Soapstone is a type of metamorphic rock made of at least 50 percent talc and other minerals like magnetite. Over time, the minerals have been forged into a solid stone thanks to heat and pressure.

Soapstone is an underutilized architectural material with many benefits. In addition to withstanding heat—one can set a pot fresh off the stove onto a soapstone countertop—it is also nonporous.

This prevents it from being stained by spills in the kitchen, like grape or tomato juice. While soapstone is only available in generally gray colors, its relative durability and maintenance-free nature make it a highly sought material for all kinds of use.