Quartzite is a very hard rock whose excellent qualities often surpass those of granite. Pure quartzite is white, but due to impurities trapped in this natural stone it can surprise with fabulous colors and amazing patterns. Quartzites can be pink, green, blue, purple. Some of them look transparent, some are milky or veiny, others remind of shattered ice or even dry, fractioned earth. Clear quartzite countertops resemble thick layers of glass with inclusions. The beauty of quartzite is hard to resist.
With a Mohs hardness of 7-7.5, quartzite is superior to both marble and granite in architecture. However, it is much more expensive. Funny enough, quartzite can disguise as marble or granite by mimicking their appearance. Quartzite is highly resistant to atmosphere's chemical and physical effects, such as changes in temperature, humidity, air pollution. It is one of the most physically durable and chemically resistant rocks on the Earth's surface.
Quartzite is highly valued for its beauty, durability, and unique properties. Here are a few characteristics that make quartzite stand out:
Overall, quartzite unique properties make it an excellent choice for a wide range of applications, from kitchen countertops to flooring and beyond. Quartzite is superior to marble and granite in architecture because of its resistance to atmosphere's chemical and physical effects. Quartzite is not affected by changes in temperature, humidity or pollution. Where natural forces erode mountains and weather less resistant rocks, quartzite ridges remain.
Engineered quartz resembles quartzite in many ways. It can match quartzite in durability and performance. Regarding price, engineered quartz worktop will be less expensive than natural quartzite.
Pure quartzite is usually white to grey, though quartzites often occur in various shades of pink and red due to varying amounts of iron oxide (Fe2O3). Other colors, such as yellow, green, blue and orange, are due to other minerals.
Quartzite is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock that is formed from sandstone under intense heat and pressure. It is formed from sandstone in the Earth's crust when the latter is exposed to extreme heat and pressure, usually related to tectonic compression. Given these conditions, the grains of sandstone fuse together to form a new rock that is extremely hard. Sandstone totally changes its color and appearance. This transformation is called metamorphosis, and the resulting rock type is called metamorphic.
As the sandstone transforms into quartzite, the quartz particles re-crystallize with impurities to create amazing crystal mosaics. Almost all the particles that make up sandstone fuse together, and the former rough surface of the new rock becomes glassy and smooth. Minor amounts of former cementing materials, iron oxide, silica, carbonate and clay, often migrate during recrystallization and metamorphosis. The impurities decorate the newly born quartzite with veins, circles and other patterns. This also causes streaks and lenses to form within the quartzite. Inherently white or grey, quartzite becomes mottled, yellowish, green, blue or orange. Brownish and pink quartzite is also found.
Quartzite is typically quarried in large blocks from mountainous areas around the world, including Brazil, India, Norway, and the United States. Some of the largest quarries are located in Brazil and India. It is also found in Canada, UK, Germany and the Czech Republic. In Ireland, areas of quartzite occur in the west and north-west, with the most prominent outcrop being Errigal Donegal. Norway has one of the largest quartzite quarries in the world. The Mozambique's highest mountain Monte Binga (2436 m) and the surrounding plateau are composed of very hard, light grey Precambrian quartzite.
The process of quarrying quartzite involves several steps:
Quartzite worktops are a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, beauty, and resistance to heat and scratches. However, like any other surface, they can become dirty over time and require regular cleaning to maintain their appearance. Here are some steps to clean quartzite worktops:
It's important to note that while quartzite is a durable and hard-wearing material, it is not completely stain-proof. To minimize the risk of staining, it's important to clean up spills and stains as soon as possible. Like any other natural stone surfaces, quartzite worktops need to be sealed. Avoid placing hot pots or pans directly on the surface of the quartzite to prevent damage to the finish.