Are you on the fence on which countertop to get for your kitchen or bathroom ?
If you are looking to find answers on your natural stone research, you have come to the right place.
I will be talking extensively about Soapstone Vs Marble : Pros & Cons.
Both the natural stones have their own distinct features.
So lets’ talk about the charming soapstone and the timeless marble.
Soapstone is soft and touchable natural stone that boasts an impressive resistance to heat and a unique non-porous surface.
Marble has been the symbol of luxury and refinement for centuries.
Marble is formed as a result of intense heat and pressure, which also creates the unique veins on the stone.
Each of these stones, soapstone and marble, brings its own unique charm when considered for kitchen countertops.
In this article I will cover :
After reading this article, you will be able to decide which one is the best option for your home.
This post is about Soapstone Vs Marble Kitchen Countertops: Pros and Cons
Let’s get started :
What is soapstone ?
Soapstone is a natural stone, primarily composed of the high talc content. Thats the reason why soapstone has softness as its distinctive character.
Known for its rich, dark hues, soapstone is a non-porous material, making it highly resistant to stains and bacterial growth.
Types of soapstone:
There are two main varieties of soapstone, each with its unique characteristics and uses:
Architectural Soapstone: This type of soapstone is used primarily in construction and home decor. Architectural soapstone is denser and harder due to its less talc content, typically ranging between 50% to 75%.
It’s ideal for applications like countertops, sinks, tile flooring, and fireplaces because of its durability and heat resistance.
Artistic Soapstone: This type of soapstone also known as “steatite stone” has a higher talc content, often over 75%, which makes it softer and easier to carve.
This is the soapstone you’ll often see in sculptures, carvings, and other artistic creations.
Its softness allows for intricate detailing, making it a favorite among artisans and crafters.
Different colors of Soapstone
Soapstone comes in a variety of color options. Soapstone ranges from light gray to dark green and even blue colors, giving lots of choices for all kinds of styles.
- Gray Soapstone: This is perhaps the most common color of soapstone. It can range from light to dark gray and often has subtle veining.
- Green Soapstone: Some varieties of soapstone have a greenish tint, which can range from light, almost pale green, to a deep, rich green.
- Blue Soapstone: Less common than gray or green, blue soapstone is prized for its unique color. It can range from a pale, almost grayish blue to a deeper, more vibrant blue.
Pros & Cons of Soapstone
These are different properties of soapstone :
- Durability: Soapstone is very durable and long-lasting, and it’s heat resistant and is not easily damaged by liquids. You don’t have to worry about placing hot pots and pans directly on a soapstone countertop.
- Non-porous: Because it’s non-porous natural stone, it doesn’t stain easily and is resistant to bacteria and germs. Spills from acidic foods like tomatoes or lemons won’t leave a stain.
- Maintenance: It requires minimal maintenance. Regular application of mineral oil can enhance its color and make it shine, but it’s not necessary for the stone’s upkeep.
- Aesthetic: Its natural, earthy look and rich, veined patterns can add a unique and beautiful element to your home. Soapstone adds a charming rustic look to any kitchen.
- Scratches: Due to its softness, soapstone can be prone to scratches and nicks. However, these can often be sanded out.
- Limited Color Range: Soapstone generally comes in shades of gray, green, and blue. If you’re looking for a wider color palette, other stones may be more suitable.
- Cost: High-quality soapstone can be pricey, potentially more expensive than other common countertop materials.
- Availability: It’s not as common as other natural stones like granite or marble, so it might be harder to find.
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What is Marble?
Marble is a metamorphic rock, primarily composed of calcium carbonate.
It forms when limestone is subjected to high temperatures and pressures over a long period, causing a crystalline structure.
It’s popular for its elegant, veiny patterns, and comes in a variety of shades from white to black.
Marble countertops add a classic, sophisticated touch to any kitchen.
Properties of Marble, including the Mohs scale
On the Mohs hardness scale, which measures the scratch resistance of various minerals, marble scores around 3 to 4, which is relatively soft compared to other stones like granite.
This means it can be susceptible to scratching or etching, especially by acidic substances.
However, its aesthetic appeal and luxurious feel often outweigh this drawback for a lot of home owners.
Types of Marble
Marble comes in various types, each with its unique look and colorations. Here are some popular marbles:
- Carrara Marble: Quarried in Italy, this is a white marble or blue-gray marble popular for its refined appearance and subtle veining.
- Calacatta Marble: Also from Italy, this marble is whiter and has bolder veining than Carrara. It’s often seen as a luxury stone due to its rarity.
- Statuario Marble: Known for its bright white color and dramatic gray veining, this marble is also sourced from Italy and is highly valued for its striking appearance.
Pros & Cons of Marble
- Aesthetics: Marble is very popular for its timeless beauty and elegance. Its natural patterns and colors can complement almost any decor style.
- Increases Home Value: Due to its luxury appeal, having marble in your home can potentially increase its value.
- Unique: Since marble is a natural stone, each piece is unique, giving your home a one-of-a-kind look.
- Susceptible to Scratches: Marble is relatively soft and can be scratched more easily compared to other stones, like granite.
- Etching: Marble can be etched (a dulling of the surface finish) by acidic substances, such as lemon juice or vinegar.
- Requires Regular Sealing: To prevent staining, marble requires regular maintenance typically once or twice a year. When it comes to red wine and fruit juices, especially on surfaces like marble quick action is key. Both substances are acidic and can stain or etch the surfaces if left untreated.
- Cost: Marble is often more expensive than other common countertop materials.
- Not Resistant to heat : It’s not a good idea to put hot pans directly on marble countertops. Heat and moisture can cause a cloudy appearance on the beautiful material.
Comparison of Soapstone Vs Marble:
Soapstone usually comes in various shades of gray, often with subtle veining, giving it a warm, inviting feel.
Marble, on the other hand, has a broader color palette, ranging from pure white to black, with unique veining patterns, contributing to its luxurious appearance.
Both soapstone counters and marble are durable.
Heat and Stain Resistance:
Soapstone is highly heat resistant, allowing you to place hot items directly on its surface without fear of damage.
Marble also resists heat, but not as well as soapstone. Soapstone is resistant to stains, but marble can be susceptible to etching from acidic substances if not promptlycleaned .
Soapstone requires low maintenance compared to marble. It’s non-porous and doesn’t require sealing. Marble, however, needs regular sealing to maintain its non-porous characteristics and prevent staining.
The cost of both soapstone and marble can vary greatly depending on the specific type and where it’s sourced.
On average, soapstone slabs can range from $70 to $120 per square foot, while marble can range from $80 to $200 per square foot.
Both soapstone and marble require professional installation due to the stone’s weight and the need for precise fitting.
Proper installation is required to ensure the longevity and beauty of these natural stone countertops.
Popular Stone Countertop & Other materials :
Apart from soapstone and marble, there are several other popular materials used for countertops.
- Granite: This is one of the most common countertop materials. Granite slabs are known for its durability and wide variety of colors and patterns. Each slab of granite is unique, offering a one-of-a-kind look for your kitchen or bathroom.
- Quartzite: Not to be confused with engineered quartz, quartzite is a natural stone that is extremely hard and durable. It often has a look similar to marble but with higher resistance to heat and scratches.
- Slate: Slate is a fine-grained rock that forms beautiful, smooth countertops.
- Limestone: Limestone offers a beautiful, earthy appearance with its subtle, natural color palette. However, it’s a bit more susceptible to scratches and staining compared to harder stones.
- Travertine: This is a type of limestone that offers a unique, rustic appearance. Travertine requires more maintenance to prevent staining and etching but can be a stunning choice for certain kitchen or bathroom styles.
- Quartz : Quartz is an engineered stone manufactured in factories. It’s non porous and very durable.
The information in this post is for general informational purposes only. The author
and publisher are not responsible for any damage, injury, or loss that may occur from using the
information provided. Readers should follow safety guidelines and take necessary precautions
as listed by installation countertop professionals.
This Post was about Soapstone Vs Marble Kitchen Countertops: Pros and Cons
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