Picking materials for your kitchen is no small task as the choices you make you will be living with for several years. Cabinets and countertops can be an expensive addition so picking the right materials is key to transform the kitchen into something you love! There are many materials to choose from, but two of the popular choices available these days is soapstone and granite countertops. Each of these materials have pros and cons, and the decision really comes down to preference. Before you go shopping for natural stone you should arm yourself with knowledge of each product. Research is always a good way to find out the differences between all materials and if you have whittled your choices down to soapstone vs granite countertops, this is what you should know.
Soapstone is a metamorphic rock and is mostly comprised of talc, chlorite and magnesium. Soapstone is created by dynamo thermal metamorphism that occurs within the earth when the tectonic plates modify the rock with heat, pressure and influx of liquids but is not so hot as to melt. Soapstone can be a very hard surface, however, if it has a high percentage of talc then the stone will be softer.
If you choose soapstone the color choices will be limited, as most soapstone are varying colors of gray. If you are looking for a marbled soapstone you can find it, however, more maintenance will be required as it will be a softer stone. An almost black soapstone countertop can be acquired if you apply mineral oil to the surface.
Soapstone can be kept very clean and due to it not being a porous stone it will not hold bacteria. Soapstone countertops are very stain resistant which means even if you spill wine on the countertop you should not have a stain. Due to the nature of this stone it is often used when harsh chemicals may be spilled as even acid will not damage the stone.
There are some drawbacks to soapstone, because it can be a soft stone it will scratch easily. You will have to maintain the countertops by fixing the scratches often. If you decide against the darker color obtained by the mineral oil, you will be able to see where the counters are used more often because they will become darker with time.
Soapstone can be more expensive then granite as it usually goes for $75 – $100 dollars per square foot.
Granite is also a natural stone but this stone started out as magma a liquid from the core of the Earth. Granite is comprised of mica and quartz and many other minerals that were compressed over a long period of time and turned into one of Earths hardest stones. Granite countertops are also one of the most popular stones used for countertops today due to its uniqueness, durability and beauty.
As a natural stone granite comes in a variety of different colors and marbling. For most any décor in your home, you can find a slab of granite that compliments it. If you price the granite and find the slab to be too expensive you can purchase granite tiles instead.
Because granite is so strong and durable it is not easily scratched and if you keep your granite sealed and clean up any spills as they happen it is relatively stain resistant. Granite is also a hygienic counter because once sealed the porous spots will be filled with sealant.
There are some drawbacks to granite countertops, as you will have to seal it every six months to a year. Fortunately sealing your granite is easily done and you can do it yourself. If you do not properly seal your granite you may have stains to contend with that will often need a professional to repair.
As you have many choices on color, slab or tile you also have the choice in price. You can purchase granite from $50 – $80 dollars per square foot. Tiles might be even less if you go for that option.
Things to Think About
Hopefully now you armed with the information that will help you make a decision for your kitchen or bathroom. Other things you should keep in mind is how you will be using your countertop. Will everyone in the family use a cutting board? If you cannot guarantee that you probably do not want a countertop that gets scratched easily.
If you frequently find harsh cleaners on your countertops, you will not want a countertop that needs to be sealed as the chemicals will damage the seal. Your home is your castle and the kitchen has long been called the heart of the home. Keep the heart of your home looking beautiful and if you make any changes make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. No one wants to spend their hard earned cash on something they may regret later.