There are many different kinds of countertops on the market today, and it can be bewildering trying to choose between them all.
If you have been looking into upgrading your countertops, or are building a new house, you have probably noticed people talking about quartzite countertops versus quartz countertops.
Quartz and quartzite are not the same things, but many people are unaware of this. Because they are not the same material, they wear differently, are made differently, and are maintained differently.
Quartzite is like quartz’s poor stand-in and you should avoid it for a whole host of reasons.
A. Reasons to Avoid Quartzite Countertops
While quartzite can be beautiful, it offers very few advantages, if any, over quartz. You need to keep in mind that you are going to be installing these materials as countertops.
Countertops need to hold up to spills, stains, heat, cold, and other abuses. Picking an impractical countertop material is just asking for issues down the road.
1. Quartzsite is Very Porous
Quartzite is made from sand which collects on sand dunes and forms sandstones. These layers of sand become compressed and form a light grey or white stone.
The stone may have inclusions of reds, blues, and greens as well. Because of the nature of the formation of quartzite, it is very porous.
This means that quartzite will let in liquid, bacteria, and any other substance that is spilled on it. Stains and damage are all too common with quartzite counters, especially when they are placed in the kitchen.
How useful is a kitchen counter that grabs onto every drop of red wine, every bit of bacteria, or every bit of grit and grime that comes into contact with it?
Quartz is far more durable than quartzite because it is a manufactured product. This means that it will be more durable, last longer, and be far less porous than quartzite.
It also can be sealed way more effectively than quartzite, making it an ideal alternative to quartzite in nearly every way.
2. Quartzite Has to be Polished
Because quartzite is a naturally-occurring stone, it requires more upkeep than a manufactured product like quartz.
Quartzite will grow dull, or cloudy over time and will require that chips, cracks, and other scuffs be polished out from time to time. The entire surface will then need to be resealed to protect it.
Quartzite countertops wear down every 1 to 2 years. Quartz countertops will not need to be resealed or polished nearly as often, marking another example of their superiority over quartzite.
While quartz counters can still become scuffed or scratched, it is a much harder material and will be much less likely to show this kind of wear and tear.
You might have to polish and reseal a quartz countertop once in its lifetime, compared to doing this process annually with a quartzite countertop.
3. Quartzite requires Custom Cutting
Quartzite, like most natural stones, is harder to work with during the installation process.
Custom shapes are harder to create with quartzite and it requires specifically skilled technicians to install these countertops.
You may also have to buy extra material beyond the square footage that you actually need in case of imperfections in the slab that you have purchased from.
Because quartz is manufactured, you can buy exactly the amount that you need for your job and it can be installed by a regular counter installer in most cases.
This will cut down on installation costs and hassles and the fact that you don’t need any extra material in case of issues with the purity of the product will save you money.
4. Quartzite Can be Inconsistent in Color
Sort of like marble, quartzite can show inconsistencies in color throughout the slab. If you don’t mind variable colors, then this will be fine with you, but for most people, they want their countertops to match.
Quartzite can display a wide range of color variations that will make some sections more colorful than others.
This issue is easy to avoid with quartz, which is manufactured and is therefore consistent in color. When you buy quartz, you are not buying a variable product.
You can simply pick the color surface that you want and have it installed. What could be easier than that?
5. Quartz Offers More Potential for Customization
As mentioned before, quartzite can be tricky to cut and tricky to work with. This means that custom shapes and custom areas may not be a good fit for quartzite installation.
How frustrating would it be to find a quartzite that you love, but not be able to use in your new house because of issues with the installation?
Quartz is the right solution for this problem because its quality and behavior are consistent.
This means that you will be able to use it for any job that you can dream up and you will not have to wonder if it will work out once your contractor goes to place it in your new home or remodel.
Quartz cuts easily because it is resistant to cracking, so waterfall countertops, custom shapes, and small areas present no problem with the installation.
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B. Quartz is the Ideal Alternative to Quartzite
There really is no better option for your countertop needs than quartz. The cost of the material is almost exactly the same as quartzite, and the durability is far superior.
Additionally, you will save money on installation because quartz is consistent, does not crack, and is easy to use in custom spaces.
If you have fallen in love with a quartzite countertop, you need to remember that you are signing up for annual polishing and resealing, for stains and chips, and a whole host of other issues that come along with naturally occurring building materials.
Save yourself money and heartache and install quartz countertops in your home.
Andy K says
We just installed Mont Blanc quartzite counters in a vacation home. We found the slabs at a nearby Arizona Tile office — they were polished and we wanted honed. Had them shipped to our fabricator for honing and installation. Came up after installation and the counters were not honed but sand blasted. Very rough texture. So, the fabricator honed them by hand in our house — and the surface is very nice. However, the surface appears to emitting quartz crystals all the time — seriously, I rub my hand across them and my fingers are covered in small crystals. The fabricator came out and put 4 coats of a 25-year sealer on them and they were nice for about 3 hours, but then the quartz crystals began to appear again.
Any idea where the problem occurred? Are these bad slabs and/or did the fabricator make a mistake? Did the sand blasting damage the slabs? We have to replace these kitchen counters (and we paid a huge premium for this Mont Blanc). as they are not getting any better and the Fabricator says he’s never seen anything like it. Neither AZ Tile or the fabricator is taking responsibility for anything. Where does the blame lie here and what should we do about it?