Chicago, IL, Quality Soapstone Fabrication

DTK Stone Works is proud to supply a variety of high-quality stone countertops to suit the lifestyles, tastes, and budgets of our customers in the Chicago, IL, area.

If you’ve never considered soapstone for your countertops, here are a few facts about this versatile and beautiful natural stone that might change your mind.

What is Soapstone?

Although the name comes from its soft and almost soapy feel, soapstone is by no means a fragile countertop option. Soapstone is a natural (not manufactured or fabricated) rock material composed of talc, chlorite, mica, amphiboles, and carbonates that are formed in the Earth’s crust under extreme heat and pressure.

Because it’s a real stone that’s typically sourced from a prolific area in Brazil, soapstone is a great alternative for homeowners who are looking for an attractive and budget-friendly natural stone. In addition, soapstone countertops are more affordable and easier to care for than granite or marble.

Is Soapstone as Durable as Other Countertop Materials?

Soapstone is a very durable countertop material. In fact, the lower the talc content in the mixture, the stronger the stone. Because it isn’t as hard or brittle as granite, soapstone is easier to cut and shape. Plus, it can bear weight without cracking under pressure or heat.

The softer, more pliable surface of soapstone is slightly more prone to scratching than other materials like granite and marble, but there are two simple solutions. The first is to gently sand out light scratches with a bit of sandpaper and mineral oil to restore its original smoothness and luster. The second option is to leave a rougher, natural-looking finish on the countertop work surface (around 120 to 220 grit sanding) for a texture that absorbs and hides scratches caused by everyday use.

What Kind of Maintenance Does Soapstone Require?

Soapstone is very dense and nonporous, so unlike granite, very little care is needed. Your soapstone countertop doesn’t have to be sealed and resealed over the years in order to prevent stains from seeping into the surface, making it more low-maintenance than granite.

Lab tests show that soapstone is resistant to both acids and alkalis, including stains from tomatoes, wine, coffee, juice, makeup, and other common household products. Soapstone is also impervious to heat, and won’t melt, crack, or incur other damage. This makes it a practical solution for hot pots in the kitchen and heated styling tools that are placed directly on the bathroom counter.

To keep a soapstone countertop clean, any common household cleaner is safe to use, even one with chemicals and acids. The easiest way to care for your stone, however, is simply to wipe it down with regular soap and water.

Mineral oil is not required for protecting the nonporous surface of soapstone. However, some homeowners like to rub a coat of mineral oil across the surface for a lustrous finish that darkens the countertop by a few shades as it dries. Regularly applying mineral oil for the first six months to a year after installation will evenly and permanently darken the stone. Without mineral oil, the countertop will slowly darken in the areas that receive the most everyday use.

If you’re interested in using this versatile stone in your home, turn to the professionals at DTK Stone Works in Chicago, IL, for expert soapstone fabrication and installation!

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