Soapstone Kitchen Countertops

This light gray stone has been used for centuries in building and makes a sturdy kitchen counter.




By: Kim Hildenbrand

With its light gray surface and subtle veins, soapstone merges old-world charm with modern beauty. Hot pans won't damage it, lemon and tomato juice won't discolor it, and it handily masks imperfections. This classic stone has been used for centuries in the building world in everything from fireplaces to sinks. Its beauty only grows over the years, as it darkens for a dramatic appearance.

What Is It? Also known as steatite or soaprock, this metamorphic rock is composed primarily of talc (hence the "soapy" feel), as well as magnesium, mica, quartz, chlorite and iron. Formed over time and under extreme pressure, the durable material is popular for building. Two types exist: Artistic soapstone is used for carving, while architectural soapstone is suitable for hardworking elements such as countertops and sinks.

Soapstone Kitchen Countertops

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Why Choose Soapstone?

Soapstone countertops, like the ones in this kitchen by Jarrett Design, offer a soft look but can also look great in a sleek, modern space. Though pricier than some other countertop options, soapstone is environmentally friendly and durable, offering significant value.

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Photo By: Matt Villano Photography; Design By: Jarrett Design

Rich, Resilient Countertops

Rich, beautiful soapstone is a natural in the kitchen: It withstands heat and won't stain. A recessed drainboard is handy for doing dishes and washing produce. Photo courtesy of Vermont Soapstone


Go ahead, get those countertops messy. Soapstone is stain-resistant and needs minimal upkeeep after installation.


Low-Maintenance Surface

Soapstone is easy to clean and resists water. The natural stone is also a popular material for sinks and backsplashes. Photo courtesy of M. Texeira Soapstone

Soapstone Sink

Rich soapstone countertops are ideal installed in conjunction with a generous soapstone sink. The surface won’t absorb water and requires minimal maintenance. Photo courtesy of Vermont Soapstone

Strong, Heat-Resistant Surface

Because soapstone is heat resistant, it's ideal around the range: There's a good chance it won't be damaged even if a hot pot is set down accidentally. Photo courtesy of Soapstone International Inc.

An All-Natural Look

Muted teal cabinets make a subtle color statement against black, soapstone counters for an organic look. A steel-wrapped range hood adds an industrial element to the space.

Multiple Color Choices

Green soapstone countertops provide contrast against the fresh white cabinets in this hardworking kitchen.

Matches Every Style

This light and bright kitchen features white wood cabinets paired with charcoal soapstone countertops and a light gray tile backsplash. Custom pendant lights hang above the kitchen island, while wall-to-wall windows above the sink allow natural light to blood the space.

Plays Well With Others

Soapstone on the main counters pairs well with the granite on the large island in this rustic kitchen.

From: Drury Design

Considerations When Choosing Soapstone Countertops

Thickness and Edges. Most manufacturers recommend an inch and a quarter thick countertops. Slabs are generally 5 feet long and 30 inches wide. Seams are virtually invisible. Preferred edge options include squared, eased, beveled, bullnose, radius and double radius.

Care and Maintenance. Unlike other stones, soapstone won't absorb stains and discolorations, so it simply doesn't require sealers. Stains and blemishes are only skin deep and can be removed with gentle sanding. Applications of mineral oil will remove most scratches. Light gray soapstone darkens over time, accentuating its gray veining. Regular applications of mineral oil enhance its beauty.

Wipe the countertop with a soft cloth and warm water daily. Mild household cleansers are suitable. Soapstone benefits from regular applications of mineral oil.

The Bottom Line. An age-old option, soapstone is at home in any style, from traditional to contemporary. Soft to the touch, the surface ages gracefully and lasts for years.

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