Home > Material Comparisons > Quartzite & Porcelain

Quartzite and Porcelain Compared

Looking at materials used for countertop surfaces, you will find that there is a range of hardness represented. Some materials register at the "soft" end of the spectrum while others, like the two mentioned in this article, weigh in at the hard end of the scale. In this article, we will consider some of the features these materials share as well as some they do not as we explore quartzite and porcelain compared.

Quartzite

As a natural stone, quartzite inherently possesses some specific qualities that are consistent with material that is formed in nature. To summarize quartzite, we could say that quartzite is a very hard natural stone material that has a high quartz content. But to go a bit farther, we will look at its hardness and other properties. We will also consider how the characteristics of this material translates into features and/or benefits.

Properties of Quartzite

As previously mentioned, quartzite is a very hard material. It is also a stone that, when installed as a countertop, offers individuality from all other countertops. This is because a natural stone is 100% unique and even slabs cut from the same mountain will differ. As a result, it is recommended that shoppers select the exact stone to be used for fabrication.

The hardness of quartzite offers some benefits that are appealing to many consumers. For example, the durability of a countertop is one feature that is affected by the hardness of the stone from which it is made. Because quartzite is so hard, it is scratch resistant. That is not to say that quartzite is scratch proof. However, scratch resistance goes a long way toward keeping your surfaces looking their best; especially if they are polished.

Porcelain's Traits

Porcelain also has some very appealing properties itself. Some of these traits are the same ones that we talked about regarding quartzite and some are different. One trait that is similar to that of quartzite is that porcelain is extremely hard. In fact, procelain countertops require diamond blades designed to cut ceramic material. And as you might have guessed, porcelain is very scratch resistant. Even though it is not a "natural" stone per se, it is a material that is fashioned from ingredients that include natural materials.

The fact that porcelain is hard and durable makes it a great candidate for kitchen countertop surfaces. And in fact, it is being used for such a purpose more and more. There are a number of manufacturers that produce porcelain countertops for kitchens. The hardness of porcelain and its durability along with the versatility and color selection make it a viable option.

Comparisons

Since we have already taken a look at both quartzite and porcelain, we won't spend a lot of time describing each material. Rather, we will simply list some qualities and comment briefly on each material as it relates to that quality. So let's get to it.

  • Scratch Resistance: quartzite is scratch resistant because of its hardness of 7 on th Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Porcelain too is a very hard material that does not scratch easily.
  • Color Selection: porcelain countertops are produced in a variety of colors and patterns. Because it is a manufactured material, this is possible. Quartzite is also available in a range of colors. However, it differs in that the material is not manufactured so slab selection becomes more important. Yet, the result is a completely unique countertop.
  • Stain Resistance: quartzite is a natural stone that is inherently porous. Treating it with a stone sealer can help the owner to defend against water based and oil based liquids that can stain it. Porcelain is not a porous material and therefore does not absorb stain-causing liquids. This does not mean that a porcelain countertop cannot stain. It simply means that any foreign substance will stay on the surface where it is more easily treated.
  • Availability: porcelain countertops are availlable to the degree that they are produced. That being said, if you research porcelain countertops, you will likely find more than enough from which to choose. Quartzite is quarried from the earth and then cut into slabs. This material is becoming more and more popular for use as a countertop material. However, there have been cases of marble being sold under the quartzite label so be sure to verify the slab before purchase.
  • Heat Resistance: quartzite is formed through a natural process that includes high temperatures. As a result, it is heat resistant. Porcelain is manufactured using tremendous heat as well. Because of this, it too is resistant to temperatures that would be considered high in the household environment.

In the end it will come down to whether the one selecting the material prefers natural stone over manufactured materials. There are reasons for having preferences to either material. But regardless of which material is chosen, the result can be a long lasting, durable countertop that performs well and goes with the design of the project.