Quartz vs. Quartzite: What's the difference?
Updated: Oct 6, 2020
As quartz and quartzite grow in popularity within recent years, they have become a highly sought-after countertop option for kitchens. Although these stones are indeed similar in name, they are actually different in more ways than one. To say one is the better option would be subjective when considering your own personal tastes and the conditions in which you will be using the countertop piece. However, knowing the key differences between these two types will go a long way to ensuring that you will be satisfied with your choice.
Arguably the biggest difference between quartz and quartzite is in the make and the material used, which accounts for the various key differences that will be discussed further below. Quartzite is made using naturally-occurring, porous sandstone that undergoes a heating procedure and mined to be later formed into slabs.
Meanwhile, quartz is a man-made stone composed of mostly quartz minerals. Color additives and resin are added during production to bind the particles together. Ultimately, the make depends on the manufacturer, which introduces flexibility in material and quality.
Quartzite displays infinite variations of patterns and captures the original stone's natural appearance. No two slabs will be found exactly the same, each having its own unique bands and coloring. Quartzite is generally found to contain white or grey hues. An infusion of other colors such as pink, blue, green, or yellow, would be a result of the presence of minerals in the stone.
Quartz is generally referred to as engineered quartz and is known for its uniformity in appearance. As a man-made stone, the addition of pigments occurs during production allows for a much wider range of colors to choose from. Furthermore, the fabrication process has become so refined as to emulate the semblance of natural stone.
Another point: it is important to note the color scheme of your kitchen when picking between these two stones. What are your kitchen cabinets like? What color are your floors - whether it be tiles or hardwood? If you prefer a more organic appearance to match with your kitchen, quartzite fits the bill. If you are looking for a diverse selection of colors and textures with consistency in patterns, you will find it in quartz.
Due to its natural make, quartzite is comparably less dense compared to quartz, but does well against the inevitable wear and tear of everyday use. Quartz has exemplary durability due to its binding process during production, allowing greater resilience to denting and chipping. Both stones are hardy in their own right, resistant to etching, and take the win over other countertop material such as granite.
Perhaps you spend a good amount of time in your kitchen, cooking up new recipes left, right, and center. You'll be needing a good deal of surface space to place your hot pans and pots, but you're worried about the damage the high temperatures can inflict. Well, quartzite would be your prime candidate as an outstanding heat-resistant countertop.
As mentioned previously, quartz is made from natural quartz particles and resin. Since resin cannot bear too high of temperatures (only withstanding temperatures around 150 degrees due to its plastic composition), anything that comes straight out of the oven or off a stove top should be refrained from being placed on top of a quartz surface.
Quartzite, despite its natural glory, requires proper sealing to secure its practicality in the kitchen (or wherever it will be used). Resealing is a must at least once or twice a year due to the porous nature of the stone, lest you want your countertop to be soaking up all sorts of unidentifiable fluids. Even with a proper seal, it is best to remain diligent in the art of cleaning after oneself to avoid stains from the deteriorated sealant.
Quartz, on the other hand, is known to be relatively low-maintenance. Sealing is often not necessary due to the binding process with resin and combined with the fact that the stone is nonporous, quartz is graced with a relatively stain-resilient quality. It is still a good idea to clean often, but a spill on quartz won't be as anxiety-inducing compared to quartzite.
In general, the discrepancy in pricing between the two stones is not too large a factor; the variation in a range mostly falls on the different styles and colors in each respective category. At KZ Kitchen Cabinet & Stone, we offer over 30 styles of quartz and are looking to expand our quartzite selection. Our showrooms display each style for viewing clarity as well as the actual pieces in our warehouses. Regardless of your decision, both quartz and quartzite are excellent choices that are sure to elevate your kitchen space by introducing a fresh yet classy ambiance.
Want to compare the different styles not just between quartz and quartzite, but also alongside granite and marble? Check out our countertop collection online here.