Living With Soapstone
3 year follow-up
Why I Chose Soapstone
I knew I wanted a natural stone for my kitchen and I wanted a historic vibe, which meant it would most likely be a marble or soapstone.
I had lived with a quartzite in my last house and was ready for a change - I really wanted a darker countertop. Once I learned that it's naturally anti-microbial and heat resistant - I was sold.
Oiling vs. Not Oiling
When choosing soapstone, you have the option to oil it or leave the stone as is. If it's oiled, it's normally for aesthetics, it's not necessary but creates a darker stone. If you do plan on oiling your countertops, plan on upkeep (oiling every few months).
Why I Chose Not To Oil My Countertops
I didn't want my countertops to look black, I wanted to keep the blueish-gray undertone my soapstone had so I chose not to oil it. Yes, it does show dark spots where oil gets on it, but I can lift it easily with some Bon Ami.
How It's Worn Over The Last 3 Years
I've had my soapstone for 3 years now and it's aged beautifully besides the scratches, but those don't bother me too much. There are some dings and divots around my pantry sink and a couple on the countertop edges. Overall I don't mind the character but could see in another 8 years it might be more character than I would like.
Would I Use It Again?
Yes, I definitely would. If I chose another material that had the same vibe it would be Virginia Mist Granite and then I wouldn't have to worry about the scratches. However, not worrying about germs has more than made up for the scratching in my book.
The scratches blend in with the veining so I really don't notice them much at all (btw, my countertop material is Black Soapstone).
For different types of soapstone and availability check out this site - they have a great selection and ship nationwide.