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Quartzite Vs. Quartz Countertop - Which is Better?

Quartzite Vs. Quartz Countertop - Which is Better?

Quartz and quartzite are two different stones that are popularly used for making countertops. Each has its own set of pros and cons. In this DecorDezine article, we examine the individual characteristics of these stones and understand the differences between quartzite and quartz countertops.
DecorDezine Staff
Did You Know?
On the Mohs scale of hardness of materials―where '1' represents the softest (talc) and '10' represents the hardest (diamond)―quartz measures around 7, while granite, which is traditionally used for making countertops, measures between 6 and 6.5

Many of us like to experiment with new cuisines in our kitchens. While the outcome might vary as far as the actual dish being cooked is concerned, it is almost always the same for our kitchen countertop―it ends up bearing the brunt of our endeavors!

The kitchen countertop takes a lot of pounding as we fry, bake, boil, stock, spill and even chop various foods on it. Yet, we still want it to look like a million bucks. It certainly isn't a job for any ordinary material. The candidate must literally be as strong and enduring as stone, and therefore, the most popular choices actually turn out to be two stones.

Quartz and quartzite are widely used to make kitchen countertops. They are both strong and durable and also offer a premium look and feel. But which of them would be ideal for your kitchen? DecorDezine will tell you more about each one of them.

Quartz and Quartzite

Both quartz and quartzite are used to make premium, designer kitchen countertops. Both stronger than granite and have a natural beauty at par with that of marble and other exotic stone surfaces.

Right from their names, both stones share a lot of similarities; however, there is a fundamental difference in their compositions. The following is a brief look at how these stones differ from each other.

Quartz

Quartz in its natural form looks similar to granite. It is mostly composed of silicon dioxide and is one of the hardest substances found on Earth. It is resistant to scratches and stains. It is also nonporous, and therefore, resistant to mold, mildew, fungal and even bacterial growths. Owing to all these favorable qualities of quartz, it is popularly used for kitchen and bathroom surfaces. It has a crystalline structure, and is therefore, also used in jewelry and piezoelectric devices.

Most quartz countertops are usually manufactured from a quartz composite. While naturally occurring slabs of quartz can be used after polishing, they are quite expensive, and therefore, rarely used for making kitchen countertops.

While manufacturing, quartz crystals are ground and combined with resins, binders, and coloring pigments. Quartz comprises almost 93% of this mixture. This combination is poured into molds of desired shape and size, and allowed to harden. This is a more affordable way of using quartz in comparison to using a natural slab.

Quartzite

Quartzite is a hard metamorphic rock that is obtained from sandstone and natural quartz. It is formed deep within the Earth's crust when the extreme temperature and immense pressure from the movement of the tectonic plates causes sandstone to metamorphose, and its grains recrystallize to create a cement-like blend of quartzite crystals.

Depending on the degree of pressure and temperature, streaks and patterns are formed in the quartz crystals, giving it its characteristic appearance. Pure quartzite is usually white or gray in color. However, many a time, impurities such as deposits of iron, carbon, clay and other minerals get included in the mixture giving the quartzite different colors such as red, pink, orange, blue, etc.

Quartzite is mined and cut into slabs. These slabs are then precisely cut into countertops of the desired shape and size using diamond tools. Usually after being polished, a sealant is applied to the quartzite countertops to increase their durability.

Quartzite Vs. Quartz Countertop: Comparison

The following is a discussion of the pros and cons of quartz and quartzite countertops, according to the various parameters of comparison.

Aesthetic Appeal

It is said that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. While both quartzite and quartz are used to make beautiful and exquisite countertops, some may prefer one over the other.

Quartzite is usually found in white and gray colors. They may even be available in various shades of pink and red, which is due to the iron oxide present in the stone. Yellow, green, orange, and blue quartzite stones are also available thanks to the presence of other trace minerals in them.

Different quartzite stones are created under varying amounts of pressure and heat beneath the Earth's surface. As a result, nearly all of them display streak-like patterns on them.

While manufacturing quartz, various kinds of pigments are added so that countertops can be manufactured in a wider range of colors and shades. Depending on the formulation technique, quartz countertops can easily be made to look like other natural stones such as granite and marble.

Thus, as far as aesthetic appeal goes, both quartzite and quartz can be considered equally good. So the final choice would really come down to a user's individual preference. If you desire a completely natural countertop, then choose quartzite. If you prefer having more colors and patterns to choose from, then opt for quartz.

Durability

In terms of sheer hardness, quartzite is the clear winner. It is much harder than granite and also marginally harder than quartz. However, quartz is more flexible, and therefore, is less prone to chipping and denting.

Quartzite is produced naturally under large amounts of heat and pressure. It is therefore naturally capable of withstanding heat. Quartz, on the other hand, has a plastic resin added to it during manufacturing. This resin melts at around 300ºF, thus lowering the high temperature withstanding capacity of quartz.

Maintenance

Quartz countertops can be cleaned easily without requiring a strong cleaner. A simple damp cloth is sufficient for removing most of the stains on it. Specially designed quartz surface cleaners are also available, which can make the task of maintenance much easier.

Quartzite countertops, though fairly easy to clean and maintain, require a little more care and looking after compared to quartz countertops. As is the case in all natural stones, a sealant has to be applied over them a couple of times a year to prevent stains from penetrating into the stone. Once properly sealed, however, the job of cleaning becomes very easy.

Price

Both quartzite and quartz have a fairly similar price range. The cost of these stones generally starts at USD 60 per square foot but can easily go up over USD 100 depending on the quality.

It also worth noting that pricing will depend largely upon the type of work that is required to be done. Quartzite is cut with diamond tools in a process that requires a lot of skill and labor. Thus, for more complex jobs, the cost of quartzite will be significantly higher than that of quartz which can easily be molded into any desired shape or size.

So to conclude, both quartz and quartzite are beautiful stones which you must definitely consider while constructing or renovating your kitchen or bathroom. Though these stones do not differ greatly, each has its own set of individual advantages and appeal, which might make it an ideal option for your home décor.