Granite and Quartzite are both durable and hard-wearing materials, with excellent and similar properties, including lower sensitivity to acid if compared to marble or limestone. For this and other reasons, granite and quartzite are the first choice when it comes to select a stone for a kitchen worktop.
Because the technical properties and performance are quite similar, granite and quartzite materials are often mixed up. In other words, quartz tends to fall under the category “granite” for simplicity (also on this very website). However, it is important to note and acknowledge that there are major differences between these two materials. So, I have decided to write about it and I hope this post will help make some clarity.
Geologically, granite is an igneous rock found more abundantly than quartzite, deep in the earth’s crust, providing the base for the many continents’ sedimentary rock. On the other hand, quartzite consists of a larger volume of quartz and is formed from sandstone and quartz when, under high heat and pressure, empty grains of sandstone are filled with quartz. This means that quartzite is actually harder than granite. On the Mohs scale of hardness, from 1 to 10 (10 being the hardest), granite measures in at 6-6.5, while quartzite scores a 7. Whilst granite is quarried all over the world, quartzite is more typically from Brazil and India.
Despite being harder, quartzite has a main flaw as opposed to granite: it tends to etch in certain areas of a surface, including countertops. Etching – or cutting and scratching into unprotected surfaces, due to acid or other substances – can be prevented by selecting a honed (i.e. matt) finish for your stone countertop, rather than polished. However, you need to bear in mind that the harder the stone, the more difficult to hone it.
From an aesthetics standpoint, granite is typically more “grainy”: it consists of larger grains, sometimes even of different colours. For example: Nero Assoluto, Brown do Brazil and Maranhense White granite. Quartzite, on the other hand, looks more like marble, with a background colour (or a mixture of them) and random veins. The end-result is a more dramatic and striking impact to your projects. For example: Blanco Amazon and Azul Amazon quartzite.
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