This can be considered as a very popular question among a lot of homeowners out there who are looking for the best material for their new countertop. Hence, they might often wonder what is the difference between quartz and quartzite. Now, most of us might already have a clear and concise idea regarding these materials. But at the same time, there might be some people out there who are not that aware of these materials or the differences between them. So, in case you are one of them, then this discussion will provide you with all the necessary details regarding these two materials. Now, both quartz, as well as quartzite can be considered as two high-end countertop materials. It has been observed that people tend to have a lot of confusion when it comes to these two materials. In fact, even retailers these days use them interchangeably. But it is appropriate to say that this tendency is completely wrong and these two materials are significantly different when it comes to composition, maintenance, looks, and lastly, durability. Here, we will be providing a detailed overview regarding the basic differences that exist between these two materials. So, if you are confused regarding which material to use for your countertop, then you can definitely take the help of this discussion.
Difference between quartz and quartzite in terms of price
This can definitely be considered as one of the major differences between these two materials. Now, it has been observed that quartz is less expensive when compared to quartzite. Hence, if you have a limited budget, then you can definitely think about using quartz instead of quartzite. In the case of installed quartz countertops, the customers can expect to pay $60 to $150 per sq ft. On the other hand, in the case of the installed quartzite countertops, they might have to pay $70 to $200 per sq ft. Thus, it is evident that there exists a significant price difference between these two materials. This difference is mainly because of the increased complexity of converting mined quartzite into quartzite slabs. These slabs are cut to size using a diamond blade. This is often considered as an exacting task which produces slabs with no standard size. In fact, the size of these slabs vary widely even among individual retailers. On the other hand, when it comes to obtaining quartz, there are no such complex procedures that are involved. This makes it cheaper to produce. The process of production of this material is actually very easy. After it is bound with resins and pigments, it is simply poured into a mold and then baked into slabs of 120 by 55 inches standard-size. The quartz slabs have a thickness of either two or three cm. Thus, it is appropriate to say that these differences in production procedures bring about a huge difference in the price of these materials.
Quartz comes in more colors, as well as patterns
This can be regarded as the second difference between quartz and quartzite. It should be noted that the pigments which are added to quartz can be modified in different ways to achieve a wide spectrum of colors. For instance, you can get any color from light blues to deep pinks. If you want, you can also get violet or even orange coloured quartz. Another significant feature of quartz is that it can be veined or flecked in the factory to achieve diverse, and uniform patterns throughout the slab. On the other hand, this is not possible with quartzite. It mostly comes in shades of white or gray. Sometimes, the iron oxide that is present in the stone can give it a pink or red hue. In addition to that, the quartzite slabs are limited to the pattern that is created through natural formation. In other words, you will be able to get a veined finish which resembles marble or granite. Thus, if you are looking forward to adding some element of color to your countertop, then you can definitely choose quartz. On the other hand, if you are looking forward to achieving a neutral vibe, then you can think about using quartzite.
Quartz repels moisture and microbes without sealer
This can also be considered as a significant difference between quartz and quartzite. Because of the binding process, the quartz slab has a non-porous surface which does not require any type of sealing. This surface behaves as an effective barrier against moisture, as well as microbes. Thus, if you go with this material, then you do not have to worry about permanent staining, or bacterial invasions as both are unlikely. You can easily keep a quartz countertop clean by simply wiping away the wet spills with a water-dampened cloth or tissue. In the case of dried spills, you can easily scrub it off with a soft sponge that has been dampened with commercial surface cleaner. In addition to that for the purpose of routine cleaning, you can simply spray a store-bought or homemade surface cleaner over the entire surface of the countertop. Thereafter, you need to let it sit for 10 minutes, and then rub it off with a soft sponge. The quartzite countertops can also be cleaned using the discussed method. But, in this case, the porous surface of these slabs tend to be highly susceptible to staining, as well as bacterial invasions. Hence, they should be sealed prior to installation, as well as on an annual basis thereafter. In this process, the slabs are topped with a natural stone sealer. Then, you need to let the sealer soak in for around 10 to 15 minutes. After that, you have to wipe the countertop with a cloth, and let the sealer cure for about 24 to 72 hours.
Here, we have looked at the main difference between quartz and quartzite. As we can see, these materials are indeed very different and they possess different features as well. Here, we have discussed three of the major differences between these two countertop materials. First of all, we have looked at the price difference between the materials, quartz and quartzite. Then, we have discussed how they differ in terms of colors and patterns. Lastly, we have looked at the moisture and microbe repelling characteristics of these two materials. Thus, this discussion will help you in understanding the major differences between quartz and quartzite.