More and more people are gravitating towards quartzite as their material of choice for countertops. Because of the way it occurs in nature, it comes in a kaleidoscope of colours ranging from white, grey, pink, red, yellow, green, blue, and even orange. These are all natural hues depending on what minerals were present during its formation. This wide variety of colours and its high durability is what makes quartzite so appealing to use for countertops.
Quartzite has the aesthetic appearance of marble, but is comparatively harder and denser. On the Mohs hardness scale, it has a rating of 8 (for context, diamond’s Mohs rating is 10). As a result, quartzite can withstand all the kitchen commotion with much less maintenance needed. The lack of pores in its structure gives an easy-to-wipe-down surface as well as lowers the risk of grime and microbes accumulating inside. Because of its impressive palette of colour possibilities, quartzite is versatile in practically any design colour scheme. Another bonus to interior design are the unique streaks and lenses that form on quartzite during its recrystallization process: depending on the way the stone is cut and the way the streaks or lenses are laid out, quartzite countertops fit in with both modern (linear streaks) and organic (diagonal streaks) looks.
One of the setbacks to consider about quartzite is its higher cost compared to other stones. Due to the hardness of its structure, quartzite can only be carved with precision diamond cutters, which is very time-consuming and requires a lot of skill during the whole process; all this time and energy adds up to the final cost. Despite its hardness though, quartzite can still be damaged by sharp objects so cutting boards are definitely necessary. Quartzite also cannot withstand prolonged high heat so coasters and trivets should always be used. Exposure to outside weather elements is also harmful to quartzite’s longevity. Most varieties of quartzite only need to be sealed about once a year to keep it longer lasting, but there are some varieties that may need to be sealed more often. This brings us to one of the most important points to remember when choosing quartzite: there’s a dizzying number of quartzite varieties that can roughly be split into “hard” and “soft” types.
The hard types are, as their name suggests, harder and are the pure quartzite varieties described in this article so far. There are the soft types though which more closely resemble marble that are often labelled as “quartzite”, too. The properties of these “soft” quartzite are much more prone to scratches/stains and really shouldn’t be used in the kitchen. So if you’re in the market for the durable qualities you’ve always associated with pure quartzite, make sure to ask for the “hard” type so that you don’t get surprised by the “soft” ones.
Quartzite is perfect for those who are looking for durable natural stones that still offer a broad selection of colours and textures for different themes in the house. You just have to be careful in the type of quartzite you choose. As long as you make sure to select hard quartzite for heavy-use areas and perhaps soft quartzite for decorative areas or accents, you will be pleased with the natural strength and beauty that quartzite represents.