What's the Difference Between Quartzite and Quartz?

March 29, 2018

The subtle differences between quartzite and quartz seem to befuddle everyone from design-savvy clients to industry experts. Some people even use the names interchangeably, which is a huge mistake because it only adds to the confusion. Each material has its pros and cons, so educating yourself on the facts is important, especially if you are considering either of these beauties for your home improvement project. A quartz versus quartzite showdown is well overdue, so let’s dive in.



   The Kitchen Studio of Glen Ellyn



Quartzite is a natural stone that is extracted from the earth, just as marble, limestone or soapstone are quarried.



    Arizona Tile



Quartz, or engineered quartz, is manmade. It’s composed of roughly 90 percent ground quartz (the actual mineral), with the remaining 10 percent being a mixed cocktail of resins, polymers and pigments that varies by manufacturer.




   Marie Flanigan Interiors



Why Should You Care? 

The difference between the two translates to discrepancies in form and function. Quartzite and quartz both offer durability. In fact, each outperforms granite in terms of hardness. However, you will definitely want to consider the factors that follow before you decide on your new kitchen or bathroom countertops. (Can you guess which material our firm selected for this kitchen? Hint: Our client wanted to go au naturale.)



   Marble of the World



Variation vs. Uniformity

Because quartzite comes directly from Mother Nature, it displays infinite variation in color and pattern, meaning no two slabs are exactly the same.



   Sutro Architects



Meanwhile, quartz attempts to replicate those distinct characteristics, such as veining. Technology is always advancing, and engineered materials are getting harder to distinguish from the real deal. But because quartz is produced in a controlled manner on a large scale, at some point patterns emerge and repetition happens. 



   Abodwell interior design- Brittney Fischbeck



Conversely, bold markings like veins can be removed entirely from quartz, and the end result is a more consistent and uniform appearance. 


What Color Countertop Should You Choose?




    LB Design



Heat Resistance vs. Stain Resistance


In addition to hardness, most people are concerned with whether a stone will resist heat and staining over time, especially if you’re talking about an enthusiastic entertainer or a bustling family with young children.

Quartzite wins in terms of heat resistance, making it a prime candidate for kitchens. (No worries if you happen to set that hot pan down for a moment on the counter next to your stove.)




   Ann Lowengart Interiors



On the other hand, the density of quartz makes it more able to combat stains than its fully organic counterpart. Which means you can opt for solid white quartz in the kitchen and won’t need to fret over any of those inevitable messes and spills.