Fifty one weeks ago, I shared our thought process and decision on soapstone countertops for our kitchen.
To be completely honest, the owner of the stone yard didn’t do much to upsell the product. In fact, in a way, he made us somewhat apprehensive about soapstone saying it’s soft, easy to scratch and chip. They only sell a few kinds locally, and he said a few customers have returned to share they hated that they had to be careful so as not to damage their new, expensive counters. But at $100 for everything we needed, it was a low risk situation to try something different. If we really hated it, neither of us would have felt too bad replacing it. After a year of living with the counters, we can safely say we’re big fans of this dense, but soft stone.
In addition to the amazing price, we love that it is non pourus, can handle direct heat from pots and pans, can’t stain, and doesn’t require sealing. All great points, especially if you’re a germaphobe. Every few months I apply light coat of mineral oil, even so that’s strictly because I like the darker look.
It’s true that it is softer, much softer, than granite. Our old brown granite counters didn’t have a single chip, but we have a few small ones in these. Near the sink there’s a chip about the size of a pencil eraser in diameter.
If the stone had a glossy sheen, it might be more noticeable, but thanks to the matte finish, it’s hard to find unless looking for it. Can you spot it in the photo below?
No? I’ve circled it now to show where it is.
Comparing the soapstone to the old granite, it’s no more work to maintain, and we aren’t any more or less carfeul working on these.
Occasionally sealing granite can be annoying simply because the counters can’t be used while the sealer cures. When I apply the oil to darken and enhance the soap stone, it’s quick. I wash the counters as usual, then pour on a little mineral and spread with an old cotton cloth before rubbing off the extra with a different one. As I mentioned before, this step is unnecessary, but I like the look of the darker stone. Here’s how it looks without:
And the difference a light rub of oil makes:
If a kitchen or bath remodel are in your future, and solid surface counters are on your list, I’d highly recomment checking into soapstone options. In fact, my cousin asked my opinion and that’s what spurred this post. One hundred plus years ago, soapstone was common in homes, either as countertops and/or sinks. More recently, granite has become popular, but I’ve never been a big fan of the glossy finish. For us, and perhaps for you, soapstone was the perfect choice.