quartzite

 

Quartzite, even harder than granite, often surprises with fabulous colours and patterns. Pure quartzite is white, but other impurities in the rock give it unique shades and patterns. This semi-transparent natural stone can be pink, greenish, bluish, purple, and carved with impressive veins. Sometimes quartzite worktops resemble thick slabs of glass with artwork preserved in them, sometimes marble or granite. The beauty of quartzite is hard to resist.

 

Quartzite is a very hard metamorphic rock which was originally pure quartz sandstone. Sandstone is converted into quartzite through heating and pressure, usually related to tectonic compression. 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, with a Mohs hardness of 7-7.5, is superior to marble and granite in architecture. Quartzite is highly resistant to the chemical and physical effects of the atmosphere and is not affected by large changes in temperature or humidity. It is one of the most physically durable and chemically resistant rocks on the Earth's surface.

 

When sandstone is cemented to quartzite, the individual quartz grains recrystallize along with the former cementing material to form an interlocking mosaic of quartz crystals. Most or all of the original texture and sedimentary structures of the sandstone are erased by the metamorphism. The grainy, sandpaper-like surface becomes glassy in appearance. Minor amounts of former cementing materials, iron oxide, silica, carbonate and clay, often migrate during recrystallization and metamorphosis. This causes streaks and lenses to form within the quartzite.

 

Green and black quartzite Avocado
Green and black quartzite Avocado

What makes quartzite unique?

 

Quartzite, which forms from sandstone in the Earth's interior, is hard, strong and durable. Pure quartzite is composed of quartz minerals and is either white or grey. Quartzite can be mottled, yellowish, green, blue or orange due to impurities of other minerals. Brownish and pink quartzite is also found. 

 

In architecture, quartzite is superior to marble and granite because it is particularly resistant to the chemical and physical effects of the atmosphere, and is not affected by large changes in temperature or humidity. In nature, when weathering and erosion erode mountains and degrade less resistant rocks, quartzite ridges remain.

 

Because quartzite is less abrasive, it is better suited than other stones for stair treads, floors and worktops. It is resistant to many chemicals and environmental factors. Artificial quartz slabs are also available, which can match quartzite in durability and performance and are comparable in price to natural stone.

 

 

Quartzite Super White
Quartzite Super White

How quartzite is formed

 

Quartzite is formed in the Earth's depths from sandstone when sandstone is exposed to extreme pressure and heat. The grains of sandstone then fuse together to form a new rock that is extremely hard and even different in colour. This transformation is called metamorphosis, and the resulting rock is called metamorphic. 

 

As the sandstone transforms into quartzite, the quartz particles recrystallise with impurities to create crystal mosaics that look like works of art. When almost all the particles that make up sandstone fuse together, the rough surface becomes glass-like. Remnants of iron oxide, silicon, carbon, clay and other impurities decorate the new stone with lines, veins, circles and other artistic patterns. 

 

translucent quartzite slab

Where quartzite is found

 

Quartzite is found in many US states, Canada, Brazil, the 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. Monte Binga (2436 m), Mozambique's highest mountain, and the surrounding plateau, is composed of very hard, light grey Precambrian quartzite. 


How quartzite is quarried

 

Mining companies blast or separate the quartzite blocks from the quarry using powerful machines. The raw quartzite is transported to the workshops in ingots, which are then cut into 3-4 cm thick slabs. In order to separate the ingot from the total mass in the mine, parallel rows of long channels are drilled into the mine, explosives are placed in them and carefully detonated. It is important that the blast is strong enough to separate the ingot from the rock without crushing it. Once the rough piece of quartzite has been separated, it is sent to the workshop to be cut into neatly sized slices using a corded, diamond-studded saw. These slices are cut and polished in the workshops by craftsmen using milling machines. Finally, quartzite worktops, window sills and floor slabs appear in your home.

 


quartzite properties

  1. Very hard (hardness according to Mohs scale – 7-7.5)
  2. Resistant to etching
  3. Resistant to chemical weathering
  4. Harder than granite
  5. More resistant to stains than granite, but less resistant than engineered quartz


quartzite is used for

 

Kitchen worktops

Bathroom vanities

Furniture countertops

Wall cladding

Flooring

Stairs

Fireplace surrounds

Window sills 



quartzite fabricators in Lithuania



How to clean quartzite

 

Quartzite worktops can be cleaned with a mild cleaner, water and a soft cloth or paper towel. Like any other natural stone surface, quartzite worktops need to be impregnated, as this stone is porous. Wipe up spills and moisture from quartzite surfaces as soon as possible, using coasters and cutting boards.


quartzite examples in interior


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