Soapstone Is Soft And Warm To The Touch.
It’s smooth, slippery, and silky. This stone is a traditional and old fashioned natural stone. The look is warm and inviting. Charming, rustic, and rich looking yet versatile enough to fit comfortably within a modern home. It has been used for centuries in our homes. It’s also the counter top of choice in our science labs. This is a simple and subtle stone which conveys grounding and harmony. It truly emits old world charm.
The colors of soapstone are rich and beautiful. They convey calmness. From ash gray to smoky blue-grays to a rich charcoal black. Some stones have flecks of green and blue and contrasting veins twisting throughout the stone. Soapstone is a siliceous natural stone which consists mainly of talc and chlorite. There are actually two types of soapstone. The artistic soapstone which is used for carvings and sculptures contains a higher talc content.
The other type of soapstone, also known as steatite, is used for architectural purposes. It is used for counter tops, sinks, and vanities, just to name a few. Architectural soapstone contains a lesser amount of talc. The more talc the stone contains, the softer the stone is.
Since it is a siliceous stone, it is unaffected by acids contained in items such as wine, lemons, vinegar, etc. Special cleaners aren’t required either. Any household cleaner will do. This is a very dense stone. Soapstone weighs an average of 20 lbs. per square foot! It is a nonporous stone and will not absorb liquids and stains like other natural stones will.
It is also heat resistant. Setting a hot pot of noodles on your soapstone countertop won’t scorch it or burn it. In fact, some cookware is made of soapstone. If you should put in a soapstone counter top, you wouldn’t want to cut on it. Soapstone is soft. It’s so soft it can be scratched with a fingernail. Over time, the edges will soften and you’ll start to see small nicks, scratches, and indentations. If you like the aged antique look, the patina of this natural stone might be perfect for you. It will age gradually and gracefully.
If you don’t care for the small nicks and scratches, a little mineral oil or a light sanding will smooth out the stone. Mineral oil is used to enhance and deepen the color. The stone color becomes more dramatic. Mineral oil also helps darken the stone evenly and bring out its natural beauty. The use of mineral oil isn’t mandatory. Soapstone will eventually take on its own patina with time and use. It will darken with age. Usually it takes about a year to realize the full depth of color of your soapstone.
Soapstone has a variety of uses. Soapstone is best known for it’s heat retention. It is used extensively for fireplace hearths, wood stoves, masonry fireplaces, fireplace liners, and pizza ovens. It’s also used for sinks, countertops, island tops, chess sets, sills, flooring, and shower stalls. It’s used for mixing bowls, carvings, sculptures, benches, and planters.
Soapstone comes in the form of slabs or tiles. This is a soft stone which is easy to carve and work with. Soapstone will last many lifetimes if treated with care. It will develop it’s own unique patina based on you and your lifestyle. It is a soft stone, softer than other natural stones. But, it doesn’t burn, it isn’t porous, it won’t stain, and acids won’t etch it. Soapstone care is also minimal.