If you are looking for a low-maintenance work surface that is 100 percent heatproof consider a soapstone kitchen countertop. So go ahead, you can put that hot pan down on soapstone without cracking or scorching it. There are plenty more pros and a couple of cons to having soapstone countertops.
Soapstone is good for a kitchen counter for many reasons, but most important, it's low-maintenance. Unlike other types of stone surfaces like granite or marble, soapstone does not need a sealer because it is nonporous, which makes it stain-resistant as well as naturally antimicrobial. Though quartz is antimicrobial, it's not the best heat-resistant material, so if you tend to forget the trivet, soapstone may be your best bet.
Do you love surfaces that develop a lovely patina with age? Then the soapstone will not disappoint. Over time its charcoal gray surface will oxidize, making its appearance darker. One con to soapstone: It's limited in color options so you'll find mostly grays, greens, blues, and black or white soapstone countertops. If you want a light soapstone countertop, you will need to choose a slab that has more talc in it than others, but your stone distributor or kitchen designer can help you achieve that.
Cracks and Chips
While soapstone does not chip or crack easily, the only other real con to the material is that it can develop subtle dents and scratches in hardworking kitchens. That's because the stone is relatively soft compared to other materials. But the beauty of soapstone is that those dents and scratches can be buffed away or left to contribute to its natural beauty.
A soapstone countertop can be expensive. It is a natural stone that is not as readily available as some other stones. And since soapstone is mostly found in gray tones, choosing a countertop with a different hue will add to the cost.
To help you determine if the stone material is right for your kitchen, check out these soapstone ideas and soapstone counter colors.
01 of 14
Combine Marble and Soapstone Countertops
If you cannot decide between marble or soapstone countertops, this kitchen offers a smart solution. Brooke Wagner Design out of Corona Del Mar, California combines both types of stone in this contemporary cooking space. The soapstone counter around the stove is reserved for food prep, while the marble countertop is primarily used for light kitchen tasks like washing veggies or serving meals.Continue to 2 of 14 below.
02 of 14
Dramatic Soapstone Countertops
While many soapstone countertops spotted on Pinterest or Instagram appear to be one solid color, the material can also be found with veins or striking streaks in green, black, yellow, blue, brown, or white, as shown in this kitchen by Ben Herzog Architect, out of Brooklyn, New York.
Even the apron-front sink with drainboard is made of durable soapstone. Adding to the cooking space's vintage-inspired charm are the cabinets painted a retro shade of mint green.Continue to 3 of 14 below.
03 of 14
Farmhouse Kitchen With Soapstone Countertops
Soapstone countertops lend contrast to this crisp, white kitchen in an Indiana farmhouse renovated by Leo Designs, an interior design firm based in Chicago, Illinois. Contributing to the cooking space's Americana vibe are vintage-inspired fixtures including the overhead lighting.Continue to 4 of 14 below.
04 of 14
Oak Cabinets Paired With Soapstone Countertops
In a traditional kitchen chock-full of oak cabinets, soapstone cabinets add a rustic touch that feels more modern than classic. Whitten Architects out of Portland, Maine, picked the stone surface to coordinate with the stainless steel appliances.Continue to 5 of 14 below.
05 of 14
Soapstone Countertop in a Luxurious Kitchen
A veiny soapstone countertop is a gorgeous counterpoint in this glamorous, traditional kitchen by interior designer Meg Lonergan based in Houston, Texas. Adding to the cooking space's luxurious vibe are the gold cabinet knobs and turquoise range.Continue to 6 of 14 below.
06 of 14
Kitchen Island With Soapstone Countertop
If you need to create an additional work surface in your kitchen, consider adding an island with a soapstone countertop. Here, Alice Lane Interior Design out of Salt Lake City, Utah does just that with a free-standing option that doubles as a dining table.Continue to 7 of 14 below.
07 of 14
Pewter Gray Soapstone Countertop
You will find soapstone slabs in a wide range of gray tones, like this cool pewter example found in a home designed by Frank Shirley Architects, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Swirls of dark gray and white add a massive dose of visual interest to the stone surface.Continue to 8 of 14 below.
08 of 14
Black and White Kitchen Brimming With Rustic Style
Fans of modern farmhouse style will love this black and white kitchen by Whitten Architects based in Portland, Maine. The countertops along the walls are durable soapstone, which, as we already explained, stand up to heat and stains, making it the ideal work surface for busy cooking spaces. For a pop of contrast, the kitchen island features a stained wood topper.Continue to 9 of 14 below.
09 of 14
Bright Yellow Kitchen With Soapstone and Butcher Block Countertops
Nearly black soapstone countertops with matching backsplashes add a striking contrast to this sunshiny kitchen by Heide Hendricks Interior Design based in East Hartford, Connecticut. Adding even more practical function to this bright yellow cooking space is the kitchen island topped off with a maple butcher block countertop.Continue to 10 of 14 below.
10 of 14
Charcoal Gray and Blue Soapstone Countertop Lends Rustic Charm
A soapstone countertop can sprinkle on some rustic character to a contemporary cooking space. Here is one of our favorite examples, created by J.A.S. Design-Build, an interior design firm based in Seattle, Washington. A beautiful charcoal gray and blue soapstone counter lends old-timey country style to this modern farmhouse kitchen.Continue to 11 of 14 below.
11 of 14
This Blogger Loves Soapstone Countertops
For an objective opinion on soapstone countertops, we turned to Joan, the home improvement blogger behind the site For The Love of a House. She loves the stone, which she installed for her cooking space. She adds while it is a low-maintenance material, soapstone still requires a little tender loving care to keep looking its best. For instance, her countertop has several small nicks around the edges of the dishwasher and sink, caused by banging objects. To prevent it from happening in your home, she says, be mindful when it is time to wash pots and pans.Continue to 12 of 14 below.
12 of 14
How to Fake the Look of Soapstone
If a real soapstone countertop is out of your price range, you can still get the look with Formica laminate. Here, Colleen, the decor blogger behind Lemon Thistle, went with a pattern called Soapstone Sequoia. She says her new laminate counters look as beautiful as the real thing. Colleen offers this tip: the best type of sink to combine with laminate is a drop-in, as shown. Unlike an undermount sink, it will protect the investment you made in laminate with corners that offer protection from water.Continue to 13 of 14 below.
13 of 14
Combine Cool Soapstone Countertops With Warm Wood Accents
In this homey kitchen by Rauser Design based in Austin, Texas, soapstone counters are combined with a butcher block chopping station. We love how this cooking space combines features in cool colors, like the countertops and blue cabinets with warm wood accents, including the kitchen table and hardwood floors.Continue to 14 of 14 below.
14 of 14
Midcentury Inspired Kitchen With a Soapstone Countertop
A mid-century modern home—renovated by Annie Hall Interiors out of Cambridge, Massachusetts—gets a spanking new cooking space that is in step with the home's historic style. Turquoise cabinetry and warm wood walls are a classic mid-century combo. The boomerang-style kitchen island with a soapstone countertop is a nod to the traditional kidney-shaped coffee table, which is an icon of mid-century decor.