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Helpful Information About Cheshire Quartzite

There are a number of reasons to be interested in Cheshire Quartzite. For one, if you are a fabrication professional that is looking to work with the material it is good to know a bit about it. Also, if you are a homeowner and you like the look of quartzite you may have been drawn to Cheshire Quartzite and need to know how to maintain it. In this article we will take a look at some of the properties of quartzite and mention some specifics about Cheshire Quartzite. Along the way, we will see what fabricators need to be aware of when they are working with Cheshire Quartzite.

Diverse Quartzite Topics

Some quartzite names are used in the industry as the names of slab colors and others are not. If you search for a specific quartzite name online, you will get either a mixture of search results, primarily sales oriented results, or primarily scientific results. Cheshire Quartzite yields its own set of search results. In fact the following quote was taken from Vermont.gov regarding Cheshire:

This sample of metaquartzite is a greyish-white rock composed almost exclusively of intergrown quartz crystals. The rock was formed during regional metamorphism by complete recrystallization of a pure, quartz sandstone. Pure, white metaquartzite is present along the western edge of the Green Mountains. This rock type forms the "Green Mountain Front" in southern Vermont. This sample is from the Cheshire Formation of Cambrian age (around 540 million years old) and was collected near Danby from Big Brook.

The basics when it comes to quartzite are of interest to diverse groups of people; slab distributors, suppliers, scientists, and even consumers. The diversity of topics on the Internet regarding quartzite show this well.

What Cheshire Quartzite Is Made Of

Like other quartzites, Cheshire is made up of specific minerals and is formed through a specific process. Authentic quartzite has certain characteristics that distinguish it from other kinds of natural stone. Cheshire Quartzite will have the same properties as other quartzites. However, as is indicated by the names of specific quartzites, the color or texture might be different. Color variations are usually caused by varying mineral content and the texture may be due to a specific event during the formation. Additionally, locations are sometimes included in the names and this can hint at where that particular stone originates.

Finding out exactly what quartzite is can be done through reference materials. Browsing the Internet or looking in a library for a definition found in an encyclopedia or science text book will get you a pretty good description of not only what the material called quartzite is, but a synapsis of how it is formed as well. On the website Virginia.gov there is a very succinct statement describing what quartzite is. The statement is as follows:

Quartzite is a metamorphic rock that forms when quartz sandstone is subjected to elevated pressure and temperature during regional metamorphism.

No matter what definition you use though, the idea is simple. Cheshire Quartzite is born from sandstone. After its transformation, the material has properties that distinguish it from sandstone and it is also very different from other natural stone as well. Let's look at some of the properties of Cheshire Quartzite.

Cheshire Properties

The properties of quartzite vary and each particular stone will have unique features that differentiate it from the rest. In fact, Cheshire Quartzite has its own distinctive characteristics too. However, one quality that quartzite shares is that it is a versatile material that can be used for various projects.

In addition to those distinguishing characteristics, Cheshire shares other very specific properties with other "flavors" of quartzite. For example, quartzite is very hard. How hard is it? Well, it is harder than some natural granite Quartzite registers about 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. Compare that to granite registering from 6 to 7. The reason Cheshire Quartzite can be harder than granite is because of its quartz content.

The hardness of the material means that it is not easily scratched by normal household use. Some kitchen countertop materials can scratch easily but Cheshire is not one of them. The hardness makes it a durable material; desirable by many.

In addition to being very hard, authentic quartzite, Cheshire included, is also not as porous as other natural stone. It does have pores, just not as many as other types of natural stone in some cases. Fewer pores means easier stain removal. Furthermore, owners often enhance the stain resistance with maintenance routines that we will talk about in a bit.

Color Compatibility of Cheshire

The unique and rich colors of Cheshire mean that it can be used with virtually any design style that is popular. Having stone that fits with various design styles can be a key to a successful project. What is meant by a "design style"? Note the following examples:

Midcentury Modern

Roughly defined, the midcentury modern design style is architecture, furniture, and other design elements taken from a specific period of time ranging from circa 1933 to 1965. It highlights functionality and uncluttered sleek lines combined with both traditional and non-traditional materials; often using them to contrast one another.

Hollywood Glam

Mixing of glamour with everyday styles in a way that does not feel "messy" is the idea of this design style. Conveying sophistication and confidence, the Hollywood glam design style is not gaudy. It offers clean lines and uncluttered spaces to keep it form becoming a touch much. Monochromatic color schemes are also one of the ways this style stays grounded.

Bohemian Design

Described as a free-spirited look and feel, bohemian style design emerged from France and carries with it some very distinctive characteristics and design elements that differentiate it from others. The free spiritedness mentioned above is achieved by making use of many things from many different philosophies, ways of life and parts of the world. All these elements converge to produce a diverse style that accurately represents the ones who inspired it.

Scandinavian Design

Another design style that focuses on simplicity and functionality which emerged in the early 20th century. By way of clean, sleek, and simple lines as well as functionality and minimalism, the scandinavian design style produces an aesthetically pleasing space nicely. The lack of clutter and absence of superfluous items in the design make it very comfortable feeling.

Transitional

Borrowing from traditional and modern design styles, transitional makes its mark in the realm of interior design by blending these two styles without going overboard with either. This design style creates a relaxed space with a hint of sleek and style. In addition to feeling relaxed and sleek, it is inviting and warm as well. the furniture lines of this style are simple and sophisticated at the same time.

Fabricating Cheshire Surfaces

When it comes to working with Cheshire Quartzite, having the correct tools for the work makes it much smoother and the results come out better. Fabricating natural quartzite will be much easier if the tools and supplies used are quartzite compatible. Let's look at a couple of products that will play a role in the successful fabrication of Cheshire.

Working With Cheshire Quartzite

Cutting and shaping Cheshire means having diamond blades and other tools that are designed to cut hard materials. Some blade producers will mark a blade specifically for certain materials. Others will give the blade a name and market it for use on multiple materials. When it comes to cutting Cheshire, the best blade to use for these hard surfaces is a diamond blade for quartzite. The blade that many fabricators rely on for cutting quartzite is the White Lion from Weha. Another good quartzite blade is the Grey Leopard from Weha.

The same goes for other diamond tools like core bits, and stone polishing pads. Selecting a polishing pad or core bit designed for use on a hard material will generally perform well for Cheshire and there are many from which to choose.

Sealing Cheshire Quartzite

As we mentioned earlier, sealer helps with the stain resistance of Cheshire Quartzite. So fabrication and installation services that include an initial sealing of a Cheshire stone boosts the resilience of the finished product. Better yet, when a homeowner knows how to care for the finished surface, the results are even better.

How to Care for Cheshire

Caring for Cheshire consists of some basics involving cleaning and protecting the stone. First, cleaning Cheshire surfaces regularly using a cleaning product that is designed for use on natural stone surfaces is a great starting point. Then, maintaining the seal on the material enhances the resistance to potentially harmful substances. Finally, the regularity with which these practices are performed will have a direct bearing on the outcome. Let's look at each of those phases now.

How to Clean Cheshire

Cleaning Cheshire is not complicated. Regularly perform cleaning on Cheshire using a compatible cleaner to preserve the appearance of your quartzite surface. There are many cleaners that will do the trick. The key is to choose one that is pH neutral. These types make the best cleaners for natural stone because they won't break down the sealer. That helps with the stain resistance.

If you need to clean a Cheshire slab or countertop by removing a stain, you will want to use the proper stain remover for the type of stain the stone has. Water based stains, oil based stains, and rust each will respond differently depending on which stain remover you use.

Maintaining the Seal

Just because a Cheshire gets an initial seal does not mean that it will be impervious to stains and discolorations. Actually, the stone benefits regular, periodical resealing. Using an impregnating stone sealer for natural stone is a good way to keep your Cheshire looking its best. You can even get sealers that enhance the stone and bring out the colors.

About Maintaining Cheshire

So cleaning and resealing become the the key elements to keeping you natural stone surfaces looking the best. That goes for Cheshire Natural Quartzite too. Maintaining your quartzite comes down to a good stone care routine. here is one routine that some have found very beneficial.

  • Use a pH neutral cleaner to keep the sealer from breaking down and clean any debris from the surface.
  • Reseal the surface of your quartzite surface when it gets "thirsty"*.
  • Using a fortified stone polish periodically gradually maintains the sealer on the surface of the natural stone.

In conclusion, Cheshire Quartzite is just one of the many unique variations of quartzite that have been found. however, each quartzite surface will bring with it characteristics like the ones we mentioned in this article. Namely, scratch resistance, design compatibility, easy maintenance and simply cleaning. Finally, when you fabricate Cheshire Quartzite, one key is to make use of the proper tools by selecting blades, bits, and polishing pads that are designed for quartzite and other hard materials.

* A thirsty quartzite stone is one that quickly absorbs water resting on its surface. Simply put a tablespoon of water on the surface of the stone. The faster the water is absorbed, the "thirstier" the stone is.
Image provided by James St. John under the Creative Commons 2.0 License.