The Facts About Quartz, Granite & Quartzite

Posted 03/27/2020 by Arizona Tile

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Aphrodite Granite Kitchen Island Countertop from Arizona Tile
Featured Image: Aphrodite Granite Kitchen Island Countertop from Arizona Tile

If you find yourself spending more time at home lately, this can be a great opportunity to plan the details of your next home project. If you’ve been thinking about upgrading the countertops in your kitchen or bathroom, chances are you’ll want to do plenty of research. Learn more about three of the most popular countertop materials as we dive into the facts about quartzgranite and quartzite in this guide.

Composition

Distinguishing between these different types of slabs can sometimes be confusing—especially since all three are composed (to varying degrees) of quartz crystals!

Simply put, granite and quartzite are natural stones that are mined from the earth in blocks and then cut into slabs. They contain quartz, along with other minerals, which transform under intense heat and pressure to create the unique stones we know as granite (an igneous rock) and quartzite (a metamorphic rock).

On the other hand, quartz slab is an engineered stone—it’s man-made of up to 94% quartz crystals which are crushed and combined with resins and pigments to form a stone-like slab.

Blue Tahoe Quartzite Kitchen Countertop from Arizona Tile
Image: Blue Tahoe Quartzite Kitchen Countertop from Arizona Tile

Color Range

The various minerals in granite—such as quartz crystals, feldspar and mica—combine to create a vast range of colors. Common granite colors include white, gray, brown, black, blue, green and even red. Granite has a variety of patterns as well, from tiny specks to sweeping lines and veins, but is generally characterized by its granulated appearance.

Cristallo Citrino Quartzite Close-Up from Arizona Tile
Image: Cristallo Citrino Quartzite Close-Up from Arizona Tile

Quartzite also comes in a range of colors, including white, black, beige, grey, copper and green. Patterns and movement in quartzite can be swirling, veined or linear.

Both granite and quartzite are products of nature. Every slab is inherently one-of-a-kind and it’s important to note that each piece can vary in terms of veining, movement and natural pitting.

Della Terra Quartz ® from Arizona Tile is available in a vast range of colors from pure white to charcoal grey. It can be engineered with patterns and hues that closely resemble popular natural stones and other surfaces, including marble and concrete. Quartz slabs are uniquely consistent from slab to slab, since they’re man-made.

Slate Grey-N Quartz Kitchen Island Countertop from Arizona Tile
Image: Slate Grey-N Quartz Kitchen Island Countertop from Arizona Tile

Durability & Heat Resistance

When it comes to durability, quartz, granite and quartzite are all exceptionally hard materials. They are resistant to scratching and chipping compared to other countertop options such as marble. Quartz is the hardest of the three, but the natural stones are quite durable in their own right. 

Quartz, however, can be damaged by heat. Always use a trivet or coaster to keep hot pans and other heat sources off your quartz countertops. And while granite and quartzite are fairly heat-resistant, we still recommend you avoid placing hot pans and pots directly on your natural stone countertops. Extreme, direct heat exposure can still cause damage.  

Care & Maintenance

Quartz is incredibly low-maintenance. It is sealed with a resin during manufacturing and does not need to be re-sealed again. Simply wipe clean when needed and your quartz countertops will shine year after year. 

Granite and quartzite, like all natural stone, are still somewhat porous despite their durability. Since they have the potential to absorb stains, your natural stone counters should be properly sealed on a regular basis (about once a year) for best results. Be sure to wipe up spills immediately and clean with a gentle, pH-neutral cleaner or simply water.

Now that you’re familiar with the details about each of these popular countertop materials, take some time to virtually explore your favorites with the Arizona Tile Online Slab Yard. You can even see our products in a range of virtual room scenes with our Just Imagine visualizer.

Hear what Danielle from Los Angeles had to say on Yelp about her visit to one of our showrooms:

I love what another reviewer said about Arizona Tile, that it's like a candy store for adults.  So true.  That's how it feels browsing their ultra hip designer tile selection.  This is the only tile store I visited where I got the sense that I could have fun and be creative vs. looking for the "right" tile.