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

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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).

See picture below of this marble currently being sold as a “White Soapstone”:

So How Can You be Sure You are Buying Authentic Soapstone?

Spot Potential 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 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.

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

Quartzite Countertops Brighten New York Coop Renovation

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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 Supplier Creates Magnificent Soapstone Fireplace Mantel

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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’.

Barroca Soapstone – A Winning Classic

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FullSizeRender[2]Each of our nationwide soapstone warehouses has been receiving gorgeous soapstone slabs from the Barroca quarry. Pictured is our most recent lot of Barroca™ Soapstone. This product is a traditional soapstone from the Baroque-inspired Mariana region of Brazil. The stone is a beautiful light gray color. After oil or wax treatment, it takes on a rich black hue with occasional white veining.

White Soapstone – Does it Exist?

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whitethAfter an Italian quarry recently marketed their white marble as soapstone, we have been receiving a lot of requests for the now-famed product. While their stone is beautiful, Steatite (soapstone) is only white when composed of pure talc (which is unsuitable for architectural applications).

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