You want your countertops to look great and be functional and durable. If it’s time to replace your countertops, you might be wondering about your options and whether choosing a natural stone countertop is the right choice. Consider price points, labor costs, and other factors to help you make the right decision for your home.
What is a Quartz Countertop?
While marble has historically been a popular choice for people wanting a luxurious and beautiful countertop, engineered quartz and granite are cost-efficient alternative materials that look amazing for kitchen or bathroom countertops.
Natural quartzite is a metamorphic stone, meaning the stone is formed beneath the earth’s surface by being exposed to intense heat and pressure. The quartzite used in most home improvements is often created in a lab by either duplicating the conditions needed to develop natural quartz or using ground quartz bound with polyester resins and colored with pigments.
Whether it’s natural quartz or engineered stone, quartzite is entirely organic and a popular choice for eco-friendly home renovators who enjoy the look of marble, the feel of natural stone, and a durable, modern countertop.
The Difference Between Quartz and Other Materials
There is a wide range of materials to choose from for your countertops, including tile, wood, or laminate, but stone countertops rank high for durability, resistance to heat, scratches, or damage caused by acids. Granite, an igneous stone, is often compared to quartzite, but there are some key differences to consider when determining which materials to use for your countertops.
While granite and quartz can sometimes stain easily, granite is a softer, more porous stone. Countertops made from granite need to be resealed annually and possibly more often in high-traffic areas to prevent stains and bacterial growth. Iron oxide veins that sometimes run through a granite slab can also produce rust on your countertop.
Quartzite is non-porous and antimicrobial, making it ideal for low-maintenance sanitation in kitchens and bathrooms. Quartzite and quartz countertops need to be sealed less frequently than granite, are less prone to stains, and don’t absorb liquids like granite and other stone countertops.
Heat, scratches, and etching
Both granite and quartz are incredibly durable and highly resistant to scratches and impact damage. Granite is slightly less heat resistant than quartz and quartzite and may crack from high heat sources, such as a curling iron or hot pan, especially if the heat is applied directly over a veining pattern in the material.
Coming in on the Mohs scale at between six and seven, granite can be prone to etching. Etching happens when natural acids, such as lemon juice, come in contact with your countertop. Quartzite is highly resistant to etching due to its low porosity.
Dings and scratches are uncommon on a quartz countertop. Quartzite and quartz register high on the Mohs mineral hardness scale, so dropping a pan on your kitchen counter or an item that falls out of your bathroom medicine cabinet won’t be a problem.
Colors and patterns
While color options for materials such as laminate and tile are nearly infinite, quartzite and engineered quartz offer a large selection of hues and patterns, from subdued creams and grays to vibrant blues, reds, and jet black. When installing a quartz countertop, you can choose whether you want an ultra-modern, industrial-style kitchen countertop or a warm and inviting country-inspired bathroom vanity.
Quartzite and quartz countertops have a veining pattern, similar to marble, but can mimic other stones and even concrete. A lighter version, like the Soapstone Mist Quartz design with delicate white veining on a gray background, would highlight a traditional kitchen.
The Calacatta Sierra quartz countertop is the ideal design if you have a contemporary-style home. With its dramatic gray veining on a clean white background, this countertop will be the focal point of your kitchen.
You can get the same edge treatment for a quartz countertop that you can in granite or other stone materials. Some popular options are:
- Rounded eased edge: This edge treatment is simply a softer version of a square edge. The sharp corners are smoothed and rounded out, making it an excellent edge treatment for those who need to worry about kids in the home.
- Ogee edge: The ogee is a concave arc that flows into a convex arc creating an S-shape turned on its side. This countertop edge looks excellent in a traditional kitchen or an elegant and modern room.
- Raw edge: This type of edge treatment is accomplished by leaving the natural stone roughly cut on the edges. This edge style brilliantly shows off the natural colors, textures, and sparkle in the stone, and looks great in a more modern or industrial-themed room, and brings an informal, rustic touch to more traditional decor.
Several texture options are also commonly available for quartzite countertops, including polished, sandblasted, and embossed finishes to provide a variety of patterns and textures that mimic most natural stone or a beautiful one-of-a-kind look that you’ll be proud to showcase.
How Much Should I Expect To Pay?
The cost for a quartz countertop varies depending on the materials and labor used for the project. While granite countertops can often cost up to $100 per square foot, the cost for an engineered stone countertop can range between $60 to $150 per square foot. While your manufacturer’s cost and labor will change those prices, many people can get their quartz and quartzite countertops installed for around $75 per square foot of countertop.
While many people love the freedom and savings of a do-it-yourself project, quartz, granite, and quartzite countertops are best installed by professionals. The weight of these materials makes installing them a strenuous and possibly hazardous activity, and mistakes made during this process may mean you need to replace the entire quartz slab.
Get Your Countertops From Motor City Granite & Cabinets
Getting your perfect countertops installed is an easy, four-step process at Motor City Granite & Cabinets.
- Measure your countertop for the length and width and send us a sketch or photos via email. You can also bring it right to our showroom.
- Our professionals can help you design the perfect countertops, including materials, edge styles, and colors.
- Once you’ve placed your order, our team will take final measurements to get a detailed layout of your existing countertops.
- Your countertops will be fabricated at our state-of-the-art facility, then installed by our experienced team.
Motor City Granite & Cabinets has a large selection of engineered quartz and granite countertops in various colors to coordinate with any home. Our specialists will work with you to design and install the countertops to make your dream home a reality.