Along with these amazing benefits also come various cons that you should know about before taking the plunge and making an investment in a new counter. If you took a chemistry class back in high school you would have been working on a soapstone lab table since it’s pretty much impervious to most types of liquids and chemicals. Your countertop will become a personal treasure and will grow on you as it ages. Mineral oil does not have to be applied and you’ll have the choice between a lighter and a darker countertop based on your own personal preference.


Stone Masters, Soapstone Countertops, Granite Countertops Great Seams | Duration 6 Minutes 1 Seconds

It’s a lot easier to cook with a soapstone countertop since you won’t have to worry about spilling things or placing hot items on it. This type of stone is so dense that no type of sealant is required at all. No sealers or toxic chemicals of any kind will be introduced into your home. Once it has been quarried from the earth it simply needs a cleanup and a trimming before it arrives at your door in its natural state. Whether you want it to be slightly rough or completely smooth, this stone can be refinished according to your preference. If you don’t want to tackle this type of renovation product by yourself, you can hire a handyman to do it for you.

If you get any scratches, you can either leave them as a part of the natural patina or you can sand them out to restore the initial integrity of the stone. Yes, it will scratch and dent easier than other types of kitchen work surfaces but fortunately these problems can be handled with a piece of sandpaper, mineral oil and a rag. If you’re not at all interested in any maintenance and don’t want to enjoy the natural look that comes along with normal wear and tear, you’d be better off with a stainless steel or a quartz countertop. With a quartz or stainless steel countertop it’s a set-and-forget type of deal. In general, they can end up costing you more than what you would have to pay for other natural stone counters when the installation is supplied by the retailer that is selling you the soapstone slab. Soapstone does offer a priceless beauty to anyone that appreciates the pure raw nature that only this stone can provide. This way, you’ll be able to see for yourself what you can expect in the future from this type of stone and whether or not it will serve as an enhancement to your kitchen. Everyone who visits comments on their beauty and says they’ve never seen any like them, and they look great with the marble subway tile backsplash. It was partially installed by a fabricator yesterday ( great guy ). Reading many of the comments on forums it sounds like many of the spotting, etc., issues are experienced by people who oil or wax the countertops.



Soapstone Countertops By M Teixeira Soapstone Including Fabrication And Installation | Duration 1 Minutes 53 Seconds

You’re applying a thin layer of substance that creates a new surface that has different properties than the stone. If you prefer the more processed oiled look then you’ll need to expect more maintenance with regular oilings and touch up of spots and compromises to the oiled surface. Maybe trying keeping the existing ones for a few months and see how you like them.

We have put forth every effort to bring forward all of the pros and cons so that you can make a truly informed opinion about the new addition to your kitchen.

The softest type is used for sculpting while harder stone is used for tables, kitchen work surfaces, wood burning stoves, tiles etc. If you go back and visit your high school classroom you’ll probably see the same tables in place that you were using years ago. If you decide to purchase one for your kitchen work surface you can consider it to be a beautiful investment for life. The one that you have decorating your kitchen will never be duplicated in any other home. The color of the stone can vary depending on the area that is coming from. You’ll have the option of applying mineral oil to soapstone countertops to darken the look or you can keep it looking natural and avoid the oiling process completely. It’s natural beauty makes it blend in perfectly with older traditional homes and cottage style houses but you’ll find it also appearing in higher-end luxury homes.

The only other type of counter that can compete with it when it comes to workability in the kitchen is one that is made of stainless steel. Spilling a glass of red wine on the counter is not a problem and any acidic liquids can be wiped right off as well. You can only oil the countertop but this is only done for aesthetic reasons.

As a result, you’ll be providing a healthier and safer kitchen environment for everyone in the family. Nothing needs to be done to make soapstone beautiful since nature has taken care of this all on its own. No matter what texture you choose, you’ll love the way it feels soft to the touch without compromising on durability. Fortunately, it’s is one of the easiest counters to set up and you can even take it on as a do-it-yourself project on your own. There are varying degrees of softness so you’ll want to choose a piece of stone that is harder than the others. In general, the stones with greener shades are usually softer than the ones that are mostly gray. If you want the surface to darken evenly you’ll have to oil it regularly to have this effect.

Some people just aren’t a huge fan of dealing with mineral oil that is greasy and can get on your clothes. With granite, you’ll only have to apply sealer approximately once a year to keep it sleek and shiny. If you’re looking for something trendy and colorful, you won’t find it with with this stone. This makes the whole process quick and easy but at the same time much more costly. When it comes right down to it, you are going to have to work through these soapstone countertops pros and cons to decide whether this type of stone fits into your lifestyle or not.



Considering Soapstone Kitchen Countertops Learn More | Duration 2 Minutes 59 Seconds

One of the best things that you can do is find someone that owns this kind of countertop and has had it for a few years.

My slab was heavily veined and finished with the leathered texture. My counter has some areas where there are fissures-not sure if that is the correct term. It looks like areas where two rocks fused together millions of years ago. One thing that was a plus for me was the simplicity of the stone even with the heavy veining.

I wipe them down with mineral oil once a month which is not very time consuming. They are spectacularly beautiful when they are freshly waxed or oiled, but the second moisture gets on them, they become splotchy. The owner if the company indicated perhaps carelessness on the handling end of his guys ! ? They are developing a natural patina, but it looks like a movement in the stone. Either way you’ll need to be mindful that they can be scratched. I have read all the pros and cons but have reservation with the fact that scratches will show. I will have them in my house although it is difficult to find local installers who are familiar with the stone. I am not familiar with soapstone counter tops, however, they are beautiful.

Soapstone Countertops by stonetrade.com

The texture of soapstone also makes it special: silky smooth and very different from the glassy, brittle feel of polished granite or marble. The softness of soapstone makes it easy to work and also gives it the silky texture thats its main selling point.

It’s not the best choice for a show kitchen because it’s not intended to look perfect all the time. This hides any small scratches from everyday use and brings up the silky feel of the stone. But small scratches and dings are common with soapstone counters, and if you dont want them, you should consider another countertop material, maybe honed black granite. However, if you scratch the counter badly, you can always sand the scratch away with a piece of sandpaper. This dries out and the light color returns over time, but it can make the countertop blotchy looking where people touch it frequently or in food prep areas. If you like it a little lighter in color, and don’t care if its darker here or there, then you could oil it once a month.

Be sure to mop up excess oil after its applied and the surface won’t be sticky when it dries in an hour or so.



Soapstone Counters Easily Handle Both Heat And Cold Nh Demonstration | Duration 2 Minutes 49 Seconds

When you first oil soapstone, it looks very green, but that color goes away as the oil dries. Where soapstones really differ is in the amount of veining and spots.

Some varieties of soapstone also can have big, unattractive spots, like its been in a rain-shower.

It’s important to know what variety of soapstone you are getting, because just like marble or granite, there are good and bad types. Soapstone is a metamorphic rock, primarily made of the mineral talc. Soapstone is also particularly well-suited for fireplaces and wood-stoves. It can handle extremes of temperature that would crack most stones. These stones have very different properties and characteristics from soapstone.

Some varieties scratch more easily than others, but all soapstone will scratch with a piece of metal or glass. We usually remove the honed finish on soapstone counters after installation by sanding them off with an orbital sander and medium grit paper. If you spill paint on it, you can sand the whole thing off and start again. Soapstone is extremely non-porous, and unlike limestone or marble, it’s non-reactive chemically. You can leave the stone naturally light gray, but when skin or food oil touches soapstone, it makes the stone go dark. You need to oil the countertop only to keep it looking the color you like – if you want it uniformly black, oil it frequently, maybe once a week.

After about 12 oilings, the counter will stay dark pretty much permanently. There are some varieties which are more greenish than others, but it’s not a big difference. So if you really want green color, you should consider green marble (serpentine) or green granite. It is very dense, and takes in heat from burning wood quickly, slowly radiating for hours.


Garden State Soapstone | Duration 3 Minutes 54 Seconds

For instance, if you are offered “hard soapstone,” it’s probably not soapstone at all.

Soapstone Counter Top: Silky Smooth Soapstone Countertops by countertopspecialty.com

Soapstone has recently become more popular with homeowners wanting a natural stone with a different look than the more common granite and marble. Typically untreated soapstone is a lighter solid or gray-green colored stone. Although dense and resistant to staining, soapstone counter tops are softer than granite or marble; therefore, prone to nicks and scratches. As with any other countertop material, it is best to always use coasters, cutting boards and trivets. No matter what you do , a heavy-duty sanding will return the countertops to the original state.

However , soapstone countertops have a limited color range and depending on where it is quarried, the colors and qualities will vary somewhat.

First, a soapstone sink can be purchased or custom made to exactly match your soapstone countertops. It’s heat resistant and, like granite, you can set your hot pots right on the surface without damage.

Mineral oil is often routinely applied to a soapstone counter top to darken its color and keep it looking great. The mineral oil eventually evaporates and re-application is necessary to maintain the “wet” look. If you do this , you should know that areas which receive the most hand contact (around edges, sinks, the cooktop and primary food prep area) will darken more quickly due to oils in your skin.

Countertops by bcsoapstone.com

Cotton is called “the fabric of our lives,” maybe soapstone is the countertop of our lives. One week from the day we template our talented installation crew will arrive to finish off your kitchen with our beautiful products. We just need a plywood template (we will talk you through the process, video coming soon) so your results will be amazing. We supply all the necessary seam adhesives for you to have success.

Imagine having your countertop material and your sink being a perfect match.

These sinks are tongue and grooved together with the bottom of the sink tapered toward the drain. It give us great delight to be able to set the record straight right in front of your very eyes when you take the step to visit our showroom. If you watch our latest video (care and maintenance) you could turn down the sound and know just what’s going on.

Soapstone countertops and a soapstone sink are incredible together. What we mean is, if you are getting one of our hand-built sinks, we use the exact same slab of soapstone to make your sink as we do for your countertops.



Granite Vs Soapstone | Countertop Comparison | Duration 1 Minutes 51 Seconds

We have heard just about every misconstrued and uninformed comment we could imagine. We get to assemble some props and let the story be told with a minimum of words unless you want words, then we are happy to use them as well.

DIY Soapstone Countertops Using Paint by simplicityinthesouth.com

We recently put a kitchenette in one of the cabinets in our cottage guest shed. We decided our quickest and easiest option would be to use plywood as our countertop and freshen it up by doing a quick and inexpensive faux soapstone paint technique. They are faced with 1″ thick boards ripped down to 1-1/4″ to hide the sides of the plywood and to give the countertop the appearance of being thicker. I prefer this color because it has a slight grayness to it instead of being stark black.

Grab your artist brushes and the watered down gray paint from your spray bottle. It gives the surface protection without brush strokes or sheen which makes it look more like real soapstone. I gave it a faux soapstone paint finish and sealed it with polyurethane.

This is similar to making a whitewash so we’ll just call this a blackwash. You also don’t get the bluish tint that poly can give even after it dries on dark paint.

How To Install A Soapstone Countertop by thisoldhouse.com

The advantage to installing soapstone yourself from a raw slab is that you can dispense with the template as long as your space is relatively square. Gaps and voids underneath one section could put undue stress on the stone. This is best done carefully, with shims placed under the cabinet feet. However, that powdery talc makes cutting outside a must, with dust mask and eye protection mandatory.

It’s best to carry a cut slab so the face is vertical, to put the least stress on these places. This gives the seam adhesive more surface area on which to stick. If you have a router, you can even create a fancier roundover or ogee edge. Although soapstone naturally darkens on its own, rubbing the stone with mineral oil accelerates the process. This is a two-part product that has to be mixed before use. So the first task in any soapstone countertop installation is lining up the cabinets so all the tops are even and the stone can lay flat without rocking. Also, soapstone’s softness means you need to be careful when carrying it, because it could snap at thin points. And since it weighs 20 pounds per square foot, expect to call in a couple of helpers to get your counter in place. It’s best to hide these seams in discreet places, like in front of the sink or cooktop, where the least amount of the joint will be visible. To make the joint even stronger, you need to cut small slits or grooves in the facing edges of two mating slabs.

You can shape the edge of your stone by rounding it over or just taking off the sharpness using a sander with a rough-grit paper. But in any case, the edges will soften over time, especially around an undermount sink, adding to the stone’s rustic feel.

Oiling also brings out the stone’s natural depth and richness, making it more dramatic. Using a hammer, tap a shim under the foot of the lower cabinet until the two cabinets are flush. Clamp the cabinets together at the stiles along the drawer openings to hold them in place. Continue shimming and leveling the cabinets in pairs this way until all the tops sit flush and even. Rest the slab on 2x4s running its length to raise it off the ground and support it. If necessary, cut a second piece of stone to fit a longer bank of cabinets or a turn in the cabinets.

Mark the location of the sink cutout (and any other necessary cutouts, such as for a stove top) on masking tape stuck to the surface of the stone. Using a jigsaw fitted with a metal-cutting blade, cut the stone along your marks on the two short sides of the layout.

Put a piece of scrap wood long enough to span the two notches and go past the cutline for the cutout under the stone, and clamp it in place through the notches. Grab the waste piece of the cutout through the notches, and lift it out. Space them about an inch apart, on both faces of mating slabs. Leave one end of the groove wide enough to slide the head of a sink bolt into the groove. Remove these bolts and clips, and set them aside before moving the stone. Leave the clamped 2x4s across the narrow edges around the sink cutout for support. Lay the slab into position on top of the cabinets, removing any clamps as necessary. Check that the two pieces are flush with each other and that both rest fully on the cabinet frame. Using painter’s tape, mask off the top of the stone along the edges. Using a putty knife, butter the edges liberally on both slabs with the adhesive, forcing it into the slits you created with the grinder.

Peel away the painter’s tape, and scrape away any excess adhesive from the surface of the stone with a razor. Tighten the clamp fully, and wipe away any sealant that squeezes out with denatured alcohol. Drop the sink in place and make sure it is centered and even all around. Install the sink bolts and clips in the grooves and tighten them over the flange.

Relative to other stones, soapstone is soft enough that it doesn’t require special tools to machine it. So the first task in any soapstone countertop installation is lining up the cabinets so all the tops are even and the stone can lay flat without rocking. Also, soapstone’s softness means you need to be careful when carrying it, because it could snap at thin points. And since it weighs 20 pounds per square foot, expect to call in a couple of helpers to get your counter in place. It’s best to hide these seams in discreet places, like in front of the sink or cooktop, where the least amount of the joint will be visible. To make the joint even stronger, you need to cut small slits or grooves in the facing edges of two mating slabs. You can shape the edge of your stone by rounding it over or just taking off the sharpness using a sander with a rough-grit paper.

But in any case, the edges will soften over time, especially around an undermount sink, adding to the stone’s rustic feel.

Oiling also brings out the stone’s natural depth and richness, making it more dramatic. The advantage to installing soapstone yourself from a raw slab is that you can dispense with the template as long as your space is relatively square. Gaps and voids underneath one section could put undue stress on the stone. This is best done carefully, with shims placed under the cabinet feet.

However, that powdery talc makes cutting outside a must, with dust mask and eye protection mandatory. It’s best to carry a cut slab so the face is vertical, to put the least stress on these places. This gives the seam adhesive more surface area on which to stick. If you have a router, you can even create a fancier roundover or ogee edge. Although soapstone naturally darkens on its own, rubbing the stone with mineral oil accelerates the process.

Place a 4-foot level across the seam between two cabinets and note which one is sitting lower than the other. Also, check that the cabinets are somewhat level, or at least pitch only slightly and only inward toward the sink. Using a drill/driver, screw the cabinets together by driving 2½-inch-long deck screws through the stiles. Using a circular saw fitted with a diamond blade and guided by a straightedge, cut the stone to length. Also, cut the slabs to match the desired depth of the counters. Make sure there are at least 3 inches left between the cutout and the edge of the stone. Using a drill/driver fitted with a 2-inch diamond hole saw, make holes inside each of the four corners of the cutout. For support, clamp 2x4s underneath the stone in front of and behind the cutout outline. To do this, cut large notches in opposite corners to accommodate a bar clamp. Using a drill/driver fitted with a diamond hole saw, make holes for the faucet and any other plumbing fixtures that fit directly onto the countertop.

Then, mark the stone at the top and bottom of the two sink cutout sides, about an inch away from the edge and the corners. With the wheel in the groove, tilt the grinder sharply to either side to make a small pocket inside the stone. Slide the head of the bolt into the grooves around the cutout and check that the clip will reach close enough to the cutout to brace the flange of the undermount sink. Using a random-orbit sander with 100-grit sandpaper, ease or round over any cut edges.

Also, sand out any nicks or scratches on the countertop’s surface with the same succession of grits. Or, for a more elaborate edge detail, shape the edge with a router fitted with a carbide bit. Carry the stone to the cabinets carefully, on edge, making sure not to hold it at the sink cutout. If necessary, shim the cabinets in the front or the slab itself in the back to make sure the two pieces are flush and well supported. Holding it with one hand, thread a bar clamp through the drain hole with the other. Adjust the positioning of the sink to center it and create an even reveal all around the opening.

For an overmount sink, squeeze a bead of silicone underneath the flange. Push the sink down until it is flush, and clean any excess silicone that squeezes out with denatured alcohol. Be careful not to overtighten the nut, which could crack the soapstone. Once the alcohol dries, apply mineral oil liberally to the countertop. Continue applying the oil twice a week (or whenever the stone turns light gray) for the first nine months to create a patina. The results will always be spread across the different segments of buyers.

Soapstone Countertops For Your by sierrasoapstone.com

Soapstone countertops provide that contrast homeowners are looking for with their white kitchen cabinets. Soapstone has been gaining recognition for the beauty and contrasts it offers.

Soapstones naturally beautiful dark look and silky feel add to its appeal. When it comes to any soapstone countertops, no two slabs of soapstone are ever the same.

Your countertop will become a personal treasure and will grow on you as it ages. You can choose the type of edge that will work best for your kitchen as well. If you decide to oil your soapstone, it can be done as often as you like to achieve the richness you desire.

Soapstone and white cabinets have become a solution for homeowners everywhere. The one that you have decorating your kitchen will never be duplicated in another home. You can select the slab you want to use for its color, veining and how it will age. Since soapstone is non-porous, it will not retain any bacteria in its surface, making it valuable for restaurants as well. No matter what choice you make with a soapstone countertop its natural beauty makes it blend in perfectly with older traditional homes and cottage style houses as well as in higher-end luxury homes.

Soapstone Countertops by uscgranite.com

It is a natural stone, like granite, that is quarried and is considered an affordable solution for many projects. Over time, soapstone develops a natural patina and a soapy feel when touched. Slate slabs tend to have sharp and brittle corners, so if used as kitchen countertops, we recommend rounding edges if possible.

Soapstone is non-porous and composed mostly of mineral talc, which makes it quite soft (it can etch and scratch easily), but varieties used for countertops typically have higher percentages of quartz in them, which makes them harder and more suitable as a kitchen surface.

Many homeowners will oil the soapstone at installation which can leave it with a much darker and richer background color. Slate is being used for both residential and commercial projects, but overall has an very industrial look.

My Biggest Kitchen Design Mistake: Soapstone by thehouseofsilverlining.com

I use the word “mistake” because in my definition it means a regrettable decision. That did not happen and the nausea grew inside me day by day with those yellow walls closing in on me. When we were building this home, the standard option that our builder provided was granite. It looked kind of like oatmeal had been dumped in the sink and not rinsed. I even did the scratch test on a piece of soapstone at the above mentioned soapstone distributor.

I immediately got out my fine grit sandpaper to try to buff the scratch out and that just opened up another can of worms. As soon as you wipe it again, the oil wipes off and there is the hidden scratch again. Someone opened a bottle on the island and it left the imprint of the the shape of the bottle on the surface. Well, that “oatmeal” appearance soon appeared in my sink and it wasn’t caked on food in a grimy sink. I even took my car key and tried to scratch the quartz sample and it didn’t even leave as much as a hairline mark. For the record, soapstone is supposed to be stain resistant too but grape juice stained ours. I just like to let you know my own experiences in hopes that it prevents you from the same mistakes. Quartz, however won’t work for us at all because of the resin in it that will yellow next to the bright sunlight that will pour into our kitchen directly onto the countertops. Not trying to sway you from quartzite or granite but thought you may be interested in knowing it’s been great in our home. Your beach cottage is my inspiration for some changes–can you tell me what white paint you used on the walls?

I have it in bright spaces like my living room and kitchen to darker spaces that don’t get much light like my bathrooms.

I tried to convince myself that it would tone itself down in time (how does that happen?

The above photo was what it ended up looking like after some time. Someone else’s opinion and/or experience may be different than mine. I had read so many mixed reviews about soapstone maintenance and durability. I remember reading more cons than pros about this stone that feels smooth and soft like a bar of soap. Surely, my soapstone wouldn’t scratch because we would take excellent care of it! I had read that mineral oil can be used to shine up soapstone and give it that black, lustrous look. The scratch seemed to disappear but now my island felt like a slippery, oily surface from the mineral oil. I had actually used mineral oil on this day to try to make it look better before the party. Believe me, he wasn’t putting all his force into that pencil solving his arithmetic either!

The next morning, there were scratches along all the edges of my perimeter countertops apparently from the buttons on jean pockets rubbing up against it. They would see my sink or scratches all over my countertop and asked what happened. I was craving calm and light tones after the bumble bee disaster in my kitchen. The fact that it is scratch resistant and stain resistant was a win-win in my book! I love how it comes with a metal rack that fits perfectly in the sink base to prevent scratches. I highly recommend it if you are doing a kitchen remodel or building a home. In our kitchen we have it on a large slab that divides the living room and the southern exposure sun beats down on it all day. Also, our bar island gets full sun exposure and it hasn’t yellowed either. I redid our kitchen last year before we put our house on the market. New “carrara” looking quartz stones are coming on to the scene too which is a great compromise!

Soapstone Countertops by vintagekitchens.com

It also gives soapstone a unique silky feel that makes it inviting to touch. This milkpaint island features custom turnings inspired by other furniture in the house. Original hand hewn beams are visible overhead and salvaged attic floor boards were refitted and refinished for the floor.

The sink itself is a genuine antique — complete with original soap dish. The beautiful little soapstone sink alcove features a traditional non-lacquered solid brass faucet. The window behind the cooktop is a matching new window placed to restore the exterior symmetry. The soapstone sink is newly fabricated in the traditional sloped front style. The salvaged soapstone sink came with the drainboards and backsplash.

Soapstone is much softer than other countertop stone, making it much more prone to scratches and chips – yet this softness actually helps build a natural “patina” that is appealing in its own right in the right kind of kitchen. The antique pine cabinetry was made by our own shop using wood salvaged by the owner. The soapstone countertop extends out into the boxed bay window behind the sink.

Soapstone Countertops by atlanticstone2.com

Those black tables from your high school chemistry lab were made from soapstone. Soapstone is generally a grayish color in nature, although it is usually oiled to a black finish for commercial and residential use. However, soapstone counters can actually be sanded to remove nicks and mars, so this susceptibility to scratching isn’t always seen as a huge shortcoming. Its soft and silky smooth, unpolished surface is perfectly suited for rustic kitchens.

Soapstone is rather interesting in that it only has cool color tones, which range from blue to green to gray. Soapstone is comprised of a balance of talc and magnetite, which come together in a soft, smooth texture. You can darken the color of soapstone’s surface further by applying mineral oil on a regular basis.

Today soapstone is becoming popular in kitchen countertops because of its extreme stain resistance. Soapstone makes a great surface for outdoor kitchens since it is completely resistant to all weather conditions. But the probably the most unique quality of soapstone is its ability to hold up against excessive heat. Despite its soft surface, soapstone is very dense and super strong.

We work in both commercial and residential environments, but specialize in residential installations.

Soapstone Countertops by bobvila.com

It contains the mineral talc—yes, as in talcum powder—making it relatively soft. Soapstone particles are extremely compact—more so than those of quartz, marble, or granite—which makes it more sanitary and easier to wipe clean. Smooth, beautiful soapstone doesn’t require a sealant to protect its good looks. The main downside to soapstone, however, is its tendency to scratch or chip under heavy wear. Some contains hints of pearl, blue or green, but the most prevalent hues are whites and grays.

And as products of nature, no two soapstone slabs will be identical, so expect a slight discrepancy between joined slabs. If you’ve got basic carpentry skills and are comfortable using power tools, you may choose to install soapstone yourself. You’ll get the straightest, cleanest cuts if you clamp a straightedge to the soapstone to serve as a cutting guide. Standard soapstone slabs are 84 inches long, so if your countertop is longer, it will require one or more seams.

The slabs are heavy and unwieldy, so you’ll have to recruit strong helpers to assist in lifting and positioning the countertop. The standard process for installing a soapstone countertop is to first ensure than the counter base is perfectly level. With minimum care, your new countertop can retain its good looks for many years. Once the patina is fully developed, apply mineral oil if the countertop begins to look dry to restore luster and sheen. Minimize chips and dings that do occur by coloring them in with a matching permanent marker and then rubbing mineral oil over the surface. Once your countertop reaches its full patina, oil discoloration won’t be a problem. While there are products on the market that claim to seal soapstone against darkening, they cannot penetrate the countertop’s dense surface, so they must be applied once or twice a month.

Also known as steatite, soapstone has been a favorite of sculptors for centuries. While hardness is desirable in a countertop for structural stability, what soapstone lacks in hardness, it makes up in density. Its impenetrable surface reduces the risk of bacterial growth, always a plus in a kitchen or bath. Soapstone darkens over time, however, via a natural process akin to oxidation, so it will eventually develop a distinct patina that some homeowners find appealing and others don’t.

Depending on the region where it’s quarried, soapstone ranges in color from soft white and light gray to deep charcoal, with most types exhibiting gentle veining. To help you decide on a shade, visit a kitchen showroom for some samples that you can study in the lighting of your own kitchen. If you’re having the countertops professionally installed , request that a company representative come out and take your kitchen measurements, instead of submitting your own measurements. Soapstone fabricators create a template from the measurements and then cut the slab to match exactly. Be sure to apply masking tape to the countertop’s surface on both sides of the cutline to reduce the risk of scratching the surface with the saw foot during cutting. Once the soapstone has been cut, all edges (including the stock slab’s rough square edges) are easy to sand smooth with 200-grit sandpaper. Professional installers position seams where they’re least visible, such as in front of a sink or a drop-in cooktop.

Sinks and cooktops should be installed, per their manufacturer instructions, once the countertop is in position. When the cabinet base is ready, you’ll make all the necessary cuts for seams and cutouts before positioning the slab.

Because it requires no sealing, soapstone is relatively low-maintenance.

Enhance your counter’s natural darkening progression by applying mineral oil to the surface every week or two and rubbing it in thoroughly. It usually takes seven to nine months for the countertop to reach its full patina. While the heat from cookware straight off the stove won’t damage the countertop, if the pan is rough on the bottom, such as a cast iron skillet, it could scratch the surface. Chop and dice food on a cutting board, not on your countertop. Oil and grease can discolor new soapstone, so wipe up spills promptly and, if necessary, rub a bit of acetone (nail polish remover will suffice) on an oil stain to lighten it. If your soapstone countertop develops an uneven patina, you can remove it by sanding the entire surface with fine-grit sandpaper, and then applying the mineral oil process described above to help the new patina develop uniformly.

2019 Soapstone Countertops Cost Guide by homeadvisor.com

In fact, it’s the high concentration of talc that gives it its name, as talc softens the stone and gives it the texture of bar soap. It will darken when liquid is spilled on its surface, but it will return to its original color when it dries. Lemon juice and other agents that will harm other stone surfaces won’t harm soapstone. You may set hot pots and pans directly on its surface without worry.

Because the stone is soft, it’s easy to sand out small nicks and scratches. Like granite, each slab is unique; some contain few streaks while others contain many. Keep in mind that features such as these will add to the cost of your project. Even if you mix epoxy and soapstone as a kind of filler putty, it will be impossible to match the veins and other patterns within the stone. European-style drainage simply slopes the countertop so that it will drain toward the sink. Of course, the thickness of the slab and the degree of elaboration on the edges will also affect cost. Be sure to get at least three quotes from professionals with experience in soapstone counters & who come to see your kitchen first. Also, because harder stone doesn’t carve as easily as soapstone, it takes more labor — and therefore costs more — to include cutouts for sinks and other features. Intermittent repairs will add to the long-term cost of a granite countertop. The cost of such repairs will depend on the size of the crack, as well as what must be done to repair it and what can be done to prevent it from happening again.

Because it is a hard stone, it will also add substantially to the cost to add cut-outs and other features. The cost of repairs will depend on the severity of the issue and the amount of support required underneath the countertop.

This porous material is easily scratched and stained and requires a lot of maintenance. While many stone countertops are naturally rough and must be sealed for smoothness, soapstone is naturally smooth to the touch. Soapstone darkens naturally, so if you want to keep a soft, lighter grey countertop (assuming that’s what you bought), you’ll have to treat it with special sealers or routinely sand and polish it. It also chips easily, so heavy iron skillets and other kitchen items can damage your countertop. Some contain large, streaking veins, while others contain smaller, thinner veins. It is possible to achieve this look sooner, as the application of mineral oil will accelerate the process. Repeat the process a few times and then treat it once a week for about a year. One of the most popular features is an integrated drain board that drains runoff from washed dishes into the sink.

Some people combine the traditional style with one of the other two, adding grooves to the sloped area for better drainage. It is a durable material with a lot of character, and it ages gracefully as well.

Soapstone with 80 percent talc is favored among sculptors for its pliability while stone with around 30 percent talc is preferred for architectural features such as countertops. Some homeowners rub their soapstone countertops with mineral oil once every four to eight weeks to keep a uniform color, but this is for aesthetics, not functionality. Untreated soapstone develops a patina with age, which lends it a warmer look. It is fairly easy to sand out light damage done to a soapstone counter top. Also keep in mind that if you decide to get a dishwasher later, you will most likely be stuck with the grooves. Sealants must also be applied and maintained during the life of the countertop to keep harder stone performing and looking its best. While cracks and chips can be easily repaired on soapstone, granite usually requires an expert’s touch to camouflage imperfections. The cost of repairs will depend on the extent and location of the crack. Soapstone is a metamorphic rock, which means that it’s a fusion of different kinds of rock that have come together.

It is denser than slate, marble and other harder stones. This can emphasize the natural streaks in the stone for a rich and purposeful look. As a non-porous stone, it cleans up quickly and isn’t easily stained. Foods contain natural acids that can wear down many kitchen materials. It is heat-resistant, and it won’t crack when hot pots and pans are set directly on its surface.

Because soapstone isn’t normally sealed, it can be particularly gritty against dishes. It is quarried in smaller slabs, so counters longer than 7 feet long will contain visible seams. While a single color may sound limiting, each slab contains veins and flecks of quartz that make it unique. Soapstone will darken naturally over time, highlighting veins dramatically. Saturate the surface with mineral oil, let it set a few minutes and wipe it off.

Since soapstone is easily shaped, it is possible to include a number of features.

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