Stone sealers are meant to seal porous stones. Since soapstone is a very dense non-porous natural stone , it does not need to be sealed.
We recommend oiling soapstone to help the stone darken evenly, and enhance the natural aging process the soapstone goes through. The oil is not a protectant nor does the stone need to be protected.
The stone will naturally darken unevenly, with time. It will appear more noticeably around the sink and countertop areas (those used more frequently). Leaving soapstone untreated, it will develop a rustic look which many clients prefer. The stone can always be oiled later on if the untreated results are not desirable.
Darkening is a natural characteristic of soapstone and cannot be prevented, what you can do is periodically clean the surface of the stone to lighten it back up.
Yes they will, however most scratches can be hidden by applying mineral oil. Deep scratches, that are less likely to occur, can be sanded off with little effort and time.
Yes. The more talc content in the soapstone, the softer it is. Since most of the soapstone sold in the US comes from the same area in Brazil, the variation of the soapstones you can find is very minimal. The way to make soapstone less prone to scratching is by leaving its surface at a coarser/less smooth finish. After testing our soapstone numerous times, we have decided to hone the soapstone up to 120 or 220 grit. Some producers prefer 80 grit, which we can also offer, but most people think it’s too rough and difficult to oil.
There are basically two regions in Brazil where soapstone is extracted. Mariana area and Goias area. We have access to all operating quarries in Brazil and we do carry soapstone from both Mariana and Goias areas. All quality soapstones currently available in Brazil, are available at M. Teixeira Soapstone.
Sensa soapstone is the name given by companies to ANY soapstone that they import from Brazil. As mentioned above, we carry a variety of soapstones from Brazil.
Same answer as above.
Same answer as question 8.
Yes you can, soapstone is not affected by heat. We actually make cookware, firebricks and wood burning stoves out of soapstone.
Yes, a smaller quantity of soapstone is being quarried in Virginia, United States. One of the biggest soapstone producers is located in Finland, but that soapstone is primarily extracted in very small blocks for the European market of masonry heaters (very little entering the United States for countertops, etc). Other small quantities are imported from India and we are the exclusive importers of those (Python, Cobra and Mumbai Gray Soapstones). However, Brazil is by far the major resource for soapstone used in North America.
No, none of our soapstones come from the rainforest, in fact, the Brazilian rainforest is over 2500 miles away from the states where we quarry our soapstones, the states of Minas Gerais and Goias.
How does Soapstone compare in pricing and durability with other materials like granites, quartz and marbles?
Soapstone is comparable to the pricing of the higher end granites and Silestone. Most natural stones like granite and marbles need to be periodically sealed to prevent staining, in fact some stones even after being sealed will still stain. Soapstone is a very dense/non porous stone which will not absorb anything. We have installed soapstone tops and sinks in many acid rooms and chemistry labs, because the stone is so non porous and resistant to acids, chemicals and heat. Since it is a softer stone, it could get scratched by items that wouldn’t normally scratch a granite, but, these scratches are easily removed with a light sanding, done by the homeowner with little effort.