Sunday, October 19, 2008
We're hoping we can figure out how to do soapstone for our kitchen counter tops. Soapstone is softer than, say granite, but is much more dense, and thus nonporous and impenetrable to stains. Soapstone cannot be harmed by hot pots, citrus, acids or wine. It's virtually heat proof and has been used to construct wood burning stoves and cookware. Unlike granite, soapstone does not need to be sealed. The maintenance is a mineral oil treatment that enhances the darkening process (as seen in the photo above) and brings out the inherent natural veining and crystallization characteristics of the stone.
Though soapstone can scratch, most scratches will disappear with oiling or, if it's a deeper scratch, you can take 120 grit sandpaper, sand it out with some water added to the area and then re oil.
Soapstone will not have the pristine, perfect look that granite will have. Our builders made a good comparison that it's like a pair of blue jeans--- the idea is that the soapstone will be broken in and wear and patina over time. M. and I were first attracted to the look (the veining is gorgeous) and feel of soapstone (it just begs to be touched!) but have also come to love the idea of a counter top that can stand to be beat up a bit in a well-loved kitchen.