Soapstone is an abundant kind of metamorphic rock. It is naturally quarried and can be found in many places in the world but is most abundant in countries like Brazil and China.
While considered “soft” because of the soapy feel of its surface, it is still quite hard and is very much resilient. Like granite and marble, soapstone is likewise non-porous so it will not stain. It is also water-resistant, which is why it is a good alternative for a kitchen countertop material. The downside of it is that it can be scratched. If you want to adorn your house with sculptures or carvings, soapstone is a good material.
Lately though, people have found a way to produce a soapstone-like material, which is actually resin made out of a casting mold. Of course, nothing beats the original. So if you want to know if the soapstone you are about to use as material for your kitchen countertop, or perhaps for your garden ornament, then read on.
There are two simple tests, both of which you can do by yourself.
- Get a standard straight pin and heat it up. Take note that it should be really hot. Push it into the bottom of the material being tested. If the pin melts, then it absolutely isn’t soapstone.
- The equally simple test is done by scraping the bottom of the material. Real soapstone should yield odorless trimmings. Naturally the will feel like talcum powder.
While soapstone is considered “soft,” a diamond blade can still be used to cut it. It is in fact a better choice than a masonry blade, as any expert would tell you. It simply makes faster and more precise cuts, no question about it. It is best to look into manufacturers that offer a wide array of specialty blades.