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Quartz or Quartzite: What's the Big Difference?

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When it comes to installing new kitchen countertops, there is a dazzling selection of modern materials. For example, if you're going for stone, you can choose granite, marble, quartz, or quartzite, among others. You may think that quartz and quartzite are the same thing, but there are differences between the two. This article will help you choose between them.


Quartz countertops are also called manufactured countertops. That's because crushed quartz rocks are mixed together with a resin and then compressed into pieces that can be cut down and turned into countertops. The countertops can also be tinted into just about any shade when the resin is being added. That allows you to get countertops that match your kitchen. You can also get them in a natural shade if that's what you want.

Quartz is relatively low maintenance. You really only need a wet cloth and nonabrasive cleaner to clean it; you don't want to do anything that might scratch your countertop. One particular drawback is that quartz does have a risk of melting if you put something very hot on it. That's because the resin that is used to make the quartz countertop is a kind of plastic. Using a trivet or hot pad under anything hot should alleviate that problem.


Quartzite is also a natural stone. However, instead of being broken up and used to make a manufactured counter, the quartzite is left in its natural state. There will be some variation in color, depending on what other minerals were present when the quartzite was formed, but you aren't going to get the range of colors that you will with quartz.

Quartzite is a very hard surface. That means that you are going to have a durable, long-lasting counter. However, there is a risk that that acids like lemon juice may cause some etching to the countertop if you leave it on there for too long. The simple solution to that problem is to just wipe up spills quickly. One particular problem common to all natural stone counters is that they need to be sealed, and of course quartzite is included in this. When you install your quartzite countertop, it will need to be sealed. You will also need to reseal it periodically so that stains can't be absorbed. 

Finding the right countertop for your kitchen is important. Making sure that you know the difference between quartz and quartzite will help you decide which you want to have.