As the granite countertop trend continues to slowly ebb in high-end homes, other alternatives are starting to pick up in popularity. Soapstone is a natural material, a metamorphic rock that is composed primarily of talc with varying amounts of chlorite, micas, amphiboles, carbonates and other minerals. It has been known for centuries for its ability to retain heat (for example, all of our original hearthstones in the farmhouse are made of soapstone).
Since it is nonporous it is naturally antibacterial and stain resistant. It is an inert material that is impervious to chemicals, acids, and heat. Soapstone is the only natural stone that does not need a chemical sealer since it is siliceous, meaning it is unaffected and unharmed by acids in things like lemon juice, wine, vinegar, etc. It does not “etch” like marble. It is easy to clean, needing no special cleaning products.
Like granite and marble, soapstone is very durable, but since it is a softer stone it has the tendency to scratch and chip more easily. So many Sales people will try to talk you out of Soapstone or Marble.. I say DO YOUR RESEARCH!! If you want a product read all the positives and negatives.
Remember soapstone has been used for over a hundred years in the kitchen. I love it, and have used it in homes locally because of its historical New England reference and the fact that I know it will stand the test of time, and not be a trend. Know the Maintenance and upkeep and decide if this or any product is something that you want and are willing to live with. Know the pros and cons, if there are any, of everything you want for your home. Know what you want and don’t let anyone dissuade you from your vision!