All About Soapstone

Fantasy Soapstone from Brazil is a beautiful, soft blue-gray with dramatic quartz veining.

Do you remember your high school chemistry class? If so, you might recall the black countertops the Bunsen burners sat on. Those countertops are made of soapstone, a metamorphic rock that consists of talc, steatite, magnesite, quartz, and other magnesium rich minerals. Soapstone is the countertop material of choice for chemistry classes because its chemically inert composition and high density make it impervious to stains and bacteria. The qualities that make soapstone a good choice for chemistry classes are the same qualities that make it good choice for kitchens and bathrooms.

Physical Characteristics of Soapstone

The talc found in soapstone is soft to the touch, lending a smooth feeling of  dry soap, which is how soapstone got its name. The colors of soapstone are typically medium gray and can have a greenish cast or bluish cast (the greener the slab, the softer it is, so seek out slabs with less of a green cast if you want a harder slab). Soapstone slabs can contain pronounced veining, which is produced by quartz in the stone.

Qualities of Soapstone

Durability is one of soapstone’s top features. It’s unaffected by heat (it was often used for wood-burning stoves from the 1800s that are still functioning today) so you can place your hot pans and pots directly on the surface with no risk.

Unlike granite, marble, and quartzite, soapstone is not porous. This means that you can put raw foods on the countertop without worrying about bacteria growth. It never needs sealing and cannot be stained.

The talc content is what makes soapstone softer than some other stones, which leads to edges and corners being eased over time. Nicks and scratches may accumulate, but they can be easily rubbed or sanded out or considered part of its patina.

Caring for Soapstone

Soap and water is all you need. Because of its extreme density, soapstone is naturally resistant to bacteria and germs. Use a bit of mild, pH balanced, clear dish soap when you want a heavier clean than just water. As with marble and granite, do not use any acidic or heavy duty cleaners on your soapstone.

Many homeowners like to oil or wax their soapstone once or twice a year. This keeps the color more vibrant and will bring out a charcoal to black color. This is an optional treatment. If you don’t treat your soapstone, it will develop a beautiful patina over the years.

Little white scratches on your soapstone countertops can usually just be wiped away with your hand or a bit of mineral oil. If you really cut hard with a knife, or accidentally drop something heavy onto the stone, you may get a nick or scratch that can’t be wiped away with water or oil. In that case, the scratch can be sanded out. Use three sandpaper pads (60, 100, and 220 grit), and lightly sand the spot in a circular motion with each, starting with the lowest grit. Then wipe off any dust and use mineral oil or water to restore the color. It’s that easy.

The ageless beauty of soapstone is at home in any design style and will be an asset to any project. Here’s a look at some beautiful uses of soapstone in kitchens and baths.

Chestnut Hill kitchen
updated kitchen
Crocus Hill Kitchen
Interior Paint Projects
Elk Ridge Lodge
SoHo NYC Loft Kitchen With Virginia Alberene Soapstone
San Francisco Edwardian Home
Northwest Guest Bathroom
Spa-Like Bathroom
To see even more beautiful soapstone countertops, click over to our Pinterest board! 
Prestige Marble and Granite offers quality sopastone, in addition to many other beautiful stone varieties. Whatever stone you choose, rest assured our experienced fabricators can handle the job!

Benjamin Moore’s 2017 Color of the Year is a Master of Ambiance

Benjamin Moore 2017 Color of the Year Shadow

Substantially more dramatic than last year’s Simply White, Benjamin Moore’s just-announced 2017 Color of the year is a rich, deep royal amethyst that’s “allusive and enigmatic.”  Shadow is a “master of ambiance,” according to Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore Creative Director.

It is a color that calls to mind a ‘past’, yet it can also make a contemporary, color-confident statement.

 

The dark and moody hue is part of a bolder “Color Trends” palette that Benjamin Moore says reflects consumers’ newfound level of confidence in using deeper, saturated colors.

Benjamin Moore 2017 Color Trends Palette
Benjamin’s Moore Color Trends 2017 palette features 23 rich and sophisticated hues ranging from muted pales to saturated deeps

Shadow is sophisticated and seductive, a versatile hue that can be many things, according to O’Neill in an Architectural Digest Q&A:

It is a little bit rock and roll. It’s the color of the galaxy but also the color of a beautiful fig. It’s passion, it’s bravery, but it’s also silence. It can be electrified or softened.

 

Are you ready to incorporate this smoky purple in your interiors?

Wherever your color choices take you, Prestige Marble & Granite has the natural stone countertops to complement and enhance your design. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom any time!

Purple Reign: Two Royal Colors of the Year for 2017

Byzantine Blue & Silverado

It appears that purple is the “it” color for 2017,  with two different shades of the regal hue named separately by PPG sister paint companies Glidden and Pittsburgh Paints.

Byzantine Blue

Glidden named “Byzantine Blue,” a serene gray violet, as its 2017 Color of the year. According to Misty Yeomans, color marketing manager for parent company PPG

The name may say blue, but Byzantine Blue is truly a purple in disguise…It stretches the boundaries of purple to borrow all the best qualities of blue and gray, making it an appealing color choice for nearly any room…Byzantine Blue is a perfect shade for all ages. It is also gender-neutral, making it easy to use throughout your home.

This purple works particularly well with earthy colors that promote a sense of tranquility and wellness, from brown-toned neutrals to charcoal and blues and greens infused with gray.

Silverado

Pittsburgh Paints chose to go with Silverado, after studying consumers’ growing fascination with space, spirituality, technology and time. Silverado perfectly mimics the deep, mysterious yet organic tones of outer space which it describes as “a deep, mystic purple that pairs perfectly with trending gray tones.”

Subtle neutral-gray tones within this muted purple give it versatility, making it a  good choice for a variety of spaces, from children’s rooms to dining rooms or even front doors. When paired with neutral finishes and earth tones Silverado promotes wellness and takes on a holistic feel, another sign of its versatility.

Wherever your color choices take you, Prestige Marble & Granite has the natural stone countertops to complement and enhance your design. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom any time!

“Poised Taupe” is Sherwin Williams’ 2017 Color of the Year

Sherwin Williams' Color of the Year: Poised Taupe

The color Sherwin Williams anticipates defining 2017 is Poised Taupe, and here’s why: “This timeless neutral is modern, classic and a beautiful balance of warm and cool.”

Cool gray has been the reigning neutral in the design world the past few years, and it remains strong, but is now beginning to feel a little too cold and industrial for some. Poised Taupe has what people love about cool gray, but it also brings in the warmth of brown.

“It’s like gray and brown had a baby, and it became taupe.”

That’s how Sue Wadden, the director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams, described the color on the Today Show. That’s a good description because taupe is not hot or cold, gray or brown, dark or light. It lives somewhere in the lukewarm middle between brown and gray.

According to Sherwin Williams:

“Poised Taupe creates a cozy lifestyle and brings a sense of sanctuary into our homes. It diffuses the stresses of the world outside our doors — so much so that we feel restored and in balance when we walk across our threshold.”

This feeling of coziness is what the Danes call hygge (pronounced hue-gah), a feeling that comes from creating the right atmosphere. Poised Taupe is just the color to conjure up hygge, according to Sherwin Williams.

Are you ready for some hygge in your home? Get inspired with this look at some beautiful spaces that utilize Poised Taupe:

There’s no doubt this cozy bedroom in Poised Taupe exudes welcoming warmth.

2010 Southern Living Showcase Home
Poised Taupe is a great choice for this monochromatic kitchen. And its a fabulous complement to the natural stone countertops!
Thermador
This dining room is sleek and modern, but the Poised Taupe on the ceiling adds warmth that might otherwise be lacking.
Tanglewood Residence
This contemporary living room shows that poised Taupe is definitely versatile, pairing well with the blue and yellow accents.
The Carlyle
When it comes to your countertops, Prestige Marble & Granite is here to help you with a vast selection of unique, exotic and rare natural stones from around the world. Our knowledgeable staff will guide you through selection, layout, design and installation. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom any time!