Quartzite is an increasingly popular option for countertops in many Pacific Northwest homes. While other materials may each share some benefits with it, quartzite offers a unique blend of qualities that make it an ideal option for many families.
Despite the similarity in name, there are several significant differences between quartz and quartzite. Through these distinctions, we highlight the reasons why many people choose quartzite for their homes.
The Differences Between Quartz and Quartzite
Many people are familiar with the appearance and durability of quartz, so the best way to appreciate the benefits of quartzite is to draw a direct comparison between the two.
- Construction – Quartzite is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock, so countertops are made from slabs of quartzite rock and cut into shape. Due to its natural origins, the appearance will vary depending on the exact conditions during its formation. Quartz, on the other hand, is an engineered material that comes from a combination of quartz dust or chips mixed with a plastic resin. Depending on whether chips or dust comprise the quartz, it will have a more mottled or uniform appearance, respectively.
- Coloration – Since quartzite occurs naturally, no customization can occur after the fact. Instead, its color varies depending on the presence of other minerals and the pressure on the stone during formation. Quartz resin may be colored to suit your taste, so it is more flexible in terms of colors.
- Durability and Hardness – Quartzite is harder than granite, which makes it extremely durable. Since it was formed under intense pressure and in high heat, it is also resistant to heat and warping. Quartz resin’s plastic composition makes it more susceptible to overheating, but it is less likely to chip.
With these distinctions in mind, you likely have a rough idea of what makes quartzite an attractive material. There are still a few more points to cover to truly understand why quartzite is an increasingly popular material.
What Makes Homeowners Decide to Install Quartzite Countertops
There are two main reasons that people choose quartzite for their countertops: its elegant appearance and low maintenance requirements. As mentioned above, quartzite is naturally occurring, so homeowners have less flexibility in selecting colors. Nevertheless, there are many variations on this stone, as it occurs in many parts of the world. These variations allow quartzite to be an expressive material that helps your countertop express much of your personality. Depending on the minerals that show up in the quartzite, you can see color patterns as subtle as Mont Blanc, as dark as Midnight Fusion, or as vibrant as Audacia. In some instances, people even mistake quartzite for marble at a glance.
Quartzite is also nearly effortless to maintain. Its durability means that you are unlikely to damage it during regular use. However, it requires periodic resealing to ensure that water does not seep into its pores to cause damage from the inside. Fortunately, this process is easy to handle, and contractors are available to reseal the quartzite for those who have little time for home maintenance.
What to Expect from a Quartzite Installation
The cost to install a quartzite countertop depends on several factors, including composition, size, and shape. As you would expect, the larger the countertops, the more expensive the installation will be. If the shape is more complex, it increases the amount of work required. Shaping the countertop and its installation also become more complicated as a result. Finally, certain kinds of quartzite are more common and less expensive to acquire than others, which impacts price based on availability. As a general rule, quartzite is more expensive than granite but less expensive than marble.
When considering a quartzite installation for your home, it’s best to speak to a qualified contractor. They can show you a listing of the different quartzite styles that they have available and give you an accurate quote based on your unique home. To truly make an informed decision, you need to have all the information available, so count on a seasoned professional to walk you through the process.