When investing in something as important as countertops, we all want to feel certain that we are making an informed choice. It is safe to say that we all agree quartz is beautiful. In fact, it happens to be one of the most popular countertop choices out there, but is quartz the same as quartzite? The answer is no, quartz is not short for quartzite. In fact, while the two materials do have some similarities, they really are quite different. It is important to understand what those differences are to determine which purchase is best for you.
Engineered Stone Vs. Metamorphic Rock
An article in Consumer Reports helps us to explain that quartz is a synthetic material made in a factory from stone chips, resins, and pigments while quartzite originated as sandstone. Quartzite is an all-natural material that is extracted from quarries and finished into various products, including, you guessed it, countertops.
The Perks of Man-Made Materials
While natural materials like quartzite can be extremely appealing and environmentally friendly, they do have their limitations. One perk of using quartz is the volume in design options. Take coloring for example. In quartzite, you will generally find hues of whites and grays while in quartz the color options are virtually endless. Likewise, the patterns in quartz can be veined or flecked in a variety of different ways. These patterns are typically uniform across a slab while the patterns found in quartzite are random and will be variable throughout each slab.
Substantial Surface Distinctions Illuminated
We will start with quartzite. Since it is a natural material, you will find the surface to be slightly rougher than quartz giving it that organic earthy feel. You can thank Mother Nature for that along with its somewhat harder, heat and scratch-resistant surface. However, due to this texture, quartzite surfaces do need to be sealed annually, and sometimes more frequently, to protect them from bacteria and staining. Quartz on the other hand is slightly more susceptible to the possibility of an accidental etching or scorching. On the plus side, no sealing is required since its smooth non-porous surface was already created to deter bacteria and stains alike.
|How It Is Made
||Engineered / synthetic material made in a factory from stone chips, resins, and pigments
||All-natural, metamorphic sandstone extracted from quarries
||Unlimited color options
||Whites and grays
||Veined or flecked uniformly across a slab
||Random and variable throughout slabs
||Kitchen Countertops; Waterfall Islands; Bathroom Vanity Countertops; Tub Surrounds and Shower Walls; Laundry/Utility Countertops; Contract Furniture/Conference Tables; Transaction/Reception; Countertops; Food Service & Beverage Countertops
||Countertops, wall cladding, flooring, fireplace surrounds, backsplash
||Smooth non-porous, stain resistant surface
||Rougher surface with organic feel
||Durable, but susceptible to the possibility of an accidental etching or scorching.
||Harder, heat, stain, and scratch-resistant surface.
||No sealing is required was already created to deter bacteria and stains alike.
||Minimal maintenance, however, due to this texture, quartzite surfaces do need to be sealed annually, and sometimes more frequently, to protect them from bacteria and staining.
Is Quartzite or Quartz Right for You?
Quartzite or quartz, it is hard to go wrong. Either selection would ensure your countertops to be both durable and beautiful. However, it is important to find the perfect fit for you. Perhaps you would like to continue your research and investigate the difference between quartz, marble, and granite. Whether you have questions that need answers, or you are ready to get started on your project, our team at Francini Inc. would love to hear from you. When you are ready to discuss your dream kitchen, give us a call or visit one of our slab galleries.