You’ve often heard of sandstone but did you ever connect it with Quartzite? That’s what Quartzite was originally known as. Rightly so since Quartzite begins with sand grains, which closely adhere to each other to form sandstone. Compressed and buried between layers of rocks, the sandstone is subjected to extreme heat and pressure. It’s composed primarily two minerals, silica and quartz. It is in these pockets around the world where the sand grains are mostly quartz, and subjected to extreme pressures over time; tectonic plate pressures are what come to mind, but not always the case. Consequently, the sand grains in the sandstone lose their identity, fuse with each other and become hard metamorphic rock- Voilà, Quartzite is formed.
Quartzite is chiefly made up of quartz- sometimes to the extent of 99 percent of quartz and is present in quarries. Quartzite is different from the quartz that we know in the sense that Quartz is synthetically obtained by fusing resins, pigments and quartz stone chips together, whereas Quartzite is metamorphic rock that began its life as sandstone primarily consisting of quartz mineral.
During the Stone Age, it is believed that Quartzite was often used instead of flint when the latter was not available. Because of its hardness, it has been used to make stone tools including chopping and cutting tools.
What makes Quartzite a standout choice:
- Its appearance is a pure form of usually white or light in color.
- The presence of iron oxide and other minerals makes the shades vary from pink, green, blue to red.
- The material is hard and durable.
- It’s smooth with a lustrous and grainy appearance.
- It appears to superficially resemble marble, but unlike marble, Quartzite is not scratched by metal and is resistant to acids.
- It differs from sandstone in that when it’s broken, Quartzite has a smooth fracture (unlike sandstone.)
- Quartzite is unaffected by chemical weathering.
- It has varying degrees of porosity – ranging from dense to very porous.
Very often the term ‘soft Quartzite’ crops up but the term is a misnomer because Quartzite is not a soft material. As marble and Quartzite look very alike, one is often mistaken for the other. So ‘soft Quartzite’ is in all probability only marble.
Given the properties of Quartzite, it’s easy to find out how authentic a piece of Quartzite actually is. Quartzite will scratch glass easily, whereas other quartz-like stones will only leave a ‘powdery trail’ or a scratch mark that rubs off very easily.
Quartzite is the latest craze in countertop materials because of its beauty, coloring, and often translucent, 3-dimensional effect giving the surface a feeling of ‘depth’. In fact, Capitol Granite showrooms now stocks various colors of Quartzite.
Benefits of going with Quartzite
- The hardness of Quartzite is testimony to its durability since it’s unlikely for Quartzite to develop any problems even over a long period of time.
- It looks like marble, but is easier to maintain.
- Ordinary soap and water is a great cleanser – Quartzite doesn’t require any fancy cleaning material!
- It’s UV resistant and even if used outdoors, chances of fading are nil.
- Common colors of quartzite match the current trends in kitchen design.
Cons of Quartzite
- Although Quartzite is formed under great heat and pressure, it cannot withstand heat – Dishes from the stove or oven should not be placed directly on Quartzite countertops.
- Knives and sharp objects can make a mark so you need to use a cutting board while chopping on Quartzite.
- Much like granite, Quartzite requires periodic sealing.
Quartzite is used in many sectors – architecture, manufacturing, and construction. It is also used commercially for decorative purposes.
Over time, Quartzite has grown in popularity and is a great favorite with interior designers and homeowners. Its durability, stylish appearance, luster and color make it ideal for countertops and even feature walls. An expensive option perhaps, but its elegance and appeal makes it an all-time favorite.
No two pieces of Quartzite are alike and you are sure to get a product that is unlike any other. In its purest form Quartzite is white, and in its pristine state, no other stone can equal it in sophistication and elegance. It resembles white marble and has the quality of white granite- but is more durable than either of them.
The impurities in Quartzite work to its advantage as they produce inherent patterns that are very unique. When the stone is polished, the designs stand out, adding to the natural luster of the stone.
As a raw material, Quartzite is invaluable because of its high silica content. It’s used widely in the manufacturing of glass, silicon metal, other silicon products and other materials. It’s very hard to break but if you do have any intentions of taking it apart, you need to be careful and protect yourself adequately. When the metamorphic rock breaks, the impact poses tremendous risks- sparks are produced and sharp bits of rock moving at tremendous speeds can hurt, or cause injury.
Although marble and granite have been around for a very long time, Quartzite, is superior to both because of its hardness. Quartzite is resistant to chemicals, immune to abrasions, suitable in all climatic conditions and low on maintenance, it’s being regarded as a great stone to have in homes and commercial buildings.
We invite you to visit our showrooms to see all the beauty and variety in appearance Quartzite has to offer.