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Soapstone Countertops

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 countertops:

  • 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 or oiling 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 gloss.

  • Soapstone is easily workable with non-specialized tools because it is a softer stone.

Remember that a soapstone sink is a good choice for those seeking a traditional look when renovating an older house.

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