First off, quartzite is not quartz. (More on that later). It’s formed when quartz sandstone is exposed to high temperatures and pressure. These conditions re-crystallize the sand grains and silica cement that binds them. The result is a network of interlocking quartz grains of incredible strength.
Although, the beauty and strength of this natural stone make it a great countertop material for kitchens and bathrooms, yet it does have its drawbacks. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of quartzite countertops.
Quartzite Countertops: Advantages and Disadvantages
Are you looking to buy this natural stone for your kitchen or bathroom countertop? To make an informed decision, let’s consider its strengths and weaknesses.
1) It Looks Like Marble
Quartzite looks like marble. Its unique, swirling grey and white designs make the countertops look interesting and help create an impressive kitchen or bathroom. If you like marble countertops but they’re outside your budget, quartzite is your best bet to get a similar look at a more affordable price.
2) It’s Durable
Quartzite is a natural stone with properties similar to granite, including hardness and durability. The peculiarities of this stone’s formation make it highly resistant to heat and water, meaning it will remain damage-free for a long time. (On the Mohs scale of hardness, quartzite ranks around 7 out of 10.) Additionally, it has a high resistance to the acids that cause etching.
3) It’s Low Maintenance
If you have sealed your quartzite countertop, it will be easy to clean and maintain. Use mild dishwashing soap and warm water to clean spills and you’ll get a spotless countertop ready to use. Avoid chemical-based cleaners as these can damage the sealant.
4) It’s UV Resistant
Are you planning to build an outdoor kitchen? Does your kitchen get a lot of natural light? Quartzite countertops are UV resistant so won’t fade or darken when exposed to direct sunlight.
5) It Looks Great
Quartzite is ideal for contemporary kitchens and bathrooms because of its stunning visual appeal. Its unique veining and natural colours make it an interesting addition.
6) It’s Versatile
Quartzite has a unique colour palette that makes it versatile and attractive. It usually varies between white and grey, but there are many colour variations in earthy tones depending on the rock’s mineral content. That’s why it’s a popular choice for minimalist, industrial and rustic-style kitchens.
1) It’s Prone to Scratches
Although quartzite is strong and durable, it can be damaged by sharp objects like knives. Chopping vegetables on your quartzite kitchen countertop, for instance, will mark up the surface and leave scratches.
2) It’s Expensive
Despite being cheaper than marble, quartzite is still an expensive material for countertops, just like any natural stone. Since it requires diamond cutters to cut, fabricating it to the size of your kitchen or bathroom countertop is an expensive process that demands skilled workers.
3) It’s Porous
Quartzite is a porous material that needs to be sealed. In the absence of sealing, spills can seep in, leading to tough stains and bacterial growth, especially if spills are not wiped up right away. Seal your quartzite countertops at least annually to keep it shiny and free from stain. Depending on the type of quartzite you’ve purchased, you may need to seal it more than once.
4) It’s Difficult to Install
Quartzite is not a suitable countertop material for DIY types to work with. It is a hard, dense, and heavy natural stone that should be installed by skilled craftsmen with advanced tools. So, be sure to hire a countertop fabricator who can also install your countertop.
Differences Between Quartz and Quartzite Countertops
Understanding the difference between quartz and quartzite will help you understand what you want.
- Quartzite is a natural store formed beneath the earth’s surface. It is a metamorphic rock made from quartz sandstone whereas quartz is an engineered stone formed by combining 90% ground quartz with 8-10% resins, polymers and pigments.
- Quartzite is only available in neutral colours like white, black, brown and beige. Quartz comes in a wide spectrum of shades, including deep pink, violet and orange, by adding pigments.
- Quartzite is more scratch and acid resistant than quartz.
- Quartzite won’t get damaged if hot pots or pans are placed directly on it. On the other hand, the resins in quartz will melt and leave a permanent mark if a hot object is placed directly on it.
- Quartz is less expensive than quartzite because of the complexity of transforming mined quartzite into slabs.
Quartzite is a versatile countertop material that works wonder in both kitchens and bathrooms thanks to its durability and resilience. Consider all the pros and cons of quartzite before making a decision. It is perfect for those looking for a sturdy natural stone that mimics marble and matches the earthy tone of their home. However, it’s not a good choice for those looking for countertop materials on a budget who want to install it themselves.
If you are interested in this fabulous natural stone, browse our exclusive collection of quartzite countertops in Toronto for high-quality products at unbeatable prices. Contact us for more details.