Today Sue asks:
Dear Diva, I’m thinking of getting new soapstone solid surface countertops. Is that a good choice? I love the look, but am not sure about how soapstone holds up over time. Thanks, Sue from Sacramento
Well Sue, soapstone is a great natural stone solid surface countertop. Many people enjoy soapstone because as you use it develops more character. So that is the first question I would ask anyone who was thinking about getting soapstone countertops. Do you like the characteristics of natural stone?
I ask this question because natural stone is just that, natural. It has character because the shading, veins and overall look is uneven. What do I mean by uneven? Not uniform. Natural stone countertops are not uniform in color and appearance because the patterns are not the same throughout the surface. Some areas may be lighter others darker. One section may have a smooth appearance while others look splotchy. I love this about any natural stone, but some people don’t.
Another point to consider is that soapstone is not one of the hardest stones out there, which means that it can get scratched easily. Once again this adds character, much like a scratch or dent to a hardwood floor would add character. So you’ve got to be willing to see past the imperfections caused by day-to-day use. If you can do that, then you may be able to see the beauty of soapstone.
Don’t forget that you will also have to use mineral oil on a soapstone countertop. I’d suggest coating it twice a year. Mineral oil will help bring back the dark appearance and will also help hide shallow scratches. Also soapstone is called soapstone because it feels soapy. Some people don’t like that.
So just make sure you’ve seen and felt an actual countertop before purchasing. If you keep in mind that soapstone is a natural stone with character, that it takes more upkeep than granite or quartz, and you are prepared for the “soapy” feel, then soapstone countertops can be the right purchase for you.
Once again it’s about doing enough research before you make the purchase to know that the product is right for you. This includes the good points and the bad. I think soapstone is a wonderful countertop when the person who owns it, knows what they are getting themselves in for!
Do you have questions about the selecting or the installation of: tile, carpet or wall treatments (window blinds, etc)? Then email me your tale of woe(diva(at)homemakeoverdiva.com) and perhaps I will be able to answer your questions right here at the Home Makeover Diva Blog