Quartzite is a quartz-rich sandstone that has been metamorphosed. It is a very hard and solid stone and when polished has high gloss marble-like appearance. Among other characteristics Quartzite is known for it’s hardness and great durability, resistance to extreme temperatures, and immense beauty. While some quartzites are very dense and resistant to water absorption, others are very porous and require the application of heavy-duty sealer, to protect it’s surface against water absorption and staining.
Quartzites consist of sand grains with inter-granular silica (i.e.,quartz) cement. Although the term quartzite is widely used as the name for metamorphosed sandstones, some geologists sometimes call silica-cemented sandstones either sedimentary quartzites or orthoquartzites and distinguish them from metamorphosed sandstones by using the terms metamorphic quartzites or metaquartzites. Whatever, both have been used as gem rocks.
There are many choices in quartzite color tones. There are creamy neutrals and warm subtle earth tones, where the colors are soft and earthy. Lighter creams, ivories, and smoky gray blues. Even pastel shades of yellow to pink are available. They lend themselves to a more contemporary look, very reminiscent of some of the understated and lived in look of limestone.
Then, there are those quartzites that are marble looking, with distinctive elegant veins, making unexpected swirls. These quartzites have quite a palette of unique colors. Starting with the white and gray and then going into dramatic blues, reds, green, yellows, mauve, nearly black with sweeping veins running through, giving the stone it’s distinctive, rich look. The color and veining of each quartzite stone is unique….
Quartzite is very trendy in contemporary design. Designers, architects and homeowners love it’s rich elegant look. It is widely used for quartzite kitchen countertops, vanities, fireplace or tub surround, floor tiles and wall applications.
It is frequently featured in home design ideas magazines, kitchen and interior design magazine and other design and architectural publications
Due to the incredibly high abrasion resistance of quartzite it can be difficult to quarry and fabricate. This affects availability, fabrication lead times and cost. Most quartzite has naturally occurring cracks and fissures.
Quartzite is a very hard stone- main mineral composite of quartzite is quartz – numbering seven (7) on Moh’s Scale of Hardness, making it one of the hardest stones. However, there are quartzites, which are slightly softer, closer to granite in abrasion resistance.
Most quartzite has low absorption rate and will not stain. However, some of the new quartzites on the market are more absorbent and will stain when exposed to oil and highly pigmented liquids. Make sure the surface is sealed after installation.
A note to the stone fabricator
Some quartzites are more absorbent and take a longer time to dry after manufacturing. Do not install the material until it has properly dried from the wet cutting in your shop. Installing wet quartzite and sealing the surface will trap the water in the stone with no avenue of drying. The result will be wet marks in the stone.
Quartzite does not react to household acid and is not prone to etching.
- Always seal quartzite prior to use.
- Always check the absorption rating.
- Expect to see factory-repaired cracks and fissures. The quality of the repair is dependent upon the factory of origin, the fabricator of the stone and the installer.
APPLICATION AND FINISHES
Quartzite is valued for its rich palette of beautiful colors and appearance and is perfect, pretty much anywhere in the house.
- Interior and exterior walls
- Kitchen countertops
- Bathroom vanities
- Spas and showers
- Fireplace surrounds