Be it because of confusion with quartz or due to its similarities with marble, Quartzite is often mislabeled or shrouded in mystery. Worse, some vendors use that to trick buyers into buying different stones claimed to be “soft” quartzite. Well, not you!
Read this article to find out all about what is quartzite, how to identify true slabs of this stone, and how it performs as a countertop.
What is Quartzite?
Quartzite stones are originally sandstone that under unthinkable heat and pressure, many kilometers deep inside the earth, are fused with quartz crystals. This stone is mined, cut into slabs, sold and turned into tiles, backsplashes, and kitchen countertops.
It is a natural stone as opposed to quartz which is man-made and often called an “engineered stone“.
Why is quartzite interesting?
As a natural stone, quartzite is a premium surface and countertop material. It poses as an alternative to Granite, Marble, and others. And a good one.
True quartzite is harder than granite and just as durable. While at the same time, it’s possible to find slabs of it that look like marble, or that are uniquely special and exotic.
Let’s go into details on the properties of this stone that make it such a great choice for your remodeling project.
Properties of Quartzite
Although each natural stone is unique and may present slightly different properties. Some characteristics are proper of a clearly defined stone type, such as quartzite.
Don’t fall for the “soft quartzite” story. There is no such thing. We are not saying the person telling you that story is necessarily trying to scam you. Actually, due to a similar appearance and composition, many people mistake dolomitic marble for quartzite.
If somebody really insists on it, you can direct them to the Natural Stone Institute. They’ve created this really amazing graph that makes it easy for everyone to understand how hard quartzite is.
Another thing that can be used to distinguish quartzite is its resistance to acids.
It will not etch to common acids, much less kitchen acids. Marble, for instance, will.
Porosity is the property that relates to liquid absorption and thus staining. While quartzite porosity is usually similar to that of granite, it does vary a lot from variety to variety.
Just like other natural stones, a yearly sealing routine is required to ensure the stone remains unstained and beautiful.
How to ensure you’re buying quartzite?
The best way to make sure you’re buying what you’re paying for is to test the slab of your choice on the stone yard. There are two tests you can do, and they won’t take much trouble.
As we have discussed, quartzite won’t be scratched by glass or knives. Additionally, it should easily scratch glass.
So take a glass tile with you, and ask your stone suppliers a sample of the slab for testing, preferably one with a sharp edge.
With the glass tile on a table, try to scratch it with a pointy edge of the quartzite. Press hard.
Inspect the results to see if it is a scratch or just a dust mark. It must be a scratch by the way.
If that’s not possible, you can also try to scratch the slab with a knife. If it is the real thing, it should only scratch lightly or not at all.
Acid sensitivity test
This one will take longer, but it’s worth it. Apply some vinegar or lemon juice to the surface ot the slab, and let it there for 20 minutes. Clean it up and search for etching.
Etching looks like a dulled area on the shiny surface of the stone, it can be darker or lighter. Marble will show clear etching, dolomitic marble will show light etching, however, granite and quartzite will show zero etching. That is if you’re testing with lemon juice or vinegar.
That’s it, these two tests will help you make sure you’re getting a really durable and resistant stone.
Quartzite’s performance as a countertop
Similarly to granite, quartzite is a very low maintenance working surface. It will only require common cleaning and sealing from time to time.
You can expect it to handle hot cookware with no problems.
All in all, it is a great natural stone that offers stunning looks to surfaces that can be used both indoors and outdoors.
Quartzite can present complex veining and other patterns that make it easy to be mistaken by marble or granite. It is normally supplied in shades of white and grey, however, minerals in the stone can grant it hues of pink and reddish-brown.
Now that you’re sure about what is quartzite, it’s time to go see some slabs for yourself. If you find a surface that matches your wishes, you’ve got yourself a beautiful countertop for life.
Visit our showroom in Sarasota
We’d love to have you over our showroom. We can walk you through the largest indoor selection of the area and show you some really unique slab options you won’t find anywhere else. Book your visit