What is Quartzite?

Quartzite Countertops. ColoradoSurfaces.com

Countertops, countertops, countertops...There are SO MANY options your head could easily spin right off your neck. From granite and marble to limestone and quartz  the possibilities can all start blending together. If you are trying to nail down the best route for you and your kitchen I know it is easy to experience information overload, and I know you need to be introduced to one more option like you need a hole in the head, but this one is special and worth considering.

Allow me to introduce you to quartzite. Have you heard of it? I've noticed it popping up on projects and in conversation over the last few years, so I thought I would do a little research and give you the low down. 

Let me start by saying quartzite is a natural stone and should not be confused with quartz (Cambria, Silestone or Ceasarstone) which is man-made. The names are similar, but their differences are many. 

To begin Quartzite is a natural stone or more specifically a naturally occurring metaphoric rock. It is formed when sandstone is exposed to extreme heat and pressure caused by tectonic plate compression in the crust of the earth. But what does that really mean? Let's dig a little deeper and explore the properties, aesthetics and price point of this countertop option. 

Properties:

Quartzite is an extremely hard surface, even harder than glass, and it is heat resistant making it a very durable option.

One of the biggest advantages to quartzite aside from it's durability  is the fact that it is acid and water soluble, meaning unlike marble the surface can not be etched by water or anything acidic. HOWEVER, these great qualities only come from quartzite in it's purest form. Even with it's durable nature quartzite, like other natural stones (granite, marble and limestone) can require regular sealing.

 

Aesthetics:

When it comes to being pretty, quartzite pretty much has it in the bag. The exotic and random veining and depth of color make it aesthetically desirable. Quartzite is naturally white in color, very similar to marble, however impurities in the stone can create beautiful patterns and color. Because it is a natural stone, specific colors and veining will vary from stone to stone, but quartzite in general is known to be a beautiful and unique countertop selection. 

Price and Availability:

Quartzite, it is beautiful and durable, what more could one want from their countertop? What's  not to love? Honestly, there is not one thing not to love AS LONG as we are talking about quartzite in it's purest form.  Originally, 100% quartzite is all that was sold, but as the stone became increasingly popular, supplies ran low and now finding 100% quartzite can be difficult and pricey. It became apparent that people were not getting the real deal when their countertops began etching when exposed to water or acids. If you are in the market for quartzite be prepared for the price tag. True quartzite in it's truest form is not inexpensive. Before you pull the trigger on the perfect piece for your space be sure to have a small section tested with acidic liquids to ensure you are getting what you are paying for.

 

All in all quartzite is definitely a selection to consider as you navigate your way through the many countertop options. Like all interior design decisions, what countertop you select for you and your space is personal to you and should reflect the durability, ease of maintenance and appearance that is right for your home and lifestyle.