The How and Why Behind Sealing Soapstone

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sealing soapstone

When selecting a surfacing material, it’s important to be in the know about what type of initial treatment and maintenance might be needed to maximize its performance, beauty and longevity. For countertops and other design projects, one vital question is whether or not sealing is required. Ultimately, the answer will depend on the qualities of the chosen material, as well as the specific application. Today, we’re going to focus on soapstone. Given that it’s a popular choice for countertops and other projects, homeowners commonly wonder – does soapstone need to be sealed?

Read on for an in-depth explanation of why the experts at Cosmos SurfacesTM do NOT recommend sealing soapstone, plus tips on maintaining the natural beauty and shine of this stone over the years.

Does Soapstone Need to Be Sealed? The Answer Explained

Whether soapstone is used for a kitchen countertop, a sink, a backsplash or some other building project, sealing is not necessary. Because this stone is dense and nonporous, it comes naturally equipped with a barrier against liquids and stains. In fact, the stone is composed primarily of hydrophobic talc, which lends it amazing water-repelling properties!

Thanks to its mineral composition and nonporosity, there is no need for soapstone to be sealed to keep moisture, bacteria and food particles from penetrating its surface, as is often required for porous stones such as granite and marble. This makes it a favorable option for homeowners wishing to skip sealing as part of routine maintenance for their countertops.

How to Keep Soapstone Looking Vibrant

Now that we’ve explained the answer to “does soapstone need to be sealed?,” let’s discuss the methods which should be used to maintain this natural stone:

  • Oiling – While soapstone is known for being resistant to staining and chemical etching, its high talc content can make it vulnerable to scratching and chipping. Fortunately, it’s easy to disguise any small scratches which appear on the surface, and to preserve the luster of soapstone. Simply applying a thin coating of food-grade mineral oil to the stone on a regular basis will maintain its sheen and cover up any imperfections. Oiling will also speed up the natural oxidation process, thus darkening the stone’s color uniformly across the surface and highlighting its unique beauty.
  • Cleaning – After treating your soapstone with mineral oil, we recommend using a mild cleanser to remove any excess oil. For everyday cleaning, a quick wipe down with soap and water will typically do the trick to keep the stone looking fresh. A stiff-bristled brush may also be used to scrub away any stubborn spots on a soapstone sink.

For more information on the benefits of soapstone and how it is best maintained, check out our previous post on this topic!

Will Soapstone Stand the Test of Time?

When properly maintained using the methods described above, soapstone will hold up well even in a high-traffic kitchen. Still, it’s important to keep in mind that this surfacing material is not quite as hardwearing as certain other natural stones. Whereas granite is highly resistant to chips, gouges and scratches, soapstone is a bit softer and thus more vulnerable to damage.

The good news is that repairing any signs of minor wear and tear is well within reach for homeowners who are willing to take on basic DIY repair jobs. As previously mentioned, mineral oil is highly effective for disguising the minor scratches that abrasives can leave behind on soapstone.

For more prominent marks, fine grain sandpaper can be used to restore the smoothness and uniformity of the stone. And for chips and gouges, a simple filling mixture of epoxy and stone chips will bring the surface back to a like-new appearance. While you may be tempted to do these fixes on your own, leaving a professional to sandpaper or fill the gouges in your countertop will guarantee a good end result. Be sure to consult your installer/fabricator for specific instructions on how to repair any damage that happens to your soapstone surface.

Partner with Cosmos SurfacesTM to Find the Perfect Stone Surface for Your Project

Are you curious to learn more about soapstone and find out if it’s an ideal choice for the project you are planning? Count on the stone specialists at Cosmos SurfacesTM for professional advice and the highest quality materials! Our vast natural stone collection features several elegant varieties of soapstone, including black, grey and jade. Feel free to browse our stunning selection on our website, and reach out to us anytime for expert assistance.

Color of the Month: Classic Blue

This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 19-4052, Classic Blue! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “A boundless blue hue, Classic Blue is evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky opening us up to a world of possibilities.”

Tranquil, calming, and peaceful – this is what Beverly Blue brings to mind. Gold and silver cutting through a blue so soft it’s nearly gray, Beverly Blue resembles the icy wall of a glacier. The gentle tones of Beverly Blue look great installed as kitchen countertops, especially next to striking blacks and stainless steel. Quartzite is resistant to scratching, staining, and fading, and the beauty is unmatched.

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