Soapstone countertops have existed for centuries. Soapstone’s milky appearance gives it a rustic feel when compared with the elegant polished look of granite.
Because of its resilience and adaptability, soapstone can be used for much more than countertops; it works well as sinks, fireplace surrounds (thanks to its heat resistance), flooring, and throughout the bathroom. It’s also a great choice for outdoor counters and sinks as it’s impervious to weather and bacteria.
Soapstone countertops are made from quarried steatite stone that includes chlorite, magnesite and dolomite. Most soapstone also contains quite a bit of talc, which accounts for the milky or powdery look and feel of the stone. While not as hard as granite, the material is less brittle so it won’t crack unexpectedly from stress.
Soapstone is very non porous and does not require the sealing other materials do, and are far less likely to stain. The primary care soapstone requires is a periodic oiling to keep it looking its best, and to allow a natural patina. Warm soapy water is all you need for day to day cleaning.