Natural stone is undoubtedly an excellent choice for upgrading the look and feel of your home. Though the go-to has long been granite, there are other competitors rising in popularity. Quartzite, for example, has been getting a lot of attention for providing a bright, sophisticated look paired with impressive durability. Since installing any kind of stone in your home is an investment, knowing which choice is the right is important.
To help you decide, here is how quartzite and granite countertops compare:
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Not to be confused with quartz, which is largely man-made, quartzite is a natural, non-foliated metamorphic rock. The stone forms when sandstone that has a high amount of quartz is subjected to pressure and heat. Because of that, quartzite is one of the densest stones on the planet. Quartz, on the other hand, is engineered from the same quartz crystals that make up quartzite, but it is combined with pigments, resin, and other materials.
Quartzite stone has plenty of natural variations of color and veining, depending on mineral content. The most common colors are shades of gray and white, but pinks and reds may result from the presence of iron. Some slabs may even have blues and greens in them.
Pros of Quartzite
- Quartzite is marble-like in appearance and texture, but it is stronger, cheaper, and more durable.
- Compared to granite, quartzite is stronger, making it ideal for bar counters and commercial kitchens. But it looks superb in your home, too.
- Quartzite is not as porous as some stones, so it does not require sealing. You can perform an oil or water test to check how porous it is. Because of this, many homeowners also like quartzite for bathrooms and backsplashes.
- Available in many lighter colors and smooth, luxurious appearance.
- Requires little maintenance.
Cons of Quartzite
- Quartzite often gets confused for quartz, leading to a lot of people shunning it, because they believe it shares the same disadvantages. It doesn’t.
- Comes in fewer colors than granite and more expensive.
- Due to its hardness, quartzite is harder to cut and shape than granite.
- Sometimes contains calcium carbonate. This can react with chemicals and cause staining.
- Quartzite may be mixed with resin if the slab shows signs of imperfections or weakness. Unfortunately, the resin will make the stone much less heat resistant and could lead to etching. When purchasing quartzite, ask if it contains resin.
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Granite is an igneous rock, meaning that it forms as magma cools and mineral deposits develop. The crystals are what give granite its color. While granite does contain some quartz, it may have other minerals in it.
One of the reasons granite is so popular is because of the diversity. There are hundreds of colors you can choose from, and every piece is bound to be unique. You can find whites, gold, green, black, brown, pink, and more. Though the shades of granite are made up of different materials, lending the stone different levels of porosity and durability, all granite is highly resistant to damage.
Pros of Granite
- Most granite variations are in abundant supply, making it more affordable than some kinds of stone. For example, granite is more affordable than marble and has greater damage resistance. Granite also costs less than quartzite.
- Granite is heat resistant, so you can place hot pans directly on the counter.
- Hard and durable. On a Mohs scale, it is 8/10.
- Highly scratch and chemical resistant with the proper upkeep. As long as your granite has been sealed, it is relatively low maintenance.
- Works well in kitchens and bathrooms and comes in all sorts of beautiful colors.
Cons of Granite
- Being that granite is porous, it will need to be sealed after installation. Sealing granite helps prevent staining and moisture absorption, but a side benefit is hygiene. The seal keeps microscopic particles from getting stuck in the pores as well.
- If you do not seal granite regularly, it requires lots of maintenance.
Quartzite vs. Granite
Now, it is time to bring these two stones head-to-head. Both are excellent for countertops and other uses within your home. Granite is very durable, but it sometimes needs additional maintenance to prevent etching and staining, especially with lighter colors. Quartzite, on the other hand, is amazingly heat, stain, and scratch-resistant. If you want a lighter colored countertop for your kitchen, you may want to consider going with quartzite. Opting for darker colors? Granite.
When it comes to strength, both stones are strong. Granite can be a bit more breakable around the edges, but it does allow for precision cuts and embellishments. Quartz can withstand impacts better, yet it is harder to customize.
In terms of maintenance and moisture-resistance, granite has a slight advantage. The darker shades of granite are far less porous than quartzite. Even when sealed, granite is still the better stone for dealing with moisture.
Both are also heat resistant. Yet, quartzite is usually thought to be like quartz, which gets damaged by direct heat. Quartzite without resin and granite can both have hot pans and pots set directly on the surface without an issue.
Lastly, we cannot overlook the resale value. For either stone, you generally recoup 100 percent of the costs when you sell your home (if that is the plan). However, since quartzite is a bit rarer than granite, it may be that the popularity of granite will cause its value to decrease over time, while quartzite remains a novelty.
Quartzite or Granite—Which Is Best For You?
As similar to granite and quartzite seem at first glance, when you compare them side-by-side, you can note the differences. Granite is slightly more affordable and varied, giving you more cools to work within your home. Meanwhile, quartzite earns high marks for being nearly invincible against damages caused by impacts and heat. Weigh the cost and the options, as well as how you use your kitchen. That will help you choose. Either way, your kitchen is going to look stunning with either stone counter.
Ready to have stone countertops installed in your home? Or maybe you still have questions about quartzite and granite? Get in touch with us! You can give us a call or fill out the contact form to learn more about our services.