8 FAQs About Quartzite Countertops
The Outlook Construction & Remodeling team is the Flagstaff, AZ area’s trusted provider of quartzite countertop fabrication & installation. If you’re considering quartzite for your home’s countertops, we don’t blame you! Quartzite is a natural stone often used for countertops in kitchens, bathrooms, food prep areas, and more. This is a beautiful material with so many benefits, including:
- It’s more durable than granite
- It won’t etch like marble
- It’s affordable — and the price is dropping
- It’s easy to find at any stone yard
- It doesn’t require a lot of maintenance/care
- It’s available in natural shades of reds and blues
We get plenty of questions from our customers, and if you’re considering installing this stone in your home, we know you probably have a few as well. We’re here to help! Read on to learn everything you need to know about quartzite countertops.
Most Asked Questions About Quartzite Counters
We’ve installed more than our fair share of quartzite counters in our customer’s Flagstaff homes. Because of that, we’re more than qualified to answer the tough questions and help you gain a better understanding of quartzite countertops and all of the other options as well. Let’s dive into some of the most frequently asked questions we receive.
What exactly is quartzite made of?
Quartzite is classified as a metamorphic rock. It started out as sandstone, and through the process of heat and pressure, it evolved into quartzite. Pure quartzite typically ranges in color from white to grey. However, you may also find varying shades of red to pink, depending on the hematite content. In addition, some other minerals can create other colors such as orange, green, yellow, and blue.
The surface, in its original form, is grainy and sandpaper-like to the touch, but it looks glassy. Minor amounts of materials such as clay, silica, iron oxide, and carbonate migrate during the recrystallization process, which causes streaks and lenses to form.
To be considered quartzite, it must be at least 80% quartz by volume.
How much are quartzite countertops?
The cost of quartzite counter installation starts at $3,600 and goes up to $4,950. So, for example, on average, you will spend around $4,200 for 30 square feet of Fantasy Macaubas quartzite with an under-mount sink and a bullnose edge.
When it comes to quartzite countertops, the cost is based on a few factors: the stone and type of finish, the edge, and the fabrication. Material typically ranges between $50 and $120 per square foot, and fabrication adds $30 to $90 per square foot. This brings the total to an average of $80 to $210 per square foot. This price does not include any extras, such as specialty edges, finishes, and sink cutouts.
The location can also affect the average cost:
- Price range for bathroom installation: $480 to $2,520
- Price range for mudroom installation: $560 to $2,520
- Price range for kitchen: $2,400 to $8,400
These numbers represent averages across the nation. For a custom quote for quartzite counters in your Flagstaff area home or business, simply reach out, and we’d be happy to provide a price.
What is the difference between quartz and quartzite?
Quartz and quartzite are two higher-end materials that come from quartz and are often confused. However, you should be aware that they are different. They differ in composition, appearance, maintenance, and durability. We’ll take a closer look at each of these areas below:
First of all, quartzite is 100% natural. It contains 90% to 99% quartz and is bound by silica. It is a stone that is appealing to the eco-conscious since it is all-natural. On the other hand, quartz is a manufactured stone that is molded and baked into slabs—only about 90 to 94% is ground quartz from the ground. The remaining 6 to 10% is polymer resins and pigments that bind the quartz pieces.
Next, since it’s man-made, quartz is available in various colors from orange to light blue to violet to deep pink and everything in between. They can also be veined or flecked in uniform patterns across the slab.
On the other hand, quartzite is mainly white or gray, though iron oxide in the stone can make it appear pink or red and even green. Additionally, the pattern is limited to what can be created naturally. So you end up with a veined finish, similar to granite or marble, and the appearance may be inconsistent from one slab to another. Some consider this desirable, as the slab you choose will be one of a kind.
Quartz is non-porous, so it repels water and stains. On the other hand, quartzite is porous, so it soaks in water and stains. Therefore, it needs to be sealed before installation and then every year after that.
Quartzite registers between a seven and eight on the Moh’s Hardness Scale, which means it’s slightly more scratch-resistant than quartz, which registers at a seven on the scale. While a knife blade is not likely to chip either one, you don’t want to chop on quartz due to the food acids potentially causing etching. However, light knife use on a quartzite countertop will not cause etching.
Quartzite is heat resistant, so feel free to place your hot pans and dishes on it. On the other hand, the resin in quartz melts at approximately 300°F. This means a hot dish or pan could leave a permanent scar on your quartz countertop.
Neither are recommended for DIY installations. Quartz weighs 20 to 25 pounds per square foot, and quartzite weighs slightly less, around 20 pounds per square foot. You will definitely want to call in the pros to take care of this home improvement project.
Is quartzite a good material for kitchen counters?
Suppose you’re thinking about having quartzite countertops installed in your kitchen. In that case, you may be curious about whether or not it is a good material for that space and how it compares to other stones. Below are a few of the advantages of quartzite in your kitchen.
First of all, it’s more durable than granite. While it’s formed in the same way, deep in the ground under pressure, it’s harder than granite. It is also harder than most other popular stones used for countertops, making it great for kitchens.
Next, it has the appearance of marble but is not prone to etching. Sometimes, you may see slabs of quartzite labeled as “soft .”That means it looks and wears like marble. Since marble chips and etches easily, quartzite is the better option for kitchen installation. Again, you get the look without the headache.
Though it sounds similar, it’s different than quartz. Quartzite is natural, and quartz is man-made.
Quartzite countertops are easy to maintain compared to other materials. That being said, you will likely want to seal it since it is a natural stone and therefore porous. The good news is you only need to reapply the sealant once a year. Regular cleaning includes wiping up spills immediately and wiping them down with mild soap and a damp rag. This will clean the counters without damaging the finish.
While it is hard to scratch, you want to avoid abrasive cleaners because they will strip off the sealant.
What colors do quartzite countertops come in?
Quartzite, being a natural stone, doesn’t have a wide variety of colorations like some other materials. Typically, it ranges from white to gray. Sometimes, it may appear pink, red or even green due to the iron oxide content. Often there is veining in the slabs, but it will not be uniform like quartz; it will appear more like the veining in marble.
Does quartzite need to be sealed?
The answer to this question is pretty simple: yes. While it’s true that quartzite is a harder material and therefore resistant to scratching and etching, it’s porous, so it’s likely to get stained. Therefore, it’s a good idea to seal it when it’s installed and then once a year after that.
One of the best ways to know when it’s time for a fresh coat of sealant is to pay attention to the area around the sink. If you notice that it’s starting to darken due to water, it’s a good indication that your current sealant is breaking down, and you need to apply a new coat.
Also, though it’s a hard surface and resistant to heat, you still may find it helpful to use trivets to protect it and keep it looking beautiful for longer. In addition, though you can cut on it just fine, you may want to use a cutting board to avoid dulling your knives.
How do I clean quartzite countertops?
Cleaning your quartzite countertops is actually fairly simple. A properly sealed countertop will not be as susceptible to staining, so all you really need is a mild soap and some water with a soft cloth or sponge.
You can do this as often as you like: after every use or simply incorporate it into your daily or weekly cleaning schedule. If the countertop is more decorative than anything, you can just dust it off from time to time and skip the soap and water.
It’s important to remember that, though it’s not prone to etching, you do want to avoid acidic products, both when it comes to spills and when it comes to cleaning. If you happen to spill something acidic, clean it up quickly. This is because acidic liquids will reduce the sealant’s effectiveness over time.
How does quartzite compare to other counter materials?
Quartzite has a lot of advantages over some of the other materials on the market. It is a natural stone, along with granite, marble, and soapstone. It is slightly more expensive than granite or marble but about the same as soapstone. It is more durable than soapstone or marble but about the same as granite. Finally, all of the materials are stain-resistant when sealed.
Quartz, onyx, dolomite, porcelain, limestone, and travertine all have their own advantages and disadvantages as well.
As the leading experts on quartzite countertops in the Flagstaff, AZ, area, we at Outlook Construction & Remodeling are here if you have any additional questions. Also, if you’re ready to move forward, we would love to schedule a consultation. We believe in creating an open, collaborative relationship from the beginning. This is the key to ensuring that the project meets your expectations. We look forward to meeting you and helping you choose the perfect material for your home’s countertops!
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