What comes to mind when you think of natural stone countertops? Granite and marble, right? Well, there’s a third option taking kitchens and bathrooms by storm in 2020. It’s called quartzite, and it could be the ideal countertop material for you.
Quartzite is a metamorphic rock that forms deep in the earth. Over thousands of years, high heat and pressure fuse sandstone particles together, creating a dense, durable stone. Quartzite is rated 7 to 8 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, which ranges from 1 to 10. For perspective, fingernails are rated 2.5, and diamonds tip the scale at a 10.
The coloring and veining of quartzite vary depending on where the stone is quarried. Some slabs are light and creamy with a marble-like appearance, while others have dark, striking veins and tints of red, pink, green, or blue.
These two materials have much in common. They are both hard, natural stones with gorgeous patterns available. One difference is that granite is an igneous rock formed by molten lava. This means its patterns tend to be busier, with more flecks and less veining than quartzite. The aesthetic difference comes down to personal preference.
It’s also worth noting that quartzite is harder than granite, which has a rating of 6 on the Mohs scale. This makes quartzite potentially more durable and long-lasting.
The elegance of marble countertops is undeniable. However, marble is about a 5 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it more susceptible to scratching and chipping. Because of its calcite content, marble is also prone to etching and staining if it comes in contact with acidic liquids, such as white wine or lemon juice.
Quartzite doesn’t contain calcite, so there’s no possibility of etching, yet its veining often makes it nearly identical to marble. This means you can enjoy the gorgeous appearance of marble countertops without the risk of faster wear and tear.
Quartz countertops contain about 94 percent natural ground quartz combined with polymer resins to make it nonporous and chip-resistant. This manmade material provides a uniform look, with the manufacturer having complete control over the color and pattern. However, some homeowners prefer the uniqueness of a natural quartzite slab, where no two countertops look exactly alike. Also, quartz tops out at about a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, meaning natural quartzite is the more durable material.
If quartzite offers everything you’re looking for in a countertop material, it’s time to compare slab colors and patterns. United Granite has an extensive inventory of natural and engineered stones in our showroom. We can help you decide if quartzite is right for you. Then, our experienced team can install new counters in your Virginia, Maryland, DC, or New Jersey home. To learn more, or to schedule quartzite countertop installation, please send us an email or contact us in Alexandria, Chantilly, or Fredericksburg, VA.