SOAPSTONE COUNTERTOPS VA and SOAPSTONE COUNTERTOPS MD
(United Granite MD, and Fairfax Marble)
There are many misconceptions about Soapstone. Not everyone considers, or even knows that Soapstone is an option for countertop material. It is, however, often used as an alternative natural stone countertop instead of granite or marble. Soapstone is the material that is used in laboratories because it is unaffected by acids and alkalis.
Blue Soapstone VA
Black Soapstone VA
Nero Oceano Soapstone VA
Black Soapstone Leather VA
Blue Soapstone VA
Silver Soapstone VA
Soapstone BLACK VA
BLACK SOAPSTONE VA - MD - DC (NEW ARRIVAL)
Soapstone Look in Granite Durability -
Virginia Mist Granite
SILVER GRAY HONED GRANITE
PLATINIUM GRAY QUARTZITE
BELVEREDE LEATHER GRANITE
First, let’s talk about what Soapstone really is. Soapstone is a metamorphic rock, meaning it has changed form from an original rock due to extremely high temperatures, over 300-400 million years ago. The main characteristic of soapstone is Talc, and it also has varying amounts of chlorite, micas, carbonates, and other minerals. It varies in color from green to gray, and even black and blue. Soapstone has a soapy feel to it, and is a very soft stone. It can easily be cut by a knife or other sharp object, which is why it is a very popular stone for carving. The form of soapstone used for carving has a higher amount of Talc, and is referred to as “steatite.”
Soapstone has different characteristics than that of Granite or Marble. Unlike the other natural stone material options, it cannot be stained or altered by tomatoes, wine, vinegar, grape juice, or any other food or drink since it is unaffected by anything acidic or basic. Along with a high degree of resistance to acids, soapstone is also known for its resistance to heat. It has a high specific heat capacity and requires a great amount of heat to increase its temperature, so it generally stays at a cool temperature. You can place hot pots directly on the surface and not worry about melting or burning the surface. The heat resistance also makes soapstone a wonderful option for fireplace liners and hearths, as well as wood burning stoves.
Yes, Soapstone is a softer rock and can be easily scratched in countertop use, but a gentle sanding treatment with mineral oil will easily remove any superficial scratches. That being said, using soapstone for spaces such as a workbench top that will have sharp and abrasive objects placed on it, is not the best of options. Along with mineral oil, soapstone can also be conditioned with a wax sealer; “Real Milk Paint” is a popular brand. Sealing with wax can accelerate the oxidation process that darkens the stone from a light blue-grey to a deep charcoal grey.
The non-porous nature of the stone makes soapstone a nice choice for a natural countertop material because it is very sanitary. Being non-porous, nothing can penetrate it, and so no bacteria can absorb into the stone. Despite the fact that soapstone is non-porous, you can still get discoloration from water and various oils. These marks do not penetrate or etch the surface and can be removed with clean and prevented with oiling and/or waxing. Soapstone is a natural non-stick surface because of this non-porous nature as well.
The rustic, natural look of soapstone is still very versatile and offers a natural element of beauty. It looks wonderful with stainless steel, and best paired (in my opinion) with a farm sink. Speaking of versatility, soapstone has low electrical conductivity, making it possible for the stone to be used as electrical panels.
No matter what you choose for countertop material, it is exactly that…your choice. The goal in these blogs is to enlighten you to the choices you have and assist you as best as we can to help make the right decision for you. Good luck!
We have a lot of soapstone slab options to choose from in our warehouses in Chantilly VA, Fairfax VA, Elkridge MD, and Crofton MD for our customers living in the Washington DC metro area.
*Side note and interesting fact – Whiskey Stones*
Small soapstone cubes can be refrigerated or frozen and be used to chill a glass of whiskey (Or any other drink really). They do not melt so they won’t dilute the drink. Due to soapstone’s high specific heat capacity, it changes temperature at a very slow rate, so a few cubes can keep a drink cold for 30 minutes or longer.