Soapstone Countertop ...Considerations & Expectations
Soapstone is hard to crack, making Soapstone Countertops more durable than many other natural stone countertops. Its very low porosity allows it to go long periods of time without requiring sealing.
Soapstone is also known as Steatite. It is a metamorphic rock formed under a combination of high heat, high pressure, hot mineral-rich fluids but not melted. Soapstone consists primarily of talc, along with Magnesium Carbonates, Chlorite Silicates and Dolmite. Depending on the quarry, it may also contain varying amounts of other minerals such as Micas, Tremolite Quartz, Magnetite, Iron Oxide Compounds, chlorite, Amphiboles and Carbonates.
Being a rare stone, it makes Soapstone a relatively more expensive option compared to some other natural stone countertop materials.
Soapstone is much softer than granite, dolomite or marble. The talc content of soapstone gives it a rating of 1 on the Mohs hardness scale. It is easily scratched. ironically as also with Slate, its softness allows scratches to be easily corrected.
Mineral oil may be applied for the first few months, about once a week. It will then depend on usage and cleaning frequency. Re-oil as needed. Soapstone is nonporous, granite sealers will not penetrate and therefore will not hold well. Wax is an option. No coating for a dry greyer look is also an option.
Scratch Due to the honed finish and being a softer stone, one can gently sand out minor scratches in soapstone with about 100 sandpaper when needed.