Quartzite – The Tranquility of Marble with the Hardness of Granite

1024 632 Primestones® Granite, Quartz, Marble

Quartzite stone: Nature makes the impossible possible

Quartzite is a stone that is harder than granite with the calmness of marble… Sounds like magic? Almost. The magic is called plate tectonics, and the miracle stone is quartzite, formed deep within the earth by the force of colliding continents.

Uses for the stone

Quartzite is a versatile stone applied in several ways. If you have ever walked down a railroad track, chances are you have seen it. The crushed white stone making the track bed was likely this stone.  Quartzite slabs and tiles make for countertops, backsplashes and floors that are both beautiful and durable with an additional benefit of being low maintenance.

Quartzite formation

Once upon a time there was sand on the beach and the bottom of the ocean…This is how the story of our stone begins.

Quartzite is a metamorphic rock, formed through pressure and heat over thousands of years. It is made almost entirely of the mineral quartz.

It starts out as sand grains deposited layer by layer while the minerals in ocean water act as glue. We call this first formation Sandstone, when the sand particles are still intact and sometimes visible to the naked eye. Sandstone is a sedimentary stone that forms through the layering of fine grains of quartz, often feldspar and grains of silt. It is these minerals other than quartz that lead to the beautiful variations of color in our quartzite slabs

Quartzite picks up where the sandstone leaves off. Through high pressure and high temperature the individual grains are fused together so that they lose their shape completely and form a solid crystal mass. This compressed material is one of the most durable and chemically resistant rocks in Earth’s crust.

You can find deposits of the stone throughout the world, however there are active quarries in the southern hemisphere only.

The properties and qualities of the stone

With its remarkable qualities such a being harder than granite combined with the calmness of a marble, the term quartzite is often misused.  For example, the very popular Fantasy Brown or the incredibly beautiful Super White Calacatta are often sold as quartzites even though they are dolomites.

Mohs Hardness Scale with Respect to Quartzite

The Mohs Hardness Scale is used to classify the hardness of a rock or mineral on a simple 1 to 10 scale, with Talc being the softest at 1 and diamond the hardest at 10.

You can easily test the hardness of the stone with a glass tile: it will scratch the surface of white dolomite. Quartzite stone is harder than glass and will withstand any knife or glass, which makes it scratch proof.
This natural stone is hygienic and perfectly suitable for food contact. It is acid resistant: such liquids as lemon juice or vinegar won’t etch the surface. To top off all the qualities, quartzite is resistant to high temperatures as well, so you can place a hot dish right out of the oven on your countertop without fear of causing damage.

Care and cleaning

Thanks to its amazing properties, quartzite is fairly low maintenance. You can easily clean your quartzite slab countertops or back-splash with soap and water. However, we recommend against leaving an oil spill on the stone’s surface for any length of time.

Author

John Atkinson

All stories by: John Atkinson

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