Anyone can easily get confused between quartz and quartzite countertops. Their names are quite similar, to are their looks. However, they are two different countertop materials. Although they share some similar characteristics, there is a world of differences between them. Quartzite is a naturally occurring stone, while Quartz is a human-made material. To get a fair understanding of quartzite countertops, let’s look at this material’s advantages and disadvantages.
But before we jump into the details of the pros and cons of quartzite countertops, let’s define the material.
What is Quartzite?
Quartzite is a natural stone; in geology, it is known as a metamorphic rock slowly formed over a very long time by sand grains. When a rock is exposed to changing temperature and pressure conditions, it undergoes metamorphism and becomes a metamorphic rock. The metamorphosis process, which happens due to the intense pressure and high temperatures under the earth, defines quartzite’s properties and colors as much as the mining region’s impurities.
Pros of Quartzite Countertops
While heat helps in quartzite formation, it doesn’t mean it stands up well under direct heat. That means you’ll need pot holders or trivets when dealing with a pan or dish directly from the oven or stovetop. This will help protect quartzite countertops so that they will last for years to come.
While heat helps in quartzite formation, it doesn’t mean it stands up well under direct heat. As a natural stone, quartzite is resistant to heat, scratches, and etching. But countertops require sealing and attention to protect their surface. Exposing your quartzite countertops to heat might not hurt the material, but the sealer will most likely crack. Sealers help countertops to resist stains and bacteria, so cracking of sealant is terrible news for homeowners.
Okay, the sealers are not always damaged straightaway by leaving a hot pan on the counter, but it’s always best to use a trivet. Quartzite is a very resistant stone heat, stains, and etching like other natural stones. Still, the countertop surface needs attention, like using trivets and cutting boards so that they will last for years to come.
Quartzite score is seven on Mohs Hardness Scale that is some extreme hardness making this natural stone durable. Like granite, quartzite’s durability will serve you for a very long time with proper maintenance. The interlocked quartz grains and the years the stone takes to metamorphose under heat and pressure make countertops extremely strong. Many people look for durability in a natural stone surface that makes Quartzite the top choice for countertops. If you are comparing different stones, check out our blog that goes further into characteristics details.
If you are a marble countertops lover, then you will adore quartzite slabs too. Natural stones are usually known for their veins, beautiful patterns, and elegant color shades. These patterns create classic looks, and that makes the kitchen countertops very elegant. Just like marble or any other natural stone counter, no two slabs are the same. To create your favorite kitchen theme, you can select quartzite of your favorite colors and patterns with slabs cuttings.
Easy to clean
Quartzite countertops are very easy to clean as far as their sealing is intact. Cleaning of this natural stone does not need any special or unique products either. All you need is a soft sponge or dishcloth dipped in warm water and mild dishwashing liquid. Avoid abrasives while cleaning, although they won’t hurt the stone but will eventually damage the sealer. Check out our blog to learn more about how to clean your countertops.
Along with the durability, quartzite is also UV resistant. Thus, its colors will not fade under the direct sun. If you are looking for an outdoor kitchen, this natural stone will be the best countertop choice.
The Cons of Quartzite Countertops
Sealing is required
Homeowners need to be prepared to deal with the pros and cons of quartzite countertops while buying. Every natural stone has disadvantages like they are porous depends on the mining region so, sealing their surface is a must. Some natural stones are strong, but they still require proper sealing to protect the surface from etching and bacteria.
Keeping the sealing of counter surface is a responsibility but, they keep counters free of stains. And that’s the healthy way to cook. Usually, quartz countertops should be sealed once a year or as needed.
You won’t like the quartzite countertops cost. They are expensive – just like any other natural stone. Due to quartzite’s hardness, cutting the rock is difficult and requires special diamond cutters. This is a time-consuming and expensive procedure that also demands great skills. So, it costs. Expect to pay at least $100 per sq. ft. Don’t forget that the price is always subject to your location, the vendor, and the slab (thickness, edge designs, etc.). Also, add the labor, transport, and installation expenses to get a full picture of what will cost you to install quartzite countertops. One more factor that determines the price is a rarity. The rarer the slab, the more it will cost.
Due to their resemblance, marble and quartzite countertops are often confused. Not that it’s a bad thing to get marble instead of quartzite. Apart from some exceptions, marble is often more expensive than quartzite, but it’s softer too. So don’t let anyone tell you that they offer hard and soft quartzite countertops. They are all dense and hard.
How to differentiate between Quartzite and Marble?
You can do it in two ways.
- Scratch it with a knife. Marble will get scratches while quartzite will remain intact.
- Pour lemon citrus on the slab surface. Quartzite will not etch while marble does.
Not available in many color options
The base colors of most quartzite countertops are gray and white, although the swirls and veins change the slabs’ looks. Since the impurities in each mining region influence the stone’s appearance and the patterns, expect to find slabs with green, pink, yellow, or gold streaks. Remember that you won’t find solid colors among quartzite countertops – since they are natural stones.