Quartzite and quartz are two similar building materials – but they are not the same. However, many homeowners still use the terms interchangeably when discussing adding quartzite to their homes in kitchen, bathrooms, or more.
What is quartzite?
Quartzite is a metamorphic rock made almost entirely of the mineral quartz. This natural stone begins its geological life as grains of sand. Over time, the grains are compressed together to form sandstone; if this sandstone is deeply buried under other layers of rock, it gets hotter and more compressed and eventually the dense, durable stone quartzite forms.
Quartzite is usually light-colored or white because the quartz sand it is originally made from is also light-colored. However, additional minerals from ground water can create color variations in the stone. Veins of greens, blues, or even iron-reds are common in quartzite slabs.
Benefits of choosing quartzite
There are a number of benefits to choosing quartzite as a natural stone surface. These include:
- Quartzite is tougher than granite. On the Mohs Hardness Scale, quartzite scores a 7 while granite is usually a 6. This make it’s a more durable stone choice.
- Quartzite looks like marble but doesn’t etch. Quartzite has a very similar look and veining pattern to marble. However, quartzite doesn’t etch or discolor like marble because it is a much harder stone.
- Quartzite is resistant to heat. Because quartzite is formed by high pressure and temperature under the Earth’s surface, it is naturally heat resistant. This makes it ideal for kitchen countertops.
- Quartzite is low maintenance. Quartzite has low porosity which gives it natural antibacterial and anti-mold properties. It can also be cleaned easily for day to day spills and messes; like other natural stones, it should be sealed once a year to help protect the long-lasting quartzite.
- Quartzite is cost effective. If you love the look of a granite countertop – but hate the price tag of granite – quartzite is an excellent alternative. With extremely similar aesthetics to marble, along with easier maintenance and a lower price tag, quartzite is a cost effective alternative.
Using quartzite in the kitchen or bath
Because of its natural resistance to mold and bacteria, its hardness, and its scratch and heat resistance, quartzite is a popular natural stone choice for both kitchens and bathrooms.
In the kitchen, quartzite can be used to create beautiful countertops, bar tops, marble island, or solid backsplashes. Quartzite bears a striking similarity to marble and can be used as a more cost-effective alternative to marble throughout the kitchen. Likewise, in the bathroom quartzite is perfect for use as a shower or tub surround or as wall accents throughout the room.
Most quartzite is white or light-colored with occasional colors such as pinks, blues, and greens caused by the presence of other minerals during the creation of the stone. Taj Mahal quartzite, found in Brazil, is one of the most popular color choices of the stone. A beautiful white stone with veins of soft beige and gold, it is beautiful for waterfall islands, backsplashes, and countertops. Fusion Blue quartzite is a popular color choice for those who enjoy darker or blue-tone stone; shades ranging from light and medium blue to midnight blue and streaks of black make Fusion Blue quartzite a unique focal point for the kitchen or bath.