What exactly IS soapstone?

What is Soapstone?

If you are still asking yourself “What is Soapstone?”, read the article below…

Soapstone Sink what is soapstone

Soapstone is made up of Talc and Steatite.

There are two different materials known as “soapstone”. The first material is talc; the softest mineral known and commonly used in manufacturing cosmetics, toothpaste, refractory materials and sculptures.
The second soapstone material is steatite. This soapstone was commonly used in colonial New England for fireplace hearths, sinks, countertops, and wood stoves. Today, steatite (soapstone) is still used for countertops, sinks, masonry heaters, flooring and cookware. Steatite is composed of several minerals, including talc, chlorite, dolomite and magnesite, which gives it a warm, soft feel to the touch. However, steatite is much harder than talc due to the other mineral components. This natural quarried stone is softer than most other naturally occurring minerals. Although it is soft, soapstone is a very dense and non-porous stone; denser than marble, slate, limestone and even granite. Because soapstone is impenetrable, it will not stain, as liquid will not permeate the surface. Other stones, including granite, have a propensity to soil; this is why soapstone (Steatite) is widely used as chemistry laboratory tops and acid baths.
Soapstone is quarried all over the world, with the largest supply coming from many different areas in Brazil and India. The colors, movement and veining in soapstone vary depending on where the stone is quarried.What is Soapstone?
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April, 2011

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