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Quartzite countertops may not always be the first choice in kitchen countertop design, but it has enough advantages that homeowners should take a closer look when designing their homes. Homeowners often choose granite, marble, and quartz for their countertop material, but quartzite is structurally stronger than those stones, without some of their weaknesses.
For this article, we are going to explain how durable quartzite countertops are, and why you should consider it for your next home renovation project.
Basics on Quartzite
Quartzite should not be confused with quartz. Even though they do share a very similar name, they are structurally different in their composition. Quartzite is made from quartz sandstone, which has been put through intense heat and pressure from tectonic compression. Simply put, quartz sandstone was heated and fused together in the Earth’s crust to create quartzite.
Alternatively, quartz countertops are considered an artificial stone where quartz is fused together with other quartz minerals with an adhesive resin, then dyed for varying colors and patterns.
Quartzite is a completely natural stone with no resin or dye used to create their elegant designs.
As we said earlier, quartzite is unlike the other natural and artificial stones as it has several advantages which makes it better.
Quartzite is one of the strongest stones to use for kitchen and bathroom countertop material. The Mohs Hardness scale ranks quartzite 7 out of 10, making it one of the stronger stones naturally found on Earth. For context, diamonds have a Mohs Hardness rating of 10 out of 10, making it the hardest mineral on Earth.
Quartzite is known to be as strong as granite, another highly durable stone for kitchen countertops. Quartz has a similar hardness rating as quartzite but is artificially constructed to be that durable. Taken by itself, quartzite is strong enough to handle a busy household.
Quartzite can withstand heat exceptionally well because it was created using high heat over many years. It can resist hot temperatures, making it a perfect material for kitchen countertops or hot tub surround. In contrast, quartz resists heat effectively, but a constant stream of high heat can damage the resin used to bind the quartz slabs together.
Additionally, quartzite is UV resistant, making it capable of being in direct sunlight without its coloring or shine fading. Many natural stones like quartz and marble should not be left in direct sunlight, as UV rays will make the colors in the stone wash out. Quartzite can withstand UV rays without suffering from side effects when installed indoors.
Quartzite comes in a select few colors, primarily white, grey, beige, and pink. Something most people are not aware of is that quartzite can look nearly identical to marble. For instance, Classic White quartzite has the bright white base stone and grey veining which homeowners are constantly seeking with marble stone. This lighter toned stone works well in many interior design schemes to make a room feel brighter, bigger, and cleaner; or make a room feel comfortable and warmer when paired with other beige, brown, and red colors.
Quartzite’s color versatility makes it a spectacle for all to enjoy. As an added benefit, quartzite is stronger than marble, so you can install the color and feel of marble, without having the disadvantages of being soft.
Easy to Clean
Natural stone requires a delicate touch to clean as using strong chemicals can damage the stone, causing it to look dull or form stains. Quartzite suffers from the same issues as well, but maintaining the stone is relatively easy in comparison to softer stones. Quartzite only needs to be cleaned with warm water, a mild dish soap, and a microfiber cloth on a daily basis. Homeowners should remove any spills as quickly as possible to avoid stains from forming.
For deeper stains, follow our guideline on how to remove stains from quartzite.
Disadvantages of Quartzite
As great as quartzite is, there are some weaknesses it has which homeowners should be aware of before buying. That being said, all natural and artificial stones have some weaknesses to it, so quartzite is no different. Marble is very soft and can break easily, quartz is seen as artificial and not a real stone, granite is porous and can stain easily if not taken care of properly, and so on.
Not technically a disadvantage or weakness, but quartzite needs to be sealed in order for it to last. Quartzite is very porous, meaning spills can seep into the stone quickly and cause stains. Sealing quartzite greatly reduces the risk of stains and adds an extra layer of protection to your countertop.
Quartzite needs to be sealed once or twice a year as sealants will fade from general wear and cleaning. We highly recommend Mr. Stone Ultimate Stone Sealer to make sure your countertop is protected.
Like we just mentioned, quartzite is very porous. When examining quartzite under a microscope, you would see the many sand granules that fused together to create the stone. Without a sealant, quartzite will absorb liquids to form deep stains that are hard to remove.
Quartzite's hardness is superior to many other natural stones, but it can still be scratched and damaged if a homeowner is carelessly cutting directly on it. Stones are hard, but metal knives are forged to slice through anything if enough effort is utilized. Homeowners should never directly cut food or other objects on their stone countertops to prevent scratch marks from forming.
Perhaps one of the main reasons why quartzite is not chosen as often as granite or quartz, is because it is more expensive. Because of its exceptional hardness, quartzite is hard to cut, requiring fabricators to use specialized diamond cutters to shape the stone.
Quartzite countertops can range from $70-$200 per square foot to install. Homeowners must also factor in the type of project they are working on, distance from the fabricator’s location, specific colors, shapes, and additional features like cutouts or backsplash. Working with quartzite can become expensive very quickly and could be difficult to purchase for those on a budget.
Another factor contributing to the high price tag is that quartzite can look like marble. Marble countertops have been a high commodity throughout human history, and people love buying things that make them feel fancy in high society. Marble is the epitome of high society interior design, and quartzite looks just like marble, but with the advantage of having more durability. As with anything that is highly desirable, the price for it will increase.
Typically, quartzite is seen as white and grey with some veins or swirling patterns. There are no solid colors, no exotic designs, and very restricted options for customization. It has limited designs where what you see is what you get.
Uses of Quartzite
Fun tip, quartzite can be used for other interior design locations outside of just countertops. Stone countertops are always going to be the go-to option with remodeling, but quartzite is one of the few stones which can be used in nearly every room of your home. The only other stone comparable to it is granite, which can be used indoors and outdoors.
Quartzite can be used as:
· Kitchen Countertop & Backsplash
· Bathroom Vanity & Backsplash
· Bathroom Wall
· Bathroom Floor
· Hot Tub Surround
· Fireplace Surround
· Butler Pantry
· Wash Station
· Indoor Bar
As you can see, quartzite is a stone that stands well on its own and is a strong contender to be your material for countertop or other home remodeling options. It might be a bit more expensive, but the popularity of looking like marble while having superior hardness to granite is an understandable trade off. When taken care of properly, quartzite countertops will provide you with stability for as long as you need.