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 8/10. 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.