If you are new to the world of natural stones, you may be curious about the difference between granite, marble and quartzite in Denver. A lot of people just assume that granite is an all encompassing term that covers all types of natural stones, but that isn’t true. Keep reading if you’re curious about the differences and similarities between these three types of natural stones.

Natural Stones Hold Up Better

Let’s start by saying that we are a little biased towards using a natural stone in your kitchen or bathroom. A lot of people may think that Quartz falls in line with these types of natural stones, but Quartz is actually an engineered product that does not come from a natural source. Quartz countertops are a type of engineered stone, made from crushed particles of stone bound together with chemicals and plastic resins. [https://www.thespruce.com/facts-about-quartz-countertops-1821233] Keep this in mind if you are wanting to use 100% natural materials in your home or kitchen. 

Granite Countertops 

Granite is a natural material that comprises 70–80% of Earth’s crust. This igneous rock is a mixture of crystals of quartz, mica, feldspar and other minerals. The grains seen in granite are large enough to be seen with the naked eye. It typically has lighter colors and it is created by a slow crystallization process just below the Earth’s surface. Because it’s formed underground, you will find granite at most mountain ranges around the world.

When analyzing granite on the Mohs Scale of Relative Mineral Hardness, it rates as moderately hard at a 6-7. Gold, copper, silver, aluminum, steel, iron and glass are all softer than granite. But it is not as hard as titanium, emerald, topaz, diamonds or hardened steel. 

Granite is a great investment if you’re looking to stay in your home for 30 years or if you’re wanting to sell it. It is very durable, stands up to damage from scratching or heat, and is resistant to staining. 

Marble Countertops

Marble is a metamorphic rock, which simply means that is has gone through a physical change. This metamorphosis (change) occurs when pressure and heat inside or on Earth’s surface changes the rock over thousands of years. When marble starts out, it is a limestone rock. Limestone is made of hardened fossils and then pressure and heat change it into marble. In nature, we find marble developing into very large rocks- sometimes up to 100’s of feet in size. 

The materials that make up marble are called calcite or dolomite. Occasionally, you will find other minerals in small amounts such as mica and quartz. This gives granite natural colors, designs or patterns that we find around the world. Depending on the limestone and the type of composition of minerals that the marble is made out of, it rates from 3-5 on the Mohs Scale of Relative Mineral Hardness. This means that marble is less durable than granite.

Quartzite in Countertops

Quartzite is a metamorphic rock which is formed in a similar way like the way marble is formed. Quartzite starts out as a sandstone and with the intense heat and pressure, the sandstone gradually fuses and crystallizes into a singular rock. This is what we call quartzite. Whereas  sandstone is relatively fragile, when quartzite is fused by heat and pressure it becomes extremely durable and hard. On the Mohs Scale of Relative Mineral Hardness, quartzite measures in around an 8.

Quartzite is a durable stone that can handle heavy use with proper maintenance and care. Quartzite is an excellent choice if you are wanting a stone that has similar attributes to marble. Quartzite has beautiful flowing designs full of veins that will enjoy with lower maintenance and more durability than granite and marble.

Quartzite in Denver is an excellent choice to use in commercial or high end applications as well. Since it’s one of the strongest naturally occurring stones, it can hold up to scratches, stains and wear and tear that all restaurants are prone to. 

Hopefully this quick guide to the differences between Granite, Marble and Quartzite in Denver has been helpful as you decide on a natural stone for your kitchen or bathroom. If you have any questions, call us today and talk to a friendly stone specialist!