Quarried in the state of the same name, Vermont soapstone is some of the best soapstone available today. Vermont soapstone, like other soapstone, has gained great acclaim for a number of household uses, from sinks to stoves to fireplaces, and is a natural choice for several reasons.
Soft and Non-Porous
Soapstone gets its name from the feel of stone. It is composed of several different minerals, including magnesite, dolomite, chlorite, and talc. It is the talc in the soapstone that gives it a soft feel, like rubbing your fingers over a dry bar of soap. While Vermont soapstone has a soft and warm feel, it's also a non-porous stone, more even than marble and granite. That makes it perfect for use as countertops, sinks, and backsplashes, since it doesn't absorb spills or stains the way other stones are prone to do.
Vermont Soapstone Retains Heat
Another reason Vermont soapstone is so popular across the board is its heat retaining qualities. Soapstone of all varieties soaks up heat from stoves, cooktops, and fireplaces, and then radiates it back into living areas for hours after the original heat source has expired. That makes it the perfect material as a fireplace liner, masonry heater material, oven floor, and even for building high-end wood and pellet burning stoves.
You Can't Beat The Looks of Vermont Soapstone
Many homeowners get so wrapped up in all the functional benefits of soapstone that they forget how beautiful this stone is. It is a light grey when quarried, but turns a charcoal color after it's cut. This darker hue becomes even more apparent over time as the stone ages and is complimented by lighter mineral veins that run throughout. In fact, soapstone is such a beautiful masonry material that its uses range far beyond functional applications. It can be transformed into wet bars, planters, stair railings, and flooring, just to name a few. And "artistic" soapstone is easily carved, making it perfect for more decorative applications as well.
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There Isn't an Easier to Maintain Product on the Market
As if all this weren't enough, Vermont soapstone is one of the most maintenance free products on the market. You can seal it with a stone sealer, as you would with other stones, but doing so is really an unnecessary precaution. All soapstone needs is a periodic coat of mineral oil to bring out its natural beauty. If you do stain the surface (which is almost impossible), all you have to do is sand the soapstone down past the affected surface, re-oil, and you're back in business. In fact, because of their non-porous quality, soapstone countertops can take abuse for years (we're talking 50 to 100), and then be re-sanded and oiled, to make them look brand spanking new.
Where to Find Vermont Soapstone
If you think soapstone is what you've been searching for, talk to an experienced stone company about getting your new project underway. There are numbers of contractors and suppliers who work with soapstone exclusively, and even more that work with it as part of a larger inventory. Regardless of who you hire, taking advantage of the durability, beauty, and versatility of soapstone is a no-lose decision for any homeowner.