Let's Dig Deep And See If Quartzite Is a Better Countertop Option Than Granite

We have all heard about granite and how gorgeous and durable it is. You may have also heard reports about quartz counters (quartzite and quartz are often confused) and how well they compare to granite countertops.

But there’s an up and coming stone available called quartzite, and its’ benefits are pretty amazing. It’s the latest hot kitchen work surface you may want to consider.

What exactly is it?

It’s simply a metamorphic rock that has been formed from sandstone. A metamorphic rock is one that has been altered by pressure deep within the earths crust. Marble, for instance, is also a rock of this type but it has been formed from limestone. Granite, on the other hand, is an igneous rock, which means that it has crystallized and solidified from molten lava.

Here are quartzite’s best qualities

Quartzite is an extremely hard rock that is not water or acid-soluble. On the Mohs test that measures how hard a material is, it has been given a hardness reading of 810. This mean that it is harder than glass and can actually cut it.

In its’ purest form it’s white like marble, but can have impurities in it that lead to some incredible patterns and colors. For some people, it’s the only surface that they would ever consider due to its incredible beauty and strength.

And its’ worst, etching

True quartzite cannot etch with acidic food like lemons and tomato. This could be considered as a bullet proof type of worktop that can withstand more wear and tear than most other options. The problem is that a lot of people are finding that their countertops are etching when they shouldn’t be. Here’s the story on that.

A lot of marble slabs are being mislabeled as quartzite at stone yards. This is happening because they can both share the traditional look of marble but only only one can hold up to damage from acid and other common kitchen hazards.

Quartzite stone countertops can be an incredible addition to your home, but only if they are labeled properly. Every day someone buys a slab that they are told can’t be etched only to find out after it’s too late they were duped.

True quarzite can be hard to find so you’ll need to test some samples with acidic liquids to make sure that what you’re considering is actually what you’re expecting, no matter how convincing the salesperson seems to be.

You should also do a scratch test with a piece of glass. To do that head to the stone yard with a small glass tile. You can quickly test the slab by scratching your glass tile against the corner. If it’s quartzite it will scratch the glass a very noticeable amount.

Which Should You Buy?

Unless you are absolutely in love with the look of quartzite, most of us are probably better off purchasing granite. It’s more common, the price is usually lower and you’ll know exactly what you’re getting. The exception would be if you’re after the look of marble. Then you’ll definitely want to take a hard look at it because no other natural stone even comes close.

If you’re convinced that quartzite is the right work surface for your kitchen then check out our buyers guide to get the lowest price.

Maintenance of quartzite and granite

Both require sealing on at least a yearly basis to protect them from stains and to keep them looking as new as the day you had them installed. Some people have decided that they don’t need to seal their stone but they are simply gambling.

If you’re looking for a beautiful alternative to granite than check out this comparison of granite to quartz. They might just be the low maintenance solution that you are looking for.

103 Comments

Wanda

This is a great forum! I am looking for a white marble look for granite or quartzite. Can anyone give me names of white versions of these two? I live in NC so anything here or a trusted dealer online that can ship here I am a little concerned that I would be getting marble if not careful. Also can you put pans from the stove on quartzite?

Thanks everyone!

Heidi Ruiz

We put in Fantasy Brown Leathered in our white kitchen. It’s white with shades of gray and very little light brown. It is gorgeous…we get a lot of compliments on it!

Suzy

I am seriously thinking of buying the Fantasy Brown leathered finish. I am leaning toward the leathered finish over the Fantasy Brown glossy finish. Hoping I am making the right choice. I have white cabinets. Was worried the leathered finish might stain. Any comments will be welcomed. Hope to hear from you soon.

Tina

I’m considering the FB Leathered as well. I have a sample of the leathered and polished from a local yard and have run tests on both. Coffee left a faint discoloration on the leathered, left on about 30 mins, but not the polished. Nothing else I applied (lemon juice, ketchup, vinegar, etc) left staining or etching. I REALLY love the look of the leathered version, and it’s the kind of mark that only I would probably ever notice, but I’m so undecided after doing this test.

Michelle

I would like to know if anyone has used “Nuvolato Azzurro Quartzite, Blue and White Slabs, Branco Azul, Quartzito.” I am not sure what “Quartzito” is (little quartz??). My Portuguese is not that wonderful, so I’m not sure. The stone comes from Brasil. My husband is a geologist, so he will test it if we can get a sample, but I would love to know if anyone has bought it. I would love to see an actual slab “in person,” not a photo… stone varies so much. Anyone know where I could see a slab?

Mary Murray- Keaveney

Have you ever heard of white storm quartzite? We are about to purchase, but I want to make sure it is not marble or quartz Thank you

P L Schreiner

We are considering Quartzite countertops for our kitchen & island, “Burnowhite”. The stone yard we’ve visited here in the Richmond VA area, just received in a shipment of nearly 12 large slabs (not yet entered into their inventory), guessing they may have come from either Portugal or Italy. Would appreciate your guidance as to whether Burnowhite is truly Quartzite.

lisa

I am remodeling my kitchen & considering putting Quartzite “Taj Mahal” product. Is is TRUE Quartzite ?? Anyone have positive or negative comments for me ?

Beej

We put Taj Mahal quartzite in our kitchen- including a 13 foot island. It is stunning. Easy to maintain. No staining. Sourced from Mondial in Toronto. You cant mistake the depth and character of Taj Mahal. I’d send photos if I could on this site.

Ann

Can you please send some photos, we are doing renovation and having Taj mahal quartzite? can you please let me know if it scratches or any stain? we do lot of cooking so just want to make sure…

matthew

Taj Mahal is a true Quartzite Product. You Are good to go!!!!

Beth

We are also considering the quartzite rather than the quartz as it has that natural and marble look. Has anyone heard or seen the Muscovita? Would love some feedback as this decision has proven very difficult. Thanks

Marguerite

I have looked at two quartzite pieces the first is dolce vita the second dolce ivory. Love them both but now am afraid they are high maintenance. I also like quartz Taj Royal and quartzite Taj Mahal. Afraid of making the wrong choice since this is a big investment. Should I go with the quartz?

Jo Anne

Has anyone used a quartzite named “Kalahari”? There are some beautiful slabs at our local Cosmos—-I’m learning about testing from all these comments and appreciate it, but also wanted to know if that was a known type of quartzite. Thanks!

Jana Reed

We are about to purchase Fusion which we are being told that it is Quartzite. Can anyone confirm that? Does anyone have experience with this in their kitchen?

Thanks in advance.

Cre

I was told that fusion was a marble

Stephanie

Fusion is a quartzite.

Muriel

Question…. I have a countertop design in Quartzite with a Farmers Sink, the installer-supplier shares that he cannot make a top with 2 joints behind the sink. The length of the top on the sink side is 14’…one joint at cook top, one joint on each side of the sink due to the width at the back of the sink..8″….he tells me the top will break at the 8″ during transportation or installation due to the fact that Quartzite is more fragile that Quartz.

I just as soon not have seems on the counter behind my sink (2 joints on a piece 8″x24″) Is he correct? If I want no seams behind my sink I would need to go with Quartz, as Granite and Quartzite will break in an 8″ width.. Your opinion?

ann

you need a new a fabricator. If you have narrow areas behind the sink or cooktop, the product is usually delivered glued on a plywood backing. Sinks are cut from a templet at the fabricator. Faucets are usually cut on-site. Seams should only be where absolutely necessary to follow flow and a good fabricator will grind your substrate and mix with resins to make a fairly invisible seam. The only places I accept seams are NOT IN THE MIDDLE OF A SINK OR COOKTOP, but inline with the side edge as your eye won’t notice it there. Seek another fabricator. Best advice in Interior Design is that “It is less expensive to pay more” … just saying…

Mary

Can anyone recommend a good fabricator, who has a fair amount of experience with Quartzite? …in the Phoenix AZ area…. My husband & I have found that most fabricators will not touch Quartzite…harder to work with. Really would appreciate any help here.

Brenda Peters

Hi,

I just had a counter top installed and it is called illusion blue, I was told it is a quartzite, it was very pricey. We had it honed and they sealed it when they installed it. My husband got some bacon grease in the countertop and it left a mark and it also is leaving water spots although they do dry out after some time. Can you tell me if this a a quartzite. It is absolutely beautiful but I am hoping that Im not going to have to worry about everything we use on the countertop. thanks for any help you may have

ann

Don’t know what you have, but seal it yourself a few times over a few weeks. Then regularly. I won’t endorse any product. for liability reasons, do your diligence and don’t cheap out. Many granite yards change the name of products so that you cannot “shop”. Like many things…. there are different grades of product, thus lower grade = lower price. Not saying you bought lower product, but counter tops are fairly permanent. Research the sealers.

Mario

We purchased Leathered Quartzite in the grey and white tones, we love the look but if I am not careful it scratches and leaves little white dots in the grey areas that are noticeable it first happened when I opened a bottle of wine on it. I have tried numerous sealers to get this little white dots off and even tried buffing the area but nothing works. Anyone have any idea of a product that will help remove these small dots?

Stacie

Is Super white a true quartzite or a marbe? So much contradicting information.

Manuel

I’ve installed five kitchen counters with Super White and told each customer that it will scratch easily. Best way to test is mention above.

Gary

Most products labeled “super white” are dolomite as opposed to quartzite. Dolomite is a much softer stone.

Catherine

We are in the midst of a kitchen remodel and are strongly considering Ceilo quartzite or Yellow River granite for the island, counter and bar tops. First, is Ceilo TRUE quartzite and how will it stand up over the years? With Yellow River granite, are we better off with this as far as long term beauty and durability? We love the look of the Ceilo but also know it is much more expensive. Thanks very much!

TARA

Hi, I’m looking at quartzite labelled “White”. Is there such a name as it seems to be so general to me. Thanks

ann

There are really only a few actual importer/distributors in any major city. The dealers/granite yards/stores/fabricators often re-name the product to make it more difficult to shop. I have never, in 30 years, heard of a quartzite named ‘white”.

Margie

Is chirra blue quartzite? Am thinking of purchasing for kitchen countertops. I did a vinegar test and it did clean off even without a seal. The sample is very thick and flakes a lot.

Kim Bell

Is brown fantasy a true quartzite? Has anyone used it and had any problems with it? Thank you!

Megan

Fantasy Brown is a dolomite marble. Dolomite is referring to ‘dense marble’

Holly

I purchased Fantasy Brown from DeVinci stone. It was advertised as Quartzite. I had it installed to find it etched with every meal prep. I called DaVinci and they said they could not understand why it did that. As it turns out my countertop is marble!!! Nothing I can do about it.

Cre

I believe fantasy brown is really a marble. Been toacouple if local slab sellers

Dawn

Was getting ready to buy a quartzite called “avalanche” but now I am not sure if it is true quartzite…Any help or insight would be so appreciated!!

Susana

Let me know what you find out. I’m considering the same for a large island and wouldn’t want it to etch etc.

Jen K

Did you ever find out if Avalanche was in fact a quartzite? It really does look beautiful!

ann

“Most” quartzite has a translucent like look — some can be back lit or under-lit like onyx. The more translucent the harder it is. You can see runs of quartz in some marble and granite products. it is very distinctive. When polished it should look like glass.

Anna Kuzminsky

We had a quartzite (Snow Princess) installed about 2 years ago and moisture is seeping in through the cut edges and in along the veins, which now are showing signs of cracking and separating. One explanation we got is that the stone is actually porous and the sealer that is applied to the surface does not actually seal the cut edges. Any ideas?

Scott J

That should not be happening. Have you contacted the installer?

Kirsten

Funny, I was just at a slab warehouse in San Francisco this afternoon where I was telling them about the things I had read here on Houzz and how some quartzites are etching when buyers were told they would not. The salesperson told me that they did have to reclassify one of the white quartzites as marble because it was etching–I think I remember her saying it was Snow Princess (but I could have remembered this wrongly.) If that’s right, then I think you may have ended up with a stone that is more like marble. Maybe that’s part of the problem?

Greg

Thinking of buying Ocean Beige quartzite. Having read comments re quartzite vs. marble vs. granite, I’m a bit uneasy about proceeding. Does anyone know whether Ocean Beige is quartzite? Should I press the salesman to perform the “glass test”? Any other suggestions? Thanks….

Scott J

I would ask for a sample and take it home and test it. They’ll usually be happy to knock a piece off the corner for you. Just tell them you want to take it home to experiment with color options.

ann

Visit other stone yards. Look for the Importers in your area — don’t know where you live, but http://www.msistone.com is in multiple cities throughout the US. Importers ONLY sell/distribute to the trade, so your fabricator would have to purchase from them. Some won’t talk to you without proper credentials — they are not retailers, but they will answer questions if you call and can direct you to the dealers in your area. If they aren’t in your area look for someone like them that distributes to the dealers. Fabricators USUALLY don’t import, they purchase. Again, dealers and fabricators change names to prevent price shopping. DO NOT try to purchase or get pricing from an Importer. if they will sell to you, it will not be at wholesale.

Jessica

Is fantasy brown & ocean beige the same thing?

San

Hi Jessica,
yes they are the same, stones get re named all the time.

Colleen

Am considering buying Belvedere black leathered quartzite for my kitchen. It’s very expensive and before I make the leap, I’d like to hear from others with experience with this quartzite or another black one. True quartzite? Etching? I am a gourmet cook, and while my meals are exquisite, my clean-as-you-go skills are not a strength of mine. Help!

Shan

Hi Colleen,
You should look into Black fusion granite or cosmic black, they are very similar to belvedere. And those granites are always available leathered finish.

Linda

We heard from a distributor yesterday that leathered finishes, while beautiful, are not appropriate in a high-use kitchen because that finish makes the stone more available for stain/etching. We were looking at a sueded quartz and a leathered quartzite and he was very clear that we would not be happy in time so now we’ll go with a full polish and make sealing it a quarterly job.

Briggs, B.

Anyone ever heard of Opal White Quartzite? The salesman said not to use it outside which made me wonder and is contrary to what the kitchen designer indicated above.

Scott J

I would go with what the salesman says. He is likely more knowledgeable about particular stones.

Terri Denmark

Hi! I am considering a quartzite called Avalanche. Does anyone know is this is a true quartzite? I realize I can go do the glass test but was just wondering if anyone knew. Thanks!

Yu Chi

Hi, Read all of the comments made me worry. I was going to order ice flake quartzite, i got $88 per s/f. This sounds too cheap to be a real one? Please help!

Chi

Scott J

It’s completely possible to find it for that price or possibly for even less depending on where you live. You can read our buyers guide here at this link.

Rodrigo

hello Yu Chi !!! May I ask in what state do you live in? and if you have already completed your project ?

Amy Amaru

We are thinking of buying a quartize called Statuario. Gorgeous. Looks a bit like Calcutta Gold. Also thinking of Tag Mahal. Anyone have experience with either of those. I don’t like Granite and a bit nervouse about Quartzite. I can’t find Statuario anywhere online for photos. I was told it was new from Italy. Thanks.

raseldu

Statuario and Calcutta Gold are both Marbles. Taj Mahal on the other hand is a Quartzite.

Cre

Just had amazonite Countertops installed. Beautiful. I’ve been told it’s a quartzite and been told it’s a granite. Any suggestions for best long term sealers

Tom Pappalardo

We used Taj Mahal in our last house kitchen remodel and loved it! We just did a major kitchen addition on our new/old house (1900 American
Foursquare) and used Taj Mahal again. It is beautiful and simple to maintain. Taj Mahal is the real deal….quartzite. We found many very white granites were being called quartzite….they are not. Be careful and make sure you are getting what you want….quartzite and not a granite.

ann

statutaro is a type of marble. It is also a “color” by Pompeii Quartz which is a manufactured composite like a Silestone or Caesar stone. Don’t confuse Quartz with Quartzite.

Kitty

We are considering a quartzite stone called Antigua. Has anyone heard of it? It’s gorgeous but from all comments not sure is pure.

Irena

I really wanted granite as supposedly it’s the hardest wearing stone. But the thing is the nicest pieces I’ve found are quartzite. My kitchen is a very busy place (like Piccadilly Circus) on a good day. I cook a lot. My adult children like to cook. My grandchildren like to paint a lot too. So is quartzite going to be ok?

Chris

Did you get an answer to your question? I have the exact circumstances both re: color for the kitchen and the Piccadilly Circus. I am looking around the internet and cannot find a definitive answer.

Beth

So I am looking at An infinity black leathered quartzite. It’s super pricy but I’ve fallen in love with it. I called and was assured by the national distributor that this is a true quartzite- it’s pretty solid in color. Should I believe them? It’s pretty rare I’ve been told it was mined out of Italy. But I would cry if it etches. Thoughts? Any way I can be sure they are telling me the truth? Will the leathering mess up the stone’s ability to be etched? Thanks!

ann

Look at Soapstone! Indestructible — it was in your High School chemistry labs… Impervious. darkens with age or with mineral oil and is beautiful

L

Hi all! Great information, I am struggling to decide between what I am told is a quartzite and a calcite marble. They both look very similar with large crystals but I like the details of the calcite better. Installing in my kitchen will I notice a big difference in wear between the two materials? We do cook a lot and have two little girls so I want to make sure we are making the right choice. We can be diligent to seal every year. I am hearing conflicting information all over and could use a little advice! Thanks!!

Joann Holder

I’d like to share my experience because I actually had all of the good, bad and the ugly happen to me over quartzite. I needed 6 large slabs of stone for my kitchen. I wanted a marble look-alike but not the etching and softness of marble. There is a lot of counter surface in my kitchen and it’s a very open floor plan. We like the polished finish for our space. In my innocence I went to Tez Marble on the San Francisco Peninsula and they sold me 6 slabs of a gorgeous “quartzite” called Super White. It’s gorgeous and looked like wonderful marble. Good reason, it IS marble (dolomitic marble)! I didn’t know until the stone mason got delivery of the slabs and told us it isn’t quartzite because he wouldn’t be able to cut it with marble bits if it was. Stunned, we started a serious search and found the fabulous geologist on Garden Web who posted the authoritative information. We also tested it with acid and glass. It didn’t pass. No way was I going to put that stuff in my kitchen. I’m a cook and a baker…it would have been a mess in short order. So…with the help of our contractor I went to other slab yards armed with a small glass tile. It was pretty easy to test the edge of the slab by scratching the tile against the exposed edge. It’s the only stone that will substantially scratch the glass. Long story shorter, we got 6 slabs from Apex Marble in San Jose of true quartzite (White Macaubas). That was three years ago. It still looks new and it wears like iron. It’s gorgeous and worth every penny to me. If your stone etches, or scratches, or gets divots then it’s likely marble. It isn’t widely available so don’t let unscrupulous slab yards try to sell you a fake. Marble is a lot cheaper. I think they just want to get quartzite prices for marble and are preying on the uninformed public. There is a lot of misinformation out there on this stone. Maybe it’s not for you given all the stress surrounding the purchase. But if it IS your choice I think you’ll be so happy with the results.

Jillian

I’m glad it worked out for you and you are correct. Super white is classified as a quartzite but we know better having dealt with it as fabricator’s.

Kim

Do you believe that no “Super White” is truly quartzite? If I find White Macaubus is that more likely to be true quartzite, or is that risky too.

Anthony

Hi Joann, Could you please share your fabricator’s company name? I’m in the bay area and had been considering the same material from TEZ!

Christine Bradley

We are looking at quartzite and White Macaubus was in our top three. Great choice! I’m going to try to verify our first choice (guigoni quartzite) is just as good. It has quartzite in the name but now I’m nervous.

Thanks for the review!!

Jami

OMG…just read your info and I am in love with white macabus and have been really squared to pull the trigger due to all the stories. I don’t want to stress about acid spilling on the counter top although I keep a super clean kitchen and never leave anything out. I planned on doing my countertops with a honed finish as that has been recommend in helping with it. Are your honed??

ruby

Joann,
I am so glad that you love our(Apex Marble) slabs and are enjoying your kitchen!Thanks to the patronage of great customers and their referrals we have been able to expand our store to provide about 30,000 sqft of material display.

Leslie

I just picked out Carrera Extra Leather calcite for a kitchen countertop. Upon reading comments, I’m not worried about the care. However, I can’t find any site that tells me what is the cost difference between calcite and granite. Since the seller of these slabs won’t tell you, does anyone know? Thanks

Grant Lawson

Question: We’re having new countertops installed in our bathrooms. The stone originates from Italy and is called Italian Quartzite Marble. From what I understand they are two very different stones so how is it that this stone is named both?

Scott J

That’s just a name marketers tagged it with. It’e either one or the other, Grant.

Vivian

What do you mean by etching? What happens to the surface and what would cause it to etch when it is not pure quartzite? Thank you

Ashley

Etching happens when there is an acidic product on your stone..ex vinegar or mustard. If your stone isnt properly sealed it leaves a faint mark.. it doesnt discolour like a stain but if you look at it at certain angles it looks like the luster is missing from that area. We tested Crystal Ice Quartzite specifically.

Mary

We are thinking of getting fantasy brown quartzite for our kitchen countertops. Does anybody out there have this for there kitchen and how do you like it?

Kathy

We just had fantasy brown quartzite counters installed this week. I love them,the look the solidness and especially the color. So how are you liking yours?

Jillian

Fantasy Brown is not a true quartzite. In fact it is a true marble. As a fabricator we have problems explaining to customer’s that it isn’t because suppliers will sell it as one.

Lisa

I have elegant brown. When I bought it I was told it was granite. A person who came to seal it said it was quartzite. It is the most beautiful slab I have seen but it etches with anything acidic. It makes sense that it is actually marble.

Charlie natural stone specialist

which ever it is that you decide to put in your home. seal your countertop’s I tell this to customers all the time. look for the non commercial or if so, ask the fabricator to let it stand on stone for few min. not to wipe on wipe off. no. that’s not sealing

Christy

We just did our kitchens with fantasy brown and they are beautiful however in the week we’ve had them they’ve developed little rust looking spots all over. Not sure from what since we’ve been babying them. Dissapointed if this is a sign of things to come

Marco

I am having countertops installed in two weeks. After looking at slabs, the product I have chosen is marketed as Mont Blanc Marble.

Google searches keep showing me Mont Blanc Quartzite.

Is there a Mont Blanc Marble? Is the seller mislabeling the stone? She says it’s harder than Carrera marble but softer than granite, and it will etch. Any ideas what exactly I am buying?

Lynn Doty

We just had sandulus quartzite installed and it is stunning. It was sealed and they said it would last 25 years. We couldn’t be any happier with our huge investment.

Jillian

There is no such thing as a guarantee of how long a sealer will last. If it has to be sealed again you will know if the water isn’t beading up on top and leaving water ring’s. It is a simple process in fact it’s like wiping your counter’s off when you clean your kitchen.

Kathie

Jillian – what product should I use to seal my granite counter top? It is looking very dull and constantly water spots.

Valerie_J

I had Super White quartzite installed this week. Have asked the place where I purchased about cleaning and revealing but they can’t even tell me the sealant they uses. I’ve heard that Grand quartz 413S works. Is that true? How often should I apply? Thanks.

Alice Virden-Speer

I’ve done a lot of research on this and here is what I know and an awesome geologist has weighed in (so really I’m just the messenger). There is quartzite and there is marble with nothing “in-between”. If your sample is etching, you have dolomite marble. Period. Resin has nothing to do with the etching, it’s that you don’t have quartzite. Do a glass test, your glass will scratch easily, not slide over it. Put a lemon on for a day. Then you’ll know. It’s really simple to figure out what you have. Problem is that some sales people don’t really know and it’s easy to be confused.

Jeff

We just had silver quartzite installed [March 2016]. They told us this needs to be resealed in 15 years. Any truth to this? I have no idea what it was sealed with as it wasn’t discussed, so I’m not sure they got $100s out of us

Also it does have some apparently ‘stains’ from the manufacturing process. They are supposed to check to see if anything can be done to remove them

Also, I ‘think’ we might have a small stain already, is there anything we can do to get rid of it?

Sue

We just finished installing Iceberg quartzite. I haven’t seen too much online about this stone and wondered if anyone has a few years experience with it, ie.stains and/ or etching. Ours is mostly gray and white, looking very much like cracked ice on a pond.

Dee

I have had my Antartide/Iceberg quartzite for almost 3 years. It does etch but it seems to buff out with a dry cloth. I was told I didn’t need to seal it yearly or do anything to it and I haven’t. I will say that there are now a few nick’s at the surface where previously there were crystals that have just come out of the counter top. This is few and far between though and I am still very happy with my purchase. I just love the color and pattern.

Alison tegeler

I too have white with gray quartzite..2 years so far and everyone just raves of its beauty..I seal it yearly and wipe it down daily..I’m Not putting heat or any wet stuff on it…

Beth

Hi what did you use to seal. Thanks.

linda

I am about to buy a quartzite called Super White. Can I trust the salesman from MSI to tell me the truth of whether it is pure and will not etch. I now have granite for 15 years but loved the color combination of quartzite. I now have blue eyes. Help…..I need advice. How to I check to see if it etches?

MD

How can quartzite be an “8” on the Mohs scale if quartz (silicon dioxide) itself is how the Mohs scale defines a “7”?

Greg

Crystalline structure.

Just like with a high carbon steel, you are dealing with something with the same molecular composition, however, the organization of the molecules change because of the varying molecular bonds within the structures created; in some cases, such as this, they are stronger than the original element you are working with… Or in this case, the earth is working with. Immense heat and pressure do a lot more with rocks and minerals than man can do with a furnace, hammer, and anvil.

Think of the crust and mantle like natures hammer and anvil, and the insane heat caused from friction as the furnace; out comes something much stronger than the two minerals that we started with… In the case of quartzite, we have Quartz and limestone I believe (a 7 and a 2-4 on the Moh’s scale respectively)

Let’s talk practicality… Unless you are using this countertop for something other than standard daily use in an indoor kitchen, you aren’t going to see much difference in the way of maintenance regarding your countertop surface on a day to day basis.

The only instance off the top of my head (being a kitchen and bath designer) with any sort of practical needs vs. stone/color preferences would be if you want a white countertop (marble or quartzite) on an outdoor application. If this is the case, you want to go with a top that’s less influenced by the elements. That leaves you with one one option, quartzite.

Greg K.
Atlanta, Ga
Greg@mcgranitecountertops.com

Rosalie

How do you know what percent is pure quartize and if it will e as durable as granite? Will the seller tell you the truth? How can it be teste before purchase? Thanks.

Marc Miltenberger

Pure quartzite is generally comprised of 90% or more of quartz and other trace minerals. Its beauty and durability vary from the minor amounts of impurities being incorporated with the quartz during metamorphism millions of years ago. It can vary in density and hardness. How stone is created is important to understand, because the composition affects it’s hardness and density. No two granites or quartzite’s are the same. The hardness of a stone is relative to the stone’s density. There is no set rule one can follow, they are both hard. The question is what do you think is beautiful? “Calacatta Borghini” or “Calacatta Oro Franchi” both amazingly beautiful marbles! And you thought quartzite’s are expensive.

Anonymous

Quartzite it the best and most expensive hands down.

I haven’t aren’t quartzite sell for $150/sf… You are sadly mistaken. It’s not all about hardness, it’s about rarity and demand.

I used to sell Kashmir White at around $40/sf. The quarry that produces it is shut down. I guarantee you I could sell it for $150 today if someone really wanted it. It’s rathet difficult to find a specimen comparable to the purity of earlier samples pulled from that particular quarry let alone one period. Find me a perfect slab of that and I’ll show you how quartzite can look cheap if we are just talking price.

Ron L

Interesting column, but what was the date on it? I keep hearing about new protections (esp. Dupont) that only need application every 10-15 years. Is’t possible?

Anthony Greer

Hi Ron,

This column was written towards the end of 2013, but I’ll keep it updated. Check with your local stone supplier to see what they have for sealants. They have much better options than just about any hardware store.

Don’t be fooled. You should be sealing any natural stone countertop yearly no matter what. Don’t let a salesman yank a few hundred dollars out of you for some false sense of security.

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Updated: August 24, 2018