Homeowners who choose granite for countertops and other tiling projects because of its desirable look and ability to stand up to daily wear and tear may want to consider quartzite instead. Quartzite is slightly more durable than granite, and not as expensive. Like granite and similar building materials, quartzite tile has the durability and the look that homeowners desire.
Quartzite is a type of rock that is formed when quartz sandstone, a combination of quartz and sandstone, is place under a great deal of pressure and heat within the earth's surface. Over time, the rock changes, or metamorphoses, into quartzite. Its color can vary from shades of gray and shades of pink. White quartzite indicates that more quartz is present in the rock than the gray and pink colors.
Hardness of Quartzite
The Moh's scale is used to measure hardness of minerals when compared to each other. Diamonds rank at the top, with a measurement of 10, and quartz is at a 7. For this reason, quartzite is quite durable for building supplies, especially tile flooring. Quartzite is a very dense material, so dense that it is resistant to the elements and erosion. Granite countertops and floors are used because they are virtually indestructible with everyday use and can withstand high temperatures of heat. Since quartzite rates higher than granite in hardness on the Moh's scale, it can be a better choice than granite. Unless you purposely try to destroy the quartzite, it would take heavy equipment and power to damage it.
Polishing and Sealing
Polishing quartzite helps to prevent erosion of the material. However, polished quartzite makes for one slick surface, so it is not recommended for use as flooring. Polished quartzite can be used for countertops, walls and any other surface not made for walking on.
If the quartzite it used for flooring, then it should be unpolished and left in its more natural state, or honed. If this is done, then the quartzite must be sealed to prevent staining and other problems. Though quartzite is resistant to erosion, sealing helps reduce any that may occur. Quartzite is porous and can stain over time. Correct this by cleaning it when stains begin to show.
Cleaning a Quartzite Floor
When a quartzite floor begins to show stains, use a mildly abrasive cleaning product and scrub the floor with a brush. Do not use bleach as it may cause discoloration of the quartzite by lightening it. Be sure to rinse and dry the floor completely to prevent any streaking or other discoloration.
- Photo Credit raw quartz image by FotoWorx from Fotolia.com
Quartzite As a Countertop Material
Quartz countertops can be a good alternative to other high-maintenance materials. Made from natural materials, the quartz particles are pressurized with resin...