Both quartz and quartzite have unique properties, making them favorable for homeowners. If you wish to make a choice between the two, you should be informed about their similarities and differences.
What is Quartzite?
Quartzite is a natural metamorphic rock. In other words, it is created in the crust of the earth after experiencing immense pressure and heat. It begins as sand, and after getting compressed, the grains fuse and create incredibly dense and durable quartzite.
It has a similar appearance to marble and is regarded as a more durable and less fussy alternative to it.
Due to its exceptional hardness and durability, quartzite is highly resistant to scratching, heat, and chemical damage. Its ability to withstand high temperatures also makes it an ideal choice for surfaces near stoves and hot objects.
It is important to note that, despite its remarkable strength, quartzite, like any natural stone, should be treated with care.
Proper sealing is recommended to enhance its stain resistance and protect its surface. Regular cleaning using non-abrasive products ensures the longevity and beauty of quartzite countertops.
What is Quartz?
Quartz is a half-natural and half-synthetic stone. It is created through the process of mixing quartzite grains with binders, pigments, and resins. The result is a non-porous and highly resistant stone. It is mixed with pigments and offers a wide variety of colors, patterns, and veins. It is resistant to stains, chipping, and scratching.
Quartz vs. Quartzite (Fully Explained)
As quartz is an engineered stone mixed with pigments, it can pretty much be made into any color. The color options of quartz are almost endless. That being said, if you were to visit a quartz store, they are more than likely going to have the most common colors on hand.
The reason is that colors like beige, cream, white, and light gray are the most desirable and most used, whereas bright and unconventional colors are less likely to be picked. However, showrooms will be able to accommodate you if they don’t readily have the color you were looking for.
While quartzite has a smaller color variety, you can still find slabs with browns, reds, pinks, blues, and greens running through it. Quartzite is known for its similar appearance to marble which gives it a high-scale and luxurious appearance.
This similarity makes it an excellent option for those who want the looks of marble yet don’t want to deal with the upkeep.
Quartz is mixed with resins during its manufacturing process.
This composition makes quartz incredibly durable and long-lasting. Natural quartzite stones are porous; in other words, it has tiny little holes all over them.
These holes make the stone more susceptible to damage and outside factors. If anything were to spill on natural quartzite, it could sink into the stone and cause stains, damage, and discoloration.
Quartz is mixed with resin so that nothing can penetrate the stone. Therefore, it is highly resistant to stains, discoloration, mold, or bacterial growth.
Furthermore, unlike natural stones, quartz does not etch. Etching is the damage that happens on the surface when it encounters acidic substances like lemon and vinegar. These types of substances cause the sealant to dissolve, and stains occur.
On the other hand, quartzite is also a very hard material. As long as it is sealed, it is resistant to outside factors, similar to quartz. If quartzite is your pick, don’t forget that it needs to be resealed yearly.
Quartzite is a natural stone, but it is not uniform like an engineered stone. In other words, quartz can guarantee that all of the quartz slabs will be of the same quality and have the same properties.
However, quartzite can have different properties depending on the specific slab and where it is quarried. This occurs because, in its creation process, quartzite can go through different amounts of pressure and heat.
Quartzite is a naturally occurring material. In other words, quartzite slabs are made up of raw quartzite. It starts as sand grains and becomes sandstone through compression. As it is subjected to more and more heat and pressure, the grains fuse to form a strong and durable stone.
Whereas quartz is an engineered stone, therefore it contains less quartzite. The rest of its composition is synthetic materials such as resin and pigments.
Therefore, quartz can be classified as a hybrid material, part synthetic and part natural. The natural quartz material is ground into small granules, then mixed with binders and polymers. These ingredients create a material that is extremely strong and durable.
As quartzite is a natural stone, it can be a bit more costly compared to quartz. How much the quartzite will cost depends on many factors, such as the thickness and the composition of the slab.
However, as quartzite countertops or other home improvements are very attractive to potential buyers, the quartzite cost can be considered an investment.
Another thing to take into account is the source of the material. Whether it is quartz or quartzite, local materials will likely cost less than those that must be shipped overseas. Visiting large showrooms will allow you to compare the options and make the best choice for yourself economically.
As quartz is partly synthetic, they are the more affordable option between the two. However, regardless of which one you decide to invest in, the cost of the slab itself isn’t the only thing you should take into consideration. How the countertops are installed will directly affect their longevity and durability.
Incorrectly installed countertops can crack under pressure. If the cabinets underneath aren’t strong enough to carry the slab, some adjustments might be necessary, or the cabinets may need to be leveled if they aren’t already.
In short, as this is a long-time investment, hiring professional and experienced installers is best to ensure that the countertops are correctly and safely installed.
Quartzite requires regular sealing to ensure longevity and durability. As mentioned before, natural quartzite is porous; therefore, it will get stained and discolored if not regularly sealed.
That being said, sealed quartzite is very durable and resistant to outside factors. It will not get sealed or discolored, and it will not have any bacterial growth or mold.
If you notice that the surface of the countertops is starting to lose its shine, it might be an indicator that the sealant has started to lose its magic. Professionals usually recommend resealing about once a year.
Quartz doesn’t need to be sealed or resealed as it is already mixed in the necessary materials. In other words, it is permanently stain resistant. Moreover, quartz is antimicrobial, making cleaning much easier for you.
When cleaning both quartz and quartzite, you don’t need to use any special products or tools. Usually, a mixture of mild dish soap and warm water combined with a soft, non-abrasive sponge is all you need for daily cleaning.
· Heat Resistance
Quartz is not heat resistant, so you can’t put hot pans, pots, and dishes directly on top of it. The best practice is to use hot pads or trivets as a protective layer. The natural part of the quartz will not be damaged, but the synthetics mixed in will get scorched if they come into contact with extreme heat.
Quartzite is heat resistant, which is an especially handy quality in a kitchen. You can put any hop pans and pots directly on top of your quartzite countertops and islands without any worry.
Related Read: Pros of Quartzite
In conclusion, quartz and quartzite have incredible advantages, and certain aspects might fall short. If you are trying to choose between the two, don’t try to figure out which is better quartz and quartzite; try to find out which is the better option.
Making a must-have qualities list might be helpful; you can later compare that list to the qualities of your potential countertop material to see if it checks all of your boxes. In the end, you should choose the option that will serve you and your needs the most.