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Soapstone Kitchen Countertops

Natural stone has been incorporated into building
design
since the beginning of time. Few materials come so strong and
durable and ready for use as thick stones mined from the earth. It really is
amazing how many beautiful and individually unique rocks can be pulled from the
same earth, and how many different ways we can incorporate those natural stones
into our homes.

More
about Sandstone

Sandstone
is a beige or white colored stone that is composed of small grains of the
minerals quartz and feldspar.
Depending on variances in
its environment, sandstone can also come in shades of red, gray, green, yellow,
and brown. A sedimentary rock, it forms in layers that can have variances in color,
such as a brown stripe mixing up the light area.

Sandstone is very hard and durable, and is
classified into three categories: arkosic, quartzose, and argillaceous. Arkosic
sandstone is so named because it has a high content of feldspar grains.
Quartzose has a high quartz content; and argillaceous sandstone has a higher
percentage of clay or silt.

Maintenance
Precautions

Sandstone’s abundance of raw,
natural beauty
makes it an instant favorite for home decoration. Although
offering an unsurpassed classic strength, it is a very porous material that
will require some special maintenance. Sandstone will stain quickly, so be sure
to wipe up any spills immediately. The
slabs should come pretreated with a special sealant, or your installer should seal
it once it is in place.
This will not only lock in and highlight the rock’s
brilliant color, but will make the surface more resistant to damage. Sandstone can also be damaged by acidic
cleaners and high applications of heat.

With the proper care, sandstone countertops can grace
your kitchen with their rustic beauty for years to come. Bring a touch of the
wild outdoors inside, and relish the effect of sandstone in your kitchen.
Request free kitchen countertop estimates from prescreened
kitchen remodelers in your area today.

Soapstone, aptly named for its “soapy feel,” is a very aesthetically pleasing option for most homeowners. Better yet, it’s extremely durable and can withstand high heat and acidic substances. The downside? A high price tag. Keep reading for more info on this interesting stone.

Costs

The cost of installing a soapstone countertop will depend on a variety of factors: thickness, surface area and weight. On average, it costs between $50-$90 per square foot with a thickness between 30” and 72.”

Pros

Soapstone is very dense, so it will not harbor bacteria like other stones.

Unlike granite, soapstone is not likely to chip or crack.

Most scratches can be easily repaired without professional help by sanding and wiping with mineral oil.

Cons

While soapstone comes in blue, green and gray tones, they all change to a deep charcoal gray after time.

Slabs for smaller kitchens are rather high compared to other stones.

While scratches can be repaired, soapstone does scratch easily.

Durability

Unlike other natural stones, soapstone is not sensitive to heat or acids and will not stain nearly as easily. Given that it is often used for fireplaces, and more recently in laboratories, soapstone is a very durable option for any kitchen.

Maintenance

In addition to being durable, soapstone is also easy to care for.  Most kitchen or bathroom cleaners will work well, and since the surface isn’t porous, chemicals generally won’t do any damage. However, it is important to note that stronger cleaners will remove the natural oils from the stone, requiring that mineral oil be used more often.

Common Questions and Answers

Where is soapstone from?

There are soapstone quarries in Brazil, India, Finland, Switzerland and the U.S. Brazil is currently the top producer of the stone.

Do I have to use mineral oil on my soapstone countertops?

It depends on the look you are going for. If you’d like a more rustic look, then mineral oil is not necessary.

History

Soapstone is certainly not a new material to home construction. It was originally used in colonial New England for fireplace hearths, sinks, countertops and wood stoves.

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