Our Kitchen Reno – Why We Chose Quartzite Countertops
Hi there! If you’re new here, we are renovating our 1910 house in Northern NJ little by little and this year we’re tackling two big renovations: the kitchen and a bathroom. When I am not sharing beautiful weddings, you can usually find me planning our next reno. We’re keeping its old house charm but adding function and style while sharing our journey along the way. Be sure to come back frequently for updates in the next several weeks! You can also follow the journey in my Insta Stories.
Part 1 | Part 2 with layout and list of resources
I’ve always had my heart set on marble for the day I’d redo our kitchen, but 3 kids later, I needed something that was practical and couldn’t realistically commit to the maintenance of marble. After debating between marble, quartz, granite and quartzite, we settled on the latter.
What’s the difference between quartzite and marble?
Quartzite is a harder stone than marble, and only a smidge softer than granite, which means that it’s less prone to stains when compared to marble. Granite is the hardest stone, and also the most affordable out of the 3, so for a while, we were strongly considering black honed granite (or a leatherette finish). We ultimately settled on quartzite to keep the kitchen bright.
On a hardness scale for all of the stones we were considering, it is granite>quartzite>marble>soapstone from hardest to softest.
Soapstone is the softest stone, so it’s the most prone to scratches; and granite is the least prone to scratching, staining and etching.
The other big difference between marble, granite and quartzite is also the price. Quartzite is usually the most expensive option along with certain marbles such as Calacatta. Quartzite was definitely the splurge of our kitchen. Our quartzite is called Yosemite Falls, similar to Macauba slabs.
Even though the names are similar, quartzite is NOT quartz! Quartzite is a natural stone while quartz is manmade.
Quartzite is typically sold with a polished finish. Because this is a hard stone, honing quartzite is difficult and not all countertop fabricators will do it. The fabricators willing to hone quartzite slabs will typically charge extra since it requires special blades and it can risk scratching the slab (which is what happened with ours, although luckily the fabricator had extra from the same slab for our kitchen). Most fabricators will discourage you from having quartzite honed for the reasons mentioned above, but also keep in mind that honing quartzite can make it prone to staining since it opens the pores.
The benefits of honing quartzite is that it prevents etching, won’t show fingerprints and smudges as a polished finish would. Polished quartzite has a glossy finish which is more resistant to stains.
At the time of publishing this post, we’ve had quartzite countertops for about 6 months and since we’ve had a few stain scares includes dye (I forgot a bottle of brown dye on the counter overnight and almost fainted the next morning when I saw the stain) and they all came off with a stone/marble/granite cleaner!
From our experience, oil stains were the only thing we had a harder time removing with just regular soap and water but poultice did the trick. Water spots are normal and it typically evaporates within 24 hours so if you leave a water glass with a ring on the bottom, don’t fret because it goes away! I use this cleaner and sealant on our quartzite countertops and marble bathroom vanities and this spot remover to remove specific stains.