In recent years, Quartzite, a 100% natural stone, has emerged as a leading countertop choice for designers and homeowners alike. Not to be confused with quartz countertops which are engineered stone, Natural Quartzite has become as highly prized and sought after as marble.
So what’s behind the surge in popularity?
With the look of marble but a composition tougher than granite, quartzite lets you have your cake and eat it, too. Its elegance, understated color patterns, and immense durability make it perfect for those seeking a worry-free as well as sophisticated natural stone.
What exactly IS quartzite?
To understand what makes quartzite special, let’s take a quick look at the geology. Quartzite is a metamorphic rock that forms from quartz-rich sandstone. When naturally altered by heat and pressure, the sand grains recrystallize and form a dense network of interlocking quartz crystals. The result is incredibly strong, and true quartzites will rank at about a 7 or an 8 on the Mohs Hardness Scale — while granite ranges from 6 to 7.
To put this into even further perspective, both glass and an average knife blade rank somewhere between 5 to 6. A real quartzite will always scratch glass. And, if you were to cut directly onto your quartzite countertop, you’d more likely dull your knives than scratch its surface. This makes quartzite one of the most durable natural stones you can find on the market.
Why does everyone love it so much?
Homeowners rave about quartzite because it’s so resistant to destruction, that there’s no need to worry about etching, scratching, or staining. Since it’s naturally heat resistant, hot pans won’t have any effect on its surface, either. This is as close to a worry-free countertop as you can get.
Aside from durability, designers often recommend it to their clients because its soft tones and natural veining add elegance to any kitchen or bathroom. Quartzites often have an ethereal, translucent quality that is easily mistaken for marble. So, if you’re someone who adores the look of white marble countertops, but feels that the extra maintenance needed with marble isn’t for you, quartzite is a perfect option. Quartzites most often come in tones of white, beige, and gray, but depending on the mineral composition, can also be found in pink, red, blue, and green.
Is there a catch?
You might be thinking, isn’t this too good to be true? Well not all quartzites are created equal. However, this is often because some quartzites on the market are actually mislabeled. They are really calcites, dolomites, or even marbles, sometimes even called “soft quartzite” (although there is no such thing). If you’ve been doing research already, you may have read stories of frustrated consumers who unknowingly purchased a different material that was being called “quartzite.” That’s one reason why it’s so important to choose your stone supplier wisely. Here at Stone West, for example, we spare no expense sourcing our slabs to ensure the correct mineral composition. We travel directly to the quarries, inspect every block ourselves, only select the highest quality, and educate our customers on the details. It’s possible that one of the reasons quartzite hasn’t seen its heyday until now is precisely this past confusion and lack of education throughout the industry.
What maintenance IS necessary?
Of course, no surface is completely impervious to damage. Nevertheless, chemicals found in common household cleaners won’t etch a true quartzite, and neither will lemon or vinegar. For optimal performance, using gentle soap and wiping up any spills will ensure the surface polish remains glossy.
Quartzite really does live up to the hype as the most hassle-free surface available. This beautiful and sophisticated natural stone with its delicate veining and understated color palette fits any style from minimalist to modern to traditional.
Stone West, located in Ventura, California, carries quartzites in both polished and honed finishes. Here are some of our most popular quartzites in stock (just to name a few):
- Himalayan Quartzite
- Pure Quartzite
- Bianca Quartzite
- Coral Quartzite
- Crema Quartzite
- Gold Quartzite
- Orite Quartzite
- Soapstone Quartzite
- Quartzite Autunnale
- Quartzite Suave
- Quartzite Verde
- White Ice
- White Lux
We serve clients throughout Southern California – Westlake Village, Malibu, Thousand Oaks, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Montecito, Goleta all the way to San Luis Obispo.