Anyone use Quartzite Counters?

techedJanuary 21, 2008

So, been stone shopping today with poor DH who broke his foot over the holidays and is on crutches. We were overall disappointed in what we saw in granites, but we saw two Quartzites that we loved. Has anyone used quartzite? I am a geologist, and I know it is metamorphosed sandstone, but I don't know how it holds up in the kitchen. The ones we love are Rainforest Brown and Forest Green. Would love to see pictures of these installed and hear how they hold up.

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I have some beautiful quarzite floor tile samples, but haven't seen it [at least, not recognized it] while shopping for counters.

As a geologist, perhaps you could educate the rest of us as to how porous and scratch resistant it might be...

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 5:37PM
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It shouldn't be porous, and it is made of all quartz, not quartz and feldspar like granite. Technically, it should be as hard/scratch resistant or more so than granite. But, the ones I am looking at have these cool veins in them. I have no idea what they are made of.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 8:06PM
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Rainforest brown isn't quartzite- it's more of a serpentine, or at least most of the ones that I've seen labled that way are. Most pure quartzites would be very porous and would probably perform poorly as countertops.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 8:49PM
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Fisheggs, I am not sure that's accurate. Serpentine is a specific mineral, asbestos actually. I have seen the "rainforest" listed as a "marble." The wholesaler had it labeled as a quartzite.

Quarzite is a sandstone that has gone through intense heat and pressure similar to granite formation. I have never seen one that is porous, because basically under the heat and pressure, the grains melt and fill the pore spaces.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 10:31PM
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Those beautiful blues from Brazil are quartzites--azul du mar, azul macubas, imperial blue. Several people on this forum have used them on their counters and are, I believe, very happy with those stones (organicdonna comes immediately to mind). Also a number of people are using white quartzites. I absolutely love them and am considering using a quartzite myself.

And I don't know how accurate it may be to categorize the rainforest green and brown stones as serpentines, but I know it is commonly done. I've always thought they were serpentines. Several people in this forum use them for counters; they make magnificent backsplashes. Maybe have a problem with etching? I don't know.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 11:10PM
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I don't know if rainforest brown is a serpentine, but there certainly seems to be a lot of confusion here.

Asbestos isn't a specific mineral. It can be one of several when they are in a form that separates into long fibers. Some serpentine is asbestiform - but not all. So some serpentine can be used to produce asbestos but not all serpentine has that characteristic.

There are also various forms of quartzite - ones where the metamorphosis occurred under high temperatures and pressures and others where it was due to precipitation of silica. All quartzite has some characteristics in common - e.g. being made mostly (~90%) quartz, getting its colors from impurities and being very hard (harder than granites at about 7 Mohs). Because of the high quartz content it is also usually non-reactive to chemicals (e.g. acids don't etch it). I don't know how consistent it is in other characteristics such as porosity.

We have Azul Do Mar quartzite from Brazil and some others on this site have Azul Macaubas quartzite from Brazil. This is very low porosity. Ours is wonderful in the kitchen. We have 4 people in our household who cook and some aren't always neat. Spills, even dried on, wipe up easily. I was talking to an Indian friend about Indian cooking and he mentioned that one problem was tumeric staining counter tops - not a problem with my quartzite. But I don't know if that applies to all quartzites.

Given the nature of stone naming, isn't it possible that there is a quartzite and a serpentine named "Rainforest"? If you can get a sample, a hardness test should give a clue. Serpentines would be soft (for a rock) at a hardness of 2.5-4 Mohs. Quartzites are very hard (7). Knives are usually between the two in hardness so a knife should be able to scratch serpentine but not quartzite.

Here is a link that might be useful: Some technical data on azul macaubas quartzite

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 11:32PM
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brook, organic_donna has Azul Bahai which is a sodalite-syenite, not a quartzite. She is very careful with it because that stone can be subject to etching. Only some of the very blue stones are quartzites.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 11:40PM
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I have had my White Fantasy quartzite for about 4 months now and no issues at all. I don't think I could stain it if I tried. Do a search for the white granite thread and you will see several posts about quartzite. Someone, Sharon I think, has White America quartzite and that's what mine looks like.

It seem White Fantasy, White America are the same just different names. Here in California no one had ever heard of White America at any of the stone yard I went to but several had heard of White Fantasy but I only found one place that actually had it. When it was shipped to my fabricator she thought it was marble until she called the stone yard.

From what I learned quartzite slabs are usually smaller that granite slabs. I had to purchase 3 to get my kitchen done and now I have 1/2 slab that I don't know what to do with. Kind of a pricey leftover but I love my counters.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 12:05AM
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Yes, sorry, I was just going off of the quartzite samples that we are currently testing in the lab during some rock friction experiments. We have to test their porosity before moving forward with out other tests. The other posters are correct in that your rock is some combo of all the above and you're just running into the common problem of salesmen binning the material in a publically-recognizable category that has little or nothing to do with the rock type.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 9:23AM
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Yes, I am now starting to realize that. They are calling things "granite" that are actually sandstones (or were at some point) and "marble" just seems to be anything softer than granite. This is really hard. Plus, compounded by the frustrating fact that I want to just see soapstone and no one seems to have it here.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 10:17AM
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Teched, does the stone look like this?

If so it's a 'marble'. It can etch. HOWEVER, as someone who has both serpentine(empress green marble)as kitchen counters and a plethora of 'real' marbles in various bathrooms, I can say without a doubt that rainforest green is a different animal.(err, stone)

It behaves very close to serpentine. It's tough, takes a great deal of abuse(that bathroom is used as a shortcut for everyone in the family, cats, dogs, kids, husbands in boots)and if it's been stained or etched, I couldn't tell you. The slightly honed pattern simply makes it impossible to tell.

I had flirted with rainforest green as my kitchen counters, tested an unsealed sample, the only way I could tell it was stained and etched was to peer really closely and move the sample around, and try to convince myself that's got to be the ketsup.(Not something you're going to do with a counter :) )

But saying that, you might want to check through the gallery, someone here in the past year posted another gardenwebber's quartzite kitchen that was jawdroppingly beautiful. It looked nothing like my rainforest green, more of a soft grey green that was stunning.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 11:00AM
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I'm so confused between quartz, marble, and granite. Are quartz counters different than quartzite? My favorite counter has to be theresab's as far as granite (it's a blue with wild veining), and if I wasn't worried that I would tire of all that color, I would go that direction. What exactly is quartzite and how does it function (like granite, soapstone, quartz counters)? Does it need sealing or treatment? Porous, non-porous, etching, heat resistant, staining?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 1:37PM
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Quartz counters usually refer to man-made materials that have some amount rock/minerals with some sort of binder. If you really made a countertop out of quartz (the mineral), that'd be interesting....I suppose you could get a bunch of quartz crystals and embed them in a poly/acrylic of some sort and then sand it down. Might be a neat sort of display counter for a jewelry shop or something like that.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 2:05PM
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fisheggs is correct "Quartz counters usually refer to man-made materials that have some amount rock/minerals with some sort of binder." Most stone yards group granite and quartzite some what together. Quartzite is harder than most granite. Dose not etch like marble, is not porous like some granite but looks a lot like marble. It's all very confusing when you first start looking for stone counter top material.

I didn't know anything about quartzite. All I knew is what I wanted. I wanted a marble look with no hassle and happened to find the right color, look when I found the White Fantasy. Some where there is a thread and stonegirl answers all these questions. Don't know if it is still around. Try a search for stonegirl!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 3:55PM
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Jessy_f has gorgeous azul macauba in her kitchen, which I've visited. She reports no problems with etching or staining.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 4:40PM
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So the blue ones are quartzite?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 7:49PM
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ramses_2, sorry to be late to respond, but yes it looks like your floor. I found it in a green and in a brown. The stone importer is claiming they are quartzite, not marble as it is sometimes labeled. I didn't have the presence of mind to try to test the hardness of the slab--next time!

Thanks to all who weighed in. This countertop search is an evolving thing, as DH now claims the rainforest is too "busy."

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 11:32PM
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Sara, a number of the really striking blue ones are, tho--my bad, here--as Cloud Swift pointed out, Blue Bahia is a sodalite. Does anyone know if Van Gogh/Blue Louisa is a quartzite?

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 1:28AM
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I just get more confused... in my stack of floor samples, the quarzites all look pretty 'slatey', some have a little veining, most are vaguely metalic, honed, not cleft or polished. It doesn't seem as tough as granite.

I've seen 'Copper Slate' sometimes listed as a quartzite. A couple of my samples of that stone are very dense, but one of them is so soft you could dig through it with your fingernail.

The problem seems to be that there's no one out there making sure the stone is being accurately labled, and very few sources the consumer can rely on. Even if we read all the websites and know all the details of a particular stone, we still end up taking the word of our supplier that we are really getting what we think we are.

The building trade has grown so fast [soon to shrink just as fast, I fear] that many of us don't have a local retailer that's stood the test of time.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 5:42AM
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Yep, Partst, I have White America. I'm glad to hear you are happy with your White Fantasy.

Teched, I've had my quartzite counter (island) for over a year and am still pleased with it. It's taken the daily abuse of teenage boys and is still going strong.

Good luck!

Sharon S.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 7:58AM
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Hi, I am considering both white fantasy/white america quartzite or honed carrara marble for kitchen countertops.
anyone know where i can look at/ buy white fantasy or white american quartzite? east coast?
Anyone have any photos of white fantasy or white america in their kitchens? thanks!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 10:43PM
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I am thinking of using quartzite for a kitchen counter. I'm concerned about its heat resistance. Is it as heat resistant as granite? Can you put hot pots directly on it as you can with granite? I'm thinking of using River Jade quartzite.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 12:36AM
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Perhaps I've called something by its wrong name. I want to use quarried (not manufactured) quartz for a kitchen counter.
How heat resistant is it?
Is it as heat resistant as granite?
Is quarried quartz and quartzite the same thing?
The slab I want to use, River Jade, is listed at

Looking forward to your responses.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 5:32PM
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Sharon & Partst - How are your white fantasy/white america quartzite kitchen counters holding up? What is the finish? Any staining? Any scratching? Are they resined? Are they sealed? Are they heat resistant? Sorry for so many questions, but I'm thinking of using white fantasy for my kitchen island, which is where I, my husband and two young, messy boys (and just about anyone else who drops by) hang out, eat, bake, do homework and crafts, etc. and I don't want to make an expensive mistake:). One granite place told me that white fantasy scratches when plates and glasses slide across it. Another granite place told me that it doesn't scratch. What has your experience been? Thanks!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 5:40PM
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I saw something at the stoneyard called "antartide quartzite" which I love. It's white on white with lots of sparkles and looks translucent. I am seriously considering using this for our kitchen counters since I am just a little nervous using marble ( my second choice having found no really white granites that I really like ). Has anyone heard of this one? Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 7:13PM
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Quartz countertops become synonymous with the name Caesarstone quartz countertops are our specialty and passion. Let Caesarstone show the endless possibilities quartz surface.

Here is a link that might be useful: quartz countertops

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 9:31AM
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dkauf did you find any more info on the antartide quartzite counters you found? What did you decide to use in your kitchen? Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 1:32PM
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Anyone recommend someone who sells quartzite in S. California?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 5:10AM
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This might be a bit late but just in case, you haven't found one or someone out there is still looking for one I am replying to this forum. We have recently had our counter tops installed and used quartzite. My husband and I loved it. It's 3x stronger than granite have the classy look of marble. It looks beautiful. Kim's Marble in Glendale California ask for John, helped me with finding my slab.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 8:05PM
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Well I am finally done with my kitchen! I have always loved the vein look of marble, but I know my family and knew it would show every spill of kool aid, etc.
After much research, I decided on Quartzite. Harder than granite and non porous. It took me a very long time to find Quartzite: Most times I was shown Quartz (no!) and after explaining myself further, was told "Oh, you want granite!"
Slabs for my 11 ft long island were simply not available, so I purchased a book matched set and had them honed. Unfortunately there was a color variation that was not visible in the yard so I had to use another end. I thought it would bug the heck out of me, but it doesn't in the least. I choose honed and I absolutely love it. The look and feel is fantastic. I could pet it all day! It has only been in two months, but I can tell you right now it is extremely durable.

I have gotten a lot of compliments on the choice and everyone is always stumped as to what the material is.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 2:16PM
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What is your quartzite called? Looks fantastic. I am looking into Mother of Pearl quartzite, grey veining with touch of green. What type of edging did you choose?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 9:37AM
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The quartzite we choose is called White Macaubas, but I actually saw it under many names, including Mother of Pearl. It has grey veining with a touch of carmel/brown~but not that you would notice. My recommendation is that you ask for it by description and not name. I just told people my goal was to get the marble look of Calcutta or Carrera. Just asking for Quartzite and being shown the right product was a challenge. Painstaking process, no doubt.
The edging is a standard 'eased' edge.

I hope you find what your looking for! I love, love, love ours. No worries about etching, scratching, heat, staining (including the Kool aid concentrate left on over night (thank you, kids)).

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 12:56PM
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I used a quartzite on my perimeter called Taj Mahal:

And I used a Quartz, called Space by Difinity on my island:

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:00PM
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NikkiBeerli i love your countertop! I had been looking at Princess White, but heard about it's problems. People say quartzite is stronger than granite, but people with it actually installed seem to have other problems: etching and even scratching.

This White Macaubus is beautiful! My designed island is currently 130 inches (not yet built) so I was concerned about the length and wondering if I should shorten it or just do two pieces.

So you are happy with your two pieces of quartzite pieced together? Could you possibly put up a picture of the area that is pieced together?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 9:14PM
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elee325, I am glad you like it. The seams definitely show up more on film, probably because I was holding it overhead.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 8:40PM
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This is one of the seams I had to have around my cook top. All of my counters were in excess of 10 feet long. With this picture, you can see just how close it can get.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 8:43PM
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As far as the length of your island: Mine shrunk from 13' to 11' for clearance purposes. I was definitely contemplating 2 islands instead of one. But I am really glad I didn't: We have a lot of family get togethers. On this night 16 people were eating at the island! (Notice the red pan? That is cast iron~direct from the cook top to the island. Nothing underneath.)

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 8:49PM
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Nikki, I am curious how your countertop is now, year later. I am considering quartzite and am not clear how easy it it to maintain for a busy, sloppy family!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 4:30PM
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Could someone critique these seams on our new home's quartz? Not sure what I should expect.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 4:37PM
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This thread is about Quartzite (natural stone), not Quartz (made made stone). You might get more feedback if you were to start your own thread...

This post was edited by annica on Thu, Jul 25, 13 at 17:58

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 5:56PM
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What's in a name? Your quartzite is one of my favorites, but called Siberian White here. All the W Maccaubus I've seen has stripes, which I cannot use on L-shape counters.

Does yours have enough tan to go with maple cabinets?

Did you see Van Gogh?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 5:03PM
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