Kitchen Countertop Confusion: Soapstone vs. Marble – Which is Right for You?

Kitchen Countertop Confusion: Soapstone or Marble - Which is Right for You?

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Are you debating between soapstone and marble for your home remodel? Deciding between the two seems pretty simple when you look at them, but it’s a big decision, and you want to make sure you’re making the right one.

Soapstone and marble are both beautiful, unique materials that can have dramatically different effects on a space. They also have varying advantages and disadvantages that make it difficult to choose.

What colors are available?
How durable is soapstone vs. marble?

Do you need to worry about burn marks from hot pans?

What about stains?

All these questions and more will be answered in this article, so you can make an the best decision about which material is right for your home.

By the way – before we get too far along here, if you want to connect with other homeowners and builders and get more great ideas for your home to make your space the best join my free private Facebook group, Remodel Reality here.

Soapstone vs. Marble: What’s Best For Your Kitchen Countertops?

When considering the best material for your kitchen countertops, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of your options. Two popular materials are soapstone and marble. Soapstone has a rustic feel, is low-maintenance, and is more durable, but has limited color options. Marble offers a high-end look with multiple color options, but is more prone to stains and more difficult to repair. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compared these materials on color, durability, maintenance requirements, heat tolerance, price per square foot, availability, stain potential, porosity, and the Mohs hardness scale measurement number.

Soapstone vs. Marble Countertop Comparison Table

Factor Soapstone Marble
Color Various shades of gray, sometimes with green or blue undertones, minimal veining Multiple finishes and color choices, including white, red, blue, cream, and more, unique veining on each slab
Durability More durable, scratches and nicks can be repaired with mineral oil and sandpaper Less durable, complex repairs required using epoxy to fill gaps
Maintenance Requirements Darkens over time, oiling ensures even darkening, non-porous and naturally repels stains Develops a patina, requires sealing to maintain appearance, porous and stains easily if not sealed
Heat Tolerance Can handle heat without risking damage Can tolerate heat, but placing a hot pan may leave a burn mark
Price per Square Foot Comparable to marble, can range from $50 to $100 per sq. ft. Can range from $50 to $200 per sq. ft., high-end variations are more expensive
Availability May need at least two slabs for a long countertop Easier to find large slabs
Stain Potential Non-porous, repels stains Porous, stains easily if not sealed
Porous vs. Non-Porous Non-porous Porous
Mohs Hardness Scale 1 to 2 3 to 4.5

Color Your World: Soapstone vs. Marble Countertop Color Options

Choosing the best color for kitchen countertops can be overwhelming, particularly when faced with specifically deciding between soapstone and marble. However, these two materials have very distinct differences that will aid your decision-making process.

  • Soapstone provides a restricted range of color options, including various shades of gray without much in the way of natural veining but can also have green or blue undertones.
  • Marble is renowned for its stunning collection of colors and patterns, boasting options such as white, red, azure blue, creamy yellow and beyond.
  • Every marble slab is one-of-a-kind, boasting its own distinctive and exquisite veining.

Are you looking for a statement-making kitchen countertop? If so, marble may be the way to go. Although it is a matter of personal taste whether one desires the rustic feel of soapstone with limited color options or the high-end look of marble, there are no doubt more opportunities to make an impactful design choice with its vast array of colors and finishes.

However, the beauty of soapstone is unparalleled and its timeless aesthetic provides a classic appeal. With only a few color options available, it can be incorporated into any kitchen design with ease – creating an inviting atmosphere that looks polished and cohesive.

Built to Last: Understanding Durability in Countertops

The question of durability arises when considering the best material for a kitchen countertop. Soapstone and Marble are both natural stones, and each possesses its own unique qualities.

Soapstone is undeniably the more resilient option than Marble. Its rough and solid exterior is naturally resistant to scratches or dings, making it an optimal selection for kitchen surfaces. With soapstone, you need not stress about everyday life usage – any scrapes can be quickly renovated with mineral oil and sandpaper!

In contrast, as marble is a delicate material, it can easily be scratched or damaged. Unfortunately repairing the damage caused to marble isn’t an easy job – you may try DIY repair kits but often times these patches are quite visible and will require professional help for optimal results.

Soapstone’s natural sturdiness and ease of repair makes it a dependable material that can withstand the test of time, as well as being low-maintenance. If you value these qualities in your materials, then Soapstone is an excellent choice for you.

The Beauty of Age: A Guide to Countertop Patina

Patina, the soft aging of a surface, is an aspect that distinguishes soapstone from marble. Soapstone is a natural material that darkens over time and develops a rich patina, giving it an even more rustic feel. Marble is a more delicate stone that does not age as gracefully as soapstone.

  • Soapstone darkens over time to create a unique patina
  • The patina of soapstone can be enhanced by the application of mineral oil
  • Marble also develops a patina, but it’s not as noticeable as the patina of soapstone
  • The patina of marble requires more work to keep it looking good, including repeated sealing
    Soapstone’s patina adds to its natural rustic feel, making it a popular choice for those seeking a warm and organic look for their kitchen countertops

Soapstone is renowned for its ability to develop a beautiful patina over time, adding to its natural rustic charm amongst all the various surfaces used for kitchen countertops. This patina, created by the gentle aging of the surface, can be enhanced by the simple application of mineral oil.

On the other hand, marble does not acquire an attractive patina as gracefully as soapstone. Even though it develops a patina over time, it isn’t evident in comparison to that of soapstone. Additionally, you must seal and upkeep the marble more often than with soapstone if you want its patina to continue looking appealing.

So, if you’re seeking a warm and organic look for your kitchen countertops, soapstone could quite possibly be the ideal choice for you. Its ability to develop a beautiful patina adds to its natural rustic feel, making it a popular choice for those who desire a kitchen with a touch of history and character.

Stain-Proof Your Space: Countertops with Resistance

In order to make an informed decision when selecting a countertop for your kitchen, it is essential to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each material. If you are debating between Soapstone and Marble, there are some distinct disparities that must be examined carefully before deciding.

The natural non-porous surface of soapstone makes it resistant to stains, and liquids will simply pool on top rather than seeping into its texture. With this feature, your countertops will remain in pristine condition for many years to come!

On the other hand, Marble is a porous material which absorbs liquids quickly. This can make it more prone to bacteria and staining from acidic or brightly-colored foods like beets or tomatoes, as well as red wine.

To keep your marble looking its best, you must remember to seal it periodically to avert staining. An uncomplicated test can tell you if resealing is necessary– simply pour a bit of water on the surface and take note of how it’s absorbed. If the area dimmed quickly, then applying more sealant is essential; however, if the liquid sits there for multiple minutes without darkening or lightening in color – success! Your marble has been safely sealed.

Low-Maintenance Elegance: Choosing the Right Countertop

Soapstone is an incredibly low-maintenance material due to its non-porous nature, which protects it from bacteria and stains. The gorgeous patina that develops over time can be enhanced with the application of mineral oil – a simple task! Clean and dry your soapstone, apply some mineral oil onto a clean cloth, then wipe in circular motions. Afterwards take another cushiony cloth and remove any residuals. To make sure your countertop maintains its beautiful shine for years to come, simply follow this process over the first few months after installation!

Marble, in contrast to other materials, requires consistent sealing for a continued beautiful look. Every six months or so you have to properly clean and dry the top surface of your marble countertop and apply sealant. Then allow it to completely dry. Afterwards, wait 24 hours until the curing process is complete. And if you’d rather not be bothered, you can hire experienced professionals who can do this task for you.

It’s evident that soapstone is a more convenient option for those seeking low-maintenance, but for those who relish the upkeep and are willing to tend to their marble countertops, they shall be rewarded with a timeless beauty. The choice, as with all things in life, comes down to one’s priorities and preferences.

Porous vs Non-Porous: Understanding Countertop Material Properties

Soapstone and marble are two distinct materials with differing properties when it comes to their ability to resist liquids and bacteria. Soapstone is non-porous, meaning liquids bead up on its surface and do not penetrate into the stone. This makes soapstone naturally resistant to staining and bacteria.

Conversely, marble is porous and liquids can easily seep into its surface, resulting in staining. This could be an issue when dealing with foods like red wine or acidic fruits (e.g tomatoes or lemons). To keep your marble looking pristine for longer periods of time, you should clean up spills promptly and seal it regularly. A simple way to determine if resealing is necessary is to drop a small amount of water on the surface – if it quickly absorbs or darkens, then it’s high time you reseal!

Even simple things like a sweating water bottle or a dripping colander can cause staining on marble. To avoid this, it’s recommended to keep the marble sealed and reseal it often. In contrast, soapstone is much easier to maintain, with only the occasional application of mineral oil necessary to enhance its natural darkening process.

Heat-Resistant Haven: Finding the Right Countertop for Your Kitchen

As we explore our options in terms of heat resistance, let us not overlook the remarkable properties of soapstone and marble. Boasting a dense yet malleable composition, soapstone is an ideal choice for any kitchen setting; its capability to withstand heat with minimal effort allows you to place anything from hot pans straight off the stove or oven without scorching your countertops! This feature makes it a valuable option that should be given due consideration when choosing materials for your home.

Although not as heat-tolerant as soapstone, marble can still endure a fair amount of warmth. The degree to which it is able to do so, however, varies according the type and hue – some varieties may have greater capacity for withstanding temperature than others. Therefore, when selecting your marble slab be mindful that you check its specific capabilities in order to avoid discoloration from burns or other damage. To stay safe on the precautionary side using trivets is highly recommended if you’re opting for white or light gray marbles specially since they are more sensitive against heat changes.

The Fix is In: Repairing Your Countertop Surface

When it comes to repairs, soapstone and marble have distinct differences. Fortunately for you, soapstone is easier to repair than the latter- scratches or minor dents can be easily buffed out with mineral oil or sandpaper. Additionally, its nonporous properties make it more resistant to stains; making less work for you in regards to maintenance of your kitchen countertop!

By contrast, fixing marble is a much more difficult task. If your marble countertop gets scratched, gouged, cracked or stained it can be exceedingly hard to restore its previous beauty.

If you’re looking to repair your marble countertop, DIY epoxy kits may be an option; however, they are usually rather noticeable and do not blend in with the surrounding surface. To bring back its original, unblemished beauty, it’s essential that you hire a professional who has expertise working with this particular material.

While both materials have their pros and cons, soapstone is a more practical option for those who want a low-maintenance countertop that can withstand daily wear and tear. Marble is a beautiful option that requires more care and attention, but it’s worth it if you’re looking for a high-end look and feel in your kitchen.

In Stock and Ready to Serve: Availability of Countertop Materials

When it comes to availability, both soapstone and marble are relatively accessible materials, but there are some key differences to keep in mind. When it comes to marble, finding a single slab for a long countertop is relatively straightforward. This is because marble is quarried in large blocks, which can be cut into longer slabs. However, this also means that marble countertops can be more expensive, as the cost of the larger slab is reflected in the final product.

Soapstone, on the other hand, is quarried in slabs that typically run about 7 feet long. While this is sufficient for many kitchen countertops, it can be challenging to find longer slabs of soapstone. In some cases, multiple slabs may need to be joined together to create the desired length, which can affect the overall appearance of the countertop. Additionally, soapstone is known for its unique, mottled appearance, which can make it difficult to match multiple slabs seamlessly.

Both soapstone and marble are readily available, but the choice between the two may come down to the specific needs of your kitchen renovation project. If you’re looking for a single, long slab for your countertop, marble may be the easier option. However, if you prefer the unique, natural appearance of soapstone, you may be willing to work around its limitations and find a solution that works for you.

Counter Culture: The Popularity of Different Countertop Materials

In recent years, the popularity of kitchen countertop materials has been hotly debated among homeowners and interior designers alike. While some may argue that marble countertops are the ultimate in luxury and sophistication, others believe that soapstone offers a unique and timeless appeal. So, which one is more popular?

According to Google Trends, it appears that marble countertops have been on the rise for the past two decades, steadily gaining popularity and recognition as a top choice for kitchen countertops. On the other hand, soapstone countertops had a brief peak in popularity in 2014, but have since declined in popularity.

While this data may suggest that marble is the current front-runner in terms of popularity, it’s important to keep in mind that personal taste and individual style preferences play a large role in choosing a kitchen countertop material. Soapstone may not be as widely sought after as marble, but it still has a dedicated following of fans who appreciate its unique look and durability.

Budgeting for Beauty: The Cost of Countertop Materials

When it comes to cost, the price of soapstone and marble countertops can vary greatly depending on the type, quality, and location of the material. On average, soapstone slabs are priced between $55 to $120 per square foot, making it a relatively expensive option for kitchen countertops; higher-end marbles like Calacatta are even pricier than soapstone and may cost $200 or more per square foot. Most marble countertops, however, are comparably priced or even cheaper than soapstone, with prices ranging between $40 to $100 per square foot on average.

It’s important to keep in mind that the cost of the countertops themselves is just one aspect of the overall cost of a kitchen remodel. Installation costs, shipping fees, and disposal fees also play a significant role in the total cost of the project. Installation costs will vary depending on the complexity of the installation, the size of the countertops, and the location. Shipping fees can also be a factor, especially if you are purchasing the materials from a supplier that is located far from your home. Disposal fees may also apply if you need to dispose of your old countertops in order to make way for the new ones.

Expert Opinions

When it comes to choosing the right countertop material for your kitchen, opinions from experts in the field can be incredibly valuable. To that end, we’ve consulted with several top design firms, marble and soapstone retailers, and gathered their thoughts on the key differences between soapstone and marble countertops.

First and foremost, experts agree that both soapstone and marble offer unique and beautiful options for your kitchen. However, they do have some distinct differences that can impact your decision-making process.

Many experts in the field note that soapstone is known for its durability and heat resistance, making it a great choice for busy kitchens where hot pots and pans are frequently placed on the countertops. On the other hand, marble is often praised for its elegant appearance and the fact that it can be found in a variety of colors and patterns.

When it comes to maintenance, experts say that soapstone is relatively low-maintenance and can be easily repaired with a bit of sandpaper or mineral oil. However, repairing marble can be a bit more challenging and may require the assistance of a professional.

Another key difference that experts point out is the porosity of each material. Soapstone is non-porous, meaning it won’t stain or absorb liquids, while marble is porous and can be prone to staining if not properly sealed.

Experts note that the cost of soapstone and marble countertops can vary greatly depending on the specific type of material, as well as the cost of installation and shipping. Soapstone typically ranges between $55-$120 per square foot, while marble can range anywhere from $40-$100 per square foot.

Overall, experts agree that both soapstone and marble offer unique benefits and drawbacks, and that the choice between the two will come down to personal preference and practical considerations. Whether you’re looking for a durable, low-maintenance option or an elegant and stylish option, both materials are sure to offer something that fits the bill.

Soapstone Countertops: A Touch of Rustic Elegance

Soapstone, as it turns out, isn’t that old bar of soap that seems like it was always on your grandmother’s soap dish in the bathroom, but actually a naturally occurring metamorphic rock that feels soft to the touch but in reality is a dense, and seriously heavy stone, that is perfect for use as kitchen countertops. With a mineral talc content that can sometimes give it a greenish hue, soapstone has become a popular choice for those seeking a rustic look in their kitchen.

But what makes soapstone a “good idea” for a countertop material? First and foremost, its low maintenance is a major draw. Unlike some other natural stone countertop materials, soapstone is non-porous and won’t stain easily, even with everyday use. It also has a high resistance to heat, meaning hot pans and hot water won’t cause any damage. And, if it does get scratched or nicked, a simple mineral oil treatment will have it looking as good as new in no time.

But that’s not all. Unlike other natural stone countertop materials, soapstone darkens over time, creating a beautiful patina that add charm as your countertop ages. And, with a range of different colors and shades available, from dark gray to a lighter greenish hue, you’re sure to find the perfect soapstone countertop to suit your taste.

So, is soapstone the “best option” for your kitchen? Well, that depends on your personal preference and needs. If you’re looking for a natural stone countertop material that requires little maintenance, is durable, and has a unique, rustic look, then soapstone is definitely worth considering. But, if you’re looking for a more elegant and polished look, with a wider range of color options, then marble or quartz countertops might be a better choice for you.

The Timeless Elegance of Marble Countertops

If you’re in the market for a new countertop, you’ve likely come across this option. Marble is a popular choice, after all, it’s been used in building and decorating for centuries – just think of the Taj Mahal!

Marble is a type of natural stone material, made from the mineral calcite and is known for its delicate patina and elegant look. It’s also known for its delicate nature – it’s a softer material and therefore more prone to scratches and stains. This is why it’s essential to consider the daily basis of use and whether or not you’re willing to put in the effort to maintain its appearance.

Carrara marble is one of the most popular marble stones and is a good option if you’re looking for a bright white color with a light gray veining. But don’t be fooled, there are various types of marble to choose from, each with its own unique coloring and veining, making it a great choice if you’re looking for a lot of color options.

While marble is a popular choice, it’s not the best option for everyone. It’s a porous material, which means it can stain easily if not properly sealed on a regular basis. And, if you’re prone to placing hot pans on your countertop, beware – the heat can leave a burn mark.

Marble countertops are an excellent choice for those looking for an elegant and high-end look. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that marble requires regular maintenance and may not be the best option for those with a busy lifestyle. If you’re willing to put in the effort to keep your marble countertops looking their best, then and want that really high-end look & feel for your kitchen then this could be the right choice for you.

The Conundrum of Choosing a Natural Stone Countertop

In the world of interior design, natural stone countertops have been a staple of sophistication and elegance. For thousands of years natural stone has been a symbol of strength, durability, and timelessness.

Among the most popular natural stone countertops are soapstone and marble, and for good reason too.

Soapstone and marble are both beautiful, but each has its own unique qualities that make it stand out. Soapstone is a rock that’s soft to the touch, but insanely dense and heavy that is composed mostly of mineral talc, which gives it a soft, smooth feel. The greenish hue and dark gray coloring of soapstone is an excellent complement to a rustic or antique look, and the mineral oil treatment gives it a darker shade over time. Soapstone is also a low-maintenance stone, and its non-porous nature makes it stain resistant.

Marble, however, is a metamorphic rock that has emerged from the intense heat and pressure of the Earth’s crust. It captivates us with its intricate veining patterns and its capability to come in distinctive colors – ranging from commonly observed white hues to luxurious blue and red variations. Carrara marble specifically is renowned amongst many due to its striking white background coupled with light gray veins which have become synonymous with sophistication. Even though it may appear flawless at first sight, marble remains porous in nature thus needing constant upkeep like mineral oil applications for preserving its aesthetics over time.

Quartzite and granite are two other natural stone materials that are worth considering for your countertops. Both are known for their hardness and durability, but each has its own unique look and feel. Granite is a type of igneous rock that is formed from the solidification of molten magma, and it is one of the hardest minerals on the Mohs hardness scale. Quartzite, on the other hand, is a metamorphic rock that is formed from the heating and recrystallization of sandstone. Both granite and quartzite come in a variety of colors, from the lightest of grays to the darkest of blacks, and can be found in large slabs for your countertops.

Natural stone countertops are an excellent addition to any home, and the choice between soapstone, marble, granite, and quartzite depends on personal preference, budget, and how willing you are to spend the time doing the upkeep that’s required for some of them. Each stone has its own unique characteristics and qualities that make it a beautiful and functional addition to your home. Whether you prefer the soft, smooth feel of soapstone or the luxurious look of marble, natural stone countertops are a timeless investment in your home’s aesthetic.

Other Considerations for Natural Stone Countertops

The entire process of choosing a countertop material should take into account not only the durability, but also the ease of maintenance. A better choice for a durable countertop would be one that is not only hard and long-lasting, but also low-maintenance.


Can soapstone or marble be used in bathrooms?

Both soapstone and marble can be used in bathrooms, but soapstone is a better option due to its resistance to moisture and staining.

How does the weight of soapstone and marble differ?

Soapstone is much heavier than marble, which can make it difficult to handle during installation. Soapstone is actually heavier than granite.

Which material is better for handling heat, soapstone or marble?

Both materials can tolerate heat, but soapstone is better able to handle heat without risking damage.

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Rob Orr

Me and my family have lived through a nightmare of a remodeling project gone wrong, making countless mistakes including placing trust in the wrong hands. Despite these setbacks, we took matters into our own hands for many aspects of the remodel, ensuring quality workmanship guided by expert advice. Through my personal experiences, I've created My mission is not only to share the pitfalls we encountered but also the successes we achieved by combining our efforts with trusted professionals. By sharing both the highs and lows of our journey, I aim to help others navigate their own remodeling projects with greater confidence, ensuring they benefit from our lessons learned.

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