Soapstone is a natural stone that consists mainly of talc and chlorate. This is a very dense stone weighing an average of 20 lbs. per square foot! It is a nonporous stone and will not absorb liquids and stains like other natural stones will. Soapstone is also heat resistant. Setting a hot pot on your soapstone counter top won’t scorch it or burn it. In fact, some cookware is made of soapstone. If you put in a soapstone counter top, don’t cut on it. Soapstone is soft. It’s so soft it can be scratched with a fingernail. Over time, the edges will soften and you’ll start to see small nicks, scratches, and indentations. If you like the aged antique look, the patina of this natural stone might be perfect for you. It will age gradually and gracefully. Soapstone is best known for it’s heat retention. It is used extensively for fireplace wood stoves, masonry fireplaces, fireplace liners, and pizza ovens. It’s also used for sinks, counter tops, island tops, chess sets, sills, flooring, and shower stalls.
A traditional use of soapstone was the laboratory tabletop in chemistry labs. That application alone should serve as a great testimonial to the chemical resistance of the materials.Â For particularly high abrasion or scratch resistance, yet they are both used a flooring and counter top products.
Soapstone is highly heat resistant, and has been used in fireplace surrounds frequently to take advantage of this property.