Today, many people consider granite as the best option for countertop materials. There is a big difference between the colour and texture of these materials. But they exude the beauty and warmth of a natural stone. Whether you choose anyone, you will likely have to spend a lot on countertop remodelling.
Usually, a stone slab of granite costs around $50-$60 for a square foot, so granite countertops will cost around $2000-$4500. Soapstone slabs are priced at around $50-$80 per square foot, and you will have to pay $2800-$4500 for soapstone countertops.
Soapstone is softer than other materials and does not require sealing because of its non-porous nature. It has high resistance towards basic and acidic substances, just like granite. Most homeowners get confused when it comes to choosing between soapstone vs granite kitchen countertops.
Granite Vs Soapstone Countertops
This article will look at the distinctions between these materials and help you choose the better one.
Most people use it for countertops because of its hardness and its natural beauty. You will find big multicoloured swirls, including white, pink, red, grey, in different combinations along with dense mottling. You can select a specific slab while purchasing granite which is a great thing.
Made with multiple minerals and talc, soapstone falls under the metamorphic rock category. The material feels like soap, and it is the inspiration behind its name. It does not have elaborate, dark mineral grains like granite, but you will find variegated veining. It usually comes in brown, grey, green, and blue shades.
There are multiple types of granite, and they are six in total. Quartz, Biotite, Amphibole, Muscovite, Potassium Feldspar, Feldspar are the main categories, and each one has further subcategories. Thus, you can choose the type which suits your countertop needs. Every type has a unique look, and there are many shades you can choose from.
Soapstone only has two main categories, namely: architectural and artistic. Artistic soapstone is composed of 75% talc and is quite soft. As the name implies, It is essentially used for sculptures and carvings. Architectural soapstone is better suited for kitchen countertops because talc content is lower and harder than the artistic type.
Granite is softer than most synthetic products but needs to be sealed using an oil or water-based sealant immediately after installation. Sealing needs to be done one or two times every year to prevent staining and maintain its sheen.
You will find good quality marble and granite sealants at your local hardware store. Use a damp, clean cloth to wipe the granite countertop, so no dust particles are left. You can even use a roller to apply a small layer of sealant on the countertop and clean it off after an hour or so.
Soapstone is non-porous, and you will be happy to know that it does not need sealing. Once you install the soapstone countertop, regularly rub it with mineral oil to maintain its shine and striking look. Soapstone is widely used in science labs, forensic labs, heaters, masonry countertops, etc., as it is resistant to corrosion and chemical substances. In addition to this, the amount of maintenance required for soapstone countertops is far lower than granite.
Granite is available in 6 types, and each one of them has a different hardness. It is very durable and will not pick up scratches or dents soon. It is strong, and you will not need to replace it over a long time. It gets the edge over soapstone in terms of durability.
Soapstone is great as it does not need sealing and is highly resistant to chemicals. But it is softer than granite, reducing its durability. You can replace the sheen from soapstone countertops by sanding and using mineral oil over it. However, this needs to be done by a professional and is an expensive process.
Granite is resistant to heat. But as it is a porous material, puddles of food and coloured liquids can leave stains on your kitchen countertop. You have to be regular with cleaning the countertop, or its appearance will diminish. One good thing is that granite is resistant to scuffs and marks and won’t stain soon. Once you get it installed, you can stay stress-free for a long time.
Soapstone is better when it comes to resistance as it is highly resistant to chemicals and stains. It will not be affected by alkalis and acids, wine, tomato juice, vinegar, and they will not discolor the countertop. Even a hot pot does not affect the surface of a soapstone countertop. If you need to deal with chemical substances, soapstone countertops are perfect.
What Should Be Your Final Choice? – Soapstone Vs Granite Countertops
As we discussed above, both soapstone and granite have their own qualities, and It’s difficult to conclude one is clearly superior to the other.
- Granite and soapstone; both are naturally beautiful, but you have the luxury to choose a specific slab for granite.
- ou need higher maintenance for a granite countertop compared to soapstone.
- At a high temperature and pressure, granite can slightly crack. This makes it a less desirable option to use for kitchen countertops.
- Soapstone is prone to scratches and scuffs. But it is highly resistant to chemicals and stains when compared with granite.
Before you make a final decision, you need to weigh the pros and cons of both materials.
For building luxurious kitchen countertops, granite and soapstone have been the two most commonly used materials. Granite is a hard material mainly used for its damage resistance, heavyweight, and durability.
Soapstone, on the other hand, is a softer material composed of talc. Its durability is low, but it is not affected by chemical substances and stains. Did you know 400 years ago, Native Americans used it to create bowls?
Both of these materials will give a luxurious appearance to your kitchen countertop. You need to choose between soapstone vs granite based on your personal needs and requirements.