When it comes to countertops, usually two types of countertops come to the mind of the house owners, quartz and granite. But why follow the masses? Choosing a countertop is expensive; hence, an individual should always consider all the factors like; durability, the maintenance requirements, the overall look, budget, etc.
To learn more about how high-quality engineered quartz countertops are made, feel free to click here.
An individual should decide only after considering all the factors mentioned above, but what are the options if both granite and quartz do not meet the requirements of an individual? Well, in that case, soapstone countertops could be a great option. But before understanding soapstone countertops, let’s first understand what soapstone countertops are?
What Are Soapstone Countertops?
As the name suggests, these countertops are made of a material called soapstone.
Soapstone or steatite is a metamorphic rock that appears naturally. It is mainly composed of talc, which is a mineral that is rich in magnesium.
Carving soapstone is very easy, which is why it has been used to carve different kitchen and housing materials for a long time.
Also, soapstone is heat-resistant, durable, and has a high heat storage capacity. Hence, soapstone makes a perfect material for kitchen countertops. After knowing what soapstone countertops are, the homeowners may want to know the cost of this material. Next section explains just that!
What Is The Cost Of Soapstone Countertops?
They are expensive. Yes, that antique look comes at a cost, actually at a high cost. This could be a disadvantage if an individual’s budget is tight, but if there is no such issue, soapstone can be an ultimate choice. On an average, soft stone can cost an individual anywhere between $70 to $150 per square foot. The cost could get even higher depending on the quality, designs, and other factors.
Types Of Soapstone
Now that it is clear what soapstone countertops are, let’s discuss what are the different types of soaptones used to make kitchen countertops.
Soapstone is not engineered or designed specifically for kitchen countertops. Instead, it is a naturally occurring stone. Different kinds of soap stones are found in different regions of the globe, so no two soapstones are the same.
Now, let’s look at different countertops manufactured from various soapstones.
Also known as artistic soapstone, the softer varieties of soapstones have a sort of soapy and silky feel. These types of stones may contain more than eighty percent talc.
As these varieties are a bit on the softer side, these types of soapstones are not used for counterparts. Instead, they are used for carvings and extracting talc. Because of these stones, soapstones gained a reputation that they could not be used for kitchen counterparts.
Soft soapstones are useful for manufacturing counterparts, but the next variety discussed is the perfect material for a kitchen countertop.
Architectural-Grade Soapstone Countertops
This type of soapstone is the one that is used to make countertops and is often used in fireplaces. This variety consists only of around 50% talc; hence, it is very hard and can remain intact even when cut into slabs.
Since soapstones are softer than granites, people often get surprised when they learn that it is much less porous and stain-resistant.
It may be softer than granite, but that doesn’t mean it is a fragile material. Its durability is just like marble.
Soapstone kitchen countertops are available in a variety of colors. However, they are mostly available in creamy shades and shades of white and gray.
Soapstones Pros & Cons
Just like any other material, soapstone also has its advantages and disadvantages as mentioned below:
Advantages Of A Soapstone
- It is almost impossible to stain the soapstone, which gives it an advantage over other stones like granite and marble.
- Dents and scratches can easily be sanded out from the soapstone kitchen countertop because of its soft nature; individuals are just required to oil the sanded part with mineral oil after the process.
- The soapstone gives an antique look to the kitchen countertop.
- It does not require sealing or resealing like marble or granite.
- It is immune to burns, unlike wood countertops or even granite countertops in some cases.
Disadvantages Of A Soapstone
- Soapstone may be immune to burns but is definitely not immune to scratches and dents. But some owners believe this just adds up to the antique look of the countertop.
- Soapstone requires oiling to help it develop its patina; the oiling required is as often as once a week.
- Too many color options are not available in soapstone. This may prove as a disadvantage for the people who seek variety.
- Countertops that are larger than 6 feet will require a seam.
Are Soapstone Kitchen Countertops Worth Investing In?
Soapstone kitchen countertops can be a perfect choice for individuals who seek an antique charm for their kitchen, which develops a beautiful patina with time.
With all the advantages like; fire resistance, stain resistance, etc., the cons associated with the soapstone cannot be ignored. Limitations like scratchable surface, lack of immunity to dents, and need for oiling, can be conquered by covering the countertop with a protective film which will help increase the countertop’s life.
Apart from that, one more thing needs to be addressed, and the soapstone is a bit on the expensive side.
So, should a homeowner buy this material? Yes, it deserves a place in an individual’s kitchen, as it not only provides a classic look to the countertop but is also a very durable and dependable material.
Yes, sandstone may have some drawbacks, but the advantages outweigh the cons. Also, an individual can conquer the disadvantages with simple tricks like; to save money, an individual may look for leftover soapstone slabs. They might be short in length, but they are cheaper than the regular ones. Also, looking for soapstones that have been mined locally and are not imported could save an individual a lot of money.
For patina, it is recommended to oil the countertop regularly. Still, if an individual wants a noticeable patina, the individual should not oil the countertop for at least a year or so, and only after that should start applying oil.
Above, we discussed everything from what soapstone countertops are made of, its pros and cons to the average cost.
It’s suggested to homeowners to consider all the points before making an investment.