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August 14, 2019

4 Questions to Ask to Get to Know Quartzite Countertops 


quartzite countertopsIf you’ve been shopping around for different counter materials, you’ve likely heard mention of quartzite countertops.   This surface isn’t as common as many of the other types of materials that are on the market, but it is certainly worth your consideration due to its many benefits.  The problem is that there isn’t a tremendous amount of information available about quartzite countertops and the ways in which it can be advantageous as a part of your kitchen’s function and décor.  Have a look at the answers to the following common questions about this surface to help to discover if it is right for your kitchen remodeling project.

Question 1: what are quartzite vs. quartz countertops?

Quartzite countertops are made out of a very hard stone that is highly resistant to scratching, etching, and chipping.  Quartzite is different from quartz in that it was transformed from sandstone within the earth over time.  On the other hand, quartz is a crystalline rock that is used as a gemstone in many applications. Both are very hard, with quartzite being slightly harder. So, quartzite is resistant to most household acids, heat from pots and pans, and spilled hot liquids.  Many designers consider this material to be the ultimate in custom countertop materials.

Question 2: What makes quartzite countertops so special?

Quartzite countertops are a very dense substance, with slabs typically needing to be only ¾ to 1 ½ inches thick.  At that thickness, a quantity of 165 square feet of quartzite countertops can easily weigh a ton.  That said, its density has also made it exceptionally hard, with a 7 rating on the Mohs mineral hardness scale.  The hardest substance is diamond, which ranks 10 on the Mohs scale.  In this regard, and for further reference, quartzite is a little harder than granite and a lot harder than marble. Quartzite is durable and hard enough that, in its crushed form, it is used as ballast for railroad tracks. 

Question 3:  how are quartzite countertops finished?

There are two primary ways in which quartzite countertops can be finished.  The first and most common are polished quartzite countertops.  These are very shiny and smooth and help to draw out the pattern and the colors within the natural stone.  Polished quartzite countertops are also great for kitchen islands, and the same substance makes beautiful backsplashes for a more complete, matching appearance.  That said, there is also a more matte treatment for quartzite countertops.  This gives a rougher surface that decreases the glare and prevents the surface from being too smooth and slippery.  This surface is appropriate for a kitchen with a more natural stone appearance, or for kitchen islands on wheels that will also be used outside, for ease of barbecuing or for patio parties to transport food and beverages outdoors.

Question 4: Do quartzite countertops come in many colors?

The variety of colors available for quartzite countertops is rather surprising considering that it is a natural stone.  Though it is most common in shades of gray, it is also available in various shades of brown, blue, red, orange, and subtle mixes of multiple colors in the same slab.

With the answers to these questions, it becomes easily apparent why quartzite countertops are becoming a favorite among designers. They are beautiful, versatile, durable, and require a very minimal manufacturing process that consists simply of the cutting.  Even in kitchens that take a beating, with no use of cutting boards or trivets, these surfaces can withstand the daily abuse.

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