Quartz and quartzite countertops are two gorgeous options for your home. Despite slight differences, both are very durable and deserve consideration as you plan your bathroom or kitchen renovation project
Quartz and quartzite are very popular choices for countertops, but they are not the same material. They offer differences in looks, durability, care and price that you should know about before making your selection.
This countertop guide explores quartzite and quartz countertops and the different strengths and weaknesses they present.
What is the Difference Between Quartz and Quartzite?
Quartzite is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock. It is created when sandstone is subjected to extreme heat and pressure caused by tectonic plate compression in the crust of the earth. The stone is mined and sawn into slabs which are later precisely cut to become countertops. The tops are polished and sealed for beauty and durability.
Quartz countertops are often called engineered countertops because they are fabricated from natural silicon dioxide and synthetic materials. Loose quartz makes up about 93 percent of the material. It is blended with a binder and pigment and formed into countertops.
QUARTZ VS QUARTZITE
We hope this comparison of quartz and quartzite that will help you decide which material is right for your bathroom or kitchen countertops project.
Look & Style
Both materials are very attractive. However, all slabs of quartz look the same and the surface, the veining so perfect, it tends to look somewhat fake in some veiny looking materials. The surface is pristine and unless there is a manufacturer defect quartz does not have cracks.
Quartzite on the other hand is natural stone. It is a product of nature and each slab of stone is unique. It has the warm feel and look of natural stone that can never be duplicated. The little imperfections add to the natural beauty of the stone. Quartzite frequently has filled fissures, but they are not defects, just part of the uniqueness of the stone.
Both materials come in a variety of colors. Quartzite comes in a variety of vibrant colors: yellow, green pink, blue and orange, but can also come in the more elegant white to gray to cream hues, which are currently very popular. Regardless of the color, the quartzite will have some degree of veining caused by varying degrees of pressure in its formation and the random presence of iron oxide or other minerals.
Quartz, because pigment can be added, is available in a much wider range of colors for you to consider. The way the countertop material is formulated may mimic the appearance of natural stone such as granite or marble, or the warm look of limestone. It also comes in plain monochromatic colors.
There is no right or wrong look when choosing quartzite or quartz. Both materials are elegant and beautiful. It is a matter of personal preference. If you like the uniqueness and warmth of natural stone you will select quartzite, if you prefer the pristine look quartz is the right choice for you.
Quartzite is harder than granite, so it is quite durable. It withstands heat very well. Quartz is hard too, but not quite as hard as quartzite. The resin used in manufacturing quartz countertops is a plastic, so it is prone to melting in heat above 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Where quartz has an advantage over quartzite is that it is less porous than some quartzites and does not require sealing.
Both countertop materials can be scratched by sharp objects, and a cutting board should be used, however do not scratch under normal circumstances.
Quartz requires very little maintenance. It wipes clean with a damp cloth. Abrasive cleaners should not be used on quartz, and they really aren’t needed and can scratch it. Ease of maintenance is the main advantage quartz countertops have over quartzite. In any event, as with all countertops, it is advisable to use cleaners designed for your type of surface.
Quartzite requires quite a bit more TLC. It must be sealed before use and re-sealed over time. Without a proper seal, stains can penetrate the stone. This is a feature shared by all-natural stone including granite and marble. When properly sealed, quartzite cleanup is easy.
Prices are similar for the average quartz and quartzite. However, you may find a more affordable options amongst the basic monochromatic quartz, at the same time there are few unique quartzites may be quite pricey.
Also, quartz is easier to manufacture and may be less expensive than some more complex and labor-intensive quartzite jobs. That is because quartz can be poured into a mould to produce virtually any shape. Quartzite must be cut with diamond blades in a process that takes time and skill. The more complex the job, the more the cost of quartzite will exceed that of quartz per square foot. As with most countertop installations, it is a great idea to find a reputable contractor to do
Both quartz and quartzite are beautiful materials that offer durable options for your kitchen.
The final selections depend on your personal and aesthetic preferences.
Please note that the information on this page is a general summary of industry-accepted standards and tips regarding natural stone considerations, applications and care. We have compiled this information to help you in your stone selection and care. MGSI is not involved in geological testing and has no formal proof of the information presented in the article and relies on industry wide information and standards. MGSI will not be responsible for any direct or indirect claims and damages, resulting from the improper application and/or interpretation of this information. Please note that natural stone varies substantially. Ask your stone specialist what works best for your project