In the past year, many customers have turned to AA Marble & Granite LLC for their countertop needs, and a surprising trend has emerged - the preference for quartzite in tucker over the more commonly known granite or quartz options. Why are people falling in love with this lesser-known stone, and could it be the right choice for your home?
Quartzite's Natural Elegance
Quartzite, unlike its engineered counterpart, quartz, is a natural stone. It is quarried from solid rock, making each slab unique, with a depth and dimension reminiscent of living stone. While no two slabs are exactly alike, many varieties of quartzite boast rich veining and a flow of colors. These hues go beyond the neutral palette, often incorporating shades of blue, green, red, and gold, adding a touch of vibrancy to your living space.
Durability and Practicality
A significant factor that makes quartzite an attractive choice is its remarkable durability. On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, quartzite scores an impressive 7.5 out of 10, slightly edging out granite. Countertop Specialty states, "Quartzite will not scratch, etch, or scorch from heat and rarely chips or pits." In simple terms, it doesn't get much tougher than quartzite.
While it's true that no countertop is entirely immune to damage, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more robust and resilient surface for your kitchen or other applications. This durability extends to bathroom vanities, fireplace surrounds, and various residential and commercial designs. Thanks to its natural UV resistance, quartzite is also an ideal choice for outdoor kitchens.
Stain Resistance Made Simple
For many shoppers of natural stone, the issue of staining is a common concern. The level of porosity in a stone dictates how much liquid it can absorb, leading to potential stains. Quartzite, however, offers a range of porosities. According to Karin Kirk of the Natural Stone Institute, some quartzite varieties, such as Taj Mahal or Sea Pearl, are highly metamorphosed and have tightly bonded minerals, making them less porous. White Macaubas and Calacatta Macaubas, on the other hand, are more porous and will benefit from sealing.
Depending on the type of quartzite you choose, your countertops can be significantly more stain-resistant than other porous stone options, reducing the need for frequent resealing. This property, combined with its durability, positions quartzite as an excellent choice for a wide range of applications.
Unraveling the Quartzite Confusion
A common issue when researching quartzite is the confusion surrounding its identity. Internet searches often lead to questions like, "Is quartzite the same as marble?" or "Is there such a thing as soft quartzite?" The answer to both questions is a resounding no, but the confusion arises due to mislabeling. Marble and dolomitic marble have been at times mistakenly labeled as quartzite. Super White, for instance, is frequently mislabeled. Some stones like Fantasy Brown may contain layers of quartzite and marble, leading to the label "soft quartzite." Karin Kirk emphasizes that there's only one type of quartzite, and it's hard. Slabs labeled as soft quartzite are likely marble, and those with a combination of both materials should be treated as marble.
Addressing Etching and Heat Marks
Reports of etching or heat marks on actual quartzite surfaces are not representative of true quartzite, which does not etch and is highly heat-resistant. Some slabs, however, may be infused with resins for added pliancy or shine. Certain resins can react and discolor when exposed to acid or high heat. When shopping for quartzite, it's wise to inquire about resin infusion. Regardless of resin presence, taking simple precautions like promptly cleaning up spills and using hot pads or trivets should alleviate most concerns.
Quartzite countertops generally come with a higher starting price than granite and are on par with quartz. Unlike engineered quartz, the supply of quartzite stone is finite, which can drive up costs for exotic or rare varieties. Additionally, fabrication costs may be higher than for marble or granite due to its exceptional hardness.
Fortunately, AA Marble & Granite LLC boasts extensive experience in working with quartzite. They offer a wide selection of quartzite and are more than willing to assist you with any inquiries or provide a free quote.
So, if you're considering a countertop upgrade, don't miss the opportunity to explore the beauty, durability, and versatility of quartzite. It's a choice that not only adds elegance to your living space but also ensures long-lasting functionality.
1. Is quartzite suitable for outdoor applications?
Absolutely! Quartzite's natural UV resistance makes it an ideal choice for outdoor kitchens, adding both elegance and durability to your outdoor space.
2. How often does quartzite need resealing?
The need for resealing depends on the type of quartzite you choose. Some varieties are less porous and may require less frequent resealing, while others with higher porosity may need more frequent maintenance.
3. Are there any design limitations with quartzite countertops?
Quartzite's diverse range of colors and patterns allows for a wide variety of design possibilities, ensuring it can complement any style or theme.
4. Is quartzite more expensive than granite or quartz?
Quartzite generally starts at a higher price point than granite but is on par with quartz. The cost may increase for exotic or rare quartzite varieties.
5. What is the best way to clean and maintain quartzite countertops?
To keep your quartzite countertops in pristine condition, clean up spills promptly, use hot pads or trivets to prevent heat damage, and follow any specific care instructions provided by your supplier or fabricator.