Quartzite countertop

NaRoJanuary 9, 2012

Our counters-to-be, if all goes well.

Does anyone have experience with Calacatta Macaubus quartzite?

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muskokascp

Beautiful. We have the Macabus quartzite and have found it to be very durable . It has been installed for 6 or 7 weeks I think now. It has had all manner of stuff spilled on it and left. No stains, etches or anything..cleans like a dream. I love it love it love it. I do have pictures give me sec to find and post them.

1 Like    Bookmark   January 9, 2012 at 6:15PM
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muskokascp

These were taken the day of install. Since then the backsplash and window ledges have also been installed - also quartzite.


    Bookmark   January 9, 2012 at 7:44PM
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NaRo

Thanks, muskokascp- lovely stuff!

I like the backsplash idea, too. I'm so tired of subway tiles being suggested everywhere. How far up do they go?

    Bookmark   January 9, 2012 at 10:44PM
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ajones.sd

Do you mind telling me approximately how much the Macabus Quartzite costs? We are at the beginning stages of planning our remodel and I LOVE the look of marble, but would prefer something that is easier to maintain. Absolutely gorgeous slab/counter!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2012 at 10:55PM
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lafacia

Looks beautiful. I need to find somewhere to see that quartzite in person! Can you tell me about your floors?

    Bookmark   January 9, 2012 at 11:47PM
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babs711

muskokascp, I was the one who asked you to update us on your kitchen way back when you selected your slab since white macaubas/luce di luna was one of the ones I liked months ago when I initially went to the stone yard. It looks fantastic in your kitchen! I can't wait to see your completed kitchen!

ajones.sd, I can tell you that my local stoneyard gives contractor pricing of $45 per square foot or $2625 a slab for the white macaubus. It was the priciest of all of the quartzites I looked at aside from one other called Cristalo that was $85 per sf. The next one down was $38.45. In comparison Bianco Romano granite was $19.95. White Rhino and Afyon White marbles were $35. Calacatta Gold was $55 (the only other item that was pricier). Calacatta Manhattan, White Venetino (both 3 and 5 cm) and all thicknesses of Carrara (including 5 cm) were less expensive. Stone pricing is very interesting indeed!

Now that I actually have a budget in front of me and square feet, I'm trying to calculate where we'll end up. I deviated I know. I can't wait to relook at stone once our cabinet selection gets narrowed down!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 1:17AM
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muskokascp

NaRo - the backsplash is just that very small area between the counter and the start of the window -something like 7" but it runs about 8' below each of 2 windows and it is also the to ceiling behind the cooktop which is about 4 feet wide, also both window ledges. It is really nice and super easy to wipe down.

As for price - our stone guys do not quote per square foot as they are the supplier and fabricator. They quote a finished price which is dependent on the cut outs and edge selected. The only thing I priced which was higher was calacatta marble. So, not an inexpensive stone but a great alternative to marble without the marble issues of etching and chipping.

lafacia - the floors are red oak stained with Jacobean from Minwax(Duraseal).

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 8:36AM
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NaRo

I HATE the way you can't get stone yards to quote you prices-- drives me bats. In our area, you have to get a fabricator to come up with a price. Slows everything down, and makes it very hard to do apples-to-apples comparisons.

We found what muskokascp did-- that to get the look of marble without marble's maintenance issues, it costs quite a bit. This is our lifetime home, though, and spread over decades, it's less of a shock to the pocketbook.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 9:39AM
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ajones.sd

This is very helpful, especially since it sounds like I might not be able to get prices at the stone yard Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 7:22PM
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NaRo

muskokascp, one other question-- did you seal your countertops?

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 1:52PM
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muskokascp

No they came sealed..not sure what product was used. I will ask what they used and how often we should reseal when they are here next week installing some caesarstone for us.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 2:52PM
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2LittleFishies

Anyone else have this beautiful stone? Is it really resistant to stains and etching? Just lovely : )

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 12:19PM
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love2decor8

muskokascp, that is the most beautiful counter I have ever seen. I am just north of Toronto and I would love to know where you sourced your calcutta macaubus quartzite. I have only seen black quartzite in my travels (Van Gogh). Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 9:02PM
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muskokascp

With my name it would seem I am also north of TO but I am now on the East Coast..sorry to disappoint. I would suggest contacting Ciot to see of they can help. Don't give up though. it took me a year of looking to find this stone so depending on how much time you have ...stick with the search.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 9:40PM
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Shareher

I just bought a slab for our island. I took home a piece and tested it with acid, stains, etc. I couldn't get anything to damage it. It passed all tests with flying colors!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 8:56AM
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NaRo

HELP! I am upset. I'm the original poster. The stone yard said it simply could not cut off a sample b/c the stone was so hard it required a diamond saw or somesuch. They swore up and down it was bulletproof, doesn't stain, doesn't etch. We swore up and down that if that was the case, yes, we wanted it, and the fabricator bought it for us and broke off a piece.

I just put some lemon juice on it, and washed it off after 20 minutes or so. I'm seeing a shaded couple of areas where the juice was. Not exactly matching the puddle's "footprint." I suppose maybe they were there before and I didn't notice, but I am worried.

I'm having my husband repeat the experiment.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 9:11PM
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2LittleFishies

Is it sealed?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 9:29PM
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NaRo

I'm not sure. Does sealing help etching? Or maybe this is staining... it's not like the surface is melted-looking.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 11:18PM
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NaRo

OK here's an update. Test 2 didn't show much of anything.

But test three-- lemon juice left on for an hour or so-- showed a shadow afterward. The surface stayed polished, and did not get rough ( i.e. it was NOT like what happened when I tried lemon juice on honed marble and it looked "melted.") There was a slight darkening where some of the lemon juice had been, like a shadow.

Does this sounds like etching? STaining? Will sealing help (I don't think it's sealed)? or do I have a very expensive problem on my hands?

Thanks for any guidance you can give-- NaRo

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 11:39PM
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2LittleFishies

Anything darker than the normal color is a stain. If it is sealed until water beads that shouldn't happen. Why don't you try your test with plain old water and let it sit? Will water "bead" on it?

Etching is like lemon on marble and it only takes seconds (if that) to happen. Faster than you can grab a rag it will be etched. Etching changes the finish on the stone in a certain light but otherwise you can't see it at every angle.

I am NO expert and am only repeating what I have read on GW. Even most granites need to be sealed or else water will absorb and get darker. Sealing would probably do the trick. On my marble samples when water absorbed it in got dark but actually that would "dry up" after a few hours? and be gone so why don't you check it tomorrow? However, since you used lemon that may actually stain vs. the water. Just a guess.

Just read your last post again. If it stayed polished, that is not etching.
Maybe someone more experienced can chime in but I do feel somewhat confident in the info I gave. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 11:54PM
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2LittleFishies

PS- I'd talk to your stone yard. I know every piece of stone is different even from the same TYPE of stone...

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 11:57PM
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NaRo

Thank you.. I did quiz the stone yard vigorously, and they insisted it was bullet-proof. I'm doing the oil test and it's not absorbing so far, so that's good... I'll see what it looks like in the morning.

All guidance appreciated...

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 12:04AM
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mjtx2

Please keep us updated. I know water on granite dries up fairly quickly, but I'd be shocked if lemon could stain quartzite, from everything I've read. Be interested to know how this goes!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 7:54AM
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NaRo

Wow-- This morning, the stains are all but gone! I think I can still see the faint outline of one patch, maybe, but I'm not even sure about that.

I have read in passing about stains disappearing from some stone countertops, but I've never seen it in person before. Can anyone explain to me how it happens? Really slow evaporation? Or maybe some kind of quartzite monster, related to the sock monster that lives in the dryer and makes socks disappear?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 9:24AM
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clarygrace

NaRo, thank you for posting on quartzite, your slab is absolutely beautiful! We have just decided against marble and looking for alternates, so this is great information! Good to hear it is quasi bullet proof.
Hopefully we can find quartzite readily here in the DC area!
Please provide update when installed!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 12:49PM
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NaRo

Clarygrace, we love the look of marble, but it would be disastrous for us from a maintenance standpoint. Seriously, I'm the world's worst housekeeper. We saw the calacatta macaubus and thought, "that's it!"

Our inspiration kitchen had another quartzite-- mother of pearl, I think, or maybe they styled it madre de perla-- that was beautiful white and marble-y. The particular slabs of mother of pearl we found in stone yards, though, turned colors that didn't work for our space.

It might be worth calling around to see if local yards have light-colored slabs of quartzite, making sure you're being understood, b/c people hear "quartz countertops" and they think you're asking about one of the manufactured quartz products. Some of which are great-looking, too.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 7:15PM
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muskokascp

Hi NaRo,
We have had our quartzite for several months now and have had all manner of things left on it for varying periods of time. I saw no evidence of etching or staining until last weekend. I am not even sure what to call it and even more unsure if it is still there. I keep forgetting to look - I will try to remember tonight.

Basically there was a bag containing old asparagus that someone pulled from the fridge to compost and left it in the far corner of the counter for a good 24 hrs. A bunch of the yucky liquid that forms around rotting vegetables spilled onto the counter and seeped under a container that was sitting beside it. When I finally picked this up and cleaned the liquid from the surface, there was an outline of the liquid on the counter but I could only see it at a certain angle with the light just so..much like some etching is only visible in certain light. I have to say my first panicked thought was my stone etched. However, with close inspection the polished surface was still present. I tried cleaning it but nothing changed. The next day it was much less visible and when I looked a few days ago I couldn't really see it. So - perhaps it needs more sealing or the wetness darkened the stone? Not sure but I will look again and report.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 11:08AM
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Jumpilotmdm

You can get a quote from the stone yard like GM will sell you a car! Try the DEALER, that's why they're there.
Trying the lemon juice thing is like training a garden hose on a skylite. It will probably leak. Quartzite does not need to be sealed by virtue of the way it is made. It's BEAUTIFUL. Install it and use it with common sense and you'll be happy. Don't invite trouble. There is no perfect surface.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 12:02PM
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NaRo

Jumpilotmdm, I know us well enough to know that we sometimes lack common sense-- or more accurately, we can get absent-minded, and I could just see me or my hubby leaving some evil counter-killing substance on the counter for a day. That's why I insisted on the lemon juice test. As long as we're spending this kind of money, we are going to get something we really like that's is also close to bulletproof. I think we've found that.

We also lucked out on a Super White remnant from our fabricator for our master bathroom. She says it is a marble, but I wonder because it's more buletproof than the quartzite, as far as we can tell. Whatever it is, it's beautiful, and perfect for the space.

As for stone yards-- and I'm using that term generically to cover actual yards, showrooms, tile and surface boutiques, and other vendors who have a bunch of slabs you can look at-- the experience in our city is definitely not car-dealer-like. They simply will not talk price, not to you and not to your contractor. You have to go through a fabricator to get any pricing info at all, which is annoying.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 8:18PM
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ferris

WOW!!! That's BEAUTIFUL!!!

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 8:42PM
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muskokascp

I had a good look last night at the counter. There is nothing there..couldn't even see a hint of the spill. I guess the stone was discolored from the liquid and just needed to dry. So, back to my original statement - the stone ( mine anyway) appears to be bullet proof.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 6:51AM
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2LittleFishies

Is anyone able to share the cost of this stone per sq. ft?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 7:52AM
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babs711

2LittleFishies, I posted my local pricing (pre-fabrication) above. You must have missed it. That's for the New Orleans area. It's going to vary place to place.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 10:10AM
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muskokascp

I would expect to pay $100-$125/sq ft or more in some places.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 11:23AM
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kstuy

I have criss cross white macuba quartzite and have had no problems with staining or etching. However, it is very pricey. I paid about $200 sq/ft in the NYC area.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 5:56PM
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Shareher

Ours was around $75 / sq ft installed in Houston.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 9:37PM
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rmsaustin

Shareher, can you tell me where in Houston you found this quartzite?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 11:20AM
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michelle16

I just bought two slabs and it cost roughly 90 sq foot

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 12:20PM
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Shareher

Olympus marble. They had quite a lot of lab when we looked.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 2:22PM
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island_obsession

muscokascp - your counters are gorgeous! not just a good solution to the cararra maintainance issues, but somehow even more beautiful than marble! our supplier has it on their website so i'll be calling this morning to see if it is actually stocked. seems like it might be hard to get a piece with the beautiful veining you have, rather than the beautiful, but more linear, look i've seen. we are also looking at blanco quartzite from this dealer, but it must go by other names because i can't find it on GW anyway . . . apparently it will cost me TWICE what carrara would so i'm very glad to hear that your "stains" disappeared! sounds like you did polished - what is the advice on polished vs. honed with white quartzites? thanks!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 8:27AM
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carissafox

yes... please Shareher...
would you share where you found your quartzite in Houston?

thanks a ton!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 11:45AM
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carissafox

Shareher...
read through again and saw you already answered!
thanks!
i rushed over to Olympus before they were closing for the weekend.
sure enough they had white quartzite!
very helpful too!
and wow their new showroom is gorgeous!
yay!
now to make this decision.
white quartzite or caesarstone.
my brain might explode! :)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 5:06PM
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Shareher

Carissafox---They also did a great job with the installation. It looks great and seems very durable.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 9:40PM
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toronto331

Can someone tell me where they purchased these countertops? I'm interested in somewhere in Canada. I love these but I can't seem to find them.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 12:59PM
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donttakeitforgranite

NaRo......a couple things I wanted to mention....there is nothing called Calacatta White Macaubus. First, Calacatta is an extremely expensive marble. Second, White Macaubus is a quartzite which has marble "tendencies" because it is a cross between a marble & a granite. Anything acidic will etch the finish of the polished material. The Stone Yards CAN'T give you pricing. They are like Benjamen Moore (paint) they are only supply the material. It's like me asking you how much a car is? Your response would be which one? Only a fabricator will know the cost of the entire job, as that is what should concern you. Not the price per square foot of a slab of granite. You can't take it home and lean it up against your house. Also, the Stone Yard can't cut off a piece of a slab. They are not Fabricators, they don't cut. Especially with a material that expensive, they don't want to lose money.

Quartzites will etch and stain, they are a softer stone. If you're not extremely fastidious, you could have issues.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 11:51PM
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islanddevil

NaRo, You sound like me. I too want bullet proof! I don't want to baby my countertops and after having indistructable granite that still looks brand new after 12 years of everything under the sun spilled on it I don't think I can change my careless ways. This time around I'd like a light color stone like the beautiful quartzite you found. Some say it's bulletproof and other have reported otherwise. It's so confusing. I've also found the local slab yards won't crack off a sample.

Muskokascp- your counters are beautiful!! Also love your cabinets. Can you please share who manufactured your cabs? Can't wait to see your finished kitchen, but for now can you share a few pics with your backsplash and sills?
Thanks!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 2:25AM
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michelle16

donttakeitforgranite-you are mistaken- the stone yards do call this type of white macubus- calacutta quartzite. The difference is in the veining. White macabus that runs with lines running across is called luce di luna. When the veining is random like Na Ro's it's called calacutta quartzite because it resembles the pattern of marble.It also is not a cross between marble and granite- it is strictly a quartzite. VERY hard, will NOT etch, or stain. Very durable. I have it and have no issues with it. Mine is the calacutta quartzite like Na Ro's and Muskokascp's.Hope this help's you -island- in your decision, thanks, Michelle

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 8:27AM
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annkathryn

The Stone Yards CAN'T give you pricing.

This is incorrect as stone yards in California price their stone by the square foot. The fabricators pick up the stone from the yard and will give you another price for fabrication. Sometimes fabricators have arrangements with stone yards for discounts and will pass that discount on to the consumer. My designer got me a 10% discount on my Calacatto Oro.

And sometimes stone yards will refer to quartzite as granite. The names can be somewhat random and have nothing to do with the geologic properties of the slab.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 11:40AM
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islanddevil

Michelle16 -Youza what a beautiful island! Can you please provide a link to pics of your completed kitchen?
Thanks

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 10:22PM
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heidia

What Michelle16 said!

I wanted to piggy back on this thread with my experience so far...
I put some $ down on this type of quartzite. Mine actually has a portion that looks like this quartzite(squiggly marble look of veining) and then the straight striations like a luce luna...

anyhow...I threw orange, ketchup, turmeric, bar keepers friend, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and crushed blackberry at it and...NOTHING. The only issue I had was there was some blackberry staining where the juice had migrated to the unfinished edge but guess what? It is gone. Not a trace. Everyting just wiped right off, no stains, and def no etching.

Just for fun, I did the same test with silestone quartz sample, and the turmeric left a faint stain that I have yet to get out(I imagine it will come out with some soft scrub, but the turmeric came off the quartzite with a little soap and water).

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 2:40PM
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sochi

Toronto331 - Ciot in Vaughan is your best bet. I got my Luci di Luna / Quartzite Bianca there.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 3:27PM
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NaRo

Update from the OP: after living with our counters for seven months plus, we love them. Nothing etches, nothing stains-- there might be an occasional temporary darkening, like a shadow, if we spill something weird, but it fades away within hours.

Our only issue was when we first installed it, you could feel some of the deep veins-- your fingernail would catch if you swiped it across the surface. We had the fabricator polish the veins in place, and have had no problems since.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 9:53PM
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island_obsession

I can't believe it's been a year since I last posted on here! Our kitchen is finally happening. After a LONG search of every natural and man-made marble-looking, but durable product in the known world, I had given up on finding the elusive white quartzite I wanted and we were set to go with honed Carrara (beautiful and half the price, but sure to be a maintenance nightmare). Of course as fate would have it when I contacted the slab yard to select our slabs this weekend, they had this in stock! It's going by the name Blanco Quartzite, but I think it may be the same stone as the Macabus I fell in love with in muskokascp's and NaRo's kitchen and others. Please help with opinions on it! Is the veining too much? It was so helpful to see how it looks installed in the kitchens above so I think I'll be very happy with in on the perimeter cabinets. The bigger factor will be finding a slab in this lot that has good veining for the big island . . . Thanks for any help you can give!

1 Like    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 1:58PM
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Nananay84

Hey Babs711...where did you find your quartzite in NOLA? I'm in Baton Rouge and planning a road trip to look at slabs there. Haven't started researching NO stone yards yet. Some are the same as we have here (Triton being one) but thought you might have some suggestions. THANKS!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 5:34PM
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padmae

Just wanted to correct someone's post that quartzite is soft and will etch.. Everything I've read or been told is quartzite is harder than most granites. It's an odd combination of extremely dense and extremely porous...

As to etching, it's not true that all quartzites etch. What etches is a reaction between calcite in stone (eg marble, limestone, travertine) and an acid. Since quartzite does not contain calcite it 'should not' etch.. however.. it can etch, but from a reaction between the resin used at the quarry (all stones have resin applied on them for the past decade) and acid, which explains why some people with quartzite experience etching and others with the same stone don't -- depends on the quarry and resin used.

Sealer does not protect against etching. It only gives us enough time to mop up (wine/oil/lime juice, etc.) to prevent it from staining. Even a sealed surface can stain if something is left overnight - depending on the stone. Some granites are literally bullet-proof and you can leave anything on it for weeks and no staining.

Lastly, the latest is a topical coating that prevents etches. What I've read is you are exchanging maintaining the stone which is easy/low cost/homeowner can do for maintaining the coating which has to be done by a professional, usually involves toxic fumes and can be quite costly if the counter has to be repaired in the future (has to be ground off). I think they are a ways off from perfecting this, but it does sound like there are some topical coatings that prevent etching that are better than others (don't make it look plasticky, won't yellow or delaminate) but they still have the same issue of a big expense if your countertop has to be repaired at some point.

I removed the etching from our Quartzite Bianca with a poultice of baking soda and water...

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 7:44PM
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susanlynn2012

Michelle16, I know I have told you many times in other posts but I just LOVE your calacutta quartzite counters! I also love your inset cabinets and your overall gorgeous kitchen! What is the edge called that you used on your island that is so pretty?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 11:44PM
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dorriegagnon

Does anyone have a finished pic with macauba and updates on etch/ staining? We are doing our kitchen and have white cabinets. Is stone is the only quartzite I have found to have passed all the tests and proves to be a real quartzite.. Thoughts?!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2015 at 3:53PM
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karin_mt

I don't have it, but it does seem to be one of the few reliable stones that really is quartzite. There is a recent post in the Countertop Geology thread from a happy macabus owner.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2015 at 5:19PM
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dorriegagnon

Karin_mt- thanks for following up! Any suggestions on other stones that hold up? U are a wealth of wonderful info!!!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2015 at 10:02PM
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karin_mt

Madre Perla, Mother of Pearl - it has beigy tones. Also Sea Pearl, which has greens and greys.

Those are quartzites.

Most granites hold up great, it you like the look.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2015 at 11:15PM
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dorriegagnon

I do love granite but I haven't found many that are close to the marble look ðÂÂÂ... We are building our home after it was destroyed by Sandy so I want light and airy for the beach. River white wasn't bad but I didn't like the specks that ran through it. I love the veins that marble has. Not many granites posses that quality. fyi- 6 kids and a messy chef don't make great company for marble!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2015 at 11:36PM
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Super45sonic

I have white macaubus in my kitchen for about a year. Absolutely no problem with etching standing scratching etc. I read one of the postings above someone said "Quartzites will etch and stain, they are a softer stone. If you're not extremely fastidious, you could have issues." that person obviously does not know what quartzite is, or have even seen one in person.

I have had all sorts of sauce left on the courter overnight and not wiped it clean until the next day. Never have problem. Lemon juice, salad dressing, tomato juice, you name it.

Get a sample and bring home to test. That's the best way to find out what you are looking at.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2015 at 12:02PM
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karin_mt

Supersonic, you are exactly right! That's all great advice.

Dgags, you might like Sea Pearl for a beachy look. If you do a search you'll find some here that have used it.

Oh, and maybe look for Wild Sea? It's well named, it looks like waves. It's quartz sandstone, not quartzite but it's a good, durable sandstone. We have it and love it.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2015 at 6:57PM
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