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Helpful Information About Naica Quartzite

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

This rare stone has consistent patterning with the subtle veining and contrast popular among quartzites. The soft white with gray and gold undertones make this color a must-have in a freshly updated kitchen or bathroom.

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 Naica Quartzite Is Made Of

Like other quartzites, Naica 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. Naica 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.

There are many different resources for gaining basic information about quartzite. Yet, most of them include the same basic definition. Let's look at one definition of quartzite taken from geology.com. That website defines quartzite this way:

Quartzite is a nonfoliated metamorphic rock composed almost entirely of quartz. It forms when a quartz-rich sandstone is altered by the heat, pressure, and chemical activity of metamorphism. These conditions recrystallize the sand grains and the silica cement that binds them together. The result is a network of interlocking quartz grains of incredible strength.

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

Naica Properties

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

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

The unique and rich colors of Naica 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:

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.

Rustic Design

Rugged, natural beauty is what characterizes this design style. Embracing textures inspired by nature, the rustic design style makes use of simple, earthy, colors and textures that exude a warm, organic look and feel. Rough and aged are words that are often used to describe this unique design style. The style focuses on nature utilizing raw, rugged and unfinished looking design elements.

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.

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.

Minimalist Design

This design approach is characterized by functional furniture and interior objects. Minimalist styling makes great use of geometric shapes and a few basic colors. Using a low number of each of these design aspects highlights the real meaning of the name of this style of interior design. The elements are used to create warm, nuanced spaces. A one-word description for this style is "simplicity".

Fabricating Naica Surfaces

When it comes to working with Naica 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 Naica.

Working With Naica Quartzite

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

Sealing Naica Quartzite

As we mentioned earlier, sealer helps with the stain resistance of Naica Quartzite. So fabrication and installation services that include an initial sealing of a Naica 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 Naica

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

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

About Maintaining Naica

So cleaning and resealing become the the key elements to keeping you natural stone surfaces looking the best. That goes for Naica 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, Naica 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 Naica 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.