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5 Benefits of Soapstone Countertops & Sinks

By Industry News, Soapstone Countertop, Soapstone Sinks

We love everything about soapstone, and especially recommend it for renovating kitchen countertops and sinks. Explore our five top reasons why soapstone is one of the best choices for your indoor and outdoor kitchen surfaces.

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1) Soapstone Resists Bacteria and Stains

The nonporous, stain-resistant properties of soapstone make it ideal for kitchen surfaces. This dense material doesn’t harbor bacteria, so you can easily wipe germs and contaminants from your countertop, sink, and backsplash. Large stone slabs allow for installation of continuous or seamless countertops for even easier cleaning.

Soapstone’s nonporous qualities also mean you don’t have to worry about countertops staining from wine, coffee, juice, or any other persistent spill or splatter—nothing is able to soak in, and if any marks do appear, a quick oil treatment can solve the problem.

Soapstone is also heat-resistant: Hot cookware can be set directly on your countertops without scorching the surface, and soapstone is not susceptible to heat-related cracking. Additionally, you can use it for outdoor kitchen surfaces without hot grill utensils or sparks ruining your countertops.

2) Soapstone Counters Are Low Maintenance

Soapstone has been used to create carvings, cookware, and household materials for centuries. This natural material has lasting power, a benefit to homeowners looking for a reliable option for their renovation project. Because of the talc in its composition, soapstone is more malleable and less brittle than other natural stones, so it does not crack or chip from temperature or pressure changes. Soapstone’s density ensures countertops hold up well in high-use kitchen and bathroom areas. If you do encounter a scratch or nick, a light sanding followed by mineral oil or wax treatment can hide the mark with little effort. This easy care routine means soapstone is an excellent choice for commercial uses, as well.

3) Soapstone Cleans Without Chemicals

Choosing soapstone for your kitchen countertops ensures that you can keep harsh chemicals and solvents out of your food prep areas. The stone does not need specialty sealants applied because it is naturally nonporous and sealed.

As for cleaning up messes and stuck-on food spills,  skip the harsh cleaners: Liquid or other spills can’t penetrate the nonporous surface, so it’s as easy as wiping away the mess. Rather than coat your kitchen in heavy chemicals, choose your favorite natural or mild cleaner to clean and freshen your soapstone countertops without introducing unnecessary toxins into your kitchen.

4) Soapstone Surfaces Radiate Heat

Soapstone’s thermal properties allow it to absorb, hold, and radiate heat from its environment. This is one reason why soapstone is an ideal material for high temperature applications, including tile floors and firebricks. In fact, soapstone improves your fireplace efficiency by absorbing heat and releasing it into the room slowly for hours, keeping your space more comfortable, longer.

This same absorption and release applies to many areas of your kitchen, including keeping dish water warmer, longer in a soapstone kitchen sink versus in an average stainless steel basin. Soapstone’s temperature absorption also creates a natural warmth that helps to quickly thaw frozen foods.

5) Soapstone Ages Beautifully

Beyond the practical benefits of soapstone, this beautiful, natural stone is an attractive option in traditional and modern spaces. It develops a natural patina through daily use. Applying a mineral oil or wax is an easy way to speed up soapstone’s aging process to achieve a darker sheen more quickly. The rich coloring means your soapstone surfaces get even better as they age—unlike other surfaces that show wear and tear and need resurfacing or replacement.

These are some of our top reasons for choosing soapstone for your countertops and sinks. Remember, the benefits of soapstone countertops and sinks don’t just apply to your indoor kitchen; soapstone is also a great material for outdoor kitchens for its durability and thermal properties. Check out our other articles about soapstone, its uses, history, and how to transform your space, or explore a Forbes article, written by Sheri Koones, for a great overview of the benefits of using soapstone for indoor or outdoor countertops.

Buyer Beware of Fakes. What you Need to Know When Buying Real Soapstone.

By Uncategorized

Soapstone Is Trending, and for Good Reason

Soapstone’s resilient qualities make it an excellent choice for sinks, kitchen and bathroom countertops, tiles, and more. Due to its impervious qualities, soapstone has also been used to fabricate chemistry lab tops, acid room sinks, and lab shelving (fun fact: M. Teixeira Soapstone has supplied soapstone to many high schools in the NY area). As if those weren’t enough practical applications, soapstone is also widely used as firebrick material due to its thermal qualities.

Though soapstone has been used in American homes since the 1800s, Martha Stewart and Bob Villa made soapstone even more popular in the late 90s by publicly featuring it in their projects.

Be Smart When Shopping Around

Smart consumers often shop around for the best deal, especially when investing in a quality item like soapstone. Some companies are using false advertising to take advantage of consumer desire to find their soapstone at a discounted price. Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more cases of this in the market, and would like to take this opportunity to educate you on the issue and how you can spot fake soapstone.

Just like we see fake leather and gold, we are seeing an increased supply of fake soapstone. These misnamed stones are most often slates, marbles, granites, and even quartz.

Soapstone Look-Alikes Are Flooding the Market

We are particularly concerned with a wave of slate from India that is being sold throughout the country as soapstone. Due to the abundance of supply, Indian slate is fairly inexpensive, and some companies have been deceiving their customers by selling it as a soapstone. Though this slate may look like soapstone, customers may be horrified to find that it does not have the same properties. They may wonder why their soapstone is staining, or damaged by high temperatures. They took time to research and learn that soapstone is impervious to acids and heat, so what happened?

In addition to selling slate as soapstone, marble has also been sold as a soapstone. Some companies have misled customers to believe that there is such a thing as white soapstone. White soapstone only exists in the form of pure talc, which is definitely not a suitable building material (it’s usually crushed and sold as baby powder).

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This is an example of marble currently being sold as a “White Soapstone”

So How Can You Be Sure You Are Buying Authentic Soapstone?

Spot Potential Soapstone Fakes

There are some names that you should be aware of and question your supplier on what the material really is. These names include Marine Black Soapstone, Black Moon Soapstone, Luna Soapstone, Arabesque Soapstone, Noire Soapstone and White Soapstone (to name a few).

Find a Good Salesperson and Ask Questions

An honest and knowledgeable soapstone salesperson should be able to educate you on what their product really is. Ask about the properties and origin of the stone. If they say the stone has no Talc or they don’t know the talc contents, ask for clarification. Is it slate, quartz, or marble? A schist of phyllite?

If You Have Questions, We Are Here to Help You

While you shop around and do your research, we’re happy to help you to make an educated decision. Contact us with any questions you have, at any point in your soapstone journey.

Here are some photos of some of the slates that are being sold as soapstone:

Modern Marble Renovation in a Trendy Brooklyn Home

By M Teixeira News, Soapstone Countertop
Calacatta Marble by M Teixeira Soapstone

Photography by Max Burkhalter

One of our favorite marble renovation projects we worked on with New York-based fashion stylist Katie Mossman. The finished remodel of her stunning Brooklyn home was featured in Architectural Digest. She wanted to invoke the essence of sunny Baja, California, and it’s safe to say she succeeded. The bright and airy space features many mid-century modern pieces, which are elevated by high ceilings, smooth and modern stone, and a delightful neutral-white color palette.

We had the pleasure of fabricating and installing several marble pieces in this magazine-worthy home, each one competing for the title of pièce de résistance. Read about the work we completed—including a marble kitchen island, fireplace mantel, and bathroom remodel—and explore ideas and inspiration for how to incorporate these stone elements in your own home build or remodel.

Cozy, Custom Marble Fireplace Surround

In Katie Mossman’s renovated living space, the marble fireplace installation provides a gentle focal point and anchor for the seating area, which features her most-loved chair collection. The breathtaking white Arabescato marble fireplace was fabricated with just the right touch of gray veining to add movement and visual interest to the space. Though modern in design, this fireplace installation suggests coziness and comfort.

Incorporate this look in your home: For your remodel, consider using soapstone firebrick to improve the heat efficiency, and complete your design with a fireplace mantel as the installation’s centerpiece.

Modern Marble Kitchen Island & Countertop

A modern kitchen isn’t complete without an island, and with the right marble countertop installation, you can infuse a space with just-right energy. For example, Katie’s Calacatta Gold marble island just begs you to serve a California cocktail: The straight lines and edges of this island are at home in this space that pays homage to the past while staying very current and trendy. The gray veining in this particular stone is more open and free-flowing, which plays very nicely with its straight edges.

In your own home remodel, consider how your kitchen island choice will communicate your own style. Whether you prefer a darker-hued natural stone for a cozier feel, a bright carrera marble for a classic, clean look, or wish to convey a breezy, carefree vibe using a low-maintenance, stately soapstone countertop for your island, a fabricated natural stone has the power to show off your style and personality. Create layers of dimension: Stone pairs wonderfully with natural wood elements to accent your cabinets and floor tiles.

Custom-Fabricated Marble Fixtures for a Bathroom Remodel

The most impressive stone installation in Katie Mossman’s renovation was the marble bathroom remodel. We used the same Arabescato marble in the bathroom as we did on the fireplace, and with a stone floor, counters, and bathtub, the room feels luxurious. Our custom fabrication created a seamless look.

A marble bathroom renovation—whether in floor-to-ceiling installations or small, decorative touches—puts your own personal stamp on the space. Choose a modern marble bathroom countertop or soapstone sink for an upscale, timeless look in any bathroom remodel. Our experience with fabrication and installation for tile floors, countertops, and fixtures means we can work with you to make your custom design and installation shine.

View more photos of Katie’s beautiful renovation in the full Architectural Digest article to see what a stunning marble renovation can do in any space. If you have an idea for your own soapstone or marble renovation, get in touch with our experienced designers or request a quote today and get started on your journey to create your dream home.

We’d love to help you learn more about soapstone and marble custom remodel options. See more of our successful stone fabrication and installations for renovation projects on our blog or our Commercial Portfolio.

Quartzite Countertops Brighten New York Coop Renovation

By Uncategorized

After purchasing a Co-op in Prospect Park South, Brian and Amy embarked on a complete renovation of their space. The couple brought their styles together carefully, with each getting to show off their favorite decor, furniture, and artwork. The interior design style of their home is a tastefully eclectic mix of mid-century modern and vintage boho. The home was recently featured on 6sqft.com, a NYC real estate and architecture blog. The client selected delightfully bright Super White Quartzite slabs from M Teixeira Soapstone’s New Jersey location. M. Teixeira Soapstone fabricated and installed the bathroom vanity, kitchen countertops, and the kitchen island, which Amy describes as the anchor of their home. The lightness of the stone contributes to the open and airy feel of the home, while the grey veining adds depth and texture.

Beyond its versatile and elegant aesthetic, Quartzite is an excellent and practical choice for a kitchen or bathroom countertop surface. It’s stain-resistant, acid-resistant, and low maintenance.

Each slab of Quartzite is unique with veining in shades of dark and light grey. The sugary crystal appearance of Quartzite is simply beautiful and makes a unique addition to any kitchen countertop or island. The stone can be polished, honed or brushed and fabricated with a number of different edges.

Learn more about our Super White Quartzite and Calacatta Quartzite.

M. Teixeira Soapstone’s Grand Opening at The San Francisco Design Center

By M Teixeira News, Our Locations

On June 7th, M. Teixeira Soapstone celebrated the Grand Opening of our new showroom at the San Francisco Design Center, where we are offering the largest variety of soapstone countertops on the West Coast. The San Francisco Design Center is renowned as California’s top resource for the finest of home furnishings.

West Coast Manager, Francesco,

Meet our West Coast Manager, Francesco, who did a fantastic job setting up our new showroom in the San Francisco Design Center. As they say, great things happen when a Brazilian and a Sicilian get together. Ok, they don’t really say that…

Our guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and spirited beverages while browsing distinctive soapstone products in the bright and airy showroom.

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On display were characteristically deep soapstone sinks, a variety of soapstone tile and bathroom tile, stunning countertops and vanities, soapstone flooring, and a distinguished carved soapstone fireplace and mantel.

Francesco and David, the San Francisco Dream Team!

Meet Christine, Francesco and David, the San Francisco Dream Team! Great job organizing our Grand Opening event. Thanks to everyone that came to support us!

Our Potrero Hill location in San Francisco has provided soapstone products and installation services in Northern California since 2005. We specialize in imported and domestic soapstone countertop displays, sinks, carved mantels, and infinity vanity sinks.

The San Francisco Design Center is free and open to the public for browsing, though we do recommend making an appointment to ensure the highest level of service.

We would love to help you build the home of your dreams! Come visit our new showroom to get started on your next project.

Now offering free shipping to California, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and Washington.

Our beautiful new showroom at the San Francisco Design Center

M. Teixeira Soapstone Supplier Creates Magnificent Soapstone Fireplace Mantel

By Uncategorized

We are quite proud to share this extraordinary work of soapstone art. Ronie Ryba, an iconic Brazilian artist and one of our suppliers, created this piece after finding inspiration in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Ryba was intrigued by a renaissance fireplace mantle that had appeared in the film. Upon further research, he learned of the original piece, which can be found at The Villa Della Torre Allegrini in Italy.

His inspiration came to fruition when he found the perfect piece of soapstone. As many great sculptors have expressed, Ryba saw the lion within the soapstone block, just waiting to be unveiled by his hands.

Those who have seen the work in person are wonderstruck by the piece’s powerful presence and generous size at 9’x9’x5’.

M. Teixeira DIY Soapstone Countertop Project Featured in Fine Homebuilding Magazine

By DIY Soapstone Countertops, Soapstone Countertop

Fine Homebuilding Magazine’s recent article, “Home Buyers Love Splurges in the Kitchen,” suggested that homeowners invest in high quality kitchen finishes before putting their home on the market. The kitchen has long been known as the heart of the home, and this sentiment is true whether your house is going on the market or will be kept in the family for years to come. M. Teixeira’s DIY Soapstone Countertop was used in Fine Homebuilding Magazine’s ProHOME kitchen for its durability and elegance. The kitchen featured is a mix between modern and traditional, which showcases soapstone’s ability to flawlessly blend with and accentuate any design aesthetic.

DIY soapstone countertopSome homeowners shy away from natural stones because they believe the cost isn’t within their budget. Soapstone is an affordable option, but can be even more affordable if you use M. Teixeira’s DIY Soapstone Countertop kits. More than half of the cost of soapstone counters comes from labor, which makes our DIY kits a smart choice for pennywise homeowners.

M. Teixeira’s DIY Soapstone Countertop selection ranges from complete DIY to fully fabricated, so no matter your skill set or tool collection, you can save money on renovating your kitchen, outdoor area, or bathroom counters. For those who may second guess their ability to tackle this project, we’ll even give you a practice piece to try before you commit to the full kit. Take a look at M. Teixeira’s DIY options today to get started on building the natural soapstone countertop you’ve always wanted!

View PDF of Article.

Drink Soapstone

Soapstone Appearance at NYC’s Hottest New Steakhouse

By Decorating, M Teixeira News, Soapstone in Restaurants

Recently, M Teixeira Soapstone was given the opportunity to help create a sizzling ambiance at Cote, New York’s “Most Exciting New Steakhouse.” Restaurateurs Simon Kim and David Shim wanted tabletops that would hold up to heavy use while maintaining an aesthetic of class. Soapstone is the perfect choice for their new eatery because it hits all the points required for a restaurant application.

M Teixeira Soapstone provided the soapstone, fabricated the dining tables and also performed the installation.

Melissa Hom

Photo: Melissa Hom

Soapstone Durability – Withstand the Elements of High Use Restaurant Areas

Soapstone is a nonporous material that is denser than both granite and limestone. It cannot be penetrated by liquids, harmed by excessive temperatures, or stained. Its neutral chemical composition also makes soapstone immune to corrosives, harsh chemicals, and acidic substances. Many people remember soapstone countertops in the science labs of their youth – if teenagers and Bunsen burners won’t harm this material, then it is certainly up to the task of hot plates and spilled martinis.

Melissa Hom

Photo: Melissa Hom

Trending Classic – Accentuate the Aesthetic

The appearance of soapstone is simply exquisite. While there are many varieties of veining and color available, many find that the color and texture of their soapstone blend seamlessly with any backdrop, style, or décor. The stone’s smooth-to-the-touch surface leaves an impression than any restaurant would want for their patrons.

Soapstone’s Low-Maintenance – Focus on What Matters

While happy customers make room for hungry guests, servers need to move quickly to ensure a positive dining experience. A restaurant’s wait staff has no time to worry about which cleaner is O.K. to use on their tabletops, and they certainly don’t have time to polish. Soapstone doesn’t need to be coddled – you can use any cleaner you like. Occasionally we recommend rubbing it with a bit of mineral oil if you enjoy the way it darkens, but it’s not required for the longevity of the stone.

Melissa Hom

Photo: Melissa Hom

Long-Lasting – Let the Good Times Roll

It’s not unheard of to find 19th century soapstone sinks and wood-burning stoves that are still performing like new. Each of the above qualities gives soapstone a longevity that can be difficult to find these days. This charming (yet tough) material is a lifetime investment that will host evenings out for years to come – maybe even for the great-grandchildren of tonight’s table of two.

Contact us for a free quote today on your commercial or restaurant application.

Belvedere Close UP

Just Arrived in Virginia! Stormy Black, Belvedere Soapstone & Alberene Soapstone

By DIY Soapstone Countertops, New Arrivals, Soapstone Countertop

We just received a new shipment of Belvedere Soapstone slabs in our Washington Metro Virginia location.  Come visit our showroom and soapstone slab yard to get the best selection.

 

Stormy Black Soapstone

 

Stormy Black Soapstone

 

Church Hill Soapstone

 

Church Hill Soapstone

 

Belvedere Soapstone

 

Belvedere Soapstone Closeup

Stormy Black Soapstone is a very tradition soapstone. Once treated with mineral oil the stone darkens and the beautiful veining shines through. Check out Roger Teixeira’s video describing this beautiful stone.

Belvedere Soapstone is very unique and if often chosen for contemporary applications.

Alberene Soapstone is a classic traditional soapstone that comes from the Alberene Quarry in Virginia. View owner Roger Teixeira’s video describing this classic stone.

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