Quartz Countertops vs. Soapstone

Quartz and soapstone are two popular materials for kitchen countertops. Here at Bedrock Quartz, we don’t do soapstone. We do quartz countertops, along with marble and granite, and we do it quite well. Do you know the difference between quartz and soapstone as a countertop material?Actually, the differences are many and varied. Yet the most prominent difference between the two is this: while both quartz and soapstone are natural materials, quartz countertops are manufactured products while soapstone countertops are not. Allow us to explain.How Quartz Countertops Are MadeQuartz is a naturally occurring mineral found most bountifully in silica sand. Every quartz countertop starts out as a load of sand from which the quartz needs to be separated. The quartz is then mixed with a variety of resins that hold everything together and provide the desired color and veining. Finally, the material is formed into slabs.Manufacturing quartz countertops is necessary because, on their own, small quartz pieces would not hold together. In addition, the manufacturing process offers the ability to create countertops in just about any color. Even veining can be customized to achieve the perfect look every time.If that’s not enough, a variety of resins can be mixed and matched to achieve different kinds of products. Resin choice can affect everything from the finished look to how easy a quartz product is to work with. You simply get a lot of variability with quartz.How Soapstone Countertops Are MadeSoapstone is a naturally occurring stone made up largely of steatite and talc. It is found around the world in places like India, Brazil, and the U.S. It’s extracted from quarries just like marble and granite. Every soapstone countertop begins its life as a block of quarried stone.The block is literally cut into individual slabs. Then the slabs are further cut and polished in preparation for installation as countertops. Contractors measure soapstone countertops to fit, doing the final cuts on site.As you might imagine, you don’t get as many options with soapstone. Samples extracted from soapstone quarries can vary from one to the next, but you don’t have the ability to create an unlimited number of colors and visual textures. A slab is what it is.Both Have Their Pros and ConsIf you are thinking that both quartz and soapstone have their pros and cons, you’re absolutely right. One of the biggest advantages quartz countertops have is their durability. They can withstand an awful lot. It is no stretch to say that quartz countertops are the most durable among all stone materials.You don’t ever have to seal quartz. You do not have to worry too much about staining. You’ll want to be careful with hot pots and dishes, just because doing so is a wise idea. But it is not likely that a quartz countertop will ever be damaged by a hot pot.Soapstone doesn’t have to be sealed either. It is also pretty resilient in terms of staining and heat resistance. The big downside to soapstone is that it scratches very easily. You can take the scratches out with a little bit of sanding. However, you’ll change the look of the surface. That means you will not have an even surface across the entire countertop.The Choice Is YoursQuartz and soapstone are two countertop materials homeowners seem to want right now. If you are looking to install new countertops in your kitchen, the choice is ultimately yours. If you prefer quartz, and we hope that this is the case, feel free to visit any of our Utah showrooms. You’re going to love our quartz products.