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Quartz Countertops Explained

If you have been researching different types of countertop materials, chances are you’ve come across quartz and quartzite. Understanding the differences between these two materials can be difficult. Before deciding, it is best to understand the difference to ensure you choose your space’s best surface.

Quartz vs. Quartzite: Appearance and Composition

Quartz countertops are a man-made material that is made up of quartz dust or quartz chips that are typically held together using resin. This material is made of roughly 90-95% quartz to 5-10% resin. The countertops that are made using quartz chips have a speckled, mottled appearance because you can see the stones suspended within the resin.
There are a variety of color options available because the resin can be tinted to almost any hue you choose. Quartz can be as diverse in color or as uniform as you want them to be.
If you choose a countertop with quartz dust, you will get a more uniform appearance, like slate or sandstone. There will be no discernable grains or individual stones. Just like with the quartz chips, the resin can be tinted any color. With the finely ground quartz dust, you will get a very even color.
Quartzite countertops are made of a slab of natural quartzite stone. This stone is a metamorphic rock that starts out as a quartz-rich sandstone that is transformed under intense heat, pressure, and metamorphic activity. The factors transform the materials, causing them to reconfigure and recrystallize the quartz grains. This creates a strong interlocking structure.
This natural material comes in more limited colors when compared to quartz. They are multi-hued, commonly available in gray, white, yellow, red, blue, and pink, and tend to have dramatic marble-like veins.

The Durability of Quartz and Quartzite

Quartz is a material that is resistant to scratches, etching, and chipping. Quartz can be damaged by sunlight as well as by heat. Common household oils can also stain certain resins, so be sure to clean up oil spills quickly.
Quartzite is hard and durable, like granite. It isn’t damaged by heat or cold, and it will not be damaged by UV rays. This material is a good alternative to marble and is resistant to chipping, scratches, and etching.

Maintaining Quartz and Quartzite

When it comes to quartz, this material is almost maintenance-free. Since the quartz dust or quartz chips are sealed in resin, the countertops do not need to be resealed.
Quartzite will need to be resealed periodically. This will help prevent water from getting into the stone’s pores. They should be resealed every six months to 1 year, depending on how much wear and tear the countertop experiences.

So Which Should You Choose? Quartz or Quartzite?

Either option is a durable and beautiful choice for your kitchen. Consider the pros and cons of each material and determine which will best suit your lifestyle and the time you have to dedicate to maintaining your countertops.
Want to learn more about quartz countertop installation? Contact Pittsburgh’s Express Cabinet and Granite today to get started!