Soapstone countertops pros and cons
Let's take a look at the pros and cons of soapstone countertops:
- Beautifully colored. Soapstone countertops offer rich deep colors for countertops. This gives your kitchen an earthy feel, but maintains a beautiful color scheme as well. It starts off a light gray in color, but it darkens significantly as it ages, and if you want to hasten the darkening process, frequent application of mineral oil will do the job.
- Nice and smooth feel. Many stone countertops are rough, and must be sealed with special sealants to feel smooth. Soapstone countertops have a smooth, soapy touch as they are made of mineral talc, quartz, and other minerals.
- Doesn't stain easily. In a kitchen, staining is an important factor to consider. We all work with and cook foods that have the potential to stain, from blueberries, to tomatoes, and the last thing you want is for your countertop to look splotchy and ugly due to stains and discolorations.
- Tough material, won't break down easily. In nature stones erode, and this can happen in your kitchen as well, from constant use, cutting, washing etc. However, soapstone is very resistant to that. Soapstone makes for a good choice. In fact, it is often used in science labs because soapstone is resistant to acids and alkalis which means that chemicals and cleaners won't cause it to deteriorate.
- Soapstone is softer and less porous than granite, so if gives your kitchen a softer, homier feel while still maintaining durability.
- Soapstone is very resistant to heat, so you do not need to worry about it cracking near your cook top, or a pot melting it.
- Expensive. Soapstone countertops are beautiful and nice to have, but with what you pay to have them, you have several other options as far as countertops go. So, the expense of these countertops is one drawback.
- High maintenance. Soapstone countertops must be wiped down with mineral oil weekly for the first year you have them. Then, every few months after that. So, they do take some high maintenance. Also, because it scratches rather easily, you will have to rub those out, or sand them down, which is also fairly time consuming, and high maintenance for a countertop.
- May crack. There is a possibility that imperfections in the stone could cause them to crack. If this happens, the whole countertop must be replaced, which is extremely expensive. So, if you are looking for low cost long term, there are probably better options for the cost that do not require such maintenance and repair as the soapstone does.
- Darkens over time. If you love the original color, you may find your soapstone countertops to be a disappointment because they darken over time, so your original color will change.
- Scratches and chips easily in comparison to other countertop materials. If your counter does get scratched or chipped you can usually use mineral oil or sandpaper to run the scratch out, however, this again makes your countertops high maintenance as they will scratch.
- Hard on dishware and glasses. The grit and grain of this particular stone can be very hard on your countertops. You may find that your dishes and glasses do not look as nice because of it, which is a downside.
Now you know the pros and cons of soapstone countertops and can determine for yourself whether or not for your situation the pros outweigh the cons, or the cons outweigh the pros. It is up to you, but remember, while they are beautiful, they are more work than most countertops.