One of the first things most people want to know about quartzite is how it compares to granite. The two are both natural stones, both are hard, and both are very beautiful, but you have to look a little deeper to see if one is a better fit for you than the other.
The similarities between the two stones abound. Both are formed deep within the earth from heat and pressure, so both stones are hard and sturdy. At a 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, quartzite is actually harder than granite. It’s harder than all the other popular stones used in countertops.
The differences between the two are what makes quartzite countertops stand out. Many people love the look because some types can look very much like marble. Granite tends to have darker flecks in it (an effect of it being formed from molten lava), while quartzite usually has little or no dark spots.
Another difference between the two stones is the fact that most quartzite is denser and less porous than granite. Both are naturally porous to some extent, although you can find quartzite that may require little or no sealing at all.
It Can Look Like Marble But Won’t Etch
For anyone who loves the look of marble, but who hates the thought of paying a premium for their countertops, quartzite can be a great alternative. Some look so much like marble, it’s hard to tell the difference.
As you shop around you may find some quartzite slabs that have been labeled as “soft”. They will look and wear like marble because that’s more than likely exactly what they are. There is no such thing as a “soft quartzite”.
White Dallas seems to be a popular choice for those looking for something similar to Calacatta marble. The white stone has grey veins that really resemble marble, but the tough stone is far more durable than its marble counterpart.
White Macaubas is another you may want to consider. Macaubas looks a lot like Carrara marble but is resistant to scratches and chips. It also won’t etch like marble does. It’s a popular alternative for anyone who wants a lighter stone in their kitchen, but who wants less worry, especially if the kitchen sees a lot of use.
Another thing you can do is test a sample to see if it will etch. Most stone yards will be happy to give you a small sample to take home.
Quartzite vs. Quartz
Because quartz is completely non-porous, it is less prone to stains and bacterial growth. Quartzite countertops are less porous than some other stones, but it may still require a sealant to prevent stains. This gives quartz a slight edge where maintenance is concerned, but if you are very rough on your countertops, quartzite is probably going to be a better choice for you.