Soapstone is a metamorphic rock which comes in varying degrees of hardness. It is composed mainly of talc, magnesium silicate and chlorite. Soapstone can be found in several colors including dark grey, olive, or slate blue and may be colored with veining.
Soapstone is popular for kitchen counters because it is durable and bacteria will not penetrate the surface. Soapstone is softer than granite and can take on a unique distressed look over time. To maintain the original color of the stone, mineral oil may be applied to soapstone periodically. If small scratches are not desired, they can be lightly sanded out and then mineral oil reapplied.