The common name for the mineral steatite is soapstone. Soapstone is about 50% talc and combined with other minerals. These minerals have been geologically metamorphosed into stone through a combination of heat, pressure and time. It is called soapstone because the talc gives the stone a soapy feel.
We have a variety of stones available in many different styles and colors. When considering color schemes keep in mind that soapstone turns to a darker charcoal color with use or when treated with mineral oil.
Due to it's high talc content soapstone is very dense and durable. However, this talc content also makes it soft. Like most other countertop materials, it scratches. Unlike most materials though, soapstone does not need professionally resurfacing. It can be resurfaced by anyone with sandpaper and mineral oil. Beeswax can be used as well.
Absolutely! Setting hot pots or pans directly on your soapstone counters will not affect the surface. In Europe, soapstone is used primarily for the manufacturing of masonry heaters and wood burning stoves.
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