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What are the differences between quartz and quartzite countertops?

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Quick Answer

Differences between quartz and quartzite countertops include material composition, appearance, durability and maintenance. Countertops made of quartz material are made of a mixture of synthetic materials, silicon dioxide and loose quartz. Quartzite counters are made from natural stone slabs of compressed sandstone.

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Full Answer

Individuals can easily distinguish quartz from quartzite by remembering that quartz requires fabrication, while quartzite is solid rock found underneath the earth, formed by extreme heat and pressure. When it comes to appearance, quartz countertops have much more diversity of style and color than those made of quartzite. Quartz countertops often feature a mixture of colors that don't occur naturally, and manufacturers often add color pigment during fabrication. Working with loose quartz and binder materials allows manufacturers to create natural-looking marble and stone counters to suit any decor. Quartzite stone typically features one dominant color such as white, pink, gray, yellow or blue, and has distinctive streaks in darker hues.

Quartzite rules over quartz in the durability department, largely due to its ability to withstand heat. Quartz counters contain a plastic resin that melts when exposed to temperatures over 300 degrees Fahrenheit, but quartz is much less prone to chipping than quartzite. Maintaining a quartz countertop is a breeze compared with quartzite counters, which require periodic sealing.

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