Have you ever wondered what’s the difference between quartz and quartzite? If so, you are not alone. Many people don’t know the difference between the two types of materials and often get them mixed up.
In an effort to provide clarity and put an end to the quartz vs. quartzite dilemma, we have outlined all the major differences between the two materials.
The only way to decide if one material is better than the other is to examine the differences between quartz and quartzite. This will help you understand the differences between quartz and quartzite rock, and determine if quartz or quartzite countertops are the better options for your home.
What is Quartz?
Quartz is the result of mixing quartzite stone with synthetic materials (resins, stone chips, and pigments). Quartz slabs are man-made using this mixture process which means it is not mined like natural quartz, marble, or granite.
What is Quartzite?
Quartzite is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock that’s made from the fusion of quartz-rich chert and sandstone that’s exposed to intense heat and pressure. Quartzite slabs typically have a high sheen or glassy appearance that some like to marble.
The Main Differences Between Quartz and Quartzite Countertops
Are quartz and quartzite the same?
Simply put the answer is, no. The differences between quartzite and quartz are stark, yet many people, including manufacturers, use the terms quartz and quartzite interchangeably. In reality, the two products are different in several important areas which are vital to distinguish before installing your countertops.
We have revised and listed the differences between the two materials so you can learn what sets them apart and get a better idea of which material is best for your home. Hopefully, this breakdown helps settle the quartzite vs. quartz debate once and for all. You’ll find the pros and cons of quartz countertops.
Here are the most common differences between quartzite and quartz:
Difference #1: Composition
As explained in the descriptions for quartz and quartzite the two materials differ significantly in their composition. The composition of naturally occurring quartzite contains 90-99% quartzite. Quartz, on the other hand, contains less quartzite which is replaced by synthetic materials that help give it its appearance.
Difference #2: Appearance
In terms of appearance, quartz and quartzite also differ. Quartzite has a very limited color variation — usually appearing light gray or white with flecks of green, red, or blue and occasional veining.
Quartz outshines quartzite in the color department. Due to its synthetic composition, quartz can be manufactured to come in any color desired. The options with quartz far outweigh quartzite and make quartz a far more versatile option for countertops.
Difference #3: Hardness & Durability
Is quartz more durable than quartzite?
The answer to this question is, yes! Quartz is sealed and mixed with materials that eliminate porosity, so it’s both harder and more durable than quartzite.
Conversely, natural quartzite is porous which means it requires sealing if it’s to maintain its strength and luster over long periods.
Difference #4: Pricing
As a naturally occurring stone quartzite can be pricey. Like other naturally occurring stones, installation for quartzite is a substantial investment. On average, a foot of quartzite costs between $80 and $200 depending on thickness and composition. Furthermore, the purchase of additional quartzite is recommended in case the stone breaks or gets damaged during installation. Between the price of the original slab of quartzite and the backup material, large projects can be very expensive.
Quartz costs between $60 and $150 per square foot, meaning it’s the more cost-effective option for projects. Due to its manufacturing, quartz slabs are more consistent in composition and therefore don’t require the purchase of additional pieces. It’s also rare for quartz to be damaged or broken during installation.
Difference #5: Maintenance & Care
Quartzite is less dense than quartz so it is more susceptible to staining, especially in areas like kitchens where countertops get heavy usage. Quartzite countertops require regular sealing to prevent damage and staining. Quartz on the other hand requires little to no maintenance.
Difference #6: Heat Resistance
Quartzite is superior to quartz in terms of heat resistance. Quartz which contains resin can sustain damage from hot pots and pans starting around 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Quartzite is far less susceptible to heat damage. You could place hot cookware directly onto the countertop without damaging it.
Difference #7: Environmental Impact
Quartz is intrinsically eco-friendly because it is made of non-toxic chemicals, and is largely made of an abundant naturally occurring stone (quartzite). Other sustainable features of quartz countertops are their long shelf life and recyclability.
Quartzite is the more pure form of the two but it requires great amounts of energy to mine from the earth, and its composition gives it a shorter lifespan than quartz.
Difference #8: Ease of Installation
Installation for quartzite is more difficult than for quartz. Quartzite is less dense and less durable so there’s always a chance it could break during installation.
Quartz is far less likely to break on installation. Its higher density and synthetic composition make quartz easy to cut and adjust compared to quartzite.
Which Countertops Should You Choose?
Ultimately the final decision for choosing a quartz or quartzite countertop is up to you. If you have a larger budget and desire a natural aesthetic, quartzite may be the way to go.
If you have a more modest budget, desire a unique color, want a countertop that’s easy to maintain, or wish to take a more environmentally friendly approach quartz is going to be the better choice.
Now that you understand how quartz and quartzite differ we hope that you can make the decision that’s best for your home. Use your knowledge of the differences between quartzite and quartz to guide your choice.
Choose from Quartzite and Quartz Options For Your Countertops
We offer only the finest quality quartz and quartzite slabs for home and business projects. Marble Systems’ selection of superior-quality slabs can help you transform your kitchen into the place of your culinary dreams.