There are so many different materials to choose from when looking at new countertops. In this guide, we’re going to weigh the pros and cons of soapstone countertops so you’ll be able to determine if soapstone is the right choice for your home.
Due to its heat resistance, soapstone has been used for centuries. However, it has just recently made its way into the home interior design world.
If you’re looking for an all natural, eco-friendly, durable, and maintenance-free countertop option, then soapstone countertops are the answer.
But first, let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
The Pros of Soapstone Countertops
1. Natural and Sustainable
Soapstone is an all-natural quarried stone and sustainable option for countertops. Since it is made completely of natural materials, it is safe for the home and the environment. You won’t have to worry about any harmful chemicals or substances.
The natural makeup of soapstone counters (dense and non-porous) also means they are durable and impenetrable. While man-made materials often skimp on quality, natural stone countertops will last many many years (really until you get tired of them).
Soapstone is a non-porous material, which makes it extremely dense. Actually, soapstone is the densest countertop option.
Keeping soapstone clean is extremely easy. Without any pours, it is naturally sealed. It does not absorb liquids or acids, meaning it will never stain.
Yep. You heard that right! You will never have to use harsh chemicals to get stains out of your countertops ever again.
3. Naturally Antibacterial
Since soapstone countertops do not retain any of the substances that they come into contact with (liquids, solids, stains, etc.), they prevent bacteria from growing.
This means that soapstone is naturally cleaner than other types of countertops. In opposition, granite countertops have to have an additional seal added to them to make them antibacterial.
Soapstone has very low thermal conductivity due to its density. This means that it doesn’t burn. You can place a hot pan from the oven directly on a soapstone countertop with no harm done.
In addition, the non-porous makeup allows heat to spread evenly throughout the stone. This prevents cracking, a common issue with other countertop materials.
Soapstone countertops are used in scientific labs because they are hard to destroy. They are resistant to damage caused by acid. This is one of the reasons why soapstone has made its way into the kitchens of our homes.
While other types of countertops can become ruined from contact with citrus juices, beverages, and harsh cleaners, soapstone will withstand it all.
Soapstone countertops require no maintenance. While other materials need sealing and upkeep to protect them, soapstone is naturally sealed and built to last.
Low density, durable, and bacteria resistance is why soapstone countertops are perfect for outdoor kitchens. They can withstand harsh weather and are safe from bacteria from debris, animals, and the environment.
The Cons of Soapstone Countertops
As you can see, soapstone offers many advantages for residential and commercial kitchens. However, there are a few disadvantages as well. While most of the cons will be determined by your own needs and perceptions, here are a few common drawbacks.
1. Keeping its Shine
In order to keep soapstone countertops shiny and bright, you must apply mineral oil every two years. Mineral oil brings out the natural color and highlights the veins of the soapstone.
This task is messy and can be a hassle, which is why it is considered a disadvantage of soapstone. However, if you are not worried about your countertops always looking bright and new, then you can easily skip this step. It is only for appeal and not necessary to sustain the countertop’s durability.
2. Scratches Easily
Soapstone is one of the softer countertop materials, making it more prone to scratches than some others. If you are someone who needs a perfect countertop at all times, then you may be disappointed in soapstone.
However, a benefit to soapstone over other types of countertops is that the scratches can easily be sanded out. Wala. Plus, as long as you always use a cutting board, your countertops will be relatively safe.
3. Color will Change Overtime
Remember, soapstone is natural. Everything natural changes with age. Soapstone countertops are no different. With time, they will darken.
Soapstone countertops will darken quicker the more contact they have with liquids. While they don’t absorb the liquid, they react and change color.
While some may find this a disadvantage, I find it quite a benefit. Your kitchen will change over time making it easier for you to avoid updates (and saving you money). In a few years, it can look like you have brand new countertops by just adding mineral oil!
4. Limited Options
Since soapstone is a natural stone, soapstone countertops come in a few colors and styles. Most countertop options will be various tones of gray, black, or green. But, if you want a natural look, then there is really a no better choice.
Check out these beautiful soapstone options from Garden State Soapstone.
5. Smaller Size
Soapstone counters come in smaller cuts. They typically do not come in sizes larger than seven feet. If your counter requires more than seven feet, you will have a seam as more than one slab will have to be used.
There are ways to cover up seams, though.
Soapstone countertops can be more expensive than other varieties. When it comes to stone counters, soapstone will generally cost more than marble but less than granite.
Cost and the deal will vary based on how the supplier charges and how far you are from a natural source. Sometimes soapstone can be a better deal if it is sold by the slab (you’ll get a larger piece for less than other varieties). However, if it is sold by the square foot it will likely be more expensive compared to other options.
The Takeaway: Soapstone is a Beautiful, Natural, Easy-care Choice
As you can see, the benefits of soapstone countertops outweigh the cons. Soapstone is environmentally-friendly, natural, safe, and low maintenance. But whether you decide to use soapstone in your home will be determined by the look and feel you’re going for.
For more posts like this, check out all of our renovations posts.