As beautiful as marble yet harder than granite, quartzite makes a gorgeous and practical choice for kitchen countertops. It's become an increasingly popular option for those who love the look of natural stone but want extra durability. In fact, quartzite tops the list of kitchen countertop trends for this year, according to a third of the experts surveyed in a recent trend report from Fixr.com.
Often confused with quartz, which is an engineered stone, quartzite is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock that's formed when sandstone is subjected to extreme heat and pressure beneath the earth's crust. This natural stone is then mined, cut into slabs, polished, and sealed before being installed on countertops, backsplashes, and more. Featuring natural veining patterns, quartzite closely resembles marble, which goes through a similar production process, but it is much more durable and requires less maintenance. Read on to learn more about quartzite countertops, including important maintenance tips, color options, and typical cost, to help you decide if this popular material is right for your home.
Quartzite Countertops Cleaning and Maintenance
Although quartzite is a highly durable surface, it's not indestructible. Stains can soak into the surface, so wipe up spills, especially acidic substances like wine or coffee, right away. A solution of mild dish soap and water is often the best way to clean quartzite countertops. Check with your stone supplier to determine any specific cleaning instructions. In general, avoid using abrasive tools and harsh cleaners, including bleach, ammonia, and acid-based products, as these can strip the sealant and lead to permanent stains or etching.
Quartzite countertops can be damaged by knives and other sharp objects, so always use a cutting board when preparing food. Although the material is heat-resistant, it's a good idea to use potholders or trivets to protect the surface. Like granite, quartzite should be resealed annually to maintain its nonporous surface.
Quartzite Countertops Colors
The available colors for quartzite countertops are limited by what occurs in nature. You'll mostly find quartzite in white and gray tones, but other color variations are possible due to the presence of minerals, such as iron, within the stone. Because quartzite is a natural material, each slab will differ slightly in its color and veining patterns.
Quartzite Countertops Cost
Quartzite countertops generally cost less than marble but are slightly more expensive than granite and quartz countertops. You can expect to pay between $60 and $120 per square foot of material. A polished finish is typically standard for quartzite countertops, but you can opt for honed or leathered finishes, usually for an additional cost.