Natural stone countertops are a timeless choice, right? Not all surfaces withstand everyday use equally well, so it is good to know the differences. Two popular types of natural stone are granite and quartzite. Although they look similar at first glance, they have distinct differences that may influence your choice. We are happy to explain more about them. So you can make an informed choice and be assured of the. best end result.
It all starts in the earth’s crust
We start with granite. This is an igneous rock formed by the slow crystallisation of magma deep in the Earth’s crust. It consists mainly of quartz, feldspar and mica. The combination of these minerals results in its unique appearance and long life. Granite is a hard material that can take a beating. So it is ideal for the kitchen! Quartzite, on the other hand, is a metamorphic rock derived from sandstone. The extreme heat and pressure in the earth’s crust change this sandstone into quartzite. It therefore consists almost entirely of quartz crystals. The material is therefore remarkably hard and, like granite, resistant to everyday use.
We measure the hardness of natural stone using the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. An excellent tool for comparing different stone types. Granite scores a mark between six and seven on this scale. Practically speaking, that means it has good wear resistance, but in some cases can be prone to chipping and scratching. Quartzite scores a seven on this scale. It is just a little more resistant to scratches and wear, making it an ideal choice for high-traffic areas such as kitchens.
Not entirely unimportant: the appearance of your new kitchen worktop. Granite offers a wide range of colours and patterns. The hue depends on the mineral composition and geological origin. Thus, two pieces of granite bearing the same name may have a different colour. Purely because one slab was quarried a hundred metres away. This makes each slab of granite unique. Just as the stone shines in your kitchen, it does not do so anywhere else in the world. No two kitchens are the same. Quartzite usually has a more uniform and elegant look. It is mostly light-coloured or has a white base with subtle veins. As a result, the material is refined and fits well in modern and sleek kitchens.
Clear differences are seen in the density of the material. This indicates how often it needs to be maintained. Granite is somewhat porous. This means that the rock is not completely sealed. It is therefore important to periodically impregnate a granite worktop. This way, you will prevent stains. The degree of porosity again differs per granite type. Quartzite is considerably less porous than granite. This makes it resistant to stains and moisture. The material therefore does not need to be impregnated as often. This saves maintenance!
The biggest difference is in the cost of materials. Granite wins here and is significantly kinder to your budget than quartzite. This is because the material is easier to obtain and because there are many different types. Quartzite is a bit more expensive because of its easy maintenance and durable properties.
To conclude, choosing granite or quartzite ultimately depends on your preferences, budget and the specific requirements for your project. Both stone types are excellent options for countertops, flooring and various other applications, and each offers its own unique blend of beauty and durability. Whether you prefer cost-effectiveness or a distinctive look, both granite and quartzite are great choices to apply in your project.