What are Quartzite Countertops? Quartz vs Quartzite Countertop

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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When it comes to kitchens and bathrooms, picking the right counter tops is one of the most important choices in terms of both design and functionality. Nowadays, Quartzite as a material for countertops is in greater demand, providing a combination of natural beauty and durability.

Quartzite has the beautiful look of marble with the added strength of granite. It is one of the best choices for people who are looking for a multifunctional countertop material. It is also very strong and can last for many years.

On the other hand, it is recognized for its resemblance to marble. But it is not as demanding as marble and does not have so many restrictions. Hence it is a great choice if you want a material that will make your house more beautiful but at the same time be practical and easy to use.

In this guide, we will explore what quartzite countertops are, discuss the differences between quartzite and quartz countertops, and help you choose the right quartzite surface for your home.

What are Quartzite Countertops?

Image Source: pexels.com/Curtis Adams

Quartzite is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock formed from sandstone. Heat and pressure acting on sandstones transform it into quartzite making it a dense rock. The characteristic that makes quartzite stand out among other types of stone countertops is the fact that it contains a high concentration of quartz, which gives it a crystalline appearance.

A. Composition and Formation

Quartzite is formed due to recrystallization of quartz grains under conditions of high heat and pressure. This produces a material that is not only beautiful but also very strong. Quartz crystals in the quartzite make it have a sparkling look like marble with the durability of granite.

B. Characteristics and Appearance

Quartzite countertops are available in different colors from light creams to dark gray. It can have beautiful natural veining that gives every slab of stone a unique look. This makes quartzite perfect for people who want their countertops to stand out and be unique.

C. Durability and Heat Resistance

Among the key benefits of quartzite is its high degree of toughness. It is very scratch, stain and heat resistant. The quartzite countertops are heat resistant up to 300 Fahrenheit; therefore they are suitable for kitchen countertops where hot kitchen utensils are commonly used.

Quartz vs Quartzite Countertops

The distinction between quartz and quartzite is essential in the process of countertops purchasing. Both materials have similar names but vary in properties and are suitable for different tastes and purposes.

A. Composition and Manufacturing

Quartz:

  • Quartz countertops are manufactured by blending ground quartz with resins, pigments, and other minerals to form an engineered stone.
  • The occurrence of other minerals in engineered quartz causes varied colors and patterns.
  • Quartz countertop is not porous therefore it is stain and bacteria resistant.
  • They are manufactured/ man-made and as such provide a uniform look for quartz slabs.

Quartzite:

  • Quartzite is a rock that forms due to metamorphism of sandstone into quartz-rich rock.
  • It is mainly made up of quartz crystals and thus has a crystalline structure.
  • Quartzite is a natural stone and no two slabs of quartzite will be exactly the same in color or pattern.
  • Quartzite is also porous and has to be sealed to avoid staining

B. Hardness and Density

Quartz:

  • Quartz countertops do not have any pores hence do not require regular sealing.
  • They are easy to maintain since they can be cleaned with mild soap and water.

Quartzite:

  • Quartzite is harder than natural quartz and many other natural stones and therefore it is very resistant to abrasion and impact.
  • It is harder than quartz but less dense which makes it stronger and at the same time lighter.

C. Maintenance and Sealing

Quartz:

  • Quartz countertops are non-porous, eliminating the need for regular sealing.
  • They are easy to clean with mild soap and water, making them a low-maintenance option.

Quartzite:

  • Quartzite is not completely non-porous and needs to be resealed every so often to keep liquids from seeping into the stone and creating stains.
  • Sealing is crucial to ensure the longevity and beauty of quartzite countertops.

How to Choose Quartzite Countertops

Image Source: keystone-granite.com

I. Decide on What You Want Your Countertops to Look Like

The first option that you need to have before settling on the preferred quartzite slab is the look and feel. If you are only planning to replace the countertops and not the entire kitchen or bathroom then one needs to think about the existing style in the house.

If your home has predominantly traditional decor then darker and warmer tones like deep brown with lighter veins or patterns on top can be considered. It is a stylish option that will suit your personality and match the overall design.

Otherwise, a light base color such as cream or beige combined with low-contrast patterns will be ideal with small or coastal houses as the countertops will not mismatch with other decorations in the home and cause disharmony.

The same is true for the texture and the finish of the stone used in the project. Quartzite countertops come in a variety of finishes. The most common ones include polished, honed, and leathered finishes.

  • One of the most preferred finishes is the polished finish. It formed a very smooth surface that looks very shiny and glossy. It also provides the countertops with a subtle sheen. The surface was polished which brought out the real colors and textures of the stone. It offers a timeless and classy appearance.
  • Honed finish is achieved by grinding the surface of the stone until it appears completely matte. It is the antithesis of the finished look. The honed finish looks more natural and less artificial because there is no glossy finish. But it is also less attractive and noticeable than a well-groomed appearance. It is also less prone to scratches when compared to the polished finish and does not need much maintenance.
  • The leather finish has a slightly raised surface similar to that of leather. This option is especially preferred by those who want to have a more natural look. It also increases the strength of the countertops and preserves the colors of the slab. In terms of its glossiness it is somewhere between honed and polished. It is not completely matte and has a very slight sheen.

II. Figure Out Your Preferred Thickness

The thickness may appear insignificant but it is another factor you should pay attention to. The thickness of the slab may affect the structural performance of the countertops and their appearance.

Normally the standard thickness of countertops is about 3 centimeters or 1. 2 inches. This thickness is ideal for kitchen and bathroom countertops and is applied in both commercial and residential countertops. 3 cm is sufficient to ensure the structural strength and stability of the countertops and visually coincide with the other elements of the kitchen.

If the countertops are too thick they might look slightly harsh and vice versa if they are too thin they might lack the desired strength. But there can be slight differences depending on the project, type of quartzite, and personal preference.

Heavier pieces can also give the impression of being sturdier and thus more luxurious. But please note that they will be more expensive than the normal thickness.

This more prominent look will be more desirable in more up market kitchens that will also benefit from the more bold presence. In addition, thicker slabs offer more possibilities for edge treatments. Now, if you are looking for countertops with more detailed edge designs, then you might have to go for thicker slabs. The added thickness also provides more durability and stability.

On the other hand, there are options for thinner countertops that can give a more streamlined appearance. The modern style is mostly applied in contemporary rooms where the minimalism of the design and smooth lines are emphasised.

The availability of thinner countertops can also be an added advantage if the issue of weight of the countertops is a problem. It will also be lighter as it is thinner than standard countertops. So thinner countertops can be easily supported by weaker cabinets.

In addition, thinner countertops will be more cost-effective. For this reason, if you wish to keep to your budget but still introduce the elegant and timeless look of quartzite countertops in your house, you might want to opt for slabs that are thinner.

III. Choose the Edge Design

The right edge profile will complete the look and increase the attractiveness of your countertops. The edge profile choices vary with the thickness of the slab because thinner countertops provide lesser room for more complex work.

  • A straight-edge profile gives a minimalistic look in your kitchen. It is modern and streamlined. It makes the straight lines better and it is easy to clean. This design option is appropriate if there are other straight lines in the remaining part of the kitchen design. The simple design of the straight edge goes well with modern houses.
  • Another common choice is a beveled edge. It supports an angular cut along the top edge of the countertops. It has a touch of ornamentation to give some form of visual texture without going overboard on the minimalism. This makes it a very versatile design. A beveled edge profile can be combined with any design style from contemporary to classic. This type of edge profile can also give an illusion that the countertops are slimmer. This might not be the preferred option for you if that is not the desired outcome and you want your countertops to look and feel thick and substantial.
  • The bullnose edge is both smooth and rounded. It has an edge that looks like a half-circle. Its softness has made it popular for the traditional styles. They are also a recommended edge profile for high-traffic kitchens and bathrooms as bumping into them or leaning into them will be comfortable. Half Bullnose edge means a radius at the top and square on the bottom. It is more practical than the full Bullnose and provides a better balance between the very soft look of the Bullnose and more contemporary look of the Straight edge.

IV. Select Appliances and Other Fixtures

It is advisable to decide on the type of appliances and other accessories that are to be installed in the kitchen before settling on the type of countertops to have. The other factors that can significantly influence the final countertop choice are the style and sizes of the other elements in the kitchen.

The first aspect that you should consider is the dimensions and configuration of your sink. Choose between a double or single basin depending on your requirements and personal style. This is why the size of your cabinets should be taken into account when making this decision. Choose one that will feel comfortable. Take the measurements to identify the maximum size that your sink can be.

Likewise, it is prudent to determine the type of faucet one wants before the countertops are fabricated. The fabricator must be made aware of the number of holes required for the faucet and their dimensions depending on the faucet chosen.

In addition, appliances like built-in stoves are installed directly into the countertops. So it is always better to let the fabricator know about it while sizing the countertops.

Conclusion

Quartzite countertops are not only a beautiful decoration of kitchens and bathrooms but also have excellent functional characteristics – they are heat-resistant and durable. Quartzite countertop is a durable and beautiful material that will last for decades if properly cared for and maintained.

Quartz and quartzite are a matter of preference, design, and care levels. From the engineered excellence of quartz to the natural beauty of quartzite, each material offers specific traits that can enhance the appearance of home interiors.

Keystone Marble and Granite is a major player in the stone supplier market and always delivers beyond customers’ requirements. The enhanced kitchens have a great potential to change the overall cooking experience of any customer and make them completely satisfied with not only new countertops but also the entire remodeling process.

They have a wide and impressive range of stone options, a professional team that is willing to address any arising issue, and years of experience, all these make Keystone offer the best services and kitchens.

At Keystone Marble and Granite the change is not only in the looks of the kitchen. It is also about designing a comfortable and practical kitchen where you will prepare healthy food for your family. Keystone has realized the need for a kitchen to be designed not only in terms of design, functionality and quality of materials used, but also in terms of the individual needs of the customer.

Featured Image Source: pexels.com/Max Rahubovskiy

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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