Quartzite countertops are often confused for quartz – but they’re two different materials. Quartzite is a 100% natural stone that, while beautiful, is porous.
Quartzite is predominantly white or light gray but may have gold, pinks, or red streaks.
If you’re considering this material for your kitchen or bathroom remodel, it’s one of the best natural stones in terms of durability – but it’s not zero maintenance.
What is Quartzite?
Quartzite is a metamorphic rock. It starts as sandstone, then, when exposed to high heat and pressure below the earth’s surface, becomes infused with quartz crystals.
It’s mined from the ground and cut into slabs.
Quartzite has a naturally shiny look. It’s usually white or light gray with some pink, gray, gold, or red marbling. Some slabs of quartzite look similar to marble.
Due to mineral impurities, you can also find this stone in other colors, including blue, green, or orange.
Since quartzite is a 100% natural material, no two slabs are identical.
Is Quartzite Durable?
Quartzite is a hard, durable natural stone that can last for decades. Since it’s porous, you must seal it on an annual basis. A sealant will enable quartzite to repel water and resist staining.
Quartzite has some scratch resistance but is not as scratch resistant as granite.
How Much Do Quartzite Counters Cost?
The cost of quartzite varies depending on the type. For example, the standard slabs of white quartzite typically sell for as little as $65 per square foot, while rarer varieties with unique colors cost as much as $250 per square foot.
The national average cost for installing 30 square feet of quartzite counters is around $4,000. The price is roughly $133 per square foot, including material and installation.
Popular Types of Quartzite Countertops
There are many types of quartzite available. The standard white and gray varieties are easiest on the budget, while the types with more unique colors climb in price.
Classic White Quartzite
Classic white quartzite is one of the most popular options and also one of the least expensive. It is pure white with light gray veining and sometimes confused for marble.
Classic white works for many kitchen styles, making it an easy go-to for designers. It works well for modern, traditional, and farmhouse-style kitchens.
Mont Blanc Quartzite
Mont Blanc is another quartzite that gets confused with marble. Its base color ranges from white to light gray, with long gray veining running throughout. You’ll sometimes find Mont Blanc with beige, red, or blue.
Mont Blanc works for all styles of kitchen and any color cabinet.
Blue Quartzite is rarer than the white varieties and can make a big, beautiful statement in your kitchen.
The example shown is a Blue Quartzite with a lot of gray and a little blue. You can also find quartzite countertops that are predominantly blue, teal, and some that are almost purple.
Taj Mahal Quartzite
Taj Mahal is one of the most popular quartzite choices for high-end kitchens. It has beautiful veining, often displayed on waterfall-style islands and kitchen countertops.
Taj Mahal is a light beige with white, brown, and a little gray running throughout. It’s one of the more expensive choices, with prices usually exceeding $200 per square foot.
White Macauba Quartzite Countertops
White Macauba is an off-white stone with long gray veining. It’s another popular choice for waterfall islands.
White Macauba is ideal if you want a high-end elegant feel. You can find White Macauba at a mid-range price, usually around $120 per square foot.
Quartzite vs. Quartz
Quartz and Quartzite are often confused, and rightfully so. The difference is that quartzite is 100% natural, while quartz countertops are engineered stone.
Quartz countertops contain quartz crystals bound with resins to create a nonporous material.
Engineered quartz gives you the beauty of quartzite combined with a countertop that won’t absorb liquid and requires zero maintenance.
But that doesn’t necessarily make quartz better. In fact, despite the manufactured process of quartz countertops, quartzite is still a harder, more durable stone.
- Appearance: Both are beautiful. There are more color options for quartz. If you want natural beauty, the organic veining in quartzite is hard to beat.
- Maintenance: Quartz countertops are maintenance-free, and quartzite requires a coat of sealant every 1 to 2 years. If you don’t seal quartzite, it will absorb liquid and stain. Since quartzite is harder than quartz, it’s less likely to scratch. Overall, both materials are durable.
- Cost: The average cost of material and installation for a 30 sq ft quartzite counter is $3,950. The average price of material and installation for a 30 sq ft quartz countertop is $3,750.
Quartzite vs. Granite
Quartzite and granite are both natural stones with different looks. Quartzite is a metamorphic rock, while granite is an igneous rock.
Granite is one of the most popular countertop materials.
Quartzite is most commonly white or light gray, resembling marble. On the other hand, granite comes in many colors and usually features speckling instead of veining.
Both stones are rugged and durable. They are similar in terms of maintenance.
- Appearance: Quartzite features veining while granite features speckling. Quartzite is most commonly white and light gray, while granite comes in several colors.
- Maintenance: The maintenance for quartzite and granite is similar- they’ll both require you to seal them at least every 1 to 2 years so that they repel liquid instead of absorbing it. Some experts suggest only sealing granite every 3-5 years as long as you use a high-quality sealant.
- Cost: The average cost of material and installation for a 30 sq ft quartzite counter is $3,950. The average price of material and installation for a 30 sq ft granite counter is $2,100.
Quartzite vs. Marble
Marble has long been considered the standard for luxury countertops. But, it’s a relatively soft stone, making it impractical for many homeowners.
Quartzite and marble are metamorphic rocks, but marble has a mineral base, while quartzite starts as sandstone. Quartzite is hard and durable, while marble is soft.
Quartzite and marble look strikingly similar – it can be hard to tell them apart. Both often have a white or light gray base with beautiful veining.
The biggest downside to marble is that it’s more porous and more likely to stain and show watermarks than other natural stones.
- Appearance: Marble and quartzite have similar appearances. They are often white or light with veining throughout.
- Maintenance: Quartzite is harder and more durable than marble. You need to seal marble countertops every three months to 1 year. You must seal quartzite countertops every 1 to 2 years.
- Cost: The average cost of material and installation for a 30 sq ft quartzite counter is $3,950. The average price of material and installation for a 30 sq ft marble countertop is $2,150.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
How often should you seal quartzite countertops?
Since quartzite countertops are porous, you need to seal them at least every 1 to 2 years. So if you’re constantly using your kitchen, seal your quartzite annually.
What is the whitest quartzite counter?
There are many white quartzite choices. If you’re looking for something predominantly white, check out classic white. Other top contenders include Shadow Storm and White Macaubus.
How do you clean quartzite counters?
To clean quartzite, use a gentle, ph-neutral cleaner. You can buy a natural stone cleaner or use a simple mixture of dish soap and water. Avoid all acidic cleaners and never use vinegar to clean quartzite countertops.
Can I put a hot pan on quartzite?
Quartzite countertops are heat resistant. So technically, you can put a hot pot directly on the counter – but you shouldn’t. Always put a pot holder on the counter under a hot pot.
Does quartzite chip easily?
Quartzite is one of the hardest natural stone countertop materials. While it won’t chip easy, that doesn’t mean it won’t chip at all. You should still take the necessary precautions to protect your quartzite.
Quartzite is one of the best stone countertop materials. It’s beautiful, durable, heat resistant, and stands up to scratches well. It’s not maintenance-free, though. If you get a quartzite countertop, you’ll need to seal it every year or two.
In terms of price, quartzite is similar to quartz countertops but almost double the price of standard granite or marble.