A soapstone countertop is one of the most coveted pieces of home furniture of the 21st century. Its adoption by major Hollywood stars and starlets in the design of the most modern and sophisticated kitchen designs has seen the soapstone countertop become one of the most heavily demanded kitchen materials of our generation. Its very easy to see why as well, soapstone countertops are stylish, elegant and add a touch of flair to any home decor setting that will leave any visitors lucky enough to be entertained by you with the impression of a lifetime. Soapstone counters are just that good.
What is a Soapstone Countertop Made Out Of?
So lets back it up a bit here and explain to you exactly what a soapstone countertop is made of so you can get a complete idea as to whether or not it will suit your design ideas. Soapstone is a naturally occurring metamorphic stone just like granite, marble or slate. It is composed of a variety of different minerals the major of which are talc and quartz. The reason why it is named soapstone is because of the high percentage of talc – if you have ever held a chunk of talc or had talcum powder spread on your body you know the soapy feeling that the soapstone counter gets its name from.
There are basically two types of raw soapstone, artistic and architectural. The artistic soapstone has a much higher talc content than the architectural variety and as such is much softer, making it much more suitable to carving and sculpture. Architectural soapstone however is much harder and denser with a smaller talc percentage and higher quartz content which makes it perfect for sculpting into beautiful soapstone countertops.
In its natural and cultivated state a soapstone counter will be of light grey in colour and you will notice quite moderate to even heavy amounts of veining. This veining is unique to each stone and will change color over the soapstones life, giving your very own soapstone counter a very unique appearance as two different slaps of soapstone can look considerably different due to the veining.
Why do People Choose Soapstone for Their Countertop?
Besides the aesthetic qualities of being able to display a beautiful soapstone countertop in your home to your friends and family, there are many functional qualities that make a soapstone countertop a great choice for your home.
- Soapstone countertops can be made to measure – no matter what your requirements whether you want a soapstone countertop in your kitchen, bathroom or around your fireplace soapstone can be made to measure very easily
- Soapstone countertops or cheap stone benchtops Melbourne are ridiculously very easy to clean – because soapstone is a non porous stone anything spilt on this surface can be easily removed without staining
- A Soapstone counter is heat resistant – just like granite you can place your hot pots and pans directly on the soapstone without damaging it
- Soapstone counters are relatively inexpensive when compared to other design materials
What Should I Look for When Buying a Soapstone Countertop?
The best piece of advice that I can bestow upon you before making a final decision on whether or not to purchase a soapstone counter is to test, test and test the surface to make sure that it is up to everything that you require. Generally a piece of test soapstone countertop will cost you less than $100 and will save you many hearthaches in the future. All you need to do is go to a soapstone merchant and ask for a piece of sample soapstone. Get a big one – maybe 20 inches square and put it in an ultra high use area of your house. Then the key is to do things to it that you will be doing to your new soapstone counter if you have one installed.
Once you’ve got the test piece home test it to death! Drop your kitchen utensils on it, open cans on it, slide plates across it, drop pots and pans on it, spill things all over it – see if you can soak, stain or damage the stone. Treat it just like you do your existing counters. This way you’ll know exactly what to expect and the level of maintenance required to keep your soap stone benchtop looking immaculate.
The bottom line is to exercise good judgement in your purchase and only work with a soapstone supplier who knows how to use the stone and is willing to work to your unique needs. If you keep both of these points in mind then I have absolutely no doubt you will be enjoying a beautiful new soapstone counter in no time!