If you're looking for an elegant alternative to the traditional marble or granite countertops for your kitchen, consider using soapstone countertops. Soapstone countertops are made from natural stone and although these may scratch easily, the countertops are stain and heat-resistant, which is why many homeowners enjoy soapstone countertops. Soapstone is a heavy yet durable material so it's not the best idea to install this type of countertop yourself. You want to hire a professional to install the countertop for you. Keep in mind that soapstone is more expensive than other types of stones.
If you tend to be clumsy in the kitchen, you don't have to worry about damaging your soapstone countertops with spills because these countertops are not very porous, which means that any liquid stains from coffee or tea won't permanently penetrate the stone and cause stains on the countertops. Even if you place the hottest pot on this countertop, it won't damage the surface since this countertop is heat-resistant. This countertop gets scratches at times but you can remove them with sandpaper.
When deciding on the right color for your soapstone countertop, you want to consider the overall theme and colors of the kitchen. For example, if you have a country décor theme in the kitchen, you can install a light gray soapstone countertop and complement the countertop with red vases filled with fresh flowers or a light blue paisley-designed small bookcase for your cookbooks. Combarbalite soapstone has a blend of colors red, green and brown.
You can clean your soapstone countertop with warm water and dishwashing liquid and it's best to avoid harsh cleaners for the countertop since they could alter the look of the countertops. Some home improvement stores have special cleaning supplies for soapstone but this is not necessary to purchase and the supplies are generally expensive.
Occasionally you will need to polish your soapstone countertops in order for them to look new again. You would apply mineral oil on the countertop and four to five drops of the oil would do. Buy bottles of mineral oil in bulk so that you'll always have some on hand when it's time to polish the soapstone. In conclusion, soapstone is a beautiful and durable material that goes well in the kitchen.
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Wikipedia - Soapstone