Are you starting down the road of a kitchen remodel? There are so many options out there that the choices can get overwhelming incredibly quickly. When it comes to granite alternatives, your home remodel consultant may have offered up soapstone as a better alternative. But soapstone can be used for so much more than just stone countertops. Here’s the full scoop on all of the soapstone uses around the home:
This is the most common soapstone use, at least when it comes to home finishes. While it’s not as hard as granite or quartz, soapstone is still impressively durable. It’s also easier to cut because of this reduced level of hardness, meaning soapstone is generally a great option for kitchen counters. If you’re worried about dings or scratches, you can set those worries aside. Your soapstone counters may get small scuffs over time, but that simply gives off a lovely patina. Adding a coat of mineral oil will make most of those small marks disappear, and the occasional larger scratch can be buffed out with steel wool or a fine-grit sandpaper. It’s not going to wreck your soapstone counters!
As we mentioned above, soapstone is a “softer” stone, which makes it easier to cut. This makes it a great candidate for sinks! A soapstone farmhouse sink is a pretty popular option, but did you know you can also get a whole range of other sink styles? Soapstone is a perfect option for sinks because it’s a non-porous stone. This means it won’t stain, even if you leave tomato sauce remnants sitting on the surface for a week. Since soapstone is non-porous, it offers an even better benefit: it’s an incredibly healthy option. It being non-porous means there are no little nooks and crannies to harbor bacteria, making it easier to clean and keep germ-free.
You may think, since we’ve mentioned soapstone’s “softness,” that using it for flooring would be a bad call — but that’s just not true! Like we mentioned already, we’re talking about relative hardness and soapstone is still stone. It actually makes for a great flooring option because it’s non-porous. When your toddler spills red juice across a soapstone floor, it’s no big deal. The soapstone tiles won’t get overly slick, and the mess isn’t going to leave a stain. Your soapstone flooring may acquire small scuffs over the years, but it’s not going to impact how durable your flooring is. Ultimately, soapstone flooring is still impressively durable and an option that needs very little maintenance.
Fireplaces & Masonry Stoves
Soapstone is heat resistant. This is another big reason soapstone counters are so popular; you can pull a dish out of a hot oven and set it directly onto soapstone with no worries. Well, it’s the same reason that makes soapstone a great option for fireplaces, masonry stoves, and woodburning stove surrounds. Soapstone does a great job at absorbing a lot of heat without spreading it into nearby surfaces, which makes it safe for use around fires. Even better, soapstone will absorb all of that heat and slowly release it over the coming hours. It’s a great way to keep your home warm while cutting down on heating bills because a soapstone fireplace/stove will keep emitting heat long after the fire has gone out.
Normally, when folks think about soapstone, they imagine big soapstone slabs, rather like granite. This is definitely the case! But you can also get smaller tiles of soapstone, which are perfect for creating a backsplash in your kitchen or decorating an accent wall with larger soapstone tiles or wall panels. Soapstone comes in a whole range of colors, with a good array of color variation amongst different slabs. There are options that range from a deep charcoal grey to almost white, so you can create a soapstone backsplash or accent wall that matches your style.
Outdoor Living Areas
All of the benefits that make it perfect for indoor use also give you a lot of outdoor soapstone uses. If you’re looking to build a beautiful outdoor kitchen, soapstone counters and/or flagstone flooring are great options because they will hold up to the vagaries of weather impressively well. Since soapstone isn’t porous, it won’t absorb water and get damaged or worn down over time. For this same reason, soapstone makes for a good pool or hot tub surrounding. Talk to your home design team to help you find the appropriate soapstone slabs with a good hardness rating for outdoor use.
Choosing the Right Soapstone for Your Needs
There’s some variance between hardness levels from one soapstone slab to the next. They all get rated so you can better choose the right slab depending on different soapstone uses. The best way to ensure you get a beautiful, enduring result is to work with an experienced soapstone company. Connect with Dorado Soapstone to learn more about the many soapstone uses out there, and to start planning your next project!