Soapstone is a natural stone that’s made of quartz, talc, magnesite and other accessory minerals. It gets its name because it feels like a bar of soap to the touch. Many homeowners consider soapstone ideal for countertops because they are heat resistant. A screaming hot pot or pan can be placed on the counter without damaging it. Indeed, soapstone is often used in laboratories because it resists etching by acids and harsh chemicals that can mar other types of stone such as granite. Because it is a natural stone, no two soapstone countertops are alike. This adds to their value.
Inherent Benefits of Soapstone
The stone also resists stains and is uniquely beautiful. A new countertop is often light gray, and the color darkens and deepens over time. Many interior designers recommend that the owner polish the soapstone counter with mineral oil from time to time to preserve its beauty. Soapstone also has the benefit of being nonporous, which means it does not need to be sealed like many other natural stones. Its nonporous quality also makes it resistant to bacteria.
Soapstone is Forgiving
Soapstone is much softer than granite or even marble. The talc content of soapstone gives it a rating of 1 on the Mohs hardness scale. Because of this, it is easily scratched. Ironically, its softness allows scratches to be easily corrected. All the owner has to do is rub the scratch out with some steel wool or sandpaper. Despite its softness, soapstone is surprisingly durable. In fact, soapstone stoves built in the 19th century are still in use.
Value of Soapstone
Soapstone is not only beautiful and durable, but it gives the homeowner a return on their investment if they ever sell their home. The return on investment of a soapstone countertop can be as high as 80 percent.
For more information about soapstone countertops, check out our soapstone page.