Soapstone has been used for kitchen countertops
for hundreds of years, so it is the perfect
choice for those looking for a natural, traditional
look. It is blue gray and lightly variegated
when newly installed; but it oxidizes over
time, and acquiries a dark charcoal colored
patina (mineral oil can be applied to the
surface of soapstone to speed up this process).
This stone is extremely dense and has better
stain resistance than granite because it
is non-absorbent. Surface stains stay on
the surface and can be easily rubbed or sanded
out. Soapstone is soft, so scratches can
also be easily sanded out. It is heat resistant.
Consider the following if you
wish to install
- Soapstone comes in smaller slab sizes than
granite, usually about 6 feet long and 30
to 40 inches wide. These stone countertops
are heavy, so make sure the cabinets you
are using can support their weight. The slabs
are usually installed by gluing them to the
top of the cabinets with silicone or epoxy
or by securing them to a plywood substrate.
- There is not much color choice when installing
soapstone. You are limited
to the slight
variations of its natural oxidation
process, so be sure you want
the look of
dark colored countertops.
- Soapstone can have a glossy finish, but it
cannot be polished to a high
- Soapstone is easily workable with non-specialized
tools because it is a softer
Remember that a soapstone sink
is a good
choice for those seeking a traditional
when renovating an older house.