Soapstone is a natural quarried stone that comes in a variety of colors, veining patterns and sizes. Soapstone is a metamorphic rock, also known as as “steatite”, which is comprised primarily of the minerals talc, chlorite, dolomite, and magnesite.
People are often confused by the fact that there are different types and grades of soapstone. Artistic grade soapstone contains a higher talc content, which means that it is softer and suitable for carving. At Teresina Soapstone, we import only architectural grade soapstone. Our soapstone has a low talc content, which makes it harder and more suitable for countertop usage.
Because of it's mineral composition and the process by which it is formed, soapstone is very dense, non-porous, and chemically inert. Nothing will stain or etch soapstone, and you do not have to apply artificial sealers to protect soapstone countertops. Other natural stones, such as granite or marble, will stain or etch even after applications of artificial sealers. Soapstone has been used for decades as chemistry lab tables, because it is inert and will not be harmed by acidic materials.
Soapstone is also an efficient conductor of heat and can withstand very high temperatures. You can set hot pots and pans directly on your soapstone countertop surface without worrying about damaging your stone.