Granite vs. Soapstone Countertops Granite vs. Soapstone Countertops
Granite and soapstone countertops are both popular commodities in the market. Whereas granite countertops have enjoyed a longer time of popularity, soapstone countertops have competitive qualities that made it a name that is now often compared with granite.
Popular Qualities and Composition
Granite is a type of igneous rock that is a highly preferred material for kitchen and bathroom countertops. It is known for its unmatched elegant appearance. Different composite countertop materials have tried to mimic how it looks because of its aesthetic value.
Soapstone, on the other hand, is a metamorphic rock that is largely composed of talc. It is known for its high resistance to heat. It is a material used in science labs even years ago. You can literally place on its surface any pot taken directly out of the fire. Soapstone countertops are easy to maintain, because they are highly resistant to stains from acids and common kitchen chemicals. Its dark color also has aesthetic appeal. Although to keep it dark and classy, you have to wipe it weekly with a cloth dampened with mineral oil.
Color and Appearance
Granite has different colors and veining. A widely known color, however, is black granite. This fits elegantly with almost any kitchen interior. Nevertheless, this kind of stone comes in color and veining combinations that are unique and hard to copy. Some colors available are red, yellow, grey, and brown.
Soapstone is more limited in color to black and shades of grey, while some have hints of green. Since it is 90 or more percent talc, its texture has a powdery feel. The deep dark color also fades quickly. Application of mineral oil must be done frequently, every 4 days, or at least once a week, if you want the soapstone countertops to stay polished and at its best appearance.
Because it is non-porous, soapstone hardly stains, and does not need to be sealed. But since it is soft, it easily gets scratched. Scratches on soapstone countertops can easily be removed through sanding.
As mentioned earlier, it is also highly heat resistant. The frequent need to polish it with oil, however, might prove unusually taxing to some.
Granite’s quartz composition makes it a fairly hard stone. Thus, it can only be scratched by other hard materials like quartz or diamond. It is also heat resistant. Unfortunately, because of its porous quality, it has to be sealed in order to prevent staining.
Price will vary depending on the quality of the stone and transportation cost. Do not be surprised at the wide gap in the prices. Granites would range from $75 to $250 per square foot. Soapstone would cost around $100 to $150 per square foot. Take note, however, that cost of installation must be given huge consideration. Sometimes, installation may cost even greater than your countertop material. Since granite slabs come in different dimensions, you might want to consider properly maximizing the slabs you buy, as you work out your countertop measurements.
When considering which stone to use for your countertop, think of the activities where it will often be used. In usage for kitchen countertops, consider your cooking habits and temperament. Do you like slicing directly on the counter or do you like transferring your cooking pot from the stove directly to the counter? Do you have the patience to oil soapstone countertops every few days? Another thing to consider is which stone pattern matches your room’s interior best.