It happens on a regular basis: A couple comes into our showroom to explore their countertop options and they ask to see the natural “quartz” slabs we have available. Or sometimes they’ll ask to see the manmade “quartzite” surfaces.Quartz and quartzite sound the same, so it’s not surprising that folks are tempted to use the two terms interchangeably. However, we’d like to emphasize that they are not the same.
They’re both durable surfaces that make beautiful kitchen and bath countertops, and they both contain the mineral quartz. Quartz and quartzite have similar hardness and they both have long-lasting durability. But the two terms are not synonymous.
As you may have guessed, one is manmade and the other occurs naturally in the earth. They also have different maintenance requirements, so it’s important to understand the difference when you’re shopping for kitchen or bath countertops.
Confusion exists between the two even among professionals in the industry, so you’re not alone. Here’s a quick breakdown of the difference between quartz and quartzite…
|Phoenix Calacata Quartz|
…is just about as popular as granite for today’s top countertop choice and is manmade
… contains bits of crushed quartz mixed with resin and natural pigments
…has a consistent look throughout
…is available in a wider range of colors, including those not found in nature
…is made by a manufacturing brand, such as ColorQuartz and has consistent slab sizes, 125” x 62”
…is non-porous; liquids, oils, and acids won’t harm the surface
…is scratch resistant
…can withstand the heat of up to 320 degrees
|Sea Pearl Quartzite|
…is usually classified as a granite – typically a silica-based stone occurs in nature
…is quarried into one-of-a-kind slabs
…has a strong resemblance to marble
... naturally contains a high volume of quartz
…features the depth and detail you typically see in granite
…is susceptible to certain acidic substances, which could etch the material if calcium is present, leaving dull spots behind
Quartz refers to the manmade material that’s made out of crushed up quartz particles. (Quartz, otherwise known as silicon dioxide, is one of the hardest and most abundant minerals on earth.) Quartz is a synthetic material that’s made in a factory by mixing quartz particles with resin and pigments together in a factory. Here at Marble & Granite, Inc., we carry ColorQuartz brand quartz. Slabs are fabricated in a similar fashion to natural stone. Quartz is non-porous, so it never needs to be sealed, making it easier to maintain than natural stone and comes with a lifetime warranty for staining.
If you’d like to see the difference between quartz and quartzite for yourself. We’ll be glad to show you around our warehouse so you can see and feel the difference up close and personal. Whether you visit our store at Tampa and largo our knowledgeable staff will help you decide which material is right for you.