Quartzite vs Granite: 12 Things to Consider
There's a lot of incorrect information in the debate between quartzite and granite. This article will help you dispel myths and get the necessary facts to help you see the differences, as well as pros and cons, of these two countertop materials so you can make the best choice for your Almena home.
1.) Differences between quartzite and granite
Quartzite and quartz countertops should not be mistaken for each other. Quartzite occurs naturally as a metamorphic rock, which is formed under the surface of the earth. Quartzite starts as quartz sandstone and becomes quartzite through heat and pressure over time.
Quartzite is primarily white or gray and can have veins swirling like marble. Unlike quartz, it is highly scratch and heat resistant. Overall, quartzite is resistant to chemical reactions, but some quartzite stones include calcium carbonate, which reacts to acid and causes etching.
Quartz, on the other hand, is an engineered stone. It is man-made. Quartz crystals are combined with resin, binding agents, and color pigments to form the quartz used for countertops. This blend makes quartz more affordable and able to be manipulated.
Granite, unlike quartzite, is an igneous stone. Granite is formed from magma that has cooled, and it is partly made of quartz. It's resistant to scratching, heat, and chemical reactions. If you buy quartzite or granite and find scratches or stains, the material is probably not actually quartzite or granite. You can perform an acid test or scratch test prior to purchase. If the salesperson doesn't let you do these tests, you might want to be suspicious of the material.
2.) Characteristics of quartzite vs granite:
Granite does have quartz crystals in it, but not nearly as much as in quartzite. It's the component that provides strength to the material.
3.) Quartzite vs Granite Durability
Because of the metamorphic process, quartzite is very strong. In fact, it is even harder than granite. This makes it more resistant to use compared to other stones.
Granite is known for its strength. Aside from countertops, crushed granite is often used as a construction slab and building foundations.
4.) Color Variation
Granite has a noted advantage over quartzite in color variation. The colors are more numerous and there are unique ranges of color. For example, in the Santa Cecilia range, there is a color called Saint Cecilia Gold Granite, which is a combination of black, brown, beige, and gold. The golden tones are highlighted when light hits them. It's a lovely piece for outdoors or in a sunlit Almena kitchen.
Quartzite on the other hand, is mainly available in white and grey with few color variations.
The beauty in both quartzite and granite as natural stones is that they have unique patterns. No two slabs are alike.
5.) Pricing – Quartzite vs Granite Cost
Quartzite is more expensive than granite because of its rarity. Other factors that can influence its cost include how scarce a slab is and your location. It may be more costly to transport the stone to you in Almena if it's not locally available. In addition, the harder the quartzite, the more difficult it may be to cut and finish, leading to a higher price.
Quartzite's cost starts at approximately $60 per square foot while granite's starts at approximately $50 per square foot. If you want to remodel your entire kitchen, prices vary based on several elements. If you want more information about the overall cost for a kitchen remodel, we encourage you to look at that page.
6.) Pros of Granite Countertops
Granite is highly available, which is one of the reasons it is more affordable. It is more cost-effective than marble, but has more positive properties, as well. It's also more cost-effective than quartzite due to its higher availability.
Granite is a unique stone available in many colors and patterns. That gives you a variety to choose from and you'll know that not many people will have the same slab that you do for your kitchen countertop. It's also a beautiful stone, which is why granite tiles are used in many places in the home.
Granite is heat resistant, so you can take your hot pan from the fire and put it directly on the countertop without scrambling to find a hot pad or trivet.
It’s a great countertop for a family or a commercial kitchen because it’s quite hard and durable. You can crack crabs, chop fish, tenderize your meat, and have a go at macadamia nuts with a hammer.
The material is scratch and chemical resistant, as well. You can use a knife to test the granite by scratching its surface. If you can't make a mark (or it's very difficult to make a mark), it's likely that the material is granite. For a chemical test, pour a bit of lemon juice onto the tile to see if it stains.
As long as it’s been sealed properly, granite is a low maintenance countertop.
7.) Cons of Granite Countertops
There are potential negative aspects of granite countertops. Most notably, the material is porous, so it has to be properly sealed before purchase. It also needs to be re-sealed every couple of years. If you don't seal it properly (and re-seal regularly), the countertop will be unhygienic and can become damaged.
8.) Pros of Quartzite Countertops
Quartzite has the elegance of marble, but it is stronger, more durable, and cheaper. It's also stronger than granite, so if you need a strong countertop, quartzite may be a good choice. Like granite, it's a wonderful option for Almena families or commercial kitchens.
9.) It’s scratch resistant.
Quartzite is often less porous compared to granite, so you may find slabs that don’t need to be sealed. You can do the oil test to check how porous the stone is. This makes it a great stone to to use as a backsplash or bathroom countertop.
Quartzite can be found in many lighter colors, unlike granite, which is typically grays and whites.
It’s also a valuable investment for a home because of its long lifespan.
It has a smooth appearance. Coupled with the lighter colors, it gives quartzite a pristine, elegant look.
Finally, it’s easy to maintain. There are no special tools or materials to keep it clean.
10.) Cons of Quartzite Countertops
Quartzite often gets mistaken for quartz countertops among buyers. In fact, buyers may shun quartzite because they think it has the same disadvantages as quartz, including not being heat-resistant. But they are different.
Quartzite mainly comes in lighter shades and fewer colors variations compared to granite.
Some slabs contain calcium carbonate, which reacts with chemicals and result in stains on the countertop.
Due to its hardness, quartzite can be difficult to cut, even causing damage to equipment.
Quartzite is more expensive compared to granite.
Some companies decide to mix quartzite with a resin. This can be done if a slab is brittle or to add a shine to the slab. Unfortunately, this can impact the heat resistance of the quartzite. It can also cause etching to occur if hot items are placed on the countertop. Before purchasing, be sure to ask if the quartzite has been infused with a resin.
Maintenance for both quartzite and granite is simple. Make sure the material is sealed and gets re-sealed regularly.
In addition, simply use soapy water and wipe dry the countertops. You can scrub sticky and oily substances with a soapy sponge and then wipe the surface dry.
12.) Quartzite Countertops vs Granite Kitchen Countertops?
At the end of the day, both quartzite and granite are durable, beautiful stones. Deciding between them should be based on your priorities and tastes.
Do enough research to get all the answers and information you need because this is a long-term decision. Watch for a patient fabricator (or salesperson) who has the knowledge you need and is willing to answer your questions.
Remember: granite slabs are more expensive than quartzite. Rare granite stones are sold at a higher cost compared to more common granite.