- Beauty. Soapstone is unmatched in its natural beauty and is the perfect solution for homeowners and designers wanting to get away from the ubiquitous, shiny granites.
- Soapstone will not burn. Stop worrying about setting a hot pot or pan down on your soapstone countertop or fumbling with hot pads. Move your cookware freely from the cook top or oven directly onto your soapstone countertops, without ever scorching our burning your soapstone.
- Soapstone will not stain. It is nonporous so you only need to treat it once in awhile with a special mineral oil to enhance the natural darkening process all soapstone goes through.
- Soapstone will not harbor bacteria. As the densest natural stone countertop, soapstone is the safest stone countertop for your family. It is the ONLY natural stone countertop that does not require a chemical sealer.
- Easy to clean. Soapstone is siliceous, meaning it is unaffected and unharmed by acids contained in everyday items like wine, lemons, or vinegar. You won’t need to purchase special cleaners, either. Any household cleaner does the trick!
- Easy to maintain. Scratches are easily fixed by the homeowner, which eliminates costly repairs that require a professional.
Granite and Marble
- Quarried in the U.S. and abroad in large near-surface mines.
- Porous and subject to staining.
- Synthetic sealers are required to protect granite surfaces.
- Must be refinished or polished every few years to retain original sheen.
- Will react to citric acids.
- More energy is used than for soapstone during extraction and fabrication.
- Scratches require professional services.
- Difficult installation — most have to be poured in place.
- High embodied energy for manufacture of cement.
- Requires synthetic sealant to avoid stains.
- Scratches are difficult to remove.
- Scratches easily.
- Made with chemical adhesives and resins.
- Lighter colors might show stains.
- Will discolor of fade if exposed to sunlight for extended periods.
- Tend to offgas.
- Glass is blended with chemical binders and resins that tend to offgas.
- Binders and resins also have their own environmental costs associated with processing and transportation.
- Because of terrazzo’s heavy weight, it has a high embodied energy for transport.
Solid Surface (Silestone®, Corian®)
- Scratches or chips are difficult to fix and require professional services.
- Made with chemical resins.
- High embodied energy for transport and production.
- Scratches easily.
- Requires chemical sealants.
- More seams required.