Soapstone Wood Stoves
Soapstone wood stoves are very beautiful and radiate heat longer and more evenly then steel and cast iron models. Here we'll uncover the nuts and bolts of these wood stoves to help you determine if you should purchase one.
What is soapstone?
Soapstone is a metamorphic rock that is formed under extreme heat and pressure around tectonic plates. It is a valued carving stone but is also heat and chemical resistant which makes it ideal for fireplaces and woodstoves. Because of its resistance to heat and chemicals, a soapstone wood burning stove will last for years without damage from frequent use.
It has a beautiful grained appearance, very similar to marble. Although the stone may deepen in color, most people consider it to become more attractive with age.
How is a soapstone stove different?
Outside of the obvious difference in physical appearance, soapstone stoves differ from cast iron and steel stoves in a couple of ways.
First, soapstone holds heat longer and produces a more even heat. In comparison, steel/cast iron stoves will heat up much quicker but will also lose their heat faster than soapstone.
Secondly, most soapstone stoves are more expensive than their counterparts. Although most stoves sold today with soapstone are hybrids in that they also have cast iron or steel as well.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Longer lasting heat. Soapstone will hold onto the heat longer and therefore radiant it for a long time after the fire has gone out.
Aesthetics. Many people feel that the beauty of a soapstone stove is unmatched by any other design. This is of course all personal preference, but I tend to agree.
More even heat. The heat from these stoves is more even. It is also notable that these models are not as hot to the touch- an important thing to consider if you have children.
They take longer to heat up. This is basically a trade-off for the extended heat after the fire is done burning. These stoves will not radiate heat as quickly as other models when they are first started. If you need your heat quickly in the morning, a soapstone model may not be the best option.
Cost. They cost more money! Realistically the cost is not so high that it is prohibitive, but it is certainly something to consider.
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