It can often be difficult to decide what type of stone countertop to choose when you are undergoing a home remodel or new house construction. You want to choose the right material since your counters are where you prepare the food for your family. Two options you may want to consider are quartz and quartzite. Although they have similar names, there are several differences.
What Are Quartz Countertops?
When you talk about natural countertops, quartz is often mentioned but the fact is that quartz is a natural-looking stone countertop. It is a synthetic surface made from crushed quartz mixed with resins and pigments. Slabs are created from the mixture that can be used for countertops, flooring, decorative tiles or even fireplace surrounds.
What is Quartzite?
Quartzite is a completely natural stone that was once sandstone. Over the years, the stone metamorphosizes into quartzite that is mined in large quarries. Once it is removed from the ground, it is sent to a processing plant where it becomes thin slabs of stone that can then be used for flooring, tiles, walls, backsplashes or countertops. The natural veining in gray and white make quartzite a sought-after stone for many uses.
Advantages of Quartzite Countertops
Quartzite offers a wider variety of veining, coloring, and patterns between slabs. This is because quartzite is a completely natural product and all patterns are created in nature. No two slabs of quartzite are the same which can give your kitchen or bathroom a unique look depending on where you stand in the room. Although both types of countertops resist scratching, the natural veining in quartzite makes it more difficult to see any damage that may occur. Quartzite is more heat resistant than quartz as well. You can place a hot pan from the stove directly on the surface with no concerns about scorching a quartzite counter.
Benefits of Quartz Countertops
Because quartz countertops are manufactured, each slab is exactly the same. If you have a very large kitchen or bath, you may want a more uniform look in your counters. With quartz, you can get that look easier than you can with other types of natural stone. Quartz is extremely hard and does not scratch easily. In fact, you can actually cut directly on the surface of the counters. It is still recommended that you use cutting boards in order to protect your knives more than your counters. Quartz counters also come in a wider array of colors since pigments are added to create the countertops. You never have to seal quartz counters like you do other types of stone which makes it virtually maintenance free. Many people also feel that quartz counters have a “warmer” feel than quartzite or other types of natural stone which sometimes feel cold to the touch.
Disadvantages of Quartzite Countertops
Quartzite is only available in colors that can be created in nature which may limit your options when it comes to decorating style. Quartzite is also not quite as resistant to staining and must be sealed periodically in order to protect the surface. In most cases, quartzite costs more than quartz although this depends on the style you choose and how much square footage you need to cover. Quartzite must be mined and transported to a fabricator which makes it less environmentally friendly than quartz as well.
Disadvantages of Quartz Countertops
Because there are synthetic materials in quartz counters, however, it is not recommended that you place hot pans directly on the counter as they could cause damage. Quartz countertops are not as easy to repair as quartzite should they chip or crack. In addition, because there is often less veining in quartz counters, any damage is more noticeable than in more natural stone counters.
If you are considering natural stone countertops for your home or business, contact us today by filling out the easy online form or give us a call to learn how we can help guide you through the entire process.