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Can soapstone be used in the shower?

Soapstone is often used in the finishing of Jotul and Scan stoves and pre-fabricated fireplaces. We are often asked to explain why soapstone? Soapstone is a metamorphic rock composed primarily of talc with varying amounts of chlorite, mica, carbonates and other minerals. Many people use the name “soapstone” or “soapstone” and this is used interchangeably with “soapstone”. Because soapstone is made primarily of talc, it is very soft. Soapstone is usually grey, bluish, green or brown in color and is often variegated. The name “soapstone” comes from its tactile “soapy” feel, soft to the touch. This sensation is caused by the talc content in the stone. The talc content of architectural soapstone is typically between 50 and 75 percent, making it soft and smooth. However, other minerals in the composition give the stone strength and durability.

Geography of soapstone

Most soapstone deposits were formed between 300 and 400 million years ago and can be found throughout the world. It is known that large centers for the extraction of “soapstone” in the ancient world existed in India and Iran. Today, the most productive soapstone quarries are located in Brazil, the United States, Finland and India. Several natural properties of soapstone make it suitable for use as a lining for wood-burning stoves. The hardness and durability of soapstone can be compared to high-end marble, yet it is relatively easy to manufacture.

As a metamorphic rock, it is very resistant to heat. In fact, soapstone is often used to cast metals such as lead, tin and silver. It was also traditionally used for cooking pots, pizza stones and other cookware, fireplaces, wood stoves, and even smoking pipes.

Soapstone is non-porous, making it stain resistant and limiting the ability of germs and bacteria to penetrate the surface, increasing its hygienic properties. It is also suitable for making shells. Because soapstone is basically talc, which is chemically inert, it is highly resistant to etching and chemical reactions that could ruin its beauty.

Physical properties of soapstone

  • soft and very easy to cut,
  • non-porous – dense stone,
  • low electrical conductivity,
  • heat resistant,
  • high specific heat capacity,
  • resistant to acids and alkalis.

Soapstone does not burn or melt at the combustion temperature of wood, and also has the ability to absorb heat, retain it and radiate it. These properties make it an excellent material for wood stoves. The stove heats up and radiates heat into the room. It also retains heat, keeps the coals hot, and often allows the owner to add wood to the stove without the need for kindling.

Soapstone is chemically inert, heat resistant and durable, but also malleable. These qualities, combined with its beauty and ease of care, made it a suitable option for several uses.

Using Soapstone

Soapstone has a matte finish, so you don’t have to worry about fingerprints or drip marks. And because soapstone is non-porous, it is weather resistant, making it popular as a countertop surface for kitchens or even pool edges.

Soapstone can also be installed vertically or tiled on shower walls. Some architects have also found that soapstone tiles work well for bathroom flooring because of their water resistance and high adhesion.

Because soapstone has low thermal conductivity, it is not as cold in the winter as many other types of tile floors.

Other popular uses for soapstone in the home include fireplaces and wood stoves. Over the past few years, its use has increased significantly in areas with colder climates for use in the manufacture/fabrication of fireplaces and stoves. When used as a fire brick, it can absorb large amounts of heat and radiate softly for several hours.

Our store’s assortment includes stoves and ready-made fireplaces with soapstone cladding. This stone is mainly used for cladding by the Norwegian manufacturer of stoves and fireplaces Jotul, and the Danish manufacturer of stoves Scan.

Making soapstone

Soapstone is a less challenging material for manufacturers. Because the rock is softer than other natural stone materials, the manufacturing process is faster, requires less labor, and does not require the same heavy-duty cutting tools used for harder materials such as granite or quartz.

Soapstone is a beautiful natural stone that can enhance any kitchen or bathroom. It can be used equally well with ultra-modern or rustic decor. It has a warm finish and the properties of the stone make it ideal for countertops in kitchens and bathrooms, stoves and fireplaces.

In this article, the RMNT website will tell you about soapstone, which has two other names – soapstone and soapstone. Let’s find out what properties this natural material has, what is made from it and where it is used.

Soapstone is a metamorphic rock that includes talc, chlorite, mica, carbonates and inclusions of other minerals. Why is it called “soap stone”? It mainly consists of talc, it feels very pleasant, soft, really like soap. The color range is not very rich – in the vast majority of cases soapstone is gray, it can be greenish, bluish and brown, and occasionally variegated stones are found.

The softness and smoothness of soapstone is given by talc, which occupies from 50 to 75% of the composition. But other minerals give the stone durability and strength.

Soapstone has the following properties:

  • Heat resistance, heat resistance and heat capacity.
  • Durability comparable to marble.
  • No porosity. Thanks to its high density, the stone is not afraid of stains, germs and bacteria.
  • Low electrical conductivity.
  • Resistance to alkalis and acids.
  • The stone is soft and very easy to process.

Soapstone’s ability to absorb and retain heat makes it an ideal choice for lining and building wood stoves and fireplaces. The portal mentioned this in articles about building a bathhouse with your own hands and sauna stoves. Such a stove and fireplace will heat up evenly and radiate heat throughout the room, keep the coals hot, and relieve owners from the need for frequent kindling.

In addition to building and lining ovens, soapstone’s heat resistance allows it to be used to make pots, pizza stones, other utensils, and even smoking pipes.

The scope of use of soapstone does not end there. It is used for the following purposes:

  1. Production of kitchen countertops as an alternative to marble.
  2. Creation of countertops for bar counters, including outdoor ones. Temperature changes and moisture are not scary for soapstone.
  3. Production of bathroom sinks and kitchen sinks.
  4. Lining the edges of swimming pools.
  5. Wall cladding in bathrooms, including the shower area.
  6. Tile flooring in different rooms: kitchen, hallway, bathroom, as well as in baths and saunas.
  7. Soapstone cobblestones are used in heater stoves.

Soapstone countertops do not leave fingerprints or stains; they can simply be washed with soapy water. You cannot slip on tiles made from this stone; they are safe. This is actually a very practical, durable, beautiful material for finishing various surfaces and building stoves. The only downside to soapstone is the price. It can reach 5–7 thousand rubles for one tile of 30×30 centimeters. While it’s not that expensive to veneer a heater, you’ll have to spend a lot of money on finishing the floor and walls in the bathroom.

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