easier time cutting and installing it than those other options.
Soapstone Countertop Options
Like most stones, there are no two slabs that are exactly alike in color. With most soapstones, you will find them available in shades of gray with green or blue hues. As with all natural stones, there are different veining and fleck patterns.
You can find soapstone with prominent veins, but this is less common. Most soapstones will get darker over the years, and you can speed up this process with an application of mineral oil. In some cases, the mineral oil will make the veining look more pronounced.
Soapstone Outdoor Countertops
Soapstone is a very versatile stone. It can be used on kitchen countertops, flooring, and even outdoor kitchen spaces. Soapstone is also a great choice to add to your seating areas.
Why should you choose soapstone for these areas? For one, this stone is naturally non-porous. No matter what is spilled on the surface, you can wipe it off with no issues. Along with that, hot pans and pots are no match for this stone. You can even place them directly on the surface. Many people want to choose a stone that can hold up to excessive heat.
You already know that the soapstone can withstand high levels of heat, but it can also tolerate extremely cold weather. Soapstone has thermal properties that allow it to warm up slowly and then hold onto the warmth. It remains unaffected by any type of temperature variations. That is perfect for outdoor use, especially if you live in an area with extreme hot and cold temperatures.
With any type of outdoor kitchen, you want a stone that will remain durable. Soapstone is a great choice. Today, you can find evidence of soapstone in those 19th-century stoves and sinks. This stone lasts as long as marble or granite. Direct sunlight will not harm the stone, but you may notice that the colors darken over time. It is also immune to any corrosion that can occur in the environment. This natural stone will remain unharmed by the natural elements whether you live in an area with snow or seaspray.
Some natural stones require plenty of maintenance, but that is not the case with soapstone. You don’t need any unique products to clean it, and that is why many more people are choosing this product for their homes and outdoor spaces. Since it is non-porous, you don’t have to worry about any grime on the surface. You can take dish soap and a towel to clean off the countertops.
Finally, if you want to choose a stone that looks at home in nature, you cannot go wrong with soapstone. When it is paired with stainless steel, it can give the space a modern look. However, you might want a more rustic appearance. In that case, use soapstone with some wood or brick. No matter the aesthetics of your space, this soapstone will fit right into your decor.
In addition to countertops, soapstone is the perfect stone for flooring around your outdoor spaces, such as a pool deck. It also does not become slippery when wet, unlike other stones and materials.
You can use soapstone for your countertops, cladding, sinks, and flooring. The choice is entirely up to you.
Maintaining Your Soapstone
As previously stated, soapstone is a low-maintenance option. Soapstone countertop care is simple. With its non-porous properties, it is the perfect choice to keep away bacteria from your cooking spaces. You can easily clean it with warm water and soap as you skip those harsh chemicals.
However, you should be aware that soapstone is susceptible to scratches. Since the main mineral is talc, dents and chips can occur on these countertops. Many people believe that those imperfections give this countertop more character.
If you are looking to avoid any scratches, you always need to use a cutting board. Unlike other stones, soapstone can be repaired with a bit of sandpaper buffing.
With soapstone’s natural qualities, it is the perfect choice for those outdoor spaces. Since it has thermal qualities that can stand up during the winter, you don’t have to worry about it thawing or freezing. Along with that, the soapstone is non-porous, and there is no reason to fret about stains and spills.
Looking for PA Soapstone Countertops?
If you are looking to add these impressive soapstone counters to your indoor or outdoor spaces, then you need to contact the professional team at Marble Concepts. We have plenty of options for your home, and our team can find the right soapstone to match your spaces.
From floors to sinks, we cover it all for you. Plus, we will professionally install it in your home. When you are ready to choose a soapstone product, please give us a call at 215-396-7393.