Granite and quartzite are prevalent countertop surfaces that remain in high demand because of their durability and beauty. They are far more popular materials than many synthetic materials because the look of natural stone is unbeatable. Though similar in appearance, their makeup is different; each is a worthwhile investment for any home renovation.
We will look at their unique characteristics in-depth, along with some of their pros and cons, to help you decide the suitable material that can better suit your style, needs, and requirements. Planning will help before you make any essential decisions on new kitchen projects or a limited kitchen remodel.
Table of Contents
- Key Differences Between Granite and Natural Quartzite
- Qualities of Quartzite Versus Granite
- Quartzite Versus Granite Countertops Pros and Cons
Key Differences Between Granite and Natural Quartzite
Both granite and quartzite are natural stones, but they vary in their material composition.
Quartzite forms as a natural occurrence and is a metamorphic rock. Quartz-rich sandstone is subject to high heat, chemical activity, and the high pressure of metamorphism to create quartzite. The degrees of pressure are significant. The high heat is extraordinary, between 572 to 1292 degrees Fahrenheit. Taj Mahal quartzite, as an example, is soft white marble in a very light color. Like granite, it has density and durability. As it is a natural stone, excavators quarried it from its surface (earth’s crust).
When considering countertop options, remember your materials. Quartz is one of the most rigid materials out there. If you’re a novice, cutting a quartz countertop isn’t easy unless you’re experienced and own a powerful circular saw with diamond blades. You want to keep this in mind since bathroom countertops, as quartzite, are a good choice. It’s simple and minimalist, which is perfect for bathrooms since they are small or tight spaces.
Quartz and other materials make up granite. The cooling process that natural stone materials undergo allows for giant crystals of the materials to develop. Both quartzite and granite are reliable countertop materials. Each has unique qualities. Granite is an igneous rock formed from cooled magma, whereas limestone rock is a sedimentary rock with the random presence of iron oxide.
The following is a closer comparison of the unique attributes of true quartzite versus granite.
Qualities of Quartzite Versus Granite
Both granite and quartzite contain the mineral quartz, but the quantity in them varies. Quartz is more abundant in quartzite. It has 90 to 99 percent quartz grains, the component from which they derive its strength. Granite comes together from interlocking material crystals, and the most common are feldspar and quartz. The material makeup of granite varies based on its type, and this makes every piece unique. For instance, granite has a white material known as feldspar. Typically, black granite contains mica. Super white quartzite contains light gray veins because it has a lot of quartz, making it easily confused with super white marble.
Orange quartzite results from other minerals, and other quartzites in raw form have various shades of pink or red from hematite. Quartzite, sometimes, is as much as 99 percent quartz and represents the purest and most significant concentrations of silica on the earth’s surface.
Moisture Resistance and Porosity
Since granite and quartzite are natural stones, each is naturally porous to a certain extent. Yet, quartzite is more rigid and denser than granite, and this makes it less porous. Between the two, granite countertops may require more sealing than quartzite countertops. When sealed well, both granite and quartzite countertops become moisture resistant and stain-resistant. However, if liquids spill on their surfaces, it is recommendable to wipe the liquid soon to not seep into the stone.
If you prefer a more rigid material, quartzite comprises quartz, the toughest material on earth. Quartzite undergoes a metamorphic process that recrystallizes its sand grains and the silica cement which bind them together. This material makes it harder and stronger. Mohs hardness SCALE rating ranges from one to ten. Granite has a rating of six and a half, while quartzite measures at seven on the Mohs scale of hardness.
If your determining factor when choosing a countertop material is durability, quartzite is the ideal material to choose. One of the densest natural materials on earth, making it a highly durable construction material. It resists wear and tears more than other countertop materials. In comparison, granite is strong to withstand regular use as a countertop. It is strong in its own right but not as long-lasting as quartzite. Heavy objects can damage granite countertops in a fall, and they might break or chip, particularly around the edges. Granite also requires sealing at installation and regularly resealing, whereas quartz does not need this level of care.
Natural countertops including, slate, granite, and sandstone, stain easily. Both materials are also heat resistant. We can use them as a cutting board because sharp knives do not ruin them. In addition, they can withstand hot kitchen materials such as pans or pots placed on their surface. Both granite and quartz have a lifespan of 25 to 50 years based on the level of care they receive and how people use them.
Both quartzite and granite offer distinct beauty, and since they are natural stones, the beautiful slabs differ, and their patterns are unique. Quartz has a swirling vein pattern and a glossy texture that gives it the look of marble. The luxurious appearance of these countertop materials is one reason it is very popular with homeowners. In comparison, granite often has a speckled appearance with unique pattern variations. The presence of other minerals, like specks and large crystals, often highlights the stone’s surface. Certain granite styles may also provide you with the look of other natural stones such as marble.
If you want luxurious and elegant countertops, quartzite is the material to choose. The countertops are also suitable for neutral-toned kitchens. If you prefer variety, granite provides more style and great options. It fits in multiple kitchen designs, whether contemporary or traditional. You can also find granite that matches different color schemes. Both natural stones have their strong points. Granite displays slight, natural hues. The variety of colors range from earth tones to roses, greens, and blues. The coloration of quartzite is more consistent, and it comes in a wide range of colors because of pigments found in the quartz.
Prices for quartzite and granite differ little. The granite price begins at around $40 to $100 per square foot or higher for higher quality but prevalent materials. The cost of quartzite starts at approximately $60 to about $100 per square foot. Quartzite is costlier than granite because it is rarer. The other factor that determines the price of quartzite is location. Some slabs might not be available in your area, and they, therefore, cost more to gain. A meticulous cutting process produces quartzite and requires special cutting tools because the slabs are dense and hard. It is more challenging to cut and finish quartzite when compared to other materials.
Granite comes in a broader range of colors than quartzite. Typically, quartzite comes in lighter shades such as grey and white. However, certain kinds of quartzite come in different color variations based on the mineral content. Because of the limited colors available for quartzite, it is ideal for neutral tone kitchens.
Granite comes in brown, blue, green, gray, black, white, and red hues. Granite has a diverse color range because of the presence of various crystals during its formation. Apart from the many colors, one piece of granite might have unique color combinations. For instance, the Santa Cecilia granite has a warm color palette of gold, brown, black, and beige. The exotic colors found in granite are an added advantage for aesthetics because when light hits the countertops, the undertones get highlighted, resulting in a sparkling effect.
Many wonder about engineered stone, which is made mainly of natural stone from a stone yard. During the manufacturing process, resin, ground stone crystals, and pigments come together to help give natural slabs the look of engineered stone.
It is possible to cut both quartzite and granite according to the size that customers specify. However, when compared to artificial countertop materials, the customization of these natural stones is a bit more limited. They are daunting to manipulate into different shapes compared to engineered quartz, with varying forms made during production.
Maintenance: Which is Low Maintenance
Quartzite and granite countertops require similar maintenance procedures. Both natural stone countertops are easy to clean. You need to use a cloth with soap and warm water to wipe their surfaces. Both granite and quartzite are sensitive to abrasive cleaners, such as bleach. Like natural stone, granite and quartzite countertops should have resealing done once or twice every year, so they are stain resistant and prevent liquids from penetrating them. A proper seal ensures that natural stone countertops last for years. These natural stones, if maintained, remain in prime condition.
When installing both granite and quartzite countertops, hiring a professional is essential. These stones are heavy, and it is not advisable to install them yourself. A professional can install them quickly and adequately while reducing the chances of potential damages taking place during installation.
Installing natural stone countertops in your home can increase its value and make it have a modern look and a natural look. Granite and quartzite countertops inspire countless homeowners for their natural attractiveness, minor maintenance, and durability, among other qualities. Potential homebuyers consider them as part of their home with proper care.
Homeowners usually recover 100 percent or more of the installation expenses of natural stone countertops when selling their homes. For resale value, quartzite has a slight edge over granite. Quartzite is rarer compared to granite and is famous for kitchen countertops.
Quartzite Versus Granite Countertops Pros and Cons
The following are some pros and cons of quartzite vs. granite countertops. There are many essential factors.
Pros of Granite Kitchen Countertops
Granite is a popular choice because it provides design versatility and flexibility. Regardless of the style of your kitchen, whether contemporary, traditional, modern, or country, you can find granite colors that suit it. Granite comes in hundreds of patterns and colors, providing you with many choices, including an expensive option.
A granite slab differs, meaning that your kitchen countertops will differ from those of other homeowners who also have granite countertops. It is unique and has stunning beauty. Granite is also appealing and can make your kitchen appear elegant.
Granite is cost-effective. Granite is less costly than other natural stones, such as marble, quartzite, gemstone, soapstone, travertine, onyx, and limestone. Despite being less expensive than other natural stones, granite offers many advantages, making it a reasonable and the best choice.
- Granite has an abundant supply, is readily available, and you can easily find it from many suppliers in your area.
- Granite is durable and rugged. It’s most prized asset is durability. It does not get harmed or damaged even if you place hot pans over it.
- Granite is resistant to scratches (you can always try a scratch test, if you’re brave!), chemicals, and heat. Sharp objects such as knives also do not ruin them. Acidic foods do not stain them.
- It is a hard material that can withstand daily wear and tear. You can butcher, chop or tenderize meat on it, pound garlic or crack crabs, and it will not sustain any damage.
- It is easy to clean.
- Ease of maintenance is another appealing aspect of granite countertops. As long as we maintain granite countetops with regular resealing, cleaning them is easy using water and a damp cloth.
Cons of Granite Kitchen Countertops
Although granite is a beautiful addition to a home, it may not remain in style forever. Some granite colors, especially unusual ones, can get outdated and may not stay in style forever.
Granite countertops may require regular sealing. Granite slabs require sealing every year to keep liquids from penetrating the surface compared to engineered and artificial stone countertops. Failing to reseal granite countertops can make them unsanitary since mold and bacteria can accumulate on the surface after liquids penetrate them. This maintenance procedure translates to extra costs in the end.
Pros of Quartzite Kitchen Countertops
- The sophisticated beauty of pure quartzite is among its most vital qualities. It is elegant and renders a pristine appearance. It can generate a refined look, elegance, and a luxurious feel to a space.
- It also suits contemporary styles perfectly. The smooth texture and appearance of quartzite match the clean and streamlined appearance of contemporary and modern kitchen styles. Its colors also complement the neutral-toned palettes, often found in contemporary and modern interiors.
- Quartzite has a marble look without the drawbacks. Quartzite is a beautiful slab, just like marble, but it is more durable and cheaper than marble.
- It is highly durable. Quartzite is among the most durable natural stone countertops found in the market. It does not get ruined easily and proves to be a wise investment because of its long lifespan.
- Just like granite, this natural stone is resistant to chemical reactions.
- It is heat, fire, and scratch-resistant. It can withstand heat well, so you do not have to worry about placing hot pans or a hot pot on it. It also does not get scratched by knives.
- Quartzite resists UV rays, and it is, therefore, ideal for backyard kitchens and outdoor settings. It is UV resistant. The sun’s UV rays can cause specific natural stones to discolor or fade. Therefore, you should be careful as you choose materials considering natural light.
- It is less porous than marble countertops and granite.
- It is unnecessary to use unique materials and tools to clean quartzite countertops. · It also requires less maintenance. You can clean it easily with warm water and a damp cloth.
Cons of Quartzite Kitchen Countertops
- It comes in fewer and lighter colors neutral tones. These limited colors can be a disadvantage in terms of appearance flexibility.
- It is costlier than other natural stones such as travertine and granite.
- It may require more tools than other materials to cut because of its hardness. The equipment used to shape and cut it sustains wear and tear.
- It can etch. Quartzite resists chemical reactions, but some quartzite slabs with calcium carbonate react with acidic substances.
List of Alternatives to Granite and Quartzite Countertops
Granite and quartz countertops are the right choice but costlier than other countertop materials. However, different types of stone and other countertop alternatives exist and are more cost-effective without compromising quality as a natural material.
These new countertops include:
- Caesarstone Quartz
- Sintered Stone
- Stainless Steel
- Solid Surface
I hope this article has helped you better understand the options. If you’re interested in loose quartz and are a gem fanatic, this is a different topic, and Etsy is an excellent place to start. 😉
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I am a swashbuckling, mind-reading, techno-czar. Ok, leave out everything except “techno”. That might suggest the music genre but it’s really my technology background. My last studies were in Syracuse, and it was all about advertising. However, my career has been as diverse as the charcuterie board. We’re talking dot-com (actually, dot-bomb, lol), digital advertising before people understood “online”, payments before people understood what a “digital wallet” was, and online/digital games. This expanded to mobile marketing, mobile swiss cheese (edit: scratch that), and more. I ran operations for a digital financial portal, and found ways to sell things before they were mainstream. Today, I am Editor in Chief of one of the interwebs’ fastest growing home and architecture sites. For the big picture, visit our About Us page.