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January, 2019

How to Choose the Best Soapstone Hardness for Your NJ Home Project

How to Choose the Best Soapstone for Your Project

One of the reasons homeowners love soapstone is its soft and soap-y feel (where it gets its name!). The traditional stone has a higher Talc content giving it that feeling, while a harder stone will have less talc content. The softer stone will age organically over time, displaying scratches and signs of wear, giving the countertops an authentic look.

However, you can easily sand out these imperfections, making it a very consumer-friendly countertop. Without sanding, the stone will age gracefully, with the help of specialty oils and wax. Softer stones also darken with age but choosing a higher hardness will prevent that patina.

Does soapstone hardness matter?

Hardness is based on mineral content, rated by the Mohs Scaleranking scratch resistance of a stone on a scale from 1-10. While diamonds rate the hardest at 10 and talc at 1, natural soapstone is approximately 2.5-3 on the Mohs Scale.

This softness can actually be a benefit, because these scratches are easily sanded out with sandpaper. After sanding out the scratches, the countertop can be treated with a oil or wax or left alone to obtain that aged look.

Soapstone is similar to marble in its hardness, but much softer than quartz or granite. As we’ve discussed in our other blog posts, non-porous soapstone will never need a sealer to protect it and remains naturally anti-bacterial.

In your kitchen:

Because of its heat-resistant qualities, soapstone is perfect for a kitchen countertop. You can place a hot pan right onto the counter without worrying about damage. Additionally, the non-porous quality of the stone makes it easy to clean with a mild soap, and you will not need to use harsh chemicals or detergents in your home.

In your bathroom:

While your bathroom does experience frequent use, the countertop receives significantly less impact than a kitchen. Here, you can feel free to use a softer variety on your bathroom counter top. The anti-bacterial and non-porous nature of soapstone make it much more appealing in the bathroom over trendy marble.

Makeup spills are cleaned up easily on soapstone, while the softness only adds to the luxurious feel of a custom bathroom.

On your floor:

Another popular application for soapstone is in floor tiles. These tiles have a natural simple movement that make them aesthetically appealing. The stone also retains heat better than any other material on earth and pairs perfectly with radiant heat for cold climates and bare feet.

When compared to marble, the durability of soapstone tiles can’t be beat. They will not absorb any accidental spills on a kitchen for bathroom floor and are easily cleaned. Because the stone is already anti-bacterial unlike other tiles, you simply clean with soap and water instead of harsh cleaners.

Homeowners also appreciate that soapstone is not slippery when wet, making it ideal for indoor or outdoor areas.

Which soapstone will you choose?

This stone is growing in popularity as a naturally-occurring, easily-installed option for kitchens and bathrooms. Garden State Soapstone is your Tri-State expert with varieties for each room and application, including fireplace hearths and even pizza stones!

Call us to plan your visit and discuss your kitchen or bath updates.