I'm a serious amateur sculptor and painter, and am getting into
marble this summer. For sculptors, for quality figurative work,
alabaster, limestone, marble, or *maybe*
soapstone are the only real
options; with very different qualities.
But I ask about countertops merely out of curiosity.
We have granite in our kitchen. No more expensive than Corian,
much thicker and classier and beautiful than mere formica. The finish
can be scratched, and it looks like in parts the finish hasn't
penetrated the veining; but it can always be recoated-- the granite
itself is very hard.
It seems ideal. SO, why do people use soapstone? I scratch my
head. For sculpture, it has a very fine grain if any; it's not porous
at all. But I don't see that as an issue in granite? It also is so
very soft; talc is lower on the Moh's scale than a fingernail!! It
can be pretty, but not as brilliant as granite. I'm not in the
construction industry, I'm just speculating here. Why do people get
soapstone? Is it very cheap, or is it just a particular look, damn
the durability issues; or because of being non-porous and requiring no
finish, is it super-sanitary?
Finally, why get marble for a countertop? I'm not quite so
confused with marble as with soapstone; but granite would still seem
to be better? Or, just a visual aesthetic that people will sacrifice
material properties for?