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Where Is Soapstone Found?

where-is-soapstone-found

ANSWER:

Soapstone is found across the globe with the biggest deposits in Brazil.  The United States, Asia, and Europe also have significant quantities of soapstone.

More Info: Soapstone is formed beneath the earth’s surface and found across the globe. On a hardness scale of 1 to 10, diamonds are 10 and soapstone is 1. Soapstone is soft because it contains a large amount of talc. The soapy feeling comes from the high talc content.

Brazilian Soapstone – The Best and Biggest

Where is soapstone found in the largest quantities? Brazil, in the states of Minas Gerais and Goias, has the biggest deposits with the best quality. This soapstone typically comes in warm green, yellow green, caramel, yellow-gold, brown colors.

United States Deposits

North Carolina has the most soapstone mines and quarries, with Massachusetts and New Hampshire close behind. Though currently used as an insulator in construction, more countertops are using United States sources.

Asia

Asian soapstone comes in a unique, wide variety of colors such as deep purple to pink, gray to black, white, plus shades of green. For 1000s of years continuing today, their soapstone is made into various cooking pots, teapots, plates, boxes, and vases. China and India are primary sources.

Europe

Finland and northern Italy have significant soapstone deposits, though smaller than Brazil, that has been used for centuries for wood burning stoves since soapstone holds heat well.

What Is Soapstone Used for?

Brazil’s soapstone is quarried in large slabs that may often be made into countertops for the kitchen, bathroom and island countertops, desktops and wide surfaces.

How Is Soapstone Priced?

What matters the most when pricing soapstone is: its weight, thickness, surface area and colors. Low-end soapstone ranges from $70 to $100 and can be purchased as a slab of soapstone. Its price comes from how thick it is, not its surface area. A thicker slab, 2 and ½ inches, may cost $90 to $100. Customized soapstone countertops typically cost over $300 and typically cut with special edge details or in a unique shape.

 

Resources

“Soapstone Countertops.” Ask the Builder – The Home Improvement Resource. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2010. <askthebuilder.com/802_Soapstone_Countertops.shtml>

What Is Soapstone?.” Vermont Soapstone. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Aug. 2010. http://www.vermontsoapstone.com/soapstone.asp.

“Ask GEO Man.” University of Oregon. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Aug. 2010. <jersey.uoregon.edu/~mstrick/AskGeoMan/geoQuerry47.html>.

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