What is the difference between quartzite and quartz countertops?

Quartzite and quartz, two high-end countertop materials derived from quartz, are frequently confused, to the point that even retailers sometimes use them interchangeably. For homeowners who decide between the two, it is important to note the differences in composition, appearance, maintenance, and durability. 

Quartzite and quartz countertops are often confused as being the same. As a matter of fact, one material is superior to the other for several reasons. For your remodeling project, we have provided a detailed comparison between two similar countertops. 

Table of content

  • Quartzite is all-natural but quartz isn’t
  • Quartz has more color compositions and patterns
  • Quartzite has a more earthy feel
  • Quartz required less maintenance
  • Quartz doesn’t need sealing while quartzite needs
  • Quartzite is more resistant to acid and scratches
  • Quartz is less expensive than quartzite
  • Both materials are not DIY friendly
  • Which one is better?


  • Quartzite is all-natural but quartz isn’t

Quartzite is a natural stone that is made up of 90 to 99 percent quartz grains bound together with silica, which appeals to the eco-conscious since it is made by nature and contains only naturally occurring minerals. Quartz countertops, on the other hand, are made of engineered stone molded and baked in factories. However, the quartz is a man-made engineered stone, it can easily replicate various characterizations such as flecks and veinings. And most interestingly, these characteristics can easily be removed during the manufacturing process. When it comes to quartzite, you do not have control over appearance as it is all-natural.

  • Quartz has more color compositions and patterns

A wide range of colors can be produced by adding pigments to quartz, from light blues to deep pinks, to violets or oranges. Quartzite, on the other hand, mainly comes in shades of white or gray. However, iron oxide can give quartzite a pink or red hue. In addition, its pattern can only be created naturally, with veined finishes similar to granite.  

  • Quartzite has a more earthy feel

A quartzite slab retains the granular, sugar-like texture of quartz-rich sandstone, which makes them a good choice for those seeking a more organic look on their countertops. In addition to imparting a manufactured look, the resin that binds ground quartz gives the slabs a smooth, seamless finish.

  • Quartz required less maintenance

When it comes to maintenance, it is an obvious fact that quartz requires a little maintenance. A simple wipe can be enough for regular cleaning. You can use a water-damped cloth or paper towel to clean your quartz worktop. Although quartz is a tough surface, it also needs attention, of course. Be careful with commercial cleaning products. 

However, the quartzite requires fairly high maintenance to keep it alive. While it is a harder surface, it is recommended to use a cutting board to resist scratches. Unlike quartz, make sure to avoid high heat contact on quartzite countertops. You can use hot pads to be safe and keep your quartzite surface to stay longer than usual. 

  • Quartz doesn’t need sealing while quartzite needs

Engineered stone is a non-porous material that requires sealing. Due to this binding process, quartz serves as an effective barrier against moisture and microbes, offering protection against permanent staining and bacterial invasion. If not sealed before installation and on an annual basis thereafter, quartzite is highly susceptible to staining and bacterial invasion. 

However, when it comes to quartzite, it requires proper attention to sealing. Because it is a porous surface, if it is not sealed properly, it will soak the moisture and lead to damage. Also, heavy use can cause it to scratch. 

  • Quartzite is more resistant to acid and scratches

The difference between quartz and quartzite is that quartzite is hard and scratch-resistant. Even if an errant knife stroke will not ding or chip either material, you shouldn’t chop directly on quartz since the food acids react with the resins and cause it to etch. Make sure the quartzite you buy is genuine quartzite by checking with the retailer. 

However, in terms of durability, quartz is non-porous and more resistant to moisture but couldn’t resist scratching and etching. While quartzite is prone to stinging and bacterial invasion because it can absorb moisture if not sealed properly. 

  • Quartz is less expensive than quartzite

In comparison with both materials, you find that they are slightly different in price. Quartzite slabs are more complex to transform than mined quartzite, thus accounting for a slight price difference. Diamond blades are used to cut the slab to size, an exacting task that leaves slabs with no standard size. 

Compared with other types of solid surfaces, quart is cheaper to produce since once the resins and pigments are mixed together, it is poured into a mold and baked into standard slabs of 120 by 55 inches with a thickness of between two and three centimeters.

  • Both materials are not DIY friendly

Compared to quart slabs, quartzite slabs weigh about 20 pounds less per square foot at around 20 to 25 pounds. Therefore, neither of these heavy materials can be tried on your own (DIY). 

  • Which one is better?

With all of their pros and cons, it is always harder to say which one is the best. There would never be a right or wrong answer. If you love to have a variety of distinct colors and consistent patterns, quart is a perfect choice. However, if you prefer to install a natural stone, quartzite is a great option. If you are concerned about the cost, you can surely find quartz as a less expensive option. However, you can’t go wrong with either one!

Conclusion

To conclude, both natural stone and engineered quart have more or less the same price tag attached to them. Their beauty and longevity will be extended by proper care for both. Countertops, backsplashes, bathrooms, and other items are often made from engineered quartz and quartzite. It is not uncommon for their names to be used interchangeably (incorrectly). The materials themselves are quite confusing, even if you don’t take the names into account. Whatever surface you choose, be sure to get samples that you can test. 

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