Many of our clients ask us, “what is the difference between the two?” We are here to break it down for you.
Quartzite is a natural metamorphic stone, quartzite is created when sandstone is under a lot of extreme heat and pressure from compression of tectonic plates in the earth’s crust. The stone is then mined and sawn into slabs to become countertops. After this process they are then polished and sealed for better durability.
Quartz is not a natural stone; it is a man-made or engineered stone. Quartz is fabricated from natural silicon dioxide and synthetic materials, meaning approximately 93% of quartz tops are natural. The stone is then blended with a binder and pigment, and then it is formed into a countertop.
What is the best way of telling the difference between quartz and quartzite through appearance, durability, maintenance and cost?
While quartzite is a natural stone, it will come in white or grey with some hints of pinks and reds. This comes from the iron oxide found in the stone. Some quartzite may be more yellow, blue, green, or orange from the presence of other minerals and the amount of pressure in its formation. It will have slight streaking or movement to it, but not as much as quartz.
Quartz can be a wide range of colors, due to the ability of adding pigment to the mixture, this will then give quartz the look of a natural stone like marble or granite. Given the wide array of colors Quartz can give you a wider selection, where Quartzite is a bit limited.
Granite is a hard natural stone, but quartzite is actually harder than granite. Meaning it can withstand a cooking dish from a 350 degree oven set right on the countertop. Whereas, quartz is manufactured with a plastic resin, this resin cannot withstand high heat. It begins to melt at any degree higher than 300.
Quartz and quartzite maintenance vary. Due to Quartz being manufactured it can have little to no maintenance. A damp cloth with no abrasive cleaners is needed, except sparingly. Quartzite is a natural stone, so this calls for sealing, once installed and re-sealed once or twice a year. If it is not sealed regularly stains or spills can penetrate the surface, this is a common factor for all natural stones. Depending on your kitchen counter use and how you cook or prepare meals, this is a huge factor to take into consideration.
As far as the cost for quartz and quartzite; they are near the same . It starts at around $60/sqft and can go into the high $100’s and up. Quartzite takes a diamond blade to be cut, with precision and time. While quartz can be moulded into any shape and is not as costly to have cut and installed.
Quartz and quartzite are both a beautiful and durable counter surface to have as contenders for your next remodel or a new home.
Though quartzite is becoming increasingly popular, we are still seeing quartz countertops dominating the market. We think it is due to the low maintenance of the material and the beautiful array of colors.
“Quartz vs. Quartzite Countertops.” CounterTop Guides,7 Dec. 2015, countertopguides.com/guides/quartz-vs-quartzite-countertops.html.
Written By: Mary Cat Nardecchia