Natural stone countertops offer a beautiful, functional solution for your kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Choosing between quartzite and granite for your countertop material can be an overwhelming task, so it’s helpful to explore the benefits and characteristics of each option. Learn everything you need to know about quartzite and granite to help you choose the right countertop for your home.
Quartz and quartzite are synonymous when discussing countertop materials. Quartz is an engineered stone, while quartzite is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock formed by intense pressure and heat put on quartz-rich sandstone. Quartzite provides a durable product in a variety of colors and patterns and requires little maintenance.
If you need a durable counter solution, consider quartzite. On the Mohs hardness scale, it scores between 7 and 8, making it extremely scratch resistant.
You may find different kinds of quartzite, labeled as soft quartzite, that vary on the Mohs scale from 3 to 7. Softer stones are more prone to scratches, so look for true quartzite if you need superior durability.
Quartzite resists etching from acids like lemon juice or vinegar. It is also extremely heat resistant to around 300°F and can hold a hot pan with no damage, unlike engineered quartz countertops.
Colors and patterns
Because quartzite begins as mainly quartz sand, it tends to be white or light-colored. Other minerals present during the metamorphic process can lend pink, green, blue, or gray shades, often in pleasant streaks or patterns. You can also find quartzite slabs in darker colors, such as Caravaggio, Esmeralda, or Masi.
Because quartzite makes such a durable countertop, you shouldn’t worry much about scratches or heat, but you need to be aware of its lack of stain resistance. To prevent stains on quartzite countertops, wipe up any spills right away and make sure to seal your counters at least once a year, more often in high-use areas.
To determine if an area needs resealing, pour a spoonful of water onto various sections of the counter and let it sit for 30 minutes. If the stone is darker after you wipe it up, it’s time to reseal.
Granite is an igneous rock comprised mainly of quartz, feldspar, and plagioclase. It forms when magma cools and solidifies. You often see specs of mica and other minerals that add visual interest to a granite slab. Granite is a classic choice that provides durability, versatility of design, and easy maintenance.
Granite scores a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it scratch resistant, but use a cutting board to prevent damage to your knives. Also, acidic compounds can etch your granite.
Extreme heat can crack your counter if you place a hot pan over a vein in the stone. To be safe, always use a trivet.
Colors and patterns
Granite comes in many colors and patterns, from almost white with tiny flecks of black to black with veins of white with pinks, browns, blues, and greens in between. Copacabana has big veins with a lot of movement in the pattern, while Gran Perla has a more uniform look, and Magma falls somewhere in between.
Granite should be sealed with a commercial water-based or solvent-based sealer at least once a year and possibly more often in high-use areas. Wipe up spills immediately to prevent staining or discoloration.
Rust stains can appear on granite due to the presence of iron in the slab. Sealing prevents them, but don’t reach for the rust remover if you find one. Try a commercial granite cleanser or poultice.
Beautify Your Bathroom or Kitchen With Natural Stone Countertops
At Motor City Granite & Cabinets, we offer a wide range of bathroom and kitchen countertops for your home. Work with the professionals at Motor City Granite & Cabinets and explore our selection of quartzite and granite slabs so you can design the perfect countertop look for your space.