About Quartzite Countertops
If you have been looking at installing new countertops you may have come across an enigmatic countertop surface material; quartzite. If this is your first exposure to quartzite countertops, you may have a lot of questions and be hungry for information about this fascinating natural stone. In this page, we will delve into some interesting aspects of quartzite countertops including quartzite is, what to consider when fabricating quartzite, and how to care for natural quartzite countertops.
What Is Quartzite?
Most discussions of a countertop material begin with the obligatory question, "what is..." and a consideration of quartzite countertops seems to beg that question as well.
Quartzite is a natural stone material. It has a number of appealing properties that make it desirable for kitchen countertops and other work surfaces. Quartzite is defined by Wikipedia.org as:
Quartzite is a hard, non-foliated metamorphic rock which was originally pure quartz sandstone.
That definition is pretty succinct and does not offer much explanation. The rest of the page in the reference link above explains more about quartzite in a scientific and technical way. In this discussion, we will touch on some specific technicalities but we will also focus on the practical aspects of this intriguing natural stone.
Quartzite is a very hard natural stone that exists as a result of intense heat and pressure acting on natural sandstone deep within the Earth. These forces transform sandstone into quartzite gradually and incrementally. Because of this process, quartzite will have various appearances. It will also have different degrees of porosity and absorption.
Properties of Quartzite
As with most other natural stone, there is a number of aspects to contemplate when considering quartzite countertops. If you want a detailed, technical explanation of this natural stone, you will love the article A Deep Dive Into the Properties of Quartzite by geologist Karin Kirk. However, in practical terms, quartzite is a great choice for kitchen and bathroom countertops because of some practical and easy to observe properties.
Quartzite often times appears in lighter colors but can be any color. As sandstone transforms into quartzite, it goes through "changes" that vary the properties. The article referenced above refers to "categories of sandstone and quartzite". The 3 categories of quartzite mentioned are as follows:
- Intermediate Quartzite - Intermediate quartzite will have a mixture of grainy and crystalline appearance. These quartzites tend to be more porous than the next category.
- Crystalline Quartzite - Crystalline quartzite has a glassy crystalline appearance and no grains are visible even when using a magnifying glass.
- Mixed-stone Quartzite - Mixed-stone quartzite is exactly as it sounds; quartzite mixed with other stone types. This stone color will be diverse and vary.
As you can see, the porosity of the stone will vary and so will its appearance. This is perhaps one reason that this type of material is becoming more and more popular; it has the potential to appeal to different types of people. It's no wonder it is being used quartzite countertops.
The properties of quartzite make it an ideal choice for kitchen, bathroom and other countertops. The glistening appearance of crystalline quartzite resembles marble and other attractive calcitic stone that is not necessarily easy to maintain when used as a worktop. Yet, it is harder than granite and is functionally much like granite.
Even the intermediate quartzite can be a good choice for a quartzite countertop given that it is maintained properly and regularly.
The hardness of quartzite means it is durable and resistant to scratching. The added benefit of this prooperty is that it is resistant to high temperatures and household heat threats like hot pans in the kitchen or curling and straightening irons in the bathroom. It is also relatively easy to care for as we will see a bit later.
Fabricating Countertops With Quartzite
If you are looking to fabricate or install quartzite, there are some things that you should know about it. It is extremely hard, as we mentioned, and it is available in a variety of colors. These factors mean that anyone working with quartzite countertops will benefit from some specific equipment and supplies.
If you are installing or fabricating quartzite countertops, having a diamond quartzite bridge saw blade that is effective on quartzite will help make the project a success. Additionally, knowing which adhesive for quartzite countertops to select will have a positive impact on the success of your project. If you are a fabricator or this is a DIY project, take the necessary time to research the tools and equipment you will need to do the job.
Quartzite Countertop Durability
As we alluded to earlier, quartzite countertops are durable, they will give you many years of use with relative to moderate maintenance requirements. The heat resistance and scratch resistance of quartzite are factors that interested buyers truly value. The durability of these kinds of countertops is relatively easy to benefit from with a well-thought-out maintenance routine that is simple to execute.
Care & Maintenance of Quartzite Counters
Quartzite countertops are natural stone surfaces. As such, they need to be initially sealed depending on the porosity of the particular stone. Afterward, quartzite countertops should be treated using a multiphase care and maintenance routine. Even though that sounds complicated, it really isn't. An effective maintenance routine can be accomplished through the following three steps:
- Periodical sealing using an impregnating sealer every 6 to 12 months.
- Daily cleaning using natural stone cleaner that is pH neutral to prevent dissolving the existing sealer.
- Regular (perhaps even weekly) fortified natural stone polish to maintain the shine of a polished finish.
These three practices work together to make the care and maintenance easy and trouble free as long as the proper products are used.
Are Quartzite Counters Right for You?
Quartzite is a beautiful natural stone that brings with it the resemblance of elegant marble and the durability and toughness of granite. It does require a bit of know how and understanding if you are picking the stone out yourself or installing it on your own. If you choose to go with quartzite or have it installed, it would behoove you to take some time to learn a bit about this elegant and durable stone. If you have done that and have chosen it, then enjoy your quartzite countertops!