Soapstone is a unique and beautiful material that makes an excellent choice for kitchen countertops. Here’s a detailed look at why soapstone stands out and how it can enhance your kitchen.

What is Soapstone?

Soapstone, also known as steatite, is a metamorphic rock composed primarily of talc and magnesite. It has a soft, smooth texture and a distinctive earthy gray color with subtle veining. Soapstone has been used for centuries to create a variety of objects, from cooking slabs to intricately carved sculptures.

Some key properties that make soapstone well-suited for kitchen counters include:

  • Heat resistance – Soapstone has a high heat tolerance and won’t burn or scorch. Hot pans can be placed right on the surface with no worries.
  • Stain resistance – The dense stone repels moisture, grease, and other staining agents. Spills are easy to wipe away.
  • Nonporous – With very little absorption, soapstone counters don’t require sealing and generally don’t harbor bacteria.
  • Neutral pH – The stone is gentle and unlikely to react with foods and beverages. Acids like lemon juice or wine have minimal effect.
  • Aesthetic appeal – The soft gray tones and subtle veining create a natural yet sophisticated look.

Why Choose Soapstone Countertops?

There are several compelling benefits that make soapstone an excellent choice for kitchen counters:


Soapstone is remarkably strong and able to withstand heavy use. The dense mineral composition resists chips, cracks, and scratches better than many stones. Properly maintained soapstone counters will last for many decades.

Ease of Maintenance

Simple mild soap and water is usually adequate to clean soapstone counters. There is no need for harsh chemicals or regular resealing. Stains from spices, oils, and other substances wipe away easily since the stone will not absorb them.

Heat Tolerance

With high heat conductivity and resistance, soapstone counters can handle very hot cookware. Pots and pans straight from the stove or oven can be placed directly on the surface without worry of burns or discoloration. This unique property provides added protection.

Nonporous Quality

The dense structure and lack of absorbency mean liquids will bead on the surface of soapstone. Spills can be easily wiped up rather than seeping into the material. This helps reduce the risk of staining.


Since soapstone does not readily harbor bacteria or allow moisture to penetrate, it provides an exceptionally hygienic surface for food preparation. This is especially important in the kitchen where health is a priority.

Visual Appeal

Soapstone’s soft gray hues and subtle veining create a natural yet refined look. The stone develops a unique patina over time that adds to its rustic elegance. Soapstone presents a timeless aesthetic that complements both traditional and contemporary kitchen designs.


Although soapstone is an upscale choice, it offers great value in terms of longevity and day-to-day practicality. With proper care, soapstone counters will provide many years of service and enhance the kitchen’s functionality. The initial investment pays dividends over time.

FAQs About Soapstone Counters

Is soapstone expensive?

Soapstone is priced as a premium material, comparable to high-end granite or marble. However, it offers good value given the durability and longevity it provides. The initial investment should be weighed against decades of use.

Does soapstone stain easily?

No, the nonporous properties of soapstone make it very stain resistant. Most spills can be removed with mild soap and water. Prolonged exposure to certain materials may leave light stains, but these are rare.

How durable is soapstone?

Soapstone is remarkably durable. It resists cracking, chipping, and scratching better than many natural stones. With proper care, soapstone counters will retain their beauty for many years of heavy daily use.

Does soapstone need to be sealed?

No. The lack of absorbency in soapstone eliminates the need for regular sealing required by more porous counters like marble. Simple cleaning is all that is needed to maintain soapstone surfaces.

Can you cut on soapstone counters?

Yes, the durable properties of soapstone make it suitable for cutting. Using a cutting board will help protect the surface and is recommended for all counters. The heat resistance allows hot pans and dishes straight from the oven.

Does soapstone stain from oil?

Oil exposure will not typically stain or damage soapstone, provided spills are wiped up reasonably quickly. Allowing oil to pool for extended periods may result in faint staining. But soapstone remains highly oil-resistant overall.

Caring For Your Soapstone Counters

Soapstone requires very little maintenance, but following a few basic care guidelines will keep counters looking like new:

  • Wipe up spills promptly with mild soap and water. This prevents any prolonged exposure that could stain.
  • Avoid harsh cleaners and acids. Everyday dish soap or stone cleaners are ideal.
  • Apply a food-grade mineral oil occasionally. This helps nourish and protect the stone.
  • Use trivets or hot pads under very hot pots and pans. This prevents thermal shock.
  • Don’t cut directly on the counter. Use a cutting board to protect the surface.
  • Remedy light stains with fine-grit sandpaper. Start with 220 grit and move up to 400 for polishing.

With routine care, soapstone counters will develop their own unique patina over time that adds to the rustic charm. Following these simple tips will maintain the stone’s beauty and functionality for many years.

The Beauty and Practicality of Soapstone

With its understated elegance, superior durability, and everyday practicality, soapstone is an exceptional choice for kitchen countertops. The material offers unique benefits that make it a top option for a busy kitchen. Soapstone counters provide natural beauty paired with lasting quality that enhances any style of decor. Considering the many advantages, soapstone is hard to surpass.