Soapstone is quarried
like Granite and Marble. It is a steatite stone and its primary
components are magnesite, dolomite, chlorite, and talc. As talc in
soapstone is soft to the touch, it gives the smooth feeling of
rubbing a piece of dry soap. Thus the name was derived - "Soap"
Stone. Mineral oil and some light penetrating sealers will bring
out a dark richness to the stone's natural color and also work as a
protective sealing layer to the surface of the stone. . Soapstone
is perfect for achieving that warm "old fashioned", "rustic",
"early American" look. It's also versatile enough so that it can be
used with very modern designs.
Soapstone is soft
and warm to the touch. It's smooth, slippery, and
silky. It 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 the modern home.
Soapstone 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 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 very 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 all the small nicks and
scratches, a little mineral oil or a light sanding will smooth out
Mineral oil is also used to enhance and deepen the
color. The stone color becomes more dramatic. Mineral oil also
helps to darken the stone evenly and bring out the natural beauty
of the stone. 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 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, sills, flooring, and shower stalls. It's
used for mixing bowls, carvings, sculptures, benches, and
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.
Marble & Granite Supply of
6666 W. Howard St
Niles, IL 60714
T: (847) 232-6560
F: (847) 972-1530