What is Soapstone?

It is not something you can wash your body with nor does it smell anything like the rainbows and happyness but incredibly I am commonly asked “Do they make soap with it?”.  No they do not and I have actually had the enjoyment of watching people attempt to sniff a slab of it.  The name soapstone derives its’ name from the feel and texture of it commonly described as feeling “soapy”.

Soapstone, like many others that we have in our warehouse, is a metamorphic rock comprised primarily of the mineral talc and is therefore rich in magnesium.  Talc you may know from a store-bought substance called talcum powder or more commonly known baby powder.  The metamorphism that takes place to make soapstone is caused by massive amounts of heat and pressure from the moving tectonic plates that the crust of our planet is comprised of.

Soapstone is one of the oldest stones used by man  because of its naturally soft structure and ability to be easily molded into many shapes. It has been found in ancient cities all over the world in statues, buildings, and everyday items like jugs, utensils, and even smoking pipes. The Vikings used to use this stuff to shape into cooking pots and then sold them at home and abroad.

Modern day uses of soapstone range from electrical equipment to statues such as the famous Christ the Redeemer.  Soapstone is a very soft it is easy to mold, very good at distributing and heat evenly, and also resists heat so it has several uses in the modern world.  It is used for fire place mantles and cooking pots as well as castings for pewter and silver in modern manufacturing.  The most important thing that I use soapstone for, other than my counter top and fireplace hart is my whiskey stones! Whiskey stones are made from soapstone, you put them in the freezer and then can put them in your drink to cool it without diluting it.

If you are remodeling your kitchen, installing or replacing a fire place hearth we would love for you to contact Sun Marble at 913.438.3366 so we can discuss with you our selection of soapstone.  You can visit our gallery here or email us at sales@sunmarblekc.com. We are open Monday-Friday 8am-5pm and Saturdays 10am-3pm or by special appointment.

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