Tips From The Trade: Quartz vs. Quartzite Countertops - What is the Difference Anyway?

October 09, 2017

Quartz and Quartzite... judging by the names it sounds like they're probably the same thing right? Well, you may be surprised to find out these two materials are actually quite different.

In this post, we will discuss the differences between these two countertop surfaces and why a quartz countertop or quartzite countertop may be right for you. 

Recreate this look with MSI's Kalahari Quartzite (Photo Credit: Houzz)

The biggest difference between quartz and quartzite is that quartz is a man-made material, while quartzite is a natural stone. A quartzite countertop begins as sandstone, which under a natural process of heat and pressure is fused with sparkly quartz crystals to form quartzite.

Quartzite typically comes in shades of white or light grey, but minerals in the stone can lend pink, gold, or reddish-brown hues.  

Get this look with MSI's Iced White Quartz (Photo Credit: Houzz)

A quartz countertop is engineered with the same quartz crystals found in quartzite, but a man-made process binds the crystal with resins, pigments, and other materials such as bits of glass. This process results in a very durable, non-porous countertop material that comes in a wide variety of colors and designs. 

Aside from the different composition of these two materials, the stylistic differences are quite striking as well. Quartzite is often mistaken for marble or granite, as it has the delicate veining of marble and similar coloration and patterning to some granites. Those seeking a natural look with lots of movement may prefer a quartzite countertop

Featured: Madreperola Quartzite 

Quartz on the other hand, can be made to look like any stone, and is offered in many different shades and patterns. If you have a specific color in mind, or want a consistent pattern throughout your slab, a quartz countertop is probably a better bet for your home. 

Featured: Pacific Salt Quartz 

Another big difference between quartz and quartzite is the care routine and durability of each material. The binding process makes quartz extremely durable as it helps to extract air, making quartz a hard surface that is non-porous, and therefore resistant to chipping, scratching, and bacteria.

Quartzite is a fairly hard stone, but it's less dense than quartz and susceptible to easily staining in a heavy use area such as the kitchen. Quartzite requires sealing to prevent staining the surface, while quartz needs virtually no maintenance. 

Create this look with MSI's Taj Mahal Quartzite (Photo Credit: Houzz)

So if you love a plethora of choices and a reliable, consistent look to your countertops; or perhaps you're searching for a durable material that won't break the bank, quartz may be just the thing for you. 

However, if you don't mind a little upkeep in exchange for a beautiful, one-of-a-kind natural appearance then don't dismiss our quartzite countertops

Visit this page for more on the popularity of quartzite countertops.