If you survived chemistry labs back in high school, then you probably remember sleek black countertops. While those tabletops might bring back memories of periodic tables and bunsen burners, the material used under your notebook as you scribbled chemical formulas was soapstone – a popular natural stone used in kitchens and bathrooms!
With its matte finish, deep grey color and impressive durability, it’s no wonder that homeowners are choosing this unique stone in place of popular granite or elegant marble. Torn between stones? Here’s why you should consider using soapstone countertops in your home!
Let’s revisit that high school chemistry classroom for a minute. The tabletops were not chosen because of aesthetics and looks, but rather because of its natural durability against chemicals, acids and heat. Thus, when students overfill their beakers with exploding liquids, the desk remained strong.
While soapstone does scratch easily, damage is typically easy to repair. And much like marble etching, some homeowners actually enjoy the look of aging soapstone. Depending on your perspective, scratches, chips and white veining can either be your kitchen’s biggest attraction or distraction.
IT’S SUPER CLEAN
Unlike marble and granite, soapstone is nonporous and holds up well against tomato sauces stains or red wine spills, making it a perfect choice for countertops in your home!
THERE’S LITTLE TO NO MAINTENANCE
Aside from the optional maintenance (see below), soapstone requires minimal effort to keep it looking its best. We recommend wiping your stone down with mild soap and water when needed, but you don’t have to worry about damaging your stone when using household cleaners like you would be other natural stones.
Soapstone optional care and maintenance:
Soapstone left alone in its natural form is light grey in color, but many homeowners prefer that rich charcoal color that soapstone is known for. To achieve that darkened color, soapstone needs to be exposed to water, grease and oils. Homeowners can speed up the process of oxidation by applying a mineral oil or wax treatment to the stone’s surface occasionally.
Oiling and waxing is simple and doesn’t require much time. Simply pour the mineral oil or buff the dry wax directly onto the surface, let sit for recommended amount of time, and then wipe up the excess with a clean rag.
For more information about choosing a material for your home, you can visit our countertop comparison guideline, where we break down different options and materials you can use in your home.