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Helpful Information About Monkton Quartzite

There are a number of reasons to be interested in Monkton 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 Monkton 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 Monkton Quartzite. Along the way, we will see what fabricators need to be aware of when they are working with Monkton 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. Monkton Quartzite yields its own set of search results. In fact the following quote was taken from Vermont.gov regarding Monkton:

The sample is a reddish- buff quartzite composed of round to angular quartz sand grains cemented by quartz (SiO2) with some iron oxide (FeO2, producing the red color) and calcite (CaCO3). This rock is a sedimentary orthoquartzite that has not been subjected to sufficient heat and pressure to recrystallize the rock. Cementation and compaction have created a very durable rock This orthoquartzite is from the Cambrian Monkton Formation and was collected near Winooski. Quarries near Burlington supplied blocks of Monkton Quartzite used to build the Redstone Campus at the University of Vermont.

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 Monkton Quartzite Is Made Of

Like other quartzites, Monkton 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. Monkton 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.

You can find a number of explanations describing what quartzite is. And if you do a bit of research, you will find that most of the definitions are somewhat the same. The following definition of quartzite is one that can be found in an article by Karin Kirk written for Use Natural Stone. In the article entitled The Definitive Guide to Quartzite, Karin defined it this way:

Quartzite is a metamorphic rock made almost entirely of the mineral quartz. Quartzite begins its geologic life as sand grains, perhaps on a beach, desert dune, or riverbed. Over time, the sand grains become compressed and stuck together to form sandstone. If the sandstone gets buried ever more deeply underneath layers of rocks, it gets hotter and more compressed. With enough heat and pressure, the sand grains lose their original shape and fuse to their neighbors, forming a dense, durable rock. The process is similar to individual snowflakes merging into solid, glacial ice.

No matter what definition you use though, the idea is simple. Monkton 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 Monkton Quartzite.

Monkton Properties

The properties of quartzite vary and each particular stone will have unique features that differentiate it from the rest. In fact, Monkton 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, Monkton 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 Monkton 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 Monkton is not one of them. The hardness makes it a durable material; desirable by many.

In addition to being very hard, authentic quartzite, Monkton 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 Monkton

The unique and rich colors of Monkton 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:

Contemporary Design

Defined by simplicity and subtle sophistication combined with texture usage and clean lines. The contemporary style design focuses on color and shape as well as space. These aspects of the style are utilized to produce a sleek and fresh appearance. Elements of the contemporary design style include borrowed elements from other design styles. This makes it sometimes difficult to pinpoint.

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.

Mid-century Modern

Roughly defined, the mid-century 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.

French Country

if you have an affinity for ruffles, distressed wood work, mixed patterns, and hues that are both vibrant and subdued, french country is the style that you are looking for. This design style is warm and brings the curves. With hefty beamed ceilings and walls as well as delicately carved wood details, this design style is truly eye catching. A style that is sure to inspire.

Fabricating Monkton Surfaces

When it comes to working with Monkton 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 Monkton.

Working With Monkton Quartzite

Cutting and shaping Monkton 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 Monkton, 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 Monkton and there are many from which to choose.

Sealing Monkton Quartzite

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

How to Care for Monkton

Caring for Monkton consists of some basics involving cleaning and protecting the stone. First, cleaning Monkton 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 Monkton

Cleaning Monkton is not complicated. Regularly perform cleaning on Monkton 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 Monkton 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 Monkton 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 Monkton looking its best. You can even get sealers that enhance the stone and bring out the colors.

About Maintaining Monkton

So cleaning and resealing become the the key elements to keeping you natural stone surfaces looking the best. That goes for Monkton 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 this article we have covered some diverse ground related to Monkton Quartzite. In fact, we even looked at some more general information regarding quartzite materials. We looked at the hardness of the material and how that makes quartzite (and Monkton) scratch resistant. We also looked at the color compatibiltiy of Monkton Quartzite. We even took a bit of a detour from our topic and considered some popular design styles in which Monkton could be used. We mentioned the necessity of working with the correct tools if fabricating Monkton. Finally, we explored some ways to simplify the care and maintenance of Monkton and why a good maintenance routine is a nice way to go. Keeping these basics in mind will ensure that your experience will be a good one.

* 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.