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The Recommended Uses for Soapstone

Updated:2013-10-30 15:20:52

Soapstone is a metamorphic rock composed mostly of talc. It is also known as steatite or soaprock. Softer than many other kinds of rock, soapstone has been used as a popular carving stone for millennia. Soapstone is an excellent material to consider, including in any remodeling project where a carved design is desired. It is a multi-use building material that can lend a special touch to any home maintenance endeavor.

                                                     

Inlaid Designs
Because it's easy to carve, soapstone is an excellent material to use when you want to include an inlaid design in, for example, your kitchen or bathroom tile. Inlaying is a technique used in decorating, in which pieces of carved or engraved soapstone are inserted into depressions in a tile or other base object to create a flat surface with alternating materials and designs to create visual interest.
Use in Fireplaces and Wood Stoves
One property of soapstone is its ability to absorb and distribute heat. This property makes soapstone an excellent material to use in fireplace borders, mantles or around wood stoves. Soapstone can reach relatively high temperatures without warping or developing hot spots, although it can be very hot to the touch. Use soapstone in decorative accents in your fireplace surround or on the floor or tile surrounding a wood stove.
Carving and Sculpture
Soapstone's most prevalent use for thousands of years has been as a medium for carving and sculpture. If you would like to add a personal touch to your landscaping project, consider using a soapstone sculpture to set your garden apart from the rest.
Molds for Casting Soft Metals
Because soapstone is uneffected by heating, it makes an excellent material for crafting molds to cast soft metals, such as silver, that must be melted to be made pliable. In addition, the smooth, slippery surface of soapstone -- from which the name is derived -- makes releasing the finished cast a quick and simple process.
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