When deciding on new countertops, you’ll probably come across the terms quartz and quartzite, and it’s very easy to get the two materials confused. The truth is that quartz and quartzite countertops are quite different.
The most notable difference between quartz and quartzite is that quartz is an engineered, or manufactured, material, versus its natural stone counterpart, quartzite.
There are several other differences between the two materials to be aware of.
Here’s everything you need to know about quartz and quartzite to help you decide if either is right for your kitchen renovation project.
What Is Quartz?
Within the world of countertops, quartz (also referred to as engineered stone) is a great option for home remodelers. Popular quartz countertop brands include:
- One Quartz
You’ll have plenty of options from which to choose when deciding on patterns and colors for your countertops if you stick with quartz. You would be in good company if you choose it, too, because some of the most famous buildings in the world are composed of quartz: The Taj Mahal is made of quartz with beautiful red hues.
How Quartz Become a Countertop Material
The quarry-to-countertop process is relatively simple:
- After mining the quartzite, the stones are broken into tiny pieces.
- The stone pieces are then combined with resin under extreme heat and pressure to create quartz slabs.
- Pigments are added during the manufacturing process to get a variety of color schemes.
Quartz is a great choice as an engineered countertop option because it hard and durable characteristics. It’s a durable material before and after engineering, and lasts a long time if you care for it properly. Quartz doesn’t need to be sealed the way other types of stone countertops do either, and is easy to care for. It’s easily scrubbed if spills happen, making it a low-maintenance option for your kitchen remodel. Natural quartz is also beautiful as a backsplash or other items in the kitchen, including cutting boards.
Your home renovation expert will walk you through the different types of pigments and combinations that might work best for your kitchen or bathroom renovation vision.
What Is Quartzite?
Quartzite is a metamorphic rock. Quartz crystals are removed from quartzites, but the stone doesn’t go through the same engineering process as quartz before becoming usable. Quartzite is mined and removed from the earth in large slabs, then cut down to the necessary size to create countertops for bathroom and kitchen renovation projects. It’s more porous than quartz and isn’t as hard, meaning it requires a sealant and is less repellant of stains, but still offers a durable choice with plenty of perks in design.
If you want a natural look in your home, quartzite might be the natural stone for you. There are fewer varieties in color schemes available, but these countertops provide an elegance and timelessness that you’ll love for years.
Quartz vs. Quartzite in Home Uses
Both quartz and quartzite make good choices for a dependable stone countertop, but each has different qualities and requirements for care. For instance, you’re going to need a sealant on your quartzite countertop that you won’t need on engineered quartz or other materials.
Quartz features for interior design include:
- Easy to clean or remove stains with basic scrubbing
- Heat resistant so you can set hot pans down on it
- Long lifespan
- Resists chipping due to hard exterior
- You don’t need to seal it every couple years (or at all)
For these reasons, you find quartz used in a variety of ways as part of interior design, such as:
- Kitchen countertops
- Bathroom countertops
- Cutting boards
There are a few cons, however:
- It doesn’t have the veining of marble.
- It isn’t a natural stone after the engineering process.
- It is expensive per square foot.
Quartzite features for interior design include:
- Heat resistant
- Resists scratches and chipping
- Natural stone
- Durable hardstone
- Resembles marble countertops
- Lasts a long time when properly maintained
This leads people to use quartzite in their homes in a variety of ways, such as:
- Kitchen counters with a sealant
- Bathroom counters with a sealant
- Landscape design
- Home construction material, such as tiles on your home
There are some cons of quartzite that are important to know, including:
- It needs to be sealed upon installation and again a couple of times per year.
- It is expensive per square foot.
- Avoid sharp objects on it to prevent cracking or scratching
- It can crack.
You need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of quartz and quartzite before making a final decision about which is right for your home renovation project.
Still Unsure? Work With a Professional Interior Designer
If you aren’t sure whether you should choose quartz or quartzite for your kitchen countertops, it’s time for professional help. There are many benefits to using a professional interior design team, including:
- An expert eye for design
- Works for you
- Can create images of the final design before you start
- You get a trusted partner in your home renovation
If you’re looking for someone to help with an interior design project, call A&S Home Interiors today! Our experts have years of experience helping our valued clients from Northern Virginia and DC navigate the differences between available materials to ensure they get the kitchen or bathroom they want and can easily care for. Contact our office or visit our Lorton Virginia Countertops Showroom.