Stone Profile: Quartzite

 

Quartzite has become an increasingly in-demand natural stone in the last two years. Besides it’s unique beauty, quartzite attracts homeowners with its unique potential for the look of marble with the durability and maintenance-free(dom) of granite.

 

 

Quartzite (not to be confused with man-made “quartz”) is often actually harder than granite. It is a tough, non-foliated metamorphic rock with a large amount of natural quartz (again, the mineral, not the term used to describe engineered counter materials like Caesarstone or Silestone).

 

 

Quick geology lesson: there are three main categories of rocks in the world: Igneous, Metamorphic, and Sedimentary. Granite is an igneous rock. Marble and Quartzite are metamorphic. However, as mentioned before, quartzite is much harder than marble and often harder than granite. But, since it is metamorphic, quartzite tends to look more like marble than granite.

 

 

Quartzite changed from sandstone and/or chert into its present state after extreme pressure and heat underground, probably thousands of years ago. That is why it has that stunning glassy finish. It is often white and grey in coloration (like the Super White). Fun fact: in the stone age, quartzite was used as a substitute for flint.

 

 

 

While quartzite is usually a white/ gray color, it can have other colors in it as well. Colored quartzite is due to “mineral impurities.” This doesn’t mean the colored quartzites are inferior for countertop use, although some, like Wood Stone Granite, are a little softer than some of the harder quartzites (but still much harder than marble). Wood Stone Granite (it’s usually called granite at most fabricators and suppliers, so we’ll use that term for consistency) is a beautiful example of a quartzite that has been colored by some atypical mineral:

 

 

And here is a video of Lori, Kimi, and Hannah being cute back before any of our clients knew what quartzite was:

 

If you have any questions about quartzite, we are more than happy to help you out in person or via email, houzz, twitter, facebook, or however else you want to get ahold of us! And you can see more photos each of these projects by clicking on the photo or by visiting our photo gallery.

5 responses to “Stone Profile: Quartzite

  1. We are installing Taj Mahal in our kithen as an island, the fabricator is offering to seal it with Granite Shield, is it necessary the cost is about $14 per sq ft,
    Thank you
    Keith

  2. What’s the difference between soft quartzite and quartzite?

    We’re considering using a soft quartzite for a large kitchen island. The soft quartzite we’re considering is called sequoia gray and it has a leathered finish. It’s a white and gray colored stone. We’re concerned about how stain resistant this material will be to spills from things like red wine or oils with strong colors or red beets. The leathered finish makes it appear that the soft quartzite will be more likely to absorb some of the colors should things spill on it. Should we be concerned? What’s your experience been with using soft quartzite for heavy work areas in kitchens?

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for your comment. The leathering doesn’t make it more susceptible to staining or etching. The only thing that is worth noting for leathered stones is that if it etches, using a polishing powder to remove the etch can leave a shiny spot on the stone.

      However, other than that, you want to make sure you use a heavy duty, specialized sealer and apply it 3-4 times a year. Regent’s Zeta seal is the best for quartzite. Our article on caring for quartzite is in the queue, but you can just follow the instructions for sealing marble (the link to the Zeta is there as well) in our article on marble care:http://granitegrannies.com/how-to-clean-maintain-and-repair-marble-countertops/ Caring for soft quartzite will be similar to the marble except you don’t have to worry about heat and the risk of etching and staining is much lower. You should be fine. We’ve used the softer quarzites in kitchen and had pretty good results. Just make sure to clean and seal your stone properly, and you should be ok.

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