In recent years, stone countertops have become increasingly popular. It’s not just marble and granite, either. Soapstone is just as versatile and beautiful — if not more so! If you’re looking to add some stone to your kitchens in a useful, durable, and aesthetically pleasing way, it’s time to look into soapstone. Here’s what you need to know:
Soapstone Uses in the Kitchen
When it comes to this stone, the number of soapstone uses are just about endless, especially in the kitchen! This particular subset of stone is durable, like most stone finishes, but it is also non-porous, heat-resistant, basically un-stainable, and chemically inert. All of this adds up to make soapstone a really great option for the kitchen! Popular soapstone uses in the kitchen include:
- Fireplace surround
- And more…
You could probably even get away with soapstone cabinet doors if you really wanted, but that starts getting more troublesome simply because of the weight. Overall though, soapstone can be used in so many different ways because the stone itself is so durable and versatile.
When it comes to soapstone, the most often raised concern is that it is a softer stone. But there’s no need to worry! Soapstone may be softer, but that doesn’t make it soft. The other thing to know is that there are two broad categories of soapstone: artistic and architectural soapstone. Artistic soapstone includes soapstone slabs that are generally 75% talc or more, making it a much softer stone. Architectural-grade soapstone, on the other hand, has a lower ratio of talc, so architectural-grade slabs are harder and more durable. You can expect to see some slight wear to soapstone over time, especially if you choose to use soapstone in high-traffic areas (like using it as flooring). Small nicks and routine wear will eventually create a sheen, but it won’t affect how well your soapstone functions. And, if you really don’t like that worn-in sheen, you can buff out signs of wear with steel wool or a fine-grit sandpaper.
One of the single biggest sources of damage in a kitchen is heat. If you have a laminate countertop, you may already know how easily a hot pan can wreck that protective outer layer. Soapstone counters are a lot more durable than that. Soapstone absorbs heat well, which is actually why it is common to see soapstone fireplace surrounds and masonry stoves. Using soapstone in the kitchen means it will simply absorb the heat of hot pans and/or the nearby stove, and then slowly disburse the heat over time.
In our opinion, one of the best reasons to use soapstone in the kitchen is because it is chemically inert. This means that it is neither basic nor acidic. From a chemical standpoint, this is the reason soapstone counters and table tops are so popular in science labs. In your kitchen, this means that your soapstone surfaces won’t interact with acidic substances like lemon juice or red wine. Nor will they react to chemical cleaners. Basically, the fact that soapstone is chemically inert means it’s basically impossible to stain.
On top of being chemically inert, soapstone is also non-porous. This is basically the double-whammy of useful properties. Soapstone isn’t going to interact with anything you spill on it — and since it’s also non-porous, it’ll be easy to clean up! More than that, though, the fact that soapstone is non-porous means a lot for its usefulness. For one thing, it means that there aren’t any little nooks and crannies for grime and bacteria to wiggle into, so soapstone is impressively anti-bacterial. When it comes time to clean, just wipe surfaces down with your preferred cleaner. That’s it! Unlike other stone countertops, you don’t have to worry about the cleaner causing stains, or keeping the sealant up so that gunk can’t get into the pores. Soapstone is great for kitchen use because it keeps germs at bay naturally and makes it so much easier to clean than other stone surfaces.
Finding Your Kitchen Finishes
If you’re ready to bring sandstone into your kitchen, start by meeting with an experienced team near you. Connect with Soapstone Dorado to learn more about the many soapstone uses in there and start planning your kitchen renovation!