Kitchen Counters: Quartzite Offers Strength and Beauty
Eye-catching patterns and a natural pedigree make durable quartzite a popular alternative to granite and marble
When choosing a kitchen countertop material, many homeowners who might have gone with granite or marble are giving quartzite a second look. Before you bring this material into your kitchen, take the time to learn the pros, cons and special considerations to see if it’s right for you.
The basics: Quartzite is a metamorphic rock formed from sandstone. The transformation happens when sandstone is heated within the earth’s crust and shifting tectonic plates supply pressure. The resulting stone has pleasing streaks, rich colors and eye-catching patterns. Colors range from white to black, with shades of blue, green, yellow and brown.
Popular quartzite varieties include:
- White Macaubas (has an elegant translucent gray or white background with darker gray or blue veining)
- Mother of Pearl (has a similar look to marble, with gold, green and gray veining)
- Taj Mahal (a natural-toned stone often described as having a translucent quality)
- La Dolce Vita (a popular beige stone with moderate movement)
But be aware that the industry is loose about names and what is categorized as quartzite. “There are many varieties,” says stone fabricator Alex DiPietro. “You want to distinguish between the soft and hard quartzites. Ask your fabricator if they have worked with the specific stone before, and they will tell you their experience.”
And don’t confuse quartzite with quartz (also known as quartz composite), a manufactured product crafted from resin and quartz chips tinted with various colors.