In recent years, quartzite countertops have gained great popularity among interior decorators and homeowners alike. However, when discussing countertop options, many homeowners and designers unknowingly use the words quartzite and quartz interchangeably, as if they are one in the same. Often, the word ‘quartzite’ is shortened during conversations to ‘quartz’, which may lead many shoppers to have the mistaken impression that the two materials are one and the same. Not to be confused with each other, these two materials are quite different materials, which require different care and maintenance.
The Difference Between Quartzite and Quartz
The main difference between quartz and quartzite, however, is that quartzite is a natural metamorphic rock while quartz is a man-made product. Quartz is an engineered material made from a combination of resins and natural quartz crystals. These crystals may be found in a wide variety of colors and shades. Quartzite, on the other hand, is a non-foliated metamorphic rock derived from sandstone. Quartzite is therefore natural whereas quartz is man-made and most of the differences between these two materials originate from this basic deviation. In this article, we will learn more about quartzite and why quartzite countertops are so popular.
What is Quartzite?
A hard, metamorphic rock originating from sandstone, the formation of quartzite involves a two-step process. Initially, quartzite rock begins its existence as pure sandstone. Many years of intense heat and pressure under the surface of the earth cause the sandstone to gradually coalesce into a single hardy rock known as quartzite. This process is entirely natural and requires no human intervention.
Moreover, the intense pressure and heat which the sandstone must undergo in order to fuse together ensure that quartzite is extremely hard and durable and has none of the relative fragility of sandstone. This durability makes quartzite the ideal countertop material for kitchens and bathrooms.
The Aesthetics of Quartzite Countertops
Quartzite countertops are for those who want an elegant and attractive kitchen space. Generally, quartzite slabs can be found in shades of white and gray, with occasional splashes of some darker hues such as brown or black. Sometimes, natural quartzite slabs also have hints of other colors such as yellow, pink, blued, red, or green.
These colors originate from the minerals that might have been present during the formation of the rock. For instance, the presence of iron oxide may result in a quartzite slab having hints of red or pink, thus enhancing its natural beauty and adding variety to the slab. In general, quartzite largely resembles marble but is far more durable and resistant to chipping.
Because quartzite occurs naturally and cannot be manufactured, each slab has a unique look and pattern that cannot be replicated. Thus, quartzite countertops are perfect if you want a customized look for your kitchen space. Quartzite is generally light-colored and has relatively neutral hues. As a result, quartzite slabs can blend seamlessly with all types of kitchen décor.
The veining present on the surface of quartzite adds some character and uniqueness to the stone. Thus, the beauty and elegance of quartzite countertops are quite unmatched and such a countertop can transform the entire look of your kitchen interiors.
Durability, Longevity, and Maintenance of Quartzite Stone Slabs
Quartzite slabs are highly resistant to scratches, dents, and etching. Being extremely hard and durable, quartzite is not easily damaged and can sustain heavy use with little sign of wear and tear. Quartzite needs to be sealed at regular intervals. However, with proper sealing and minimal yet quality maintenance, quartzite countertops can successfully retain its beauty for many years, without being affected by staining and etching. Quartzite slabs only need to be sealed once a year for best results, however this may vary depending on the amount of usage your counter gets daily.
Being slightly harder than granite and most other types of natural rock, quartzite can also withstand quite a lot of heat, moreso than its confused counterpart, quartz. Although it is always a good idea to opt for a trivet or pad, this stone’s resistance to heat still makes it and ideal option for kitchen countertops without having to worry about damaging it.
Quartzite countertops are also quite low maintenance. All you need to do is to seal the surface at regular intervals, and wipe down any spills as soon as possible, so as to avoid staining. When wiping the surface of a quartzite countertop, you should use a cleaner that has been specifically designed to be used on natural stone countertops. Alternately, you can also use a pH neutral soap and dry the countertop thoroughly, immediately after any spills have been wiped away.
It can be said that quartzite has a number of benefits and is quite an ideal material for the construction of countertops. You should, however, only purchase quartzite countertops from a reputed dealer so as to ensure great quality and satisfactory after-sales service. You can also browse the Internet to learn more about quartzite slabs and choose the type of countertop you want for your dream home!
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