Quartz vs Quartzite – Understanding the Differences
If you’re looking for a new countertop, you might have come across two popular options: quartz and quartzite.
While the names might sound similar, these two materials have distinct differences that can affect your decision.
Quartz is a man-made material that’s composed of stone chips, pigments, and resins. On the other hand, quartzite is a natural stone that’s formed from sandstone and quartz under high heat and pressure.
One of the biggest differences between quartz and quartzite is their durability. Quartz is known for being scratch-resistant and stain-resistant, making it a popular choice for busy kitchens.
Quartzite, on the other hand, is even harder than quartz and is more resistant to scratches and etching. It’s also heat-resistant, so you can place hot pots and pans on it without worrying about damage. However, quartzite requires more maintenance than quartz, as it needs to be sealed regularly to prevent staining.
What is Quartz?
If you’re in the market for a new kitchen countertop or bathroom vanity, you may have heard of quartz and quartzite. Quartz is a popular material for countertops due to its durability, low maintenance, and wide variety of colours and patterns. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at what quartz is and how it differs from quartzite.
Quartz is a natural mineral that is found in the earth’s crust. It is made up of silicon and oxygen atoms and has a chemical formula of SiO2. Quartz is one of the most abundant minerals on earth and can be found in many different types of rocks.
To make quartz countertops, manufacturers mix natural quartz with resin and pigments. The ratio of quartz to resin can vary, but most quartz countertops are made up of around 90% quartz and 10% resin.
Quartz countertops are manufactured in a factory using a process that involves crushing and mixing natural quartz with resin and pigments. The mixture is then poured into a mould and heated under high pressure to create a solid slab. The slab is then cut and polished to create a smooth, uniform surface.
Quartz countertops come in a wide variety of colours and patterns, making them a popular choice for homeowners who want a unique look for their kitchen or bathroom. Because quartz countertops are manufactured, they can have more uniform patterns than natural stone countertops like granite or marble. You can find quartz countertops with speckles, swirls, or even metallic flecks.
Quartz is a very hard mineral and ranks 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, which means it is scratch-resistant and can withstand high pressure. Quartz countertops are nonporous, which means they are resistant to stains and do not need to be sealed like natural stone countertops. However, quartz countertops can still be damaged by heat and etching from acidic substances like lemon juice or vinegar. It’s also important to note that quartz countertops can scratch knife blades, so it’s recommended to use a cutting board.
Quartz countertops can be more expensive than other materials like laminate or tile, but they are generally less expensive than natural stone countertops like quartzite, granite or marble. The cost of quartz countertops can vary depending on factors like the thickness of the slab, the complexity of the installation, and the location of the supplier.
What is Quartzite?
You may have heard of quartzite if you’re in the market for a natural stone countertop. Quartzite is a metamorphic rock that forms when high pressure and heat transform sandstone. It is a natural material that is becoming increasingly popular as a countertop material due to its durability and unique beautiful appearance.
Quartzite is composed mainly of silica, which is the same mineral that makes up sand. However, unlike sand, quartzite is a uniform material with no veins or veining. It is also free of impurities, which gives it a consistent appearance.
Quartzite forms when sandstone is subjected to high pressure and heat. This causes the sand grains to recrystallize and fuse together, creating a hard, dense rock. The process of metamorphism also removes any impurities from the sandstone, resulting in a pure quartzite.
Quartzite is known for its beautiful appearance, which can range from white to grey to pink to red. It often has speckles or other small markings, which are the result of impurities that were present in the original sandstone. Quartzite also has a consistent, uniform pattern that is highly sought after in countertop materials.
Quartzite is a highly durable material that is scratch-resistant and has a nonporous surface. This makes it an ideal choice for kitchen countertops, as it can withstand the wear and tear of everyday use. However, it should be noted that quartzite is not completely stain-resistant and should be sealed periodically to maintain its quality.
Quartzite is generally more expensive than other natural stones, such as granite or marble. The cost of quartzite varies depending on the quality of the stone, the consistency of the pattern, and the location of the quarry. If you are on a budget, quartzite may not be the best option for you.
In summary, quartzite is a beautiful and durable natural stone that is becoming increasingly popular as a countertop material. It is formed through high pressure and heat and is composed mainly of silica. Quartzite has a consistent, uniform pattern and is scratch-resistant with a nonporous surface. However, it should be sealed periodically to maintain its quality and is generally more expensive than other natural stones.
Quartz vs. Quartzite
When it comes to choosing between quartz and quartzite for your kitchen countertop, there are a few things to consider. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between these two popular materials.
Quartz is an engineered stone made from stone chips, resins, and pigments. This means that it can be made in a wide range of colours and patterns, and can even mimic the look of natural stone like granite or marble. Quartzite, on the other hand, is a natural stone that is mined from a quarry. It has a unique, natural look with varying patterns and veining.
Both quartz and quartzite are durable materials that can withstand daily use in a kitchen. However, quartzite is harder than granite and is more resistant to scratches and chips. Quartz is also a hard material, but not quite as hard as quartzite. Quartz is non-porous, which means it is less likely to stain than quartzite. However, quartz can be damaged by high temperatures, so it is important to use trivets or hot pads to protect the surface.
Quartz and quartzite require different levels of maintenance. Quartz is a non-porous material that does not need to be sealed periodically. It is easy to clean with soap and water and does not require any special cleaners. Quartzite, on the other hand, is a natural stone that is porous and needs to be sealed periodically to prevent staining. It is also important to avoid using acidic or abrasive cleaners on quartzite.
Quartz and quartzite vary in cost, with quartz being the less expensive option. Expect to pay around £300 to £500+ per square metre for quartz countertops and £500+ per metre for quartzite. The price difference is due to the fact that quartz is a man-made material, while quartzite is a natural stone that requires high pressure and heat to form.
When it comes to choosing between quartz and quartzite, consider your budget, style preferences, and maintenance needs. Both materials have their advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to choose the one that best suits your needs. Consult with manufacturers and professionals to ensure you make an investment that is of high quality and consistent with your budget.
Quartz vs Quartzite for Kitchen Worktops
When it comes to choosing the right material for your kitchen worktops, quartz and quartzite are two popular options. Both materials have their unique features and benefits that make them suitable for different kitchen styles and needs.
Quartz for Kitchen Worktops
Quartz is a man-made material that is composed of natural quartz crystals and resins. It is available in a wide range of colours and patterns, making it easy to find a design that matches your kitchen décor. Quartz is also non-porous, which means it doesn’t require sealing, making it easy to maintain. It is also resistant to scratches, stains, and heat, making it a perfect choice for busy kitchens.
One of the downsides of quartz is that it is not as heat resistant as quartzite. It can be damaged by excessive heat, so it’s important to use trivets or hot pads to protect the surface. Quartz is also more expensive than some other countertop materials, such as laminate or tile.
Quartzite for Kitchen Worktops
Quartzite is a natural stone that is quarried from the earth and cut into slabs for use as countertops. It is available in a range of colours, from white to grey to pink, and has a unique texture that makes it a popular choice for modern kitchens. Quartzite is also very durable and heat resistant, making it ideal for busy kitchens.
One of the downsides of quartzite is that it is porous and requires sealing to prevent stains and moisture damage. It is also more prone to chipping and scratching than quartz, so it’s important to use cutting boards and avoid placing heavy objects on the surface.
When it comes to choosing between quartz and quartzite for your kitchen worktops, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and budget. Both materials have their unique features and benefits, and it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each before making a decision. With proper care and maintenance, both quartz and quartzite can provide a durable and beautiful surface for your kitchen countertops.
Sealing and Installation
When it comes to sealing and installation, there are some key differences between quartz and quartzite countertops. Here’s what you need to know:
Quartzite is a natural stone that is porous and susceptible to staining. To protect your countertops, you will need to seal them regularly. A sealer will create a barrier between the stone and any liquids that come into contact with it, preventing stains from setting in.
There are several types of sealers available, including wax, poly, and acrylic. Some sealers need to be applied before installation, while others can be applied after the countertops are in place. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure that you apply the sealer correctly.
Quartz, on the other hand, is a non-porous material that does not require sealing. The surface is already smooth, so there is no need to apply a sealant onto an already sealed product. This makes quartz a low-maintenance option that is ideal for busy households.
The installation process for quartz and quartzite countertops is similar. Both materials are heavy and require professional installation (which we can do at County Stone). The process typically involves the following steps:
- Measuring the space to ensure that the countertops fit properly.
- Cutting the countertops to size.
- Preparing the surface for installation.
- Installing the countertops.
- Sealing the countertops (if necessary).
It’s important to hire a professional installer who has experience working with the material you have chosen. This will ensure that the installation is done correctly and that your countertops look great for years to come.
In summary, quartz and quartzite countertops have different sealing requirements. Quartzite is porous and needs to be sealed regularly, while quartz is non-porous and does not require sealing. The installation process is similar for both materials and should be done by a professional to ensure a perfect fit.
Which is more expensive quartz or quartzite?
When it comes to the cost of quartz vs quartzite, there are a few factors to consider. Generally speaking, quartzite is more expensive than quartz. However, this can vary depending on a few different factors.
Factors that affect the cost of quartz and quartzite
Rarity: Some types of quartzite are rarer than others, which can drive up the cost. Similarly, certain types of quartz may be more expensive due to their unique patterns or colours.
Thickness: Thicker slabs of quartz or quartzite are generally more expensive than thinner ones.
Installation: The cost of installation can vary depending on the complexity of the job. For example, if you have a large kitchen with many cutouts and corners, the installation may be more expensive.
Cost comparison of quartz vs quartzite
On average, quartz is less expensive than quartzite. Quartz countertops start at around £300 per square metre, while quartzite starts at around £500 per square metre. However, this can vary depending on the factors mentioned above.
It’s worth noting that while quartz is generally less expensive than quartzite, it’s still considered a high-end material.
County Stone Can Help You Choose the Perfect Worktop
County Stone specialises in the supply and installation of high-quality quartz and quartzite worktops. We have a wide range of colours and patterns to choose from, and a team of experts to help you select the perfect worktop for your kitchen or bathroom.
Contact us today for advice on your new kitchen and a free quote.