Questions On Soapstone Countertops

Frequently Asked Question's

What is soapstone?
Soapstone is a metamorphic rock which comes in varying degrees of hardness. It is composed mainly of talc, magnesium silicate and chlorite.

Oiled Soapstone Countertops

How much are soapstone countertops?
The price will depend on your location and also the availability. Soapstone is usually priced about the same as an expensive granite. Find local fabricators to get a free estimate on soapstone countertops here.

Where's soapstone from?
Soapstone is quarried in Brazil, India, Finland, Switzerland, and the USA. Brazil is currently the #1 producer of soapstone.

Is all soapstone the same?
Nope! This natural stone varies in color, hardness, and purity from deposit to deposit.

What color is soapstone?
It's a darker natural stone and comes in shades of grayish to green to blues, and charcoal gray. Random markings include white veining, shades of green, amber or beige in the shape of veins or other formations.

What do I use to clean my soapstone countertops?
Any household cleaner and a damp cloth or sponge.

How much does soapstone weigh?
On average, 20 pounds per square foot. That's if it's 1 1/4' thick!

How durable are soapstone countertops?
A soapstone countertop will last many lifetimes. It's a dense natural stone that allows NOTHING to penetrate it, not even bacteria. It is impossible to stain and unaffected by heat. That's why companies line fireplaces with it!

What thickness' are available or recommended?

  • Sinks and countertops - 1 1/4".
  • Backsplashes - 3/4".
  • Fireplace Application - 2 1/2"
  • Tiles are also available.

None of the above are written in stone though. ;-)

What is soapstone used for?
Backsplashes, bathroom vanities, bathtubs, benches, bowls, chess sets, cooking pots, countertops, fireplaces, fireplace fireboxes, fireplace surrounds, floors, furnaces, lintels, pizza stones, planters, sculptures, shower stalls, sinks, table tops, and window sills. If you can imagine it, you can probably use soapstone.

I heard there are different kinds of soapstone - true or false?
TRUE. It is found in two varieties depending on the talc content.

  • Artistic soapstone has a high talc content, is very soft, and is used for carvings, chalks, and welders pencils.
  • Architectural soapstone has a lower talc content and is used for sinks, soapstone countertops, floors, and other architectural items.

Does a soapstone countertop need plywood underneath for support?
No, not usually. Tiles or really thin stuff would. Soapstone countertops can be placed directly on your cabinet frames with a silicone adhesive. Your cabinets must be sturdy.

I've heard soapstone is really soft. How does this affect wear and tear?
The edges will soften and your soapstone countertops will accumulate some nicks, scratches, and dents. The scratches can be removed with a light sanding. Otherwise, these little nicks and scratches become part of the patina.

Can soapstone be scratched?
Yes - pretty easily. The beauty of soapstone is that it can easily be repaired by you.

How are scratches in soapstone repaired?
A quick wipe with mineral oil and the small scratches are gone. For deeper scratches, a light sanding followed by mineral oil will remove any scratches.

Do I have to apply mineral oil to my soapstone countertops?
Unoiled Soapstone Countertops
Unoiled Soapstone Countertops

No. Your stone will look more rustic.

Why is it recommended to oil soapstone?

  1. To avoid inconsistent color or tone.
    Soapstone turns dark when it is exposed to water, grease, and oils. Treating your soapstone with mineral oil will keep your stone uniform across the entire surface.

  2. Mineral oil will also bring out the richness of your stone's natural color.
    The color is deeper and more dramatic.

How is mineral oil applied?
With a soft, clean cloth. Apply the mineral oil to your entire counter and then wipe up any excess oil with a soft clean cloth.

Oiled Soapstone Countertops
Oiled Soapstone Countertops

When do I apply mineral oil?

  1. Immediately after it is installed.
  2. After your initial application, apply once a week for the first 6 months.
  3. Then, once a month for the first year.

After that, just apply as needed to keep your stone looking new. TIP: Keep your application cloth in a zip lock bag under the sink or someplace handy. It's quick and easy to do touch ups.

Can I damage my soapstone counters by applying too much mineral oil or by applying it too often?

Can I decide to apply mineral oil at a later time?

Will I have seams?
Maybe. It depends on your project.

What do soapstone seams look like?
The seams are about 3/32 of an inch wide and joined together with an epoxy. The seams are then sanded flush so you cannot feel them. They are hardly noticeable!

Add Shine

Erase Scratches

Get Rid of Mold and Mildew

Get Rid of
Mold & Mildew
Repair Etch Marks

Etch Marks


You'll find More Info On Soapstone Below:

Soapstone With Slate Backsplash Soapstone Sink Soapstone Countertop Soapstone

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