Quartzite is Strong, Beautiful and Durable

Quartzite Countertops from a Real Rock
Quartzite Countertops from a Real Rock

Quartzite is a Real Rock

Quartzite is Strong, Beautiful and Durable an Excellent Choice for Kitchen Countertops. Quartzite Countertops are Cut from a Natural Stone, Big Rocks or Mountains like Granite and Marble found in North America, Brazil and Europe. Quartzite is a Metamorphic Rock formed from Quartz Sandstone (silicon dioxide) that was Heated and Compressed from Powerful Tectonic Compression.

Pure Quartzite is White but exists in a Variety of Colors and Shades of Grey. Colors like Reds to Pink come from Different Amounts of Haematite (Iron Ore) and other Minerals producing Colors of Green, Yellow, Blue and Orange.

Calcite is Not Quartzite

Calcite Slabs could be passed off as Quartzite even though they have a Different Appearance. Calcite and Marbles are a Softer Material, a 3 on the Mohs Scale. Calcite Crystals in Limestone Re-crystallize in the Metamorphic Process to form Marble. Both will Scratch and have a Damaging Reaction to Acidic Fluids Resulting in Staining and Etching.

Calcite and Marbles can be used in locations where the Lack of Hardness will not be a Problem, but Not a Kitchen Countertop.

I did however come across 3 Sad Stories of Calcite Purchases that were supposed to be Quartzite. Most if not all Wholesalers, Dealers and Contractors would Not try to Hoodwink You by saying Calcite is Quartzite.

Characteristics of Quartzite

Quartzite Displays the Swirls and Shades that are typical for a Slab of Quartzite. When other Minerals are in the Mix those Colors Swirl and Flow, there are No Blotches that are Characteristic of Marble and Calcite.

Quartzite is a Hard Stone, a 7 on the Mohs Scale slightly Harder than Granite (6). Quartzite is actually Harder than Glass and a Knife Blade. Properly Sealed Quartzite is Resistant to Acidic Juices like Tomato, Orange and Lemon Juices plus Wine, Coffee and Tea. That does NOT imply that they are Scratch and Etch Proof. Prolonged and Unattended spills even when Sealed should be Prevented.

Quartzite does not have the Same Porosities across the Board. Taj Mahal and Sea Pearl have a more Dense Structure than say the White Macaubas or Calacatta Macaubas that are more Porous. The Differences are a Result of More or Less Tectonic Pressures when Created.

Sealing Requirements

Quartzite and Granite are a Porous Metamorphic Rock that should be Sealed at least once a Year. There are many Sealants available to Seal your Countertops. Sealers wear Quickly, use a Sealer that Repels Water like those made with Siliconates. The Sealer helps prevent the Ingress of Damaging Liquids into the Microscopic Cracks and Crevasses on the Surface of the Stone. In the Image, A Magnified Cross Section of Sealed Quartzite, The Pale Blue (for affect) shows how the Sealer Fills the Microscopic Cracks and Crevasses, where a Staining Liquid could Go.

Stains and Etching

Etching is a Action that Corrodes the Shinny Surface of the Stone resulting in a Dull Spot or Stain. Etching can affect the Surface in Varying Degrees of Damage depending the Stones Hardness, Density and Proper Sealing.

Hot Pans are a No No on any Countertop Surface, thinking Pans from the Burner at a possible Temperature of 300° to 600° is OK, is asking for Problems. The Sealer may be most affected by Adverse Conditions of Heat. I have been told that Quartz, Quartzite and Granite can withstand the Heat. Common Sense tells me I should not Test that Theory on Expensive Countertops.

Cleaning your Stone Countertop is Simple enough but Ask your Stone Representative about the Proper Cleaning Procedure & Safe Soaps and Chemicals.

Reversing Damage

Can the Etching Damage be Reversed? In most cases, No. However there are some that say you can have the Countertop Re-Polished. A Maintenance Expense you were not Planning on.

There is a Re-Coating or Clear Coat Process that may be less Expensive. Re-Coating to me could easily become another Disaster if the Process is not done by a Seasoned Professional that really knows what they are doing.

Can all Quartzite be Backlit

Some Quartzite and Marbles can be Translucent which will allow Backlighting Producing a Glow from behind or under your Countertop. Not all Quartzite is Translucent enough for Successful Backlighting, ask your Stone Dealer.

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“Geologists have a saying - Rocks Remember”
Neil Armstrong

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