While shopping for countertops for your new home or for your kitchen or bath remodel, you may have heard of quartz and quartzite and wondered what the difference was. Perhaps you even thought that they were the same thing. In actuality, quartz and quartzite are two distinct materials with differing looks and characteristics.
Quartz, the countertop material is an engineered or manufactured stone made of ground mineral quartz and resin. Quartz countertops are generally 90 percent ground quartz (mineral) and 10 percent resin. Quartz countertops are not heat resistant (due to the resin), but they are non-porous, unlike many natural stone countertop materials. The non-porous nature of manufactured quartz countertops means that they resist staining and bacteria and are easy to clean and maintain.
Quartz the mineral is one of the most abundant minerals on the surface of the Earth. It is a hard stone—ranking at a 7 on Moh’s scale of hardness—and therefore resistant to chipping and erosion. It is formed from oxygen and silicon, and in its pure form is clear in color. Depending on the impurities present in the mineral, it can be found in white, yellow (citrine), purple (amethyst), pink (rose). These colors lend quartz countertops their soft coloring, though manufactured quartz countertops sometimes contain coloring agents to enhance or create a specific color.
Quartzite is a metamorphic rock originally formed from sandstone. Sandstone becomes quartzite under extreme heat and pressure. Like granite, quartzite is mined from a quarry and milled into slabs, which are then fabricated into countertops and other things. In terms of performance, quartzite is similar to granite; it’s hard and durable and resists heat and staining. Much quartzite has white and gray coloring, similar to marble, though it also occurs in shades of red and pink.
Both quartz and quartzite are excellent countertop materials, and both generally rank at a slightly higher price point than granite. While quartzite, being a natural stone, has a more unique appearance than quartz, quartz as an engineered material is generally more abundant and available. Depending on your aesthetic and your needs, either could be a beautiful addition to your home.
Whether you choose quartz, quartzite, or another type of stone, Kowalski Granite and Quartz has a large collection of stone slabs available to view. Schedule an appointment to view our showroom or stop in today!