Know the Differences between Quartz and Quartzite Countertops

Quartz worktops in London and elsewhere are often perceived to be the same as quartzite. This misconception results from their similar-sounding names and the dominance of the mineral quartz in their composition. But other than these similarities, both of these materials are vastly different from one another. Since choosing a kitchen worktop material is usually a once-in-a-lifetime kind of decision for most homeowners, being well aware of the origin, pros, and cons of all prospective materials is necessary. Both quartz and quartzite are excellent contenders. Whether they match your requirements or not completely depends on your research and assessment.

Quartz versus Quartzite Worktops 

Before enlisting the varying properties of quartz and quartzite worktops, knowing the fundamental difference in their origin is important.

  • Quartzite is a naturally-occurring stone formed by gradual crystallisation, similar to how sandstone transforms into granite. What makes quartzite unique is that the sandstone is rich in quartz. After being subjected to intense pressure and high temperatures, the molten quartz (90 to 99 per cent) and silica (1 to 10 per cent) mixture undergoes slow cooling to form quartzite with prominent quartz crystals. Quartzite worktops are obtained by natural mining quartzite, cutting it into slabs, and providing the required finish.
  • On the contrary, quartz worktops are engineered using 90 to 95 per cent of pure quartz and 5 to 10 per cent of artificial resins and colouring agents. First, the mineral quartz is separated from all its natural impurities. Then, it is pulverised and mixed with the required additives in large-scale mixers. The resulting molten mixture is poured into moulds and vacuum-treated to form hardwearing slabs.

Distinguishing Properties between Quartz and Quartzite

1. Appearance

  • Due to the presence of natural quartz crystals, quartzite has a grainier and glassier appearance. White and grey are the most common colours of quartzite, followed by some varieties of pink and red. Rarer quartzite variants are found in blue, green, yellow, and orange hues. Usually, it has impressive marble-like veining or, sometimes, radiant granite-like patterns.
  • Quartz has a highly customised appearance with a wide-ranging colour palette. As opposed to granular quartzite, which is replete with natural faults, it is smooth and seamless. Whatever the shade or pattern of the quartz worktop, the exact requirement can be achieved with a strategic mix of resins and polymers. Quartz kitchen worktops are customisable to resemble marble or granite.

2. Hardness

  • Quartzite is rated 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. This is higher than granite, making it a beautiful and tougher alternative to marble. It is resistant to scratching and chipping if you don’t chop directly on it or throw unduly heavy things on it.
  • Quartz comes in varying qualities and hardness quotients. It is rated 7 and above on the Mohs scale. The use of pulverised quartz and resins makes it slightly harder than quartzite. Its resistance to scratching and denting remains at par with quartzite.

3. Porosity and Hygiene

  • Quartzite is a naturally porous rock and requires meticulous sealing before installation. The sealing must be repeated yearly based on the wear and tear. Once sealed, it is easy to clean, doesn’t stain, and maintains antibacterial properties.
  • Quartz is dense and non-porous. It doesn’t require sealing and requires fairly simple cleaning. This eliminates the possibility of staining or microbes thriving on its surface.

4. Heat-Resistance

  • The natural heat resistance of quartzite is higher than that of quartz. Like marble, the surface remains perennially cool and is suitable for dough handling.
  • Quartz is somewhat resistant to heat. But you should use mats and runners while placing hot pots and pans on its surface. Not doing so might result in scorch marks.

5. Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance

  • Quartzite worktops require a high-quality sealant before installation. Else, they will easily absorb liquids, stain, and fester bacteria or mildew. When regularly sealed, the cleaning process is fuss-free with warm water, mild soap, or a gentle cleaner.
  • Quartz worktops require virtually zero maintenance. All stone-friendly cleaning agents are good for quartz surfaces. Avoid using glass cleaners and abrasives.

6. Longevity

Both quartz and sealed quartzite worktops are durable and can last for decades when cleaned and maintained appropriately. Not directly chopping on the surface, using neutral pH cleaners, utensils, stands/mats and coasters, and so on are some of the precautions that ensure long-lasting worktops.


When selecting a kitchen worktop, there can never be a fixed mandate declaring one material better than the other. Every kitchen is different in size, worktop dimensions, window size, natural lighting, light fixtures, faucets, cabinets, equipment, utensils, and so on. Personal preferences, colour schemes, décor themes, and, most importantly, the budget also play a crucial role in determining the eventual choice. Both quartz and quartzite can be apt choices depending on the ideal scenario.

mark harper

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