HOW TO SEAL AND CLEAN QUARTZITE COUNTERTOPS WITH EASE
For many homeowners, the word quartzite brings to mind quartz. However, the two countertop materials couldn’t be more different.
Unlike quartz, which is manufactured from ground natural quartz and polymer resins, quartzite is a mined, natural stone that looks similar to marble.
Quartzite is created underground when sandstone is exposed to heat and pressure. The grains recrystallize, forming interlocking crystals that are extremely hard and often compared in durability to granite.
Many types of quartzite come in whites and greys, giving it a marble look. But amazingly, the stone also comes in pink and red tones—depending on the amount of iron oxide in the stone—as well as yellow, green, orange, and blue.
The stone can be cut into slabs or tiles, making it a versatile material for countertops, flooring, shower walls, and fireplace surrounds.
Quartzite is rock hard, which prevents chipping and etching during kitchen activity. However, it is also porous and liable to suck up wine and tomato sauce spills. That’s why quartzite should be sealed at least annually, which will prevent stains and keep counters looking shiny and new for many years to come.
Most topical stone sealers are made from polyurethanes, natural wax, or acrylics. They are easy to apply, but wear away quickly. On the other hand, penetrating seals are made from siliconates and other materials that repel liquids. They soak into the surface of the stone and last longer than topical sealers.
Either spray or wipe on the sealer, and then let it dry. Follow the instructions on the product labels, and be sure to open windows and have good ventilation when applying and allowing product to dry. Fumes can be noxious.
After sealing, quartzite countertop maintenance couldn’t be easier. To keep floors and counters clean, give a daily swipe with a damp cloth or mop and a drop or two of mild detergent. Another option is to wet down a microcloth and simply dust off the stone.
However, do not use abrasives or cleaners with vinegar or citrus bases. Although distilled white vinegar and a half lemon are great cleaners for many areas in your home, the acetic and citric acids in them slowly eat away at sealants, making the stone look dull and become more vulnerable to stains.
If stains do happen, remove them with a commercial poultice or with a baking soda and water paste. Spread a thick layer of the paste over the stain, cover with plastic wrap, wait a day or two, and then wipe clean. Repeat as necessary.
Polishing and Restoring
Although quartzite is a tough material, over time and with heavy use it can eventually discolor, chip, crack, and develop holes. That’s the time to call in a quartzite professional, who can restore and repair, polish and hone your quartzite floors and counters.
MSI has added many colorful additions to its quartzite line. In addition to greys like Allure Quartzite and accented whites like Taj Mahal Quartzite, MSI now offers Azul Treasure Quartzite, which features thick, dark veins with yellow and teal accents, as seen above, and Copper Mini Pattern Quartzite, a blend of crimson, coppery, and smoky greys.