Pros of Using Soapstone
Soapstone is loved for its natural beauty and rich marbling. Soapstone is not porous like many other types of stone, so it won’t stain easily, does not need to be sealed, and can be cleaned up with soap and water. You won’t need to worry about spilling wine or acidic foods. The lack of porosity also makes soapstone a healthier choice because there is less risk of bacteria seeping into the stone and possibly causing sickness.
Although sealing is not required to protect soapstone counters, oiling the stone with natural mineral oil can be done for aesthetic purposes. But naturally, over time, the stone inherits an attractive natural, dark patina.
Cons of Soapstone in Countertops
Soapstone contains talc, making it softer than other natural stone. For this reason, it is better for use in kitchen design for low traffic kitchens, shower or bath.
Another benefit of soapstone is its natural heat resistance. Although the stone can handle hot pots and pans, it can still be damaged. Due to the softness of this stone, you will need to use a trivet to prevent damage to the surface of the counter.
Travertine is very porous and somewhat resembles marble. It is formed and imported from areas in Italy, Turkey, Mexico, and the Mid- East.
Travertine countertops create an elegant and delicate aesthetic in the home. The unique veining and imperfections make the stone highly desired. It is great at reflecting light, which helps brighten the kitchen.
Travertine countertops are extremely durable and actually last longer than most other materials. They absorb water and moisture which makes them a good choice for bathrooms.
Travertine is also a natural, environmentally-friendly product.
Probably the biggest drawback of travertine countertops is that they easily react to acids. Even just a bit of citrus-based juice can cause a stain. If any liquid is not immediately wiped off, the surface can be etched.
The slabs must be properly filled and sealed during installation. After the countertops are installed you will also need to reseal them every 2 to 3 years. Also, due to the absorption of liquid, you can end up with bacteria growth, so it’s important to disinfect them regularly.
Travertine is soft stone and scratches easily. Avoid abrasive cleaning materials or products.. It is not easy to repair damage to travertine.
Direct heat CAN NOT be applied to travertine. You will need to use trivets to protect it.
Slate countertops have stellar good looks, great durability and a non-porous surface that makes them easy to clean and require less maintenance than granite, marble or concrete.
Pros of Slate Countertops
Slate is very handsome. Unlike granite, marble and concrete, slate is non-porous. This means that it cleans up very easily and does not harbor bacteria. It won’t absorb liquids, so you won’t get staining from acidic foods as they can’t penetrate the surface.
It won’t easily chip or scratch, and it stands up very well to heat. Hot pans won’t mar the surface.
Cons of Slate Countertops
Corners can be slightly brittle and they are sharp. Many professional installers recommend having the corners rounded off to avoid cracks or injuries.