Welcome to our Quartzite vs Granite design guide including the differences between them, their characteristics, popular colors, cost and pros & cons.
Quartzite and granite are two of the most popular countertop materials in the market. Both of these natural stone materials offer a lot of benefits and have proven to be worthy investments for homes.
However, there are a number of differences between the two materials. Regardless of which stone countertop you decide to go with, knowing their characteristics is extremely useful before you make your final decision as you plan and design your kitchen.
Below, we take an in-depth look in to the different characteristics of quartzite vs granite, along with some of their advantages and disadvantages to help you decide which one will better suit your needs, style and requirements.
Difference Between Quartzite And Granite
Kitchen with Platinum Velvet Grey quartzite.
Both quartz and granite are natural stones, however they vary in terms of their material composition. By definition, Quartzite is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock that is created when a quartz rich sandstone is subjected to high heat, extreme pressure and chemical activity of metamorphism. Granite, on the other hand, is an igneous stone formed from cooled magma. It is partly composed of quartz and a mixture of other materials. The cooling process that granite undergoes allows for large crystals of the minerals to develop.
Both granite and quartzite make reliable countertop materials, and each of them has their own set of qualities that make them unique. Let’s take a closer look into the comparison of the different characteristics of quartzite vs granite:
Characteristics of Quartzite vs Granite
Kitchen with Fantasy Brown granite countertops.
Material composition. Both quartzite and granite contain the mineral quartz, but the amount in them varies. There is more quartz in quartzite, in fact, it consists of 90 to 99 percent quartz grains. This is the component that they derive their strength from.
Granite, on the other hand,is made up of interlocking mineral crystals , the most common being quartz and feldspar. The material make-up of granite can vary depending on its type, which makes each piece unique. White granite, for example, has a white mineral called feldspar. Black granite is typically made up of mica, while granite that has light gray veins have an abundance of quartz in them.
Porosity and Moisture Resistance. Quartzite and granite are natural stones, which means that they are both naturally porous to some extent. However, quartzite is denser and harder than granite, which in turn makes it less porous too. Between the two natural stones, quartzite countertops may require less sealing than granite countertops.
When properly sealed, both quartzite and granite countertops become moisture resistant and stain resistant. However, if you spill something on their surfaces, it is still recommended that the liquid be wiped quickly to prevent it from seeping into the stone.
Hardness. Quartzite is harder than granite. Granite is best known for being a very hard material. Quartzite, on the other hand, is composed almost entirely of the hardest material on earth, which is quartz. The metamorphic process that quartzite undergoes recrystallizes its sand grains and the silica cement that binds them together, which in turn makes it stronger and harder. On the Mohs scale of hardness (1 to 10, with 10 being the hardest), quartzite has a rating of 7 whereas granite measures around 6 to 6.5.
Durability. If durability is your determining factor for your countertop material, quartzite is the perfect material to choose. Quartzite is known to be one of the densest natural stone materials in the world, which also makes it an extremely durable construction material. It is more resistant to wear and tear compared to most countertop materials. Granite, on the other hand, is known for its strength and its ability to withstand constant use as a countertop. Although strong in its own right, granite is not as durable as quartzite — if a heavy object falls on it, a granite countertop may chip or break, especially at the corners.
However, both granite and quartzite have incredible resistance to heat. They can withstand hot kitchen materials like pots or pans placed on its surface.
Appearance and beauty. One of the best benefits of granite and quartzite is the distinct beauty that they offer. Being natural stones, you can be sure that no two slabs are the same and the patterns are unique.
Quartzite is characterized by a glassy texture and a swirling vein pattern that gives it a strong resemblance to marble. Its luxurious appearance makes it one of the most highly desired countertop materials in the market. Granite, on the other hand, usually has a speckled appearance with different pattern variations. Large crystals and small flecks of minerals usually highlight the stone’s surface. Some granite styles can also give you the look of other natural stones like marble.
When it comes to appearance, it all comes down to what style you envision your kitchen to be. If you want something elegant and luxurious, quartzite is your best bet. Quartzite countertops are also the perfect option for neutral toned kitchens. Alternatively, if you want variety, granite offers more styles to choose from. It fits in a wide range of kitchen designs, whether traditional or contemporary. It is also easy to find granite that can match different color schemes.
Color Variation. Granite comes in more colors than in quartzite. Quartzite can be typically found in lighter shades of color like white and gray , but some of its types are available in different color variations, depending on the mineral content. Because of the limited colors that they come in, quartzite is more preferred in neutral toned kitchens.
Granite comes in a wider range of colors — from shades of brown, red, green, blue, black, gray and white. The reason for the diverse color of granite is the presence of different crystals durings its formation. Aside from the myriad of colors, a single piece of granite can have unique color combinations. For example, the Santa Cecilia granite has a warm color palette that consists of brown, gold, beige and black. The exotic ranges of colors present in granite is an added advantage in terms of aesthetics because as light hits the countertop, the undertones are highlighted and a sparkling effect is produced.
Customization. Both granite and quartzite can be cut according to a specified size. However, customization is a bit more limited compared to artificial countertop materials. Granite and quartzite, being natural stones, are a bit harder to manipulate into different shapes, unlike engineered stones such as quartz, which can be molded practically into any form during production.
Countertop Maintenance. When it comes to maintenance, granite and quartzite countertops require pretty much the same procedures. Both countertop materials are easy to clean, in fact, you only need a cloth with warm water and soap to wipe it’s surface. Both quartzite and granite are sensitive to abrasive cleaners like bleach.
Like any natural stone, quartzite and granite countertops need to be sealed and resealed one to two times two times per year to protect its surface from staining and to prevent liquid from penetrating into it. Sealers do not last forever and they need to be reapplied periodically. Proper sealing will ensure that natural stone countertops can last for years.
Overall, granite and quartzite countertops can stay in prime condition provided that they are properly cared for.
Installation. As for both quartzite and granite countertops, you will need to hire a professional to install them. Aside from the fact that they are very heavy, natural stone countertops are not recommended to be DIY’ed . Hiring a professional will also ensure that the job is done correctly and quickly, while also significantly lowering the chance of potential damages occurring during installation.
Resale Value. Ultimately, having natural stone countertops can give your home increased value. Quartzite and granite countertops are highly sought after not only for their distinct natural beauty but also for the different positive qualities mentioned above. As long as you take proper care of your natural stone countertops. Any potential buyers will be drawn to having them as part of their home. In fact, when it comes to the resale value of natural stone countertops, homeowners typically recover 100 percent or more of their installation costs.
However, quartzite has a slight edge to granite when it comes to this category. The reason being is that quartzite is a much rarer stone, compared to granite which is more commonly used in kitchen countertop applications.
Cost. Granite is a more affordable option than quartzite. You can read a more detailed overview of the pricing of granite vs quartzite below.
Quartzite Vs Granite Cost
The price of quartzite (for the material or stone alone) ranges around $60 to $100 per square foot, but prices can go beyond that depending on the type and design of the stone. Granite is cheaper as its price starts at about $40 per square foot. Rare types of granite which are considered to be “high end” can cost up to $100 per square foot.
Quartzite is actually more expensive than granite due to a number of factors — the main reason being it’s rarer. Other factors that influence its price are the location and the scarcity of the slab. Some slabs may not be readily available locally and costs more to acquire.
Another significant factor is the meticulous cutting process involved in production. Quartzite slabs require special cutting tools because they are very dense and hard. Compared to other countertop materials, it is more difficult to cut and finish quartzite.
Granite Vs Quartzite Countertops Pros And Cons
Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of quartzite vs granite countertops:
- Granite offers design flexibility and versatility. It comes in hundreds of colors and patterns, giving you a lot of options to choose from. No matter what the style of your kitchen is, whether traditional, contemporary, country or modern, you can find granite colors which will suit it.
- Granite is a unique stone that has a stunning beauty. No two granite slabs are alike — this means that your kitchen countertop will not be exactly the same with other homeowners who also have granite. In addition to its uniqueness, granite is also extremely beautiful and can render an elegant appeal to your kitchen.
- Granite is affordable. The price of granite is less expensive compared to other natural stones like quartzite, marble, travertine, soapstone, gemstone , limestone and onyx. despite being cheaper than its counterparts, it offers a lot of positive benefits, which makes it a very practical and reasonable choice.
- Granite has an abundant supply and is readily available in the market. One of the reasons for granite’s affordable price is its abundant supply. It is not rare and you can find granite easily from a lot of local suppliers.
- Granite is heat resistant, scratch resistant and chemical resistant. Granite is heat resistant, which means you can place hot pans directly on it without having to worry about ruining your countertops. It is also scratch resistant and will not get damaged from sharp objects like knives. Lastly, granite is chemical resistant and will not get stained from acidic substances.
- Granite is hard and durable. One of the most prized qualities of granite is its durability. Granite, by nature, is a very hard material and will not get damaged easily. It can withstand daily wear and tear and can last long as long as it is taken care of.
Dropping heavy objects on it will not cause it to crack, chip or break. You can chop, butcher or tenderize meat on it, crack crabs or pound garlic on it and still, it wouldn’t get damaged.
- Granite countertops are very easy to clean. Provided that your granite countertops are properly sealed and regularly resealed, they can be cleaned very easily using a damp cloth and some warm water.
- Granite requires periodic sealing. Unlike artificial and engineered stone countertops, granite countertops need to be sealed and this has to be redone every year to ensure that liquids do not penetrate its surface. Failure to reseal granite countertops will make it very unsanitary because molds and other bacteria can build up in its surface once liquids penetrate its surface. This maintenance procedure also translates to additional expenses in the long run.
- Granite may not stay in style forever. Some colors of granite, specifically those that are a bit unusual, may get outdated and will not stay in style forever.
Pros of Quartzite Countertops
- Quartzite is very elegant and gives out a very pristine look. One of the strongest qualities of quartzite is its sophisticated beauty, It can easily render elegance, a luxurious feel and a pristine look to a space.
- Quartzite perfectly suits contemporary and modern styles. The smooth appearance and texture of quartzite matches the streamlined and clean look of modern and contemporary kitchen styles. Its colors also complement neutral toned palettes — which are commonly found in modern and contemporary interiors.
- Quartzite has the look of marble – minus the drawbacks. As mentioned, quartzite has very much the same beauty as marble, but it is stronger, more durable and cheaper.
- Quartzite is very durable. Quartzite is one of the most durable natural stone countertops available in the market. It will not get damaged easily and proves to be a great investment because of its long lifespan.
- Quartzite is fire resistant, heat resistant and scratch resistant. Just like granite, quartzite is also resistant to heat, scratching and chemical reactions. Quartzite can withstand heat very well so you do not have to worry about damage from hot pots and pans. It will not get scratched even if you use a knife directly on it.
- Quartzite is UV resistant. UV rays can cause some natural stones to fade and discolor, so you have to be careful in choosing materials for spaces which are exposed to direct, natural light. Quartzite is also resistant to UV rays, which means it is perfect for outdoor settings and backyard kitchens.
- Quartzite is less porous than other natural stones. Compared to granite and marble, quartzite is less porous.
- Quartzite is easy to maintain. You don’t need special tools and materials to clean a quartzite countertop. You can easily wipe it with a damp cloth and some warm water.
- Quartzite comes in fewer colors. Quartzite comes in lighter and fewer colors — mostly neutral tones. The limited colors can be a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to design flexibility.
- Quartzite may require more tools in cutting. Because of how hard it is, quartzite slabs require special cutting tools during installation. If you will be using normal cutting blades, it will take longer and you need to make multiple passes to cut it perfectly. It also causes wear and tear to the equipment used to cut and shape it.
- Quartzite is more expensive than other natural stones. Quartzite is more expensive than other natural stones like granite and travertine.
- Quartzite is prone to “etching”. Quartzite has one very particular flaw which you can’t find in other natural stone countertops, which is “etching”. For the most part, quartzite is resistant to chemical reactions, however some slabs that have calcium carbonate react to acidic substances.
What is etching? When acidic substances come in contact with quartzite slabs, the reaction produces a surface damage which is characterized by a dull mark on the natural stone — this is called etching. Some common household items which can result in etching include lemons, sodas, ketchup and some cleaning products.
With mild etching , the quartzite slab still feels smooth. This can still be removed using polishing powder. Deep etching, on the other hand, leave a rough feel on the surface and looks cloudy. In order to rectify this, you need to seek the help of a stone restoration professional.
There are preventive measures which you can take in order to prevent etching in a quartzite countertop. The most common one is to apply a stone sealant , which gives an extra layer of protection to your countertop. Choosing a honed finish over a polished finish also helps because the former is less susceptible to damage given its smooth, flat matte texture.
Quartz is another countertop material which continues to rise in popularity in the kitchen design scene. Often, quartz gets mistaken for quartzite because their name sounds very much alike. But don’t be confused because these two materials are very different from one another.
For more information on the characteristics of quartz and its detailed comparison to quartzite, head on to our official guide of Quartz Vs Quartzite.