Soapstone is not as common as marble and granite for kitchen countertops, so if you’re looking for a truly unique feel, soapstone may be a good option. Soapstone is a dark stone, with a matte finish.
Soapstone costs between $50-150 per square foot installed. A typical kitchen remodeling using soapstone countertops would be about $2400. This pricing is about the same as most granite and marble options, though slightly more expensive than mass produced quartz and low-end granite. Pricing varies based on availability in your area, the thickness of the stone, the uniqueness of the stone slab, the number of slabs required to create your layout, and the number of cuts that need to be made in the stone.
No. Soapstone is non-porous, so it does not need to be sealed. Mineral oil should be applied every month or so keep a uniform color, but this provides no additional protection or functional purpose. Non-porous stones don’t absorb liquids, so they do not stain or etch in the same way an unsealed porous stone would.
Yes. Soapstone is one of the most heat-resistant stone available. You can place hot pots and pans directly on the stone with little to no risk of cracking or discoloration.
No. Soapstone is only available in dark colors, usually black/charcoal with dark blue or green tints.
Soapstone is a versatile stone, often used for countertops, backsplashes, fireplace surrounds, table tops, showers, floors and for accent pieces.
Soapstone will experience more scratching, as well as general wearing because of it is a sofer stone. It is common for sharp corners to wear down when compared to granite or quartz. For many people the natural patina and wearing are part of the stone’s charm. Most wearing can be repaired by oiling, or light sanding. It is a very resilient stone, so even with the wear and tear, most soapstone countertops last for generations.
Soapstone is a softer stone that granite or marble. Scratches do happen. Soapstone is composed of talc which is soft, but dense. So while soapstone does scratch and dent easily, it is also resilient. Many scratches can be repaired by applying mineral oil, or by sanding. If you want to retain a pristine countertop, soapstone is not a good choice. If you like a more worn look and a natural antique patina that develops over time, you will enjoy soapstone. For many soapstone owners, scratches, nicks and imperfections are part of the stone’s charm.
Using mineral oil is not “required”, but suggested for most homeowners. New soapstone countertops will darken naturally over time. Applying mineral oil helps the oxidation process. The oil will give your stone a more uniform color across the surface. It will also help darken the stone. Untreated soapstone may have darker spots and patterns, particularly around the sink, cooktop and heavily used areas, which may stand out compared to the rest of the countertop. Oil minimizes this difference in tone and darkens the stone more evenly.
If you decide to use mineral oil, new countertops can be oiled every 2-3 weeks. Over time oil can be applied less often. How often depends on how much use your kitchen gets, but every few months is common. Oiling is more about the look you want to achieve, so you’ll have to use your own discretion. Oil can also help reduce the visibility of scratches and imperfections on the stone’s surface.
Soapstone is non-porous, so it naturally resists liquids and foods that can cause stains. You can clean soapstone with a mixture of warm water and a mild dish detergent. Use a rag or sponge to apply the soap mixture, and then rinse thoroughly to remove all soap. The stone can air dry, or you can use a soft towel. Unlike marble and granite, soapstone is not damaged by acid foods and cleaners, or by ammonia based products, so you can use household cleaners if needed. For serious messes it’s not unheard of to use a fine grit sandpaper on the stone to buff out stains or blemishes. Check your warranty, and with your manufacturer before sanding your countertops.