Soapstone

Soapstone 2017-03-06T17:31:30+00:00

Soapstone

Soapstone, which is also known as steatite and soaprock is a type of metamorphic rock and is known for its usefulness in a wide variety of materials. Metamorphic rock is created as a result of high levels of heat and pressure acting on a rock type called the “protolith.” Soapstone is formed from the transformation of protoliths, like dolostone and serpentinite, by extremely high pressures at tectonic plate boundaries. It is used for kitchen countertops, bathroom countertops, bathroom vanities, and many other purposes. Contact Capitol Granite for more uses and ideas.

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Soapstone Colors

Soapstone Honed Kitchen and Bathroom Countertop Color

Soapstone Honed

Soapstone Iron Leather Kitchen and Bathroom Countertop Color

Iron Soapstone Leather

Soapstone Smoke Kitchen and Bathroom Countertop Color

Soapstone Smoke

 
What is Soapstone?

Soapstone, which is also known as steatite and soaprock is a type of metamorphic rock and is known for its usefulness in a wide variety of materials. Metamorphic rock is created as a result of high levels of heat and pressure acting on a rock type called the “protolith.” Soapstone is formed from the transformation of protoliths, like dolostone and serpentinite, by extremely high pressures at tectonic plate boundaries. Soapstone is used for kitchen countertops, bathroom countertops, bathroom vanities, and many other purposes. Contact Capitol Granite for more uses and ideas. Back to the top.

Chemical Composition of Soapstone

Soapstone is chemically composed of talc. This means that it primarily consists of magnesium and silicates. It also contains varying amounts of soft mineral substances like quartz, tremolite, magnetite, chlorite and mica, and sometimes even iron compounds. Back to the top.

Physical Characteristics of Soapstone

Soapstone is grayish to green in hue, has a high density and low porosity, and is named as such for the soapy feeling when touched. It is also easy to cut with a knife or other sharp tool because of its characteristic softness, making it a favorite medium for sculpting; however, its most important quality is its high level of resistance to heat and acids. Back to the top.

Uses of Soapstone

Several ideal physical characteristics, especially its resistance to heat, make soapstone an excellent material in the manufacturing of kitchen sinks, furnace linings, and electrical apparatuses. Its acid-resistant property also makes it important in the manufacturing of laboratory table tops and laundry tubs, making this equipment safe from the corrosion and stains brought about by acids and other similar chemicals. Its dense structure and low porosity also makes it a good building material for fireplaces and other similar structures.

Soapstone has several beneficial uses as a countertop, including its stain resistance, rich color as well as smooth surface. The downsides to soapstone include problems with cracking over time, due to its softness. It also requires more maintenance than other types of countertop materials and darkens over time. This can give soapstone countertops a rustic and antique look which many people are drawn to. Back to the top.

History of Soapstone

Aside from being used as a carving material, soapstone was discovered in tombs in many different forms. Beads, cooking slabs and bowls made of soapstone have been found in various sites where ancient cultures have lived. Soapstone has also been used by the Native Americans as smoking pipes since it is fire-resistant and durable. Because of its fire and heat resistance, Soapstone is an ideal surface for kitchen countertops. Back to the top.

Location of Soapstone

Soapstone is found in various areas where metamorphic rocks are dominant. Bombay in India and Malawi’s Limbue quarries are well-known sources. Norway, Canada, Finland and certain regions in Russia and in the United States are notable areas of commercial importance for soapstone as well. Back to the top.

Soapstone Countertops Pros and Cons

Pros of Soapstone
  • Soapstone countertops give rich and deep color options for countertops, with a natural earthy feel. The color can be light gray to black.
  • The material of soapstone countertops is softer and less porous as compared to granite countertops, which gives your kitchen a softer and homely look and feel.
  • Most countertops made from stones are rough and need to be sealed with a special sealant for making them smooth. However, soapstone countertops have a surface which has a soapy smooth feel; as they are made with talc, minerals and quartz.
  • Soapstone has high resistance to heat, and you do not need to worry about your countertops cracking due to hot liquids or because you dropped something on the countertop.
  • Soapstone countertops do not stain easily, and make the job of kitchen cleaning very easy. By installing soapstone countertops for kitchens, you can avoid ugly stains, as they are easy to clean.
  • Soapstone countertops are made out of tough material, and hence can withstand constant use, cutting, washing, etc.; they also don’t break down easily. In addition, they are also resistant to acids and alkalies, and it is safe to use chemical cleaners for soapstone countertop care. Back to the top.
Cons of Soapstone
  • Soapstone countertops usually carry a high cost.
  • Soapstone countertops require high maintenance, as one needs to wipe it down with mineral oil once every week for the first year of use.
  • Soapstone Countertops require a good deal of maintenance. Soapstone countertops scratch easily, and you will need to sand them, or rub the scratches out.
  • Soapstone countertops will darken with age, and it is possible that your kitchen decor that you created considering the light color of the countertop might not match after a few years. Back to the top.