What Is the Difference Between Quartz & Quartzite?
When it comes to installing or replacing kitchen worktops and bathroom vanities, two popular surface materials to choose from are quartz and quartzite.
Although the names are similar, there are clear differences between the materials that are crucial to understand, so you can make the right decision. This article discusses what is the difference between quartz & quartzite, so keep reading!
What is Quartz?
Quartz is a hard, natural mineral made of silicon and oxygen, made within the earth. Quartz worktops are typically made of natural quartz crystals, resins, and pigments. Generally, it is made up of 93% pure quartz and 7% man-made materials, however this ratio can differ depending on the manufacturer. The man made components make the engineered quartz highly durable, which is one of the reasons many people choose it for their worktops.
What is Quartzite?
Quartzite is a metamorphic rock, formed from sandstone under great amounts of heat and pressure deep in the Earth. This creates a strong, dense, and hard material, which rates around a 7 on Moh’s hardness scale, harder than quartz, and other natural stones like marble and granite.
Quartzite worktops are made from 100% natural quartzite material and its natural beauty is one of the reasons many choose them for their worktop.
Differences between Quartzite & Quartz Worktops
The main difference between the two types of worktops is that quartzite is a 100% natural stone, while quartz is a man-made composite material. Quartz has a wider variety of colour options due to the pigment component, whereas quartzite worktops are limited to the colour range that nature provides.
Quartz worktops are generally lower in maintenance with a non-porous surface that does not require sealing, whereas quartzite worktops are naturally porous and require sealing to keep it protected from stains and absorbing liquid.
Some of the other comparisons and differences between these two materials are:
Quartzite vs Quartz Price
Generally more expensive, quartzite prices range from around £60 to £200 per square foot, while quartz prices range from around £40 to £130.
Quartzite vs Quartz Colours
Since quartzite is a natural material, it only comes in shades produced by nature within the earth. It is available in a variety of natural shades of whites, greys, greens, blues, pinks and blacks in slabs with veining, flecks, swirls and distinct patterns.
Quartz on the other hand has a seemingly endless offering of colours from various quartz manufacturers. It has a much wider offering of colours, from solids and shimmers to marble effect colours available with the advantage of consistent patterns and uniform colours throughout the slabs.
Quartzite vs Quartz Worktop Maintenance
Since the two materials have different durabilities, the way you maintain them is different. Quartzite is more porous, so it requires regular sealing, typically once every 12 to 18 months, while quartz requires no sealant, as it’s non-porous.
Other than the sealant, maintenance for the two materials is fairly similar. Both materials should be wiped down daily with a soft cloth and warm, soapy water. You can then deep-clean the surfaces once or twice a month with a cleaner made specifically for stone, as harsh chemicals like bleach can damage both materials.
When using your worktop, ensure you use trivets or cloths under hot cookware to protect the surfaces from damage. Even though both stones are scratch-resistant, it’s important to use a cutting board on both types of worktops to avoid damage from knives.
Quartzite vs Quartz Uses
Both stone materials can both be used for kitchen worktops and bathroom vanities. You shouldn’t install quartz anywhere that may be exposed to direct sunlight such as an outdoor kitchen. Sunlight can damage the material and the resin within can warp the surface over time, requiring you to replace it.
Quartz & Quartzite FAQ
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions you may have about these stones:
When should I choose quartz?
There are pros and cons to both materials and it ultimately depends on your personal preference. Here are the reasons you might choose quartz over quartzite:
- If you value design flexibility, quartz is the better option, as you can choose from a wide range of colours and patterns.
- If low maintenance is a priority, quartz is easier to take care of as it’s resistant to stains and bacteria, and it doesn’t require regular sealing.
- If you are worried about price, quartz worktops are a more affordable option.
When should I choose quartzite?
Here are some reasons why you may choose quartzite over quartz:
- If you appreciate the natural beauty of stone, quartzite is unique and naturally stunning.
- If you need a heat-resistant surface, quartzite has a very high melting point, making it suitable for outdoors or fireplaces.
- If your worktop will be exposed to a lot of sunlight, quartzite is UV-resistant, while quartz can fade from constant sun exposure.
Is quartz or quartzite easier to install?
If you want to install a quartz or quartzite worktop yourself, quartz is easier to install, however we recommend using a professional worktop installation team. Quartzite is heavy and dense and should be carried out by a professional installation team only.
How do I seal a quartzite worktop?
The fact that quartzite needs to be sealed regularly may put you off from choosing it, but it shouldn’t. Sealing the worktop is super easy. Just choose a quartzite sealer, buff it into your worktop, let it sit for the recommended amount of time (typically 10 to 15 minutes), then wipe off the excess, and let it cure. After 24 hours, your worktop will be ready to use.
The difference between Quartz and Quartzite Conclusion
In summary, quartz is more stain-resistant and durable, but quartzite is naturally beautiful, suitable for outdoors and environmentally friendly, as it’s 100% stone. Now that you are more informed about the differences , you can make a better informed decision for your own personal needs.
Either way, Paramount Stone Specialists is here to help as we specialise in both stones. Our experienced team can add style, character, and beauty to your home by installing a high-quality worktop in your home or commercial property. Call us at 01482 585600 or email us at email@example.com for more information or to request a free quote with competitive pricing.