Quartzite vs. Granite: 5 Key Differences
If you’re considering natural stone for the countertop surfaces in your home, you might look at samples of quartzite and granite and hopelessly wonder which is which and how they differ. Natural stone varieties like granite and quartzite share common attributes, it’s true, but when you begin researching these different types of stone, you’ll find that there are some key differences that could sway your decision.
Quartzite vs. Granite Difference #1: Hardness
Maybe you love to cook and you need a countertop surface that can hold up to the abuse of chopping, acidic foods, and hot pots and pans. Perhaps your household includes a pack of young children prone to accidents and spills. Either way, the hardness of the stone you choose could make a difference when it comes to durability.
Both granite and quartzite are harder than marble, which makes them equally good choices for busy households. However, quartzite is just the slightest bit harder. Granite typically measures 6-6.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, while quartzite ranks at 7.
Quartzite vs. Granite Difference #2: Resilience
While hardness is important, you might be more interested in resilience, or how your natural stone will hold up under daily household use and abuse. Quartzite, while slightly harder than granite, does not tend to be quite as resistant to scratches and scuffs. On the other hand, quartzite is considered more UV resistant than granite.
How does this factor into your decision-making process If your countertop surface gets a lot of natural light, as with this traditional Connecticut kitchen, you should follow the example of these smart homeowners and choose quartzite that won’t suffer fading or other UV damage. Quartzite is also ideal if you’re looking to add resilient countertops to your outdoor kitchen or other patio surfaces.
If your busy family kitchen doesn’t get much natural light, as in this New York kitchen, you could select granite and enjoy superior resistance to scratching, stains, chips and cracks, for example. Keep in mind that you can do a lot to bolster the strength and durability of any natural stone surface with regular sealing and proper cleaning and maintenance.
Quartzite vs. Granite Difference #3: Appearance
In addition to functional properties like hardness and resilience, you naturally want to choose decorative elements for your home that appeal to your sense of style. In terms of appearance, granite and quartzite are quite different. Because of the way these two types of rock form, they enjoy different forms of visual appeal.
Granite, for example, tends to feature a lot of depth, dimension, and movement. Just look at the dramatic interplay of color and texture on the expansive granite surface in this transitional New York kitchen.
Or, check out the complex, artistic quality of this fireplace surround in rainforest green and leathered antique brown granite. Granite is eye-catching, to say the least.
By comparison, quartzite countertops could be considered more subtle and less bold in appearance, although they’re not without their charms. Just look at the feathered strokes of gray drifting across an icy, white background on the quartzite countertop in this traditional kitchen. Calming and pristine, this surface creates a totally different ambiance than granite. Don’t forget, quartzite is embedded with tiny chips of quartz crystals, lending the stone a luminous sparkle that adds its own brand of visual appeal, if not the same dimensionality of granite.
Quartzite vs. Granite Difference #4: Maintenance
Caring for natural stone requires a bit more commitment than, say, ceramic tile surfaces, but it’s well worth the effort for the stunning results. Regular sealing is a must to prevent staining, scratches, and other damage to the surface. With a sealant, natural stone countertops become almost impervious to damage from stains. After every granite and quartzite countertop project is complete, we seal the countertops after installation.
For both granite and quartzite, we recommend sealing these countertops at least once every year. If you have a busy kitchen, you may need to seal it more frequently.
In addition, proper cleaning is essential to maintain the shine and sparkle of your natural stone surfaces. Your best bet is to use a stone cleaner designed specifically for this purpose, but you can also use non-abrasive cleaners like dish soap, provided you rinse thoroughly with water to prevent buildup that can potentially cloud the surface.
Quartzite vs. Granite Difference #5: Cost
The cost for natural stone varieties like marble, granite and quartzite varies based on a number of factors, such as the type, thickness, rarity and place of origin. However, it’s fair to say that the expense for these types of natural stone falls into a similar range.
Quartzite, in some cases, can be slightly more expensive than other options simply because it is a bit rarer than granite or marble. However, the disparity shouldn’t be significant enough to deter a homeowner’s intent on installing natural stone. When you know you’re going to live with it for years to come, a minor price difference probably isn’t a source of much concern. In addition, natural stone surfaces, such as granite and quartzite, can last a lifetime if properly maintained.