What to Know about Quartzite

One of the most important parts to a kitchen or bath design is countertop selection.  The choice of material often sets the stage for the overall look.  I've seen clients become overwhelmed by the variety of choices, and in some cases, they have a plain misunderstanding of the materials themselves.  The most frequent confusion occurs when discussing Quartz or Quartzite.  In order to get the facts straight, we went to the natural stone boutique, Aria Stone Gallery. Here's what we found out:

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Differences between Quartz and Quartzite - While Quartz and Quartzite sound similar, they couldn't be more different!  The main difference being that quartzite is a natural stone, and quartz is an engineered, man-made stone composite.  Engineered stone, such as quartz, is mass produced, so while patterns like veining are meant to mimic those found in natural stone like quartz and marble, they will be repetitive, similar to the pattern found on wallpaper.  No two slabs of quartzite will ever be the same.

Performance Differences Between Quartz and Quartzite - There are differences in performance between quartz and quartzite when it comes to stain, heat, and scratch resistance.

  • Heat Resistance - Quartzite is generally heat resistant, whereas the polymer in quartz may warp under high temperatures.
  • Scratch Resistance - Quartzite is by nature an incredibly durable material and therefore very scratch resistant.  Quartz may scratch due to its polymer makeup.
  • Stain Resistance - Quartzite is susceptible to staining, whereas quartz is not.  However, natural stone stains can be prevented with the use of a sealer.
White Macaubus Quartzite - image courtesy of   Aria Stone Gallery

White Macaubus Quartzite - image courtesy of  Aria Stone Gallery

Detail of White Macaubus Quartzite - image via  Aria Stone Gallery

Detail of White Macaubus Quartzite - image via Aria Stone Gallery

Strongest Selling Point for Quartzite? - Quartzite is incredibly durable, so it is an ideal candidate for high-traffic areas, but according to Aria Stone Gallery, "Stone is Art," and that each stone tells a unique story that can never be fully realized with a manmade composite.  A product that is both natural and rare in its uniqueness makes it luxurious and special.

Where Does Quartzite Fall in the Price Point Range? - If you've ever been to a stoneyard, you'll know there are grading levels, be it marble, granite, or quartzite.  Natural stone is priced on those variables, which take into account elements such as rarity, color, structure size, veining and overall quality.  The care in the slab selection process may also determine pricing structure.  Aria Stone Gallery  personally visits each quarry, and hand selects slabs that are of excellent quality.  Pricing structures may reflect this level of care in selection, but the grade and quality of the stone is superb.

Beautiful Examples of Quartzite countertops:

image via:  Decorpad

image via: Decorpad

Information provided by Use Natural Stone and .Aria Stone Gallery.  Images provided by Aria Stone Gallery, unless otherwise noted.

Leave a comment if this was helpful and if you have any other questions in regards to quartz vs. quartzite!