Quartz or Quartzite – What’s the Difference?

Quartz and Quartzite

When exploring new countertop options for your home you may have come across two similar sounding materials: quartz and quartzite. Despite the similar sounding names, these materials are quite different, with each offer distinct characteristics, benefits, and considerations. Understanding the nuances between quartz and quartzite is important for making an informed decision that aligns with your design vision and practical requirements. Let’s delve into the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of each to help you choose the perfect material for your countertops.

Quartz and Quartzite

Quartz – Manufactured Beauty

What is Quartz? Quartz countertops are engineered stone products made from about 90-95% natural quartz granules and 5-10% polymer resins and pigments. This manufacturing process results in a very durable, non-porous surface.

Quartz Colors, Textures, and Finishes

One of the most appealing aspects of quartz is its versatility in color, texture, and finish. Since it’s a manufactured product, quartz can be found in a wide range of colors, from natural stone patterns to vibrant, uniform colors not typically found in nature. Textures can vary from polished to leathered and matte, and even textured finishes that mimic the feel of natural stone.

Quartzite: Natural Elegance

What is Quartzite? Quartzite is a natural stone that originates as sandstone and transforms under intense heat and pressure over time into quartzite. This metamorphic process results in a very hard and durable natural stone primarily composed of quartz.

Quartzite Colors, Textures, and Finishes

Quartzite’s colors are generally more subdued than quartz, predominantly featuring whites and grays with hints of pink or red depending on the mineral content. The texture of quartzite is similar to that of granite, offering a grainy feel that’s less smooth than polished quartz. Finishes for quartzite can vary but are typically polished or honed for a matte finish.

Comparing Quartz and Quartzite

Advantages and Disadvantages

Heat Resistance

Quartzite has superior heat resistance compared to quartz due to its natural stone composition. Quartz can be damaged by high temperatures, making quartzite a better option for areas exposed to hot pots and pans.


Both materials are highly durable. Quartzite, being a natural stone, is resistant to scratches and chipping. Quartz, though slightly less resistant to heat, benefits from its non-porous nature, making it more resistant to staining and bacterial growth.


Quartz, being man-made, is readily available in a wide range of colors and patterns. Quartzite’s availability is subject to the natural variation and rarity of the stone, which limits color and pattern choices.


The cost of both materials can vary widely based on quality, and rarity. Quartz is generally consistent in price, while quartzite can range from moderately expensive to very high-end, depending on the source and rarity of the stone.


Quartz requires less maintenance due to its non-porous nature, needing only basic cleaning to keep it looking new. Quartzite, while also low maintenance, requires periodic sealing to protect against stains.

Choosing between quartz and quartzite comes down to a balance of aesthetics, practicality, and budget. Quartz offers a wide range of colors and designs with minimal maintenance, making it ideal for vibrant, high-traffic kitchens. Quartzite, with its natural beauty and excellent durability, appeals to those seeking the unique appearance of natural stone with a preference for a more traditional kitchen aesthetic. Both materials bring distinct advantages to the table, and understanding their differences is key to making a choice that you will be satisfied with for years to come. Whether you lean towards the engineered elegance of quartz or the natural allure of quartzite, either option will add value and style to your home.

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