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Quartz vs Quartzite: What's the Difference?


Cambria Ironsbridge Quartz & Taj Mahal Quartzite


When it comes to choosing countertops for your kitchen or bathroom, the options can be overwhelming. Two popular choices are quartz and quartzite, but what's the difference between the two, and which one is right for your home? In this blog post, we'll explore the differences and similarities between quartz and quartzite countertops, focusing on care and maintenance, durability, cost, and appearance.


Quartz and quartzite may sound similar, but they are actually quite different. Quartzite is a natural stone that forms from sandstone under intense heat and pressure, fused with quartz crystals. It comes in a wide array of possibilities of colors and hues due to mineral content. On the other hand, quartz is an engineered material that combines quartz crystals with resins, pigments, and glass fragments. This process creates a durable, non-porous countertop with a wide range of colors and designs.


If you value a wide selection and a reliable, consistent appearance, quartz is an excellent option. It is also low-maintenance and durable. However, if you appreciate a unique, natural appearance and don't mind some upkeep, quartzite countertops are worth considering.


Care and Maintenance

The care and maintenance requirements differ between quartz and quartzite countertops. Quartz is a non-porous material that resists staining, scratches, and other damage. It does not require any sealing and can be easily cleaned with mild soap and water. On the other hand, quartzite is a natural stone that requires occasional sealing to prevent stains and etching caused by acidic liquids. It is also more susceptible to chips and scratches. Regular cleaning with a non-abrasive cleaner and avoiding harsh chemicals will help maintain the beauty and longevity of a quartzite countertop.


Durability

Quartz countertops are known for their durability, thanks to the engineered process that combines quartz with resins, pigments, and other materials. The result is a hard, non-porous surface that can withstand the wear and tear of daily use. Quartzite, while still durable, is a natural stone that may be more prone to chips, scratches, and etching than quartz. However, when properly sealed and cared for, it can last a lifetime.


Cost

The cost of quartz and quartzite countertops can vary greatly. Quartz can range from $65-$150 per square foot installed, while the cost of quartzite can range from $95-$200 per square foot installed. Factors that affect the cost include the color, thickness, edge profile, and installation complexity. Quartz cost can depend greatly on the pattern itself and the time and effort to make the pattern in each slab. Quartzite's price can be dependent on how readily available the material is within the earth and different mines. You also could save on cost by selecting 'in-stock' materials as opposed to specialty materials. Quartz is often a more budget-friendly option, but it is worth considering the value and longevity that come with quartzite's natural beauty and durability.


Appearance

Quartz and quartzite have distinct appearances that appeal to different design styles and preferences. Quartz is available in a wide range of colors, patterns, and edge profiles, including options that mimic natural stone like marble and granite. It also offers a consistent appearance throughout the slab. Quartzite, on the other hand, has a unique, natural beauty with variations in color, pattern, and veining. It is available in a more limited range of colors but creates a one-of-a-kind look that cannot be replicated. Even between consecutive slabs that are mined together, the colors and movement between two slabs can be very different from one another, creating a one-of-a-kind material.


In summary, quartz and quartzite countertops have their differences and similarities when it comes to care and maintenance, durability, cost, and appearance. Quartz is a more low-maintenance and budget-friendly option with a broad selection of colors and styles. Quartzite is a natural stone that offers a unique, one-of-a-kind appearance but requires more care and maintenance and is generally a more expensive option. Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preferences, budget, and style. A trusted countertop provider can guide you through the decision-making process and help you select the perfect material for your home.

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