Pros of soapstone countertops
1. Stain resistance
Unlike marble, the non-porous and dense nature of soapstone countertops makes them extremely stain resistant. Spill a glass of red wine or coffee? Not an issue. Acids like lemon juice and some cleaning products won’t be a problem either. Soapstone may appear to stain when something is first spilled, but will almost always return to its usual color after the liquid is cleaned from the surface.
2. Low maintenance
Compared to other countertop materials, soapstone is fairly low maintenance and doesn’t need to be sealed. It doesn’t demand a ton of upkeep, is easy to clean, and is fairly resistant to damage.
You’ll want to apply mineral oil about once a month for the first year, and then about once each year thereafter. This will cause the soapstone to oxidize, enhancing the natural darkening process and adding a nice luster, or patina, to the countertop. Since water and grease also contribute to the oxidation of soapstone, apply a regular mineral oil application as a way of keeping the oxidation uniform across the surface.
Another added benefit of applying mineral oil is its ability to minimize the appearance of scratches. To reduce the appearance of deep scratches, a combination of sanding and mineral oil will usually do the trick.
Because of soapstone’s non-porous properties, you can use most types of cleaning products without harming your countertops, though mild soap and water is the recommended option. Because it’s a softer stone, stay away from abrasive sponges and use cutting boards when slicing and chopping foods rather than cutting directly on the countertop. When cared for properly, soapstone can last for more than 100 years.
4. Heat resistance
Another great perk of soapstone countertops is that they’re highly heat resistant, meaning you can set down hot pans without damaging the stone. However, you’ll still want to avoid setting extreme temperatures on the counter, as this could damage the surface. Repeated exposure to very high temperatures can be problematic and contribute to cracking.
5. Environmentally friendliness
Soapstone is often seen as an environmentally friendly countertop—the stone is used in its natural state and doesn’t require sealing or the use of toxic chemicals to prepare it for installation. Soapstone countertops can also be recycled.
6. Wide texture variety
Unlike other natural stone surfaces, soapstone is offered in a wide variety of textures. Natural soapstone is rougher, while oiled or aged soapstone provides a smoother finish.