Quartzite is a metamorphic rock that started out as sandstone. When sandstone is subjected to extreme heat and pressure (such as that caused by tectonic plate compression) it becomes quartzite.
Quartzite is the “hot new thing”. While this natural stone has been around for a long time, it is currently seeing a surge in popularity both in residential and commercial properties. It offers the elegant look of marble without some of the disadvantages. Quartzite offers a classy touch with a hint of “edge” or “modernness”.
Quartzite typically comes in shades of white and gray. However, “impurities” in the stone can cause other colors to be present. For example, iron oxide in quartzite may create hues of pink or red. Slabs of quartzite tend to have a lot of veining and movement so your piece will most likely have color variations.
Quartzite is primarily available in 2 finishes: Polished and honed (a.k.a. matte).
Achieved through grinding and buffing the material, this finish creates a glossy surface that really highlights the details and variations of a slab of quartzite. Polished quartzite is less porous than honed meaning choosing this finish will make your countertop more resistant to staining.
Honed (a.k.a. matte)
Achieved through sanding, this finish adds a smooth texture to quartzite. However, it will make the color seem muted. Honed quartzite doesn’t show etching as easily as a polished finish; however, the honing process opens the pores making it more susceptible to staining.
There are many pros to quartzite. Including:
Quartzite is an all natural product. It is a beautiful way to invite Mother Nature into your home.
Since quartzite is a natural product, no two pieces are identical. This means, when you choose quartzite, you are guaranteed to get a completely unique product.
Quartzite is heat resistant and therefore unlikely to be harmed by contact with hot materials like cookware and styling tools.
High Abrasion Resistance
Quartzite is tough. It is harder than granite and quartz. While it is not indestructible (no material is), it will stand up well to wear and tear.
Since quartzite is a rock, it is porous; however, it is a lot less porous than some other materials. This is one of its big advantages over marble. In addition, since it doesn’t contain calcite, quartzite is not as easily etched by acidic products.
Unfortunately, there are also some cons to quartzite. Including:
Quartzite does require maintenance in the form of sealing. You will need to seal your countertops on a regular basis (typically annually) to help prevent staining.
Quartzite’s color options can be a bit limiting. As mentioned above, quartzite mainly comes in shades of white and gray which may not work well with your chosen color palette.
Quartzite can be costly in comparisons to other natural stones.
Quartzite is a trendy product… and for good reason. Its beautiful appearance makes it a focal point of any room and its durability makes it a good choice for rooms that are highly trafficked and lived in. Unfortunately, it does have some disadvantages including a price point that may make it unattainable for some shoppers. If you’re in love with marble but discouraged by some of its cons, quartzite should definitely be on your list of materials to review.