Comparing Quartz and Quartzite Countertops - What's The Difference?

If you have been looking at kitchen counters, you may have seen both quartz and quartzite options. This may have led you to ask what is the difference between quartz and quartzite. It is important to understand that the two surfaces are not the same and you should know the differences before you choose one for your remodeling project.

Quartz vs Quartzite Countertops

Quartz counters are known as engineered stone countertops as they are created from crushed quartz that has been mixed with resins and pigment. The countertops are more than 93 percent quartz so they are extremely durable. If you are wondering what quartzite is made of, it is a form of metamorphic rock that is created when sandstone is exposed to extreme heat and pressure. This is caused by tectonic plate compression within the Earth. Like other natural stones, it is mined into slabs that are later cut for countertops. The counters are sealed and polished, providing your room with a natural beauty.

Appearance and Color

Quartzite is normally found in colors that range from white to gray with some pink or red hues which develop from iron oxide within the stone. There are some that are shades of yellow, blue, green and orange when other minerals are present, but all quartzite has streaking caused by the pressure it was under beneath the Earth’s crust. Because engineered stone products are manufactured with pigment added, a much wider range of color is available. The stone looks and feels like natural stone because of the way it is manufactured.

Strength and Durability

Quartzite is a harder stone than granite and withstands heat very well, so a pot placed directly from the stone to the counter is not likely to scorch. Quartz is also extremely hard, one of the hardest on Earth, but because the resin used in the manufacturing process contains plastic, it can melt when hot pans are placed on the surface. However, quartz is less likely to chip or dent because the plastic makes it slightly more flexible. A cutting board should be used on both surfaces as knives can damage the surface. In addition, the surface is hard enough that it could damage your knives as well.


What is the difference between quartz and quartzite when it comes to maintenance? Quartzite needs to be sealed before use and resealed at least once or twice each year. Without a seal, the countertop could stain, but this is an issue with granite, marble and other types of natural stone. If the stone is properly sealed, however, cleaning it is very easy. Quartz requires little maintenance. It can be cleaned with mild soap and warm water.

Cost Differences

When it comes to prices, a look at quartz vs quartzite countertops show that there are little differences. Both types of counter start at around $60 per square foot, although most exceed $100 per square foot and higher. If your job is complex, quartzite may be more expensive because it must be cut with diamond blades. Quartz counters can be poured into molds of any shape, eliminating the need for precise cutting.

Once you answer the questions “what is quartzite made of” and “what is the difference between quartz and quartzite,” it will be easier to decide which countertop surface will work better for you and your family. Contact us today by phone or complete the simple online form for more information about natural stone countertops.

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