Quartzite or Quartz Countertops - What's The Difference?
You are planning to update your kitchen countertops and have done some research to see what your options are. You are leaning towards quartz countertops, but you have also read about quartzite countertops. There is some confusion about the difference between quartzite and quartz and some people use their names interchangeably. However, the two are actually very different from one another.
Quartz countertops are a man-made / engineered surface. They are manufactured using crushed quartz, resins and pigments – read more about it here. The ratio used in the fabrication of quartz countertops is usually 90% quartz, and 10% resins / pigments. Resin is used to bound crushed quartz together and pigments are used to create color variations.
The main advantages of quartz countertops are that they are non-porous and therefore do not require sealing and are really easy to maintain; non-organic quartz countertops are more dense than quartzite and consequently offer more resistance to staining; they are available in a wide variety of colors and you can have multiple quartz countertops installed at your home and all can be made to look alike since it’s an engineered material.
On the downside, quartz countertops are not as resistant to heat as one would like it to be due to the resin used in its fabrication. Because it is man-made, the patterns and markings are more uniform than quartzite and other natural stones, but leading manufacturers are making huge progress in making quartz countertops look more natural.
Like other natural stones, quartzite is quarried and cut into slabs which are then sized into countertops. Quartzite countertops are strikingly beautiful with deep color variations, natural markings and translucence. Most quartzite slabs have white and gray coloring, which happen to be two of the most popular colors in kitchens according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association. What makes quartzite unique is that no two slabs are the same. It is a very hard, scratch resistant stone that naturally resist heat. However, unlike quartz countertops, quartzite is more porous and will require regular sealant applications to prevent staining in the same fashion as granite countertops need regular upkeep and maintenance.
Both quartzite and quartz countertops are not susceptible to etching. If you wonder what etching is, it is the result of a reaction between food acid and calcium carbonate. The acid basically eats a tiny bit of the surface creating dull spots called etches. Etching is more common with marble, limestone and other porous surfaces. Both quartzite and quartz make great material for vanity countertops.
The type of countertop surface you choose, quartzite or quarts, really depends on the look you are trying to achieve and how much maintenance you are willing to take on. Both are in the same price range and look great. If you would like to check out some quartzite slabs or quartz samples, call the Complete Kitchen and Bath Design Studio today or visit our local showroom.