Quartz and Quartzite….two words that sound the same, but are they same? These two materials are actually quite different.
The major difference between the two materials is that quartz is a man-made material and quartzite is a natural store. Quartzite starts as sandstone then undergoes a natural process of pressure and heat and is fused with sparkly quartz crystals to form quartzite. Quartzite is usually found in shades of white or light grey, but certain minerals in the stone can form pink, gold or reddish-brown tones. For quartz, it is engineered with the same quartz crystals found in quartzite; however, a man-made process binds the crystal with pigments, resins and other materials. This results in a non-porous, very durable countertop available in a wide variety of colors and designs.
Styles often to be different based on the material selected as well. Quartzite is mistaken for granite or marble. It tends to have the delicate veining of marble and similar pattern and color as some granites. If you are wanting a natural look with lots of movement quartzite may be your first choice. Quartz can be produced to look like any stone and available in a variety of shades and patterns. If you are seeking a specific color or prefer a consistent pattern in your countertop, quartz is a better option.
How a homeowner cares for each countertop and the durability of the material varies between the two products. Quartz is extremely durable due to its binding process. It is a hard, non-porous surface and resistant to scratching, chipping and bacteria. Quartzite is less dense than quartz and easily stains in heavy use areas, such as the kitchen. Quartz needs very little maintenance, while quartzite requires sealing to prevent staining the surface.
If you don’t mind a little upkeep in exchange for a one-of-a-kind, beautiful natural appearance quartzite is a great option. If you prefer options and a consistent look to your countertops or a durable material that won’t cost a fortune, quartz may be the choice for you.