Soapstone countertops are made of soapstone, a metamorphic rock that is composed of various elements such as talc, chlorite, dolomite, and magnesite. Soapstone is sold in slabs, and its thickness and weight depends on how it is going to be used. It commonly comes in a rectangular slab that is at least 47 inches in length, 25 inches in width, and 1.25 inches in thickness. Soapstone slabs with these dimensions have a total area of 8.4 square feet and weight of approximately 150 pounds. A square foot of soapstone usually weighs around 20 pounds. An average soapstone slab costs around $450, which is around $50 per square foot. The price can go as high as $100 per square foot, depending on the soapstone quality, the manufacturer, and the place where it was quarried.|
Throughout history, soapstone has been used to make vases, sculptures, goblets, sinks, fireplaces, ovens, stoves, window sills, table tops, and most recently, kitchen countertops. It has been used in all these various applications because it is naturally durable and resistant to heat, changes in weather, stains, scratches, and cracks. Soapstone also comes in a variety of colors like gray, white, pale green, black, red, and pink. Its hardness and density depends on where it was obtained. The number one producer of soapstone in the world is Brazil, but it can also be quarried in the United States, Canada, Chile, India, Switzerland, Finland, and Zimbabwe.
Choosing the right thickness of soapstone countertops
For residential soapstone kitchen countertops, the ideal soapstone thickness is 1'¼ inches. This soapstone slab is thick enough to provide you with a solid soapstone countertop surface that can withstand the normal food preparation activities you do everyday. It can also give your countertop a finished and durable look. A 1 '¼-inch thick soapstone slab weighs about 20 pounds per square foot. It needs to be handled by two able-bodied men who can lift and move it around the kitchen during the installation. A soapstone slab in this thickness does need braces underneath the countertop for support. However, this kind of slab is needed to connect the countertop to the kitchen cabinets above it for support. The ideal width for soapstone countertop backsplashes is three fourth inches. These backsplashes are enough to give your soapstone countertop a finished look and give ample protection for your kitchen walls.
For industrial soapstone kitchen countertops, the ideal soapstone thickness is thicker than 1'¼ inches, depending on how the countertop is going to be used. Just remember that for these projects, architectural soapstone should be used because it has a high density and lower talc content. Also, architectural soapstone is much stronger and durable than softer, artistic soapstone.