There are many options for countertop materials – granite, marble, quartz, Dekton, wood, stainless steel, concrete and the list goes on. A new comer in recent years is quartzite countertops and it’s becoming quite popular among homeowners and interior designers. It’s easy to assume that quartzite is closely related to quartz, but in reality, they are quite different.
Whereas quartz countertops are a man-made material, engineered by bonding together resins, color pigments and crushed quartz, quartzite on the other hand is a 100% nature made stone formed by high pressure beneath the earth’s surface (more on that process below). Quartzite has the look of marble but it is much stronger and durable than marble. The Kitchen and Bath Design Studio specializes in the fabrication and installation of kitchen countertops and vanity tops including quartzite surfaces.
What Is Quartzite?
Quartzite stone is the result of a metamorphic rock that was formed under intense heat and pressure related to tectonic compression within orogenic belts. It is nature made from a combination of sandstone and quartz. High temperatures present beneath the earth’s surface recrystallize the sand grains into the rock, as well as silica that binds them together. This results in interlocking quartz grains that form a very strong and durable rock.
Quartzite has been used since prehistoric times to create stone tools. It is presently used for decorative dimension stone, as crushed stone in highway construction, and as a source of silica for production of silicon and silicon compounds.
Before they are mined, quartzite slabs are very porous in their natural state. Once quartzite slabs are mined for countertops, they are sealed with polyurethane, wax or acrylic so they can function as kitchen countertops and bath vanity tops. The sealant use gives quartzite its glassy appearance and looks very similar to marble as an end product.
Pure, original quartzite is usually white to grey. Depending on the level of hematite, quartzite can also be found in various shades of pink and red. Quartzite can also be found in yellows, greens, blues and orange depending on which type of mineral was crystallized within the rock during the metamorphic stage.
Why Choose Quartzite For Your Countertops
There are many benefits to quartzite that make it a great option for countertops. With its simple design, quartzite can bring a certain uniqueness to any contemporary home. Here are some advantages of quartzite to consider.
Countertops, especially kitchen countertops, get a lot of use. If you lead a busy kitchen, you need a countertop material that will sustain heat, spills, cuts, dropped pots, etc…Quartzite is extremely durable. It is heat resistant, water resistant, scratch resistant and even resistant to acids that could cause etching, all while having the look of marble! Because quartzite was formed under extreme temperature and pressure, it naturally is resistant to heat. Leaving a hot pot on your quartzite countertops won’t damage the surface unlike other types of countertop materials.
For outdoor kitchens, granite and Dekton have been the go-to materials for countertops for years. However, quartzite is resistant to UV rays and can sustain direct sun exposure without fading or darkening. With quartzite, there is now a countertop material that can be used both inside and outside the home that is extremely durable.
In its natural state, quartzite is very porous. Once mined into slabs from which countertops will be fabricated, quartzite is sealed to fill in pores and holes which makes the slabs water resistant. As a result of this process, quartzite countertops easy to clean and maintain. The sealant prevents bacteria and mold from growing on it and makes for healthier countertop surfaces through the home. Quartzite countertops clean easy with soap and water. For tougher cleaning jobs, using a natural stone cleaner is recommended. Quartzite countertops do require yearly sealant and frequent polishing maintenance, but with proper upkeep and cleaning, they will remain in great condition for a long time.
Colors are limited for quartzite countertops. However, the available colors work well with current kitchen remodeling trends that involve using light colors for countertops. Quartzite is available is white, beige, gray, brown and black. It has a lot of color variations in earthy and neutral tones, as well as unique streaks and veining that are particular to marble. It makes for an excellent choice for modern design.
When it comes to natural stone, quartzite countertops are on point for residential designs. They are stunning, sophisticated and unique while still providing benefits which are necessary in active households. The most popular color for quartzite as of the writing of this article is white with marble-like waves or linear movement
While the cost of quartzite countertops tend to be more than other natural stones like granite, it is cheaper than marble while looking just as good as marble with the advantage of being much more durable and requiring much less maintenance. Because quartzite is such as hard stone, fabricating quartzite countertops takes longer than marble or quartz and will require additional work with the installation.
Quartzite is really the worry proof surface for kitchen countertops. It requires almost no maintenance, it is heat proof and can sustain hot pots without scorching, water resistant, scratch resistant and extremely durable and can be used outdoors. It is one of the best, if not the best, and most durable countertop surfacing available today in the market. When buying a quartzite countertops, you are getting a surface this is truly unique with warm and off-white hues that offer dimensional colors that cannot be mimic by engineered surfaces.
If you live in the Charlotte area and interested in having quartzite countertops installed in your home, visit our showroom today conveniently located to Charlotte to view sample of quartzite and to speak with onsite designers.