Quartzite countertops and what you should know before picking them for your kitchen
Maybe I am jumping the gun with this post…but maybe I am not. I feel like I need to do my due diligence as a blogger. It’s been a crazy few weeks over here. I was hoping I’d be writing a different post. A post about my new kitchen with pretty pictures of pretty counters.
But instead I’m writing a post about how my counters need to be ripped out and I need to start all over. And let me be honest, I am grateful for this. These counters have given me way too many gray hairs
It’s such a shame though
I am not bashing quartzite counters completely. I am fully prepared to get new quartzite counters for round 2. But this time I did extra credit work.
Not all quartzites are created equal. I learned this the hard way. The wonderful things you hear about quartzite are true…but you need to make sure you are getting a true quartzite.
How will you know if it is a true quartzite? You won’t really. But I will give you some tips and let you in on what I have learned.
I went into this whole process thinking that if the stone was labeled quartzite, it was indestructible.
I was wrong. Very wrong
I talked more about counters in my kitchen counter comparison post. And for obvious reasons, this post is only about quartzite counters.
What is the difference between Quartz and Quartzite counters
I know that question will get asked. And boy, do I know some people have some strong opinions about both. If you ever want to start an argument on FaceBook, just ask what the best counters are.
I might have accidentally done that.
Quartz and Quartzite are two completely different materials. In a nut shell, quartz is man made and quartzite is a stone. There is information all over the place about the two and their differences and I talked more about them both in my other counter post so I will not bore you again.
And I am fully aware that if I just would have gotten quartz in the first place, my problems would be solved.
But dang it, Karen, I want stone in my kitchen.
And I also know there is granite. I could not find a granite I loved either…okay Karen?
Quartzite’s Dirty Little Secrets
1: It is porous….very very porous
Much like any stone, quartzite is porous but some quartzites are super duper porous. Like the one I am about to rip out of my kitchen.
Now to be honest (and according to my fabricator) there was something unusual about my counters. They were just soaking up the sealer and they were absorbing everything. Hence, why they are being removed
(And maybe my fabricator did not seal my counters properly before they were installed.)
I really have no idea what was going on. All I know is that I have never seen a counter soak up as much as mine did.
I also went down a rabbit hole and I found all kinds of threads about how this can be a problem with some quartzites.
How do you know which ones are more porous? I really have no idea.
But you can go down a deep rabbit hole too if you really want to. And make sure your fabricator knows what they are doing. Quartzite requires proper sealing.
Quartzite can be a tricky little thing
My counter is/was called Luce Di Luna and it is very similar to Mont Blanc
From afar it looks so pretty, but up close, not so much
This stain was left from chocolate frosting
This stain is a mystery
And so is this stain
I tried to get the one above out with baking soda and water which I learned about online
It didn’t work and left this stain (which is fading over time but the oil stains are still somewhat there.)
If you find a quartzite you love, google it and see if anyone is complaining about it. Best case, try to bring home a sample and abuse the daylights out of it.
2:) Can be mislabeled
If you read my other post, I mentioned how some quartzites can be labeled as “soft”. Those quartzites are not your friends if you are looking for a true indestructible counter. Soft quartzites might really be a dolomite which is just a stronger marble.
Don’t be like me and assume since the word quartzite is in the title that it is indestructible
And for the record, my quartzite was NOT labeled as a soft quartzite and I still had issues.
If you can grab a sample, bring it home and do some tests on it. Quartzite should be able to cut glass where marble will just scratch it.
Pour some lemon juice or vinegar on your sample. Wait a few minutes and wipe it off. If it etches, it is marble. If it doesn’t etch, it’s probably a quartzite.
Again, just do your research before you commit….lots of research.
3:) Harder to fabricate
This can go hand and hand with quartzites first dirty secret. Some fabricators aren’t too familiar with quartzite. It’s a very hard stone, harder than granite. Cutting quartzite can be more of a challenge. It also needs sealed right away (for reasons I mentioned above). And it needs sealed properly before it is installed
Like I said before, make sure your fabricator is familiar with quartzite.
Pros of Quartzites
Don’t get me wrong, there are many good reasons to choose quartzite as your kitchen counter.
People can and do rave about quartzite.
1:) It’s beautiful. I don’t want to sound like a snob over here but if you have ever seen quartzite in person then you will know what I am talking about. It’s hard to explain. They each have a unique look. Look how pretty this Taj Mahal slab is.
Again, not to sound like a snob but you cannot get this with quartz.
2;) It is rock hard…as in I ran into it with a wooden drawer and it wasn’t even phased. I cut directly on it with no scratch marks. And pretty soon I might hit it with a screwdriver just to see what happens.
3:) It’s heat resistant This is a huge plus for me. This is the one reason why I want a stone in my kitchen. I can’t be worrying about my kids melting my counter now that they are getting older and making their own meals. Sure, they will stain them, but let’s not have them melted.
4;) It’s timeless. Much like marble, I feel like the look of quartzite is timeless. Again, if it is a true quartzite, it won’t etch like marble will. Most people who want the look of marble will look at quartzite (I was one of these people)
What quartzites should you be careful with?
That’s a million dollar question. You can’t really tell at the stone yard what quartzites are more porous. I already warned you about “soft” quartzites.
My counter was the Luce Di Luna
She did not do too well in my house.
I almost replaced her with Mont Blanc
I’ve read a few articles about Mont Blanc being very porous as well and I knew what was about to happen if I installed Mont Blanc.
And then I heard my husband’s voice “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome”
So I have moved on from the lighter quartzites for the time being
What quartzites are a true quartzite?
Taj Mahal and Sea Pearl.
They are not cheap
But they are pretty
Here is a close up of a Taj Mahal
And here is the Sea Pearl
Both are very dense which means they are less porous and those words are music to my ears. People that own Taj Mahal or Sea Pearl say their counters are bullet proof.
More music to my ears.
Please take everything I just wrote about with a grain of salt too. I know some people that have Mont Blanc or similar quartzites in their homes with absolutely no problems at all.
And maybe I just found the dud out of the group. If there is anything you will get out of this post…do your research…lots and lots of research.
Now I need go find new counters…
I don’t even want to admit to you that I am getting quotes on marble too. I guess I want to set myself up for another headache.
I never learn…
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