natural, multicolored soapstone rock

About Soapstone

Soapstone is a beautiful unique stone with
incredible heat properties.

Man is sanding a black soapstone slab.

What is Soapstone?

Soapstone (also known as satiate or soaprock) is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock. It is a very dense and magnesium rich variation of talc. These minerals in combination with several environmental factors during the metamorphic process create the stone’s soapy texture. Soapstone typically manifests in a gray or grayish-green color with varying degrees of white veins of pure talc. The surface of soapstone is most commonly sold with a smooth, honed finish which is similar to a polish. However, it differs in the fact that it is non-reflective. Other finishes (such as lathered) are also available.

Man is carving a soapstone sink.

History of Soapstone

Ancient civilizations found various uses for soapstone. The high talc content provided softer and more manageable carving products. Soapstone was first discovered in America by Native Americans. Domestic soapstone derives geologically from a line of talc and accompanying miner deposits that run along the Appalachian Mountains from New England to Georgia.

A newly installed black soapstone sink with white veins.

Soapstone and Early Settlers

Early colonial settlers found it an ideal stone for many applications and it can still be found in historic residences throughout the original 13 colonies. It provided these early users with superior thermal properties and natural acid resistance. Many colonial fireplaces were lined with soapstone and settlers would often fashion farmhouse box sinks from the resistant material.

A soapstone hearth installed under a wood stove with a light-colored backsplash and brown, wooden floors in a contemporary home with an open door.

Soapstone Today

Today, we enjoy many of these same great properties and soapstone has resurfaced as an increasingly popular material of choice in American homes. Due to soapstone's remarkable acid resistant properties it has become incredibly useful in countertops and bar tops where products like vinegar, wine or lemons are stored. Furthermore, the way soapstone naturally absorbs and evenly distributes heat lends itself perfectly for use in fireplace surrounds, wood burning stoves, and even cookware!

Light gray, unoiled soapstone counters and sink installed in a kitchen with reddish, brown cabinets and dark green floor.

Where does Genoa Soapstone come from?

The large blocks needed to produce full sized slabs are rare in the Northern Hemisphere. This is due to the destructive impact of ice glaciers and our frequent freeze/thaw cycles which naturally break up stone formations. After centuries of consumption, large blocks of soapstone are almost non-existent in US quarries. To obtain large slabs, Genoa Soapstone imports all its slabs from Brazil (a country which was spared the effects of glacial ice and seasonal freezing). Our Soapstone is prized for its structural quality and beauty. It is available in a number of colors reflecting the slightly different background tones and variation of its veining.

How do I maintain my Genoa Soapstone?

Our soapstone requires very little maintenance due to the fact that it will not absorb liquids and does not need any special handling around heat or acids. In the beginning, we recommend the application of mineral oil to assist in the oxidation process and to develop a homogeneous color. Over time, this color will 'set' and oiling will no longer be necessary. In some circumstances new scratches in soapstone will appear as thin white lines. This is simply residual talc dust and further application of mineral oil will remove this dust and restore its lustrous dark color. Deeper scratches can be first removed by hand using a #150 or higher sandpaper. Gently rub over the scratches then follow up by reapplying a touch of mineral oil. As for cleaning on a daily basis, any household cleaner will do fine with the soapstone. Usually, soap and water are sufficient.

What is Soapstone?

Soapstone (also known as satiate or soaprock) is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock. It is a very dense and magnesium rich variation of talc. These minerals in combination with several environmental factors during the metamorphic process create the stone’s soapy texture. Soapstone typically manifests in a gray or grayish-green color with varying degrees of white veins of pure talc. The surface of soapstone is most commonly sold with a smooth, honed finish which is similar to a polish. However, it differs in the fact that it is non-reflective. Other finishes (such as lathered) are also available.

Man is sanding a black soapstone slab.

History of Soapstone

Ancient civilizations found various uses for soapstone. The high talc content provided softer and more manageable carving products. Soapstone was first discovered in America by Native Americans. Domestic soapstone derives geologically from a line of talc and accompanying miner deposits that run along the Appalachian Mountains from New England to Georgia.

Man is carving a soapstone sink.

Soapstone and Early Settlers

Early colonial settlers found it an ideal stone for many applications and it can still be found in historic residences throughout the original 13 colonies. It provided these early users with superior thermal properties and natural acid resistance. Many colonial fireplaces were lined with soapstone and settlers would often fashion farmhouse box sinks from the resistant material.

A black, oiled soapstone sink installed on white cabinets.

Soapstone Today

Today, we enjoy many of these same great properties and soapstone has resurfaced as an increasingly popular material of choice in American homes. Due to soapstone's remarkable acid resistant properties it has become incredibly useful in countertops and bar tops where products like vinegar, wine or lemons are stored. Furthermore, the way soapstone naturally absorbs and evenly distributes heat lends itself perfectly for use in fireplace surrounds, wood burning stoves, and even cookware!

A soapstone hearth installed under a wood stove with a light-colored backsplash and brown, wooden floors in a contemporary home with an open door.

Where does Genoa Soapstone come from?

The large blocks needed to produce full sized slabs are rare in the Northern Hemisphere. This is due to the destructive impact of ice glaciers and our frequent freeze/thaw cycles which naturally break up stone formations. After centuries of consumption, large blocks of soapstone are almost non-existent in US quarries. To obtain large slabs, Genoa Soapstone imports all its slabs from Brazil (a country which was spared the effects of glacial ice and seasonal freezing). Our Soapstone is prized for its structural quality and beauty. It is available in a number of colors reflecting the slightly different background tones and variation of its veining.

Light gray, unoiled soapstone counters and sink installed in a kitchen with reddish, brown cabinets and dark green floor.

How do I maintain my Genoa Soapstone?

Our soapstone requires very little maintenance due to the fact that it will not absorb liquids and does not need any special handling around heat or acids. In the beginning, we recommend the application of mineral oil to assist in the oxidation process and to develop a homogeneous color. Over time, this color will 'set' and oiling will no longer be necessary. In some circumstances new scratches in soapstone will appear as thin white lines. This is simply residual talc dust and further application of mineral oil will remove this dust and restore its lustrous dark color. Deeper scratches can be first removed by hand using a #150 or higher sandpaper. Gently rub over the scratches then follow up by reapplying a touch of mineral oil. As for cleaning on a daily basis, any household cleaner will do fine with the soapstone. Usually, soap and water are sufficient.

Want to see some of our past work in soapstone?

Contact

Our Office

Have any questions about our soapstone or services? We are here to help! Give us a call!

or feel free to stop by our showroom.

Downtown Sacramento

1-916-382-4131

office@genoasoapstone.com

1219 C St, Sacramento, California 95814


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