Since the 90s, Soapstone has been steadily gaining popularity as one of the best materials for countertops, stone fireplaces, sinks, and tiles. Due to its impervious qualities, soapstone has also been used to fabricate chemistry lab tops, acid room sinks, and lab shelving. Learn about our favorite stone—including where soapstone comes from, why soapstone is a good choice for interior applications, and how to choose the best quality soapstone for your intended installation.
The Basics of Soapstone
Soapstone—also known as Steatite—is a metamorphic rock that consists primarily of talc. Depending on the quarry from which it is sourced, this natural stone also contains varying amounts of other minerals such as micas, chlorite, amphiboles, quartz, magnesite, and carbonates. It is a relatively soft, very dense, highly heat-resistant material.
Check Soapstone Authenticity
Unfortunately, fake soapstone comes from numerous sources. Currently, there are several forms of slates and marbles being falsely advertised as soapstone. This is an international issue in the soapstone market, so read about fake soapstone to educate yourself prior to purchasing soapstone slabs or fabricated goods.
Best Uses for Soapstone
Though soapstone has been used in American homes since the 1800s, Martha Stewart and Bob Villa made this natural stone option even more popular beginning in the late 90s by featuring it in their projects. Soapstone is a terrific material for many applications, and especially makes a good alternative to granite, quartz, or marble countertops. Other popular uses for soapstone include sinks, tiles, masonry heaters, and wood stoves.