Soapstone Countertops: Pros and Cons
Soapstone countertops are a popular type of natural stone material that is commonly used in new homes. This type of material carries with it several advantages as well as a few disadvantages for homeowners. Consider the following pros and cons of soapstone countertops before you decide to install this type of material.
Impervious to Liquids
One of the biggest advantages of this material is that it is impervious to most liquids. When you use this as your countertop, you do not have to worry about it soaking up some liquid that you left on the counter and creating a stain. Chemicals will not get down into the finish of the soapstone and ruin it. It is naturally impervious to liquids and you do not have to periodically use a sealer on it. Many laboratories use this type of countertop because chemicals can not soak down into it and create problems down the road.
Another big advantage of soapstone is that it looks great. Many people love the natural look that it provides, and it is highly sought after in many areas. This is a material that provides a unique look that can not be easily copied by other types of materials.
Soapstone is typically found in slab form. When compared to tile countertops, this is a definite advantage because it is much easier to clean. You do not have to worry about cleaning the grout joints in between the tiles. You can simply take a cloth and wipe it down to remove anything that is on the surface.
Even though this type of material has several advantages, one of the biggest drawbacks is that it is very soft. Many homeowners that have installed soapstone countertops have discovered that this material is much softer than they imagined in advance. A kitchen countertop is an area that will be frequently used in a number of ways. You will be moving dishes around on it, preparing food on it, dropping silverware on it, and probably even use it as a catchall space for keys, grocery bags, and other items. When you do all of this on the soapstone, there is a good chance that it will end up scratched or dented.
In the beginning, soapstone countertops typically look great. After about 5 years of use under normal circumstances, it will look like a very worn countertop. At that point, you might find yourself wanting to replace it with something more durable, like granite.
Another potential problem associated with soapstone countertops is that you are encouraged to regularly apply a periodic oiling to keep it looking its best for aesthetic rather than performance reasons. This is a step that is not necessary with most other countertops, that yiou'll probably find very messy while taking up a lot of your time.