Soapstone, otherwise known as steatite, is composed of magnesium-rich metamorphic rock, which contains a high percentage of talc. It is a pure, natural stone that is most commonly used for tile, countertops, sinks, sculptures, fireplaces, and many other features.
But what makes soapstone the ideal, or nonideal, stone for your project? According to our natural stone wholesale experts, these are the pros and cons to consider before investing in soapstone.
Soapstone is truly unique. Every slab is completely different from the next. The stone is neutral in its color, varying from white to dark gray - thus making it a super versatile stone to fit any design aesthetic. It is antique and earthy in its appearance, some might even call it plain.- But for the nature lover who desires a rustic space, it’s perfect!
As a pure natural stone, soapstone is not made using synthetic materials and requires little to no processing prior to installation. Therefore the engineering process does not contribute to the release of toxic chemicals or harmful gas emissions into the environment. So if it’s a sustainable home you seek, soapstone comes highly recommended by our natural stone wholesale experts.
Soapstone is highly durable. It is non-porous, meaning it doesn’t stain or crack, and it has a reduced chance of bacterial growth in or on its surface. Soapstone is also heat-resistant, hence why it is such a common choice for fireplaces and woodstoves. It’s safe to say this natural stone will stand the test of time.
Easy to maintain
Due to its low porosity, soapstone doesn’t require regular sealing like other natural stones. It is also super easy to clean. Wipe your surface down using a rag, an all-purpose cleaner or a mild soap, and some water - and you’re good to go!
Limited color options
If you’re looking for a natural stone that makes a bold statement, soapstone might not be the stone for you. As mentioned before, soapstone comes in a limited variety of neutral colors. Another thing to keep in mind, is that soapstone does darken over time through the process of oxidation which you can speed up by coating your surface with mineral oil.
Non-resistant to oil
While soapstone is highly resistant, it has little tolerance for oily substances. You should apply mineral oil to your soapstone to develop what is called a patina. Unwanted oil or grease on your soapstone can create discoloration. Any spills should be cleaned immediately and if stains occur they can be cleaned with acetone or sanded.
Though soapstone is notprone to cracking, it does scratch quite easily. Therefore, it is important to be cautious with sharp objects to prevent damaging your natural stone. On the bright side, scratches, chips and dents on soapstone can be easily sanded out and repaired!
Soapstone is on the luxury end for natural stones, but you do get what you pay for. Not only is the stone durable enough to sustain its quality over time, but it will add value to your space when it’s time to sell.
Firenze International has a wide selection of natural stones, including soapstone. Our natural stone wholesale team can help you weigh the pros and cons to determine the best stone for you. Contact us today!