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Drawn to the look of marble countertops but scared off by maintenance horror stories. Consider quartzite, a countertop stone that looks like marble but wears more like granite.
With the new stylistic choice in countertops being light grey and white stones, a multitude of quartzites are the most optimal materials to use. It should be noted that granite countertops differ largely from quartzite but quartzite contains flaws you won’t see in granite. Many selections to choose from include: Taj Mahal, Sea Pearl, Mother of Pearl, Fusion,White Macaubas, Fantasy Brown and Symphony. More cream- and beige-colored ones include Nacarado,Perla Venata and White Princess.
Quartzite is a very hard, metamorphic quartzite rock that originated as sandstone (not to be confused with quartz composite countertops, which are a manufactured product of about 90 percent quartz and 10 percent acrylic or epoxy binder). Pure quartzite is usually white to gray with veining, but it also can carry shades of reds, beiges and blues.
Whereas granite is an igneous rock found more abundantly than quartzite, deep in the earth’s crust, providing the base for the many continents’ sedimentary rock, quartzite consists of a larger volume of quartz than granite; under heat and pressure combined, quartzite is formed from sandstone and quartz, and with the amount of pressure undergone, empty grains of sandstone are stuffed with quartz. This means quartzite is actually harder. On the Mohs scale of hardness, from 1 to 10 with 10 being the hardest, granite measures in at around 6-6.5, and quartzite measures in at approximately 7.
The principle flaw you’ll find in quartzite is its tendency to etch in certain areas of countertops if you are not careful. Etching, or cutting and scratching into unprotected surfaces due to acid or other other substances, can be prevented by honed finished stone rather than polish finished, you can also use a top quality sealer to protect your Quartzite countertop.