Need the real deal on Soapstone

MWB228June 8, 2013

I am very confused. I read that soapstone is non-porous, manages heat well and lasts forever. But talking to a fabricator and even the sales guy (sells granite and some soapstone), they have said that soapstone absorbs liquids and handles heat worse than granite. HELP! If you have had soapstone for longer than a year, can you please share your pros and cons? Also, does it have to be oiled or can it be natural? And if it is natural what happens...does it discolor?

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There are a boatload of threads on this but here's the scoop. Soapstone varies depending on it's hardness. I have a harder variety over 2 years now. I'm just taking a break from a 9 hour cooking/baking marathon in my kitchen. I do this regularly. I haven't oiled or waxed in about 2 months. I probably will tomorrow morning before my company comes over. The only difference between oiling/waxing and not is that the color fades... think washed out black denim. When I wax it, the sea glass color inclusions just POP. My stone is a workhorse. There have been others who had a poorly finished stone that showed water rings. Some of them had the stone refinished by a soapstone expert and the issue was resolved. No... it does not discolor. For me, there are only pros, absolutely no cons; not even remotely.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 9:31PM
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There is copious information on the web, independent of the GW love of soapstone, that is very clear on soapstone attributes. However, if the fabricator and sales person are saying the exact opposite, you have to ask yourself, what kind of soapstone do they have? Do they even know how to handle it or fabricate it correctly? If you are dead set on soapstone, maybe you need to find another source.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 10:00PM
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Soapstone is non-porous and is very heat resistant. It is used to line stoves.
The only reason soapstone is oiled/waxed is to darken the stone and bring out the characteristics.
If it is not oiled it will eventually darken on it's own. It will darken in the areas of most use first.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 11:50AM
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soapstone is extremely dense and will not absorb liquids. Any staining such as water rings is only on the surface. If your stone dealer and fabricator are telling you that soapstone stains, I would suggest you find someone who knows about real soapstone as these guys don't seem to get it. A lot of how the soapstone works for you depends on how it is finished. If it is finished like a granite, you will get water rings and stains. It has to be finished to lower grit to give you that lovely silky feel. If you post where you are, someone in GW is sure to help you find a good soapstone source and an expert fabricator.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 11:57AM
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I can't tell you how many magazines I have read lately that have incorrectly stated that soapstone stains (CR and a local magazine to name two). As it has been stated above, it's just plain ol' not true.

I have a softer variety of soapstone on my island and wouldn't trade it for the world. I absolutely love it. It has handled everything that has been thrown on it (including grill baskets straight from the grill) and looks gorgeous oiled/waxed or unoiled/unwaxed (it currently hasn't been treated in several months).

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 12:20PM
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