Are Soapstone Countertops Better Than Granite

Soapstone countertops have become quite fashionable … again. Once known as the “original stone countertop”, soapstone was commonly found as countertop and sink material years ago.  At the turn of the century it was not uncommon to find soapstone counters in kitchens.

Soapstone offers a warm, traditional look that is naturally soft to the touch. Many people are attracted to soapstone because of the unique soft feel. Soapstone colors range from light greenish gray to blue gray with light flowing veins.


Soapstone Slab

Soapstone Counters Price

Soapstone tops are typically more expensive than granite countertops. The raw material is more expensive than most granites and the fabrication is different than with granite tops.

Given that, what does soapstone cost?  It’s generally higher than other stone.  See Price Of Granite for some price comparison of countertop material costs.

Is soapstone a good countertop material?  Well, for example, onyx slabs almost always have a fiberglass mesh material on the back to hold the stone together. This is an indicator of just how fragile the stone is.

Soapstone, on the other hand, is very dense and doesn’t need reinforcement.

granite tables

Soapstone countertop with eased edge

Soapstone Countertop Pros and Cons

Soapstone is quarried like marble and granite with most of it coming from Brazil. Composed of magnesite, dolomite, chlorite, and talc, soapstone is very soft yet extremely dense. Soapstone is heavier than granite per square foot.

Like granite and slate, soapstone is a siliceous stone and is not affected by acids. It’s nearly indestructible. You can put hot trays and pans directly on it without any problem.

Soapstone never needs sealing so it’s practical – stains do not penetrate beyond the surface. It is extremely heat resistant and does not react to household chemicals or cleaners.

So how do you care for soapstone?  Usually, the only treatment for soapstone counters is a coat of mineral oil which brings out a lustrous, rich finish.

soapstone veining

Soapstone Veining

Soapstone Countertops Scratch Easily

The inherent softness of soapstone makes it scratch easily. Over time you will notice scratches, nicks, and dents. These can all be sanded out and a new coat of mineral oil can be applied.

Though limited in color, a soapstone countertop is durable like granite yet has a unique look and feel that you can’t get with any other natural stone.

Where do limestone countertops work best?

Do marble countertops stain?

How do slate countertops perform in a kitchen?

Why are onyx countertops so unique?

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