Burning wood to heat your home has many advantages over traditional fossil fuels—from economics to reliability. And, when you choose soapstone instead of a traditional cast iron or metal material for your stove or fireplace, you’ll find even more advantages. Due to its thermal properties and heat distribution, a masonry heater or fireplace made from soapstone are top choices for homeowners looking for an environmentally friendly, efficient, and attractive heat source. Explore these top benefits of soapstone wood stoves, masonry heaters, and fireplaces, and choose the home heating option that best suits your needs.
1. Soapstone Provides Consistent, Comfortable Heating
Unlike traditional fireplaces and wood stoves that emit a short-lived convection heat, a soapstone masonry heater absorbs the warmth and slowly radiates it back into the room to avoid that too-hot, uncomfortable “blast.” A soapstone heater warms up to achieve your desired temperature, then radiates consistent warmth for hours afterward. In fact, it will hold heat for up to four times as long as the burn for long-lasting warmth. No matter if you choose to line your fireplace with soapstone firebricks, install a soapstone masonry heater, or choose a soapstone hearth and mantel, this natural material is the best for homes that rely on wood heating.
2. Firewood Is Efficient
When compared to fossil fuels, firewood is an economical choice with less cost fluctuation, and when burned in a soapstone heater, you get a very efficient heat source. In traditional fireplaces, much of the heat and energy is quickly released through the chimney, wasting valuable heat because the cast iron or metal does not retain it. However, with soapstone, the heat energy is captured by the stone and radiated back into the room rather than up the chimney—even after the fire has been extinguished. This means you don’t need to be actively burning to continue heating—giving you even more value out of each cord of wood. Even when using a soapstone fireplace in tandem with a traditional furnace, the wood-burning heat source will still help to waste less energy, resources, and money.
3. Soapstone Is an Environmentally Friendly Choice
Soapstone fireplaces and heaters require less burn time for heating than a non-soapstone wood stove, conserving valuable wood resources. Soapstone itself is also an environmentally sound choice: This natural material doesn’t need to be manufactured from scratch, but instead can be fabricated to suit your specific needs. We are often able to repurpose and recycle soapstone scraps into other products, such as pizza stones, discounted slabs and soapstone remnants, or floor tiles. Finally, because soapstone is simple to clean and maintain, you aren’t stuck using chemicals or treatments that can contaminate air, sewer, or water sources.
4. Soapstone Radiates to Maintain Comfortable Temperatures
A major bonus of using a soapstone wood stove or fireplace is the long release of stored heat. Cast iron wood stoves need to be refueled and tended to often to maintain the temperature. However, a soapstone masonry heater will retain its temperature for a considerable amount of time, even after the flame extinguishes. Not only is this efficient, but it is ideal for nighttime or when you’re unable to tend to the fire consistently. In fact, a 3- or 4-hour fire in a soapstone heater will reliably emit heat for 12 to 16 hours. As a bonus, when a stove or fireplace is slow to cool, restarting a fire is easier too.
5. Cooking With a Soapstone Stove
Having a soapstone masonry heater in your home, even if not used as your primary heat source, can be a great solution when you need a backup or in case of an emergency power outage. You can safely set cookware on your soapstone stove to heat water or food without worrying about damage or scorching the stone. Even better, we can craft a soapstone masonry heater that includes a cooking portion: Bake bread, pizza, casseroles, or other meals inside the soapstone oven portion, or slide some rolls in to warm them up as you set the table. Soapstone bake ovens take advantage of a masonry heater’s clean heating so you can use all of that heating power to its fullest. When electric heat and cooking elements are unavailable, you’ll be glad you have a soapstone heater to stand in—but a soapstone oven is a perfect option even when you’re at full power.
6. Custom Soapstone Fireplaces to Suit Your Aesthetic
Soapstone fireplaces are beautiful, and with one of our standard or custom-cut and fabricated mantels, you’ll have an interesting focal point perfect for your space. The stone ages naturally without sealing so you can count on it looking great even after years of steady use, and looks even better as it ages. Burning wood in your home—especially with the gentle output soapstone provides—creates a cozy, relaxing atmosphere. Because it is easy to operate, you have more time to entertain and enjoy the warm space, without the hassle.
Soapstone Heater Reviews From Owners
We received a letter from a couple who wanted to share the enjoyment of their soapstone masonry heater. In addition to the “wonderful ambiance” provided by the charming warm glow, they wanted us (and other homeowners) to know just how much they saved on their heating costs in a notoriously chilly winter season:
We use the soapstone heater exclusively to heat our (2,000 sq. ft.) home. One winter we saw many days at -30 degrees. For that entire winter season, we burned 12-face cords of wood for a total winter heating cost of $765.00.”
We both work full time and it’s also nice to come to a delicious slow-cooked crock pot dinner waiting in the Sinatra’s oven. We couldn’t be happier.–Soapstones.com Customers
Soapstone is a wonderful material with many uses throughout the home. If you’re not ready to install a masonry heater, but want the benefits of soapstone, consider updating your fireplace liner with soapstone firebrick to reap its thermal properties. Not only will it save you money on heating costs and give the room a very cozy feel, but a soapstone hearth becomes a centerpiece to any living space. Explore our articles and soapstone resources to learn more about using this versatile, beneficial material throughout your home.