They’re not the same thing, but how much does that really matter?
Quartz and quartzite are often believed to be the same thing because of their similar name, but they are indeed different. In fact, they are so different that you can’t really compare them. You can’t say one is better than the other, because they are both incredible materials. Comparing quartz and quartzite is like pitting wood decking and composite decking.
With that said, there are pros and cons of both materials, and those determine which is the best one for you and your household.
(Quartzite shown in picture above)
The Pros & Cons
Quartz is a manufactured material, which mixes bits of quartzite and other natural stones (and sometimes even with glass), with resins, polymers, and pigments to create a particular pattern and color in slabs used for countertops. Because it is man-made, you can often get colors your wouldn’t otherwise be able to with natural quartzite.
- Quartz doesn’t have to be sealed.
- More consistent look, and can also be made to mimic granite and marble.
- It is a very hard stone, making it durable as a high-use surface.
- Able to withstand scratches and stains without being sealed.
- Can’t be installed outside because the color will fade from the stone.
- Quartz isn’t heat resistant, so you’ll need to use hot pads for plates, cookie pans, etc.
Quartzite is a natural material which originated as sandstone. The gaps were filled naturally with quartz. Then, over thousands of years the two were fused together by heat and pressure, resulting in a hard and durable stone that has been mined and cut into slabs.
Quartzite often has a lighter color and is frequently confused as marble. This is an added benefit because quartzite is cheaper, and far more durable than marble because it is harder and less porous. This means you can get the same great look of marble, without the cost, and without the worry of staining.
- Even harder than granite, and especially harder than marble, making it more durable.
- Less maintenance than other countertops.
- Heat and scratch resistance.
- Usually comes in highly desirable light colors that typically reflect the look of marble.
- Needs to be sealed to protect it from spills of acidic liquids such as wine or orange juice.
- The range of colors and patterns is still wide, but more limited than granite or quartz (since quartz can be made to mimic granite)
(Quartz shown above)
How They Are Similar
Quartzite vs Quartz
Now that we’ve clarified that quartz and quartzite are different materials, take in this information so you can decide if you want to use granite or quartzite countertops for your project.
- How it’s made: While quartz is made by melting together and molding resins with bits of natural stone, quartzite is a form of sandstone that is formed from heat and pressure under the earth’s crust.
- Resistance: Both are resistant to scratching, staining and chemical etching.
- Maintenance: Both materials are easy to maintain. Cleaning without an acidic cleanser is recommended for both materials. Simple warm water and soft soap will do the job.
- Color variations: Quartzite can come in literally THOUSANDS of different color variations and patterns due to the natural processes by which it’s made. Quartz is made to mimic granite and quartzite, and often comes in more solid or consistent patterns.
The fact is, both materials are durable and beautiful. The real difference comes in your preference.