Quartzite is, by official definition, a non-foliated metamorphic rock. This natural stone option is popular, but many people are unaware of what the stone actually is. Read on to learn about quartzite and the qualities it offers.
Quartzite begins life as a pure quartz sandstone formation. While it sits in the earth's crust, minding its own business, along comes a seismic event that squeezes the formation while cranking up the heat. All those little grains of quartz, and the minerals that cemented them together become fused and glassy. This is the morphing process that converts the sandstone into a new, much harder, rock.
Quartzite is Natural Stone
So, why should you care about quartzite when it comes to your countertops? When shopping for natural stone counters, you're quite likely to see quartzite among the granite and marble offerings. It may be billed as "granite," and maybe even as "marble," because quartzite serves every bit as well as both and, frankly, in the stone product industry, retailers tend to keep things simple. Quartzite splits the difference between granite and marble.
Similar to Marble in Appearance
With its typically light coloring in whites, grays, and beiges, quartzite can easily resemble marble but with a more sparkly personality. The presence of other, more exotic, minerals can also lend the stone different colors. Even so, the quartzite will still possess the more subtle and nuanced veins of darker grains much like real marble.
Hard Like Granite, Soft Like Marble
Not all quartzites are created equal, but some have a hardness similar to granite while some are soft like marble. Granite usually presents a very bold, aggressive pattern of flecks, color and veining. With granite, you enjoy deep, rich colors and stark contrasts. If you're looking for a light, bright kitchen or bath, quartzite can fit the bill perfectly.
Not to Be Confused with Engineered Quartz Countertops
Quartzite may sound like a clever, trade-marked product name, but you shouldn't confuse it with the engineered product known as "quartz" as you research your countertop options. Quartz is a man-made product that combines up to 97 percent natural stone bits with 3 percent of a hardening resin in a factory mixer. While quartz makes for excellent, durable and beautiful countertops, it lacks the properties unique to natural stone.
You can learn more about quartzite, quartz, granite and marble counters by visiting Distinctive Marble & Granite's showroom. Or contact us by email, and our knowledgeable, friendly staff can answer all your questions.