Soapstone: Stay Interesting, My Friends

Soapstone: Stay Interesting, My Friends

September 18, 2014

Did you take chemistry class in high school? If you did, you’ve likely already experienced soapstone. Most lab tables are made of this material because of its chemically “inert” composition. (That’s just a fancy way of saying that chemicals won’t ruin it. It’s all coming back to you now, isn’t it?) Resistant to stains and bacteria, soapstone can hold up to Bunsen burners and high school students determined to wreak havoc. Its ability to withstand all of that makes soapstone a pretty great choice for kitchen and bath countertops too.

Soapstone Island

Soapstone kitchen countertops and island by Artisan Kitchens, LLC; photo via Houzz

In a recent blog for, Pat Windemeier called soapstone “the world’s most interesting countertop material,” adding that it would be the ideal companion to have a Dos Equis with the World’s Most Interesting Man. We agree that this material is pretty amazing. Here’s why…

Since soapstone is a natural stone made mostly of talc, it has a naturally smooth feel. It’s found in shades of gray, sometimes with a greenish cast. Over time and with use, soapstone darkens into a deep charcoal. If you’re a lover of materials that develop a patina over time and look “lived with”, it’s a great choice.

Unaffected by heat, soapstone is incredibly durable. It’s been used for stoves throughout history and you shouldn’t be surprised to come across wood-burning soapstone stoves from the 1800s that still work today. It’s a very dense material, which is what makes it impenetrable by acids, bacteria, and stains.

Soapstone is easily cleaned with mild soap and water. A regular application of food-grade mineral oil will help it look more consistent, but it’s not necessary and doesn’t increase its durability.

You don’t always shop for soapstone but when you do, keep an eye out for stone labeled “architectural grade.” It’s a denser version and therefore most appropriate for countertops.
Have questions about soapstone or any other natural stone? Give us a call at 877-39-STONE.


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