Soapstone countertops are a specific type of natural stone countertop that provides a unique aesthetic to your bathroom or kitchen. Because of soapstone's unique qualities as a building material, soapstone countertops have a number of specific advantages and disadvantages. Understanding what soapstone can offer your home's countertops can help you decide whether or not they are the right fit for your kitchen or bathroom countertop installation.
Advantages of Soapstone Countertops
Flexible: Unlike other types of natural stone, soapstone is naturally flexible, which makes it much less brittle than some other materials. This means that it can more easily withstand physical trauma without chipping or cracking, and this helps to maintain the appearance of your countertops through the general wear and tear that kitchens and bathrooms experience.
Non-absorbent: Additionally, soapstone is a non-absorbent material, which makes it ideal for use in and around areas where liquids are commonly used. It does not need to be sealed to maintain this quality: this is an inherent attribute of soapstone.
Maintenance Free: In the same vein as the above point, soapstone countertops are very low maintenance in terms of maintaining the material's integrity. While it is advised to apply an oil or sealant to soapstone periodically depending on use, this is only done to maintain the appearance of countertops and is completely optional. Failure to seal your soapstone countertops will only cause the color to alter slowly over time, not cause any damage to the counter itself or allow water to seep into the material.
Easy to Clean: Because of soapstone's inherent non-absorbent quality, soapstone countertops are extremely easy to clean. Liquid cleaners and a mixture of soap and water can be used to remove stains, debris, and any other materials from the surface of the countertops without worry about damaging the material itself.
Disadvantages of Soapstone Countertops
Not Durable: However, soapstone is not quite as dense and durable as other types of natural stones. While its inherent flexibility helps to reduce the chances of cracks and chipping from occurring, it also makes it very easy to cut into soapstone, allowing nicks and dents to develop over time. This means that you will have to make use of cutting boards and take care to not work directly on your countertops if you can help it.
Aesthetically Limited: Furthermore, while soapstone does provide a distinctive, almost chalky appearance to your countertops, it is limited in the range of colors that it comes in, only occupying a range of grays, whites, and blacks.