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Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Posted by karin_mt (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 27, 13 at 23:35

The thread about Super White, quartzite, marble and all things stone has run its course up to the 150 post limit. Who knew we'd all have so much fun with that topic? So we'll start a new one here. I guess the first thread was Rocks 101, so this one must be Rocks 102.

I'll reiterate some key points here:

Quartzite and marble are hopelessly (deliberately?) mixed up in the decorative stone industry. My point, aside from just loving rocks, is to help folks learn how to tell the difference between the two so you are not at the mercy of a sales rep when a multi-thousand dollar purchase hangs in the balance.

Quartzite is much harder than marble and will not etch when exposed to acids. You can tell the difference between quartzite and marble by doing the scratch test.

Take a glass bottle with you when you go stone shopping. Find a rough, sharp edge of the stone. Drag the glass over the edge of the stone. Press pretty hard. Try to scratch the glass with the stone.

Quartzite will bite right into the glass and will leave a big scratch mark.
Any feldspar will do the same. (Granites are made mostly of feldspar)

Calcite and dolomite (that's what marble and limestone are made of) will not scratch. In fact you will be able to feel in your hand that the rock won't bite into the glass. It feels slippery, no matter how hard you press.

PS - don't press so hard that you risk breaking the glass bottle. You shouldn't need to press that hard!

That aside, we can talk about other rocks too. Coal, pumice, sparkly crystals, you name it. OK, I guess we're mostly interested in kitchen rocks. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: the lowdown on Super White (aka Rocks 101)

This post was edited by karin_mt on Wed, Feb 27, 13 at 23:41


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

I am so glad to see this thread continued as I have been following it to learn as much as I can. Thank you everyone for sharing. Thank you karen_mt for starting this thread!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

I want to understand about honing and sealing marble. How that help with staining and etching. Should we worry about food safety of the sealers?


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Lolo,

Sealing marble helps with staining for sure. Honing does not prevent etching, but since a honed finish is not glossy and polished it makes it so etching is not as visible. Etching will still occur, but you just won't see it as much.

For both staining and etching it is wise to bring home a sample and do as many tests as you can.

I have only looked into the food safety of sealers a tiny bit. They do contain ingredients that I definitely do not want to eat. But it's one of those trade-offs in life. If you are concerned I would read the label and do some googling for info. I believe some sealers are better than others in terms of food safety. I bet that Old Ryder would know more about that so maybe he will chime in.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Karin - can you tell me a little about sandstone? I have tried to get info from others who have used it. No replies.

I am a scientist and have always wanted soapstone counters with runnels, a big sink, and a drying rack in my lab - I mean kitchen. I've noticed that one major soapstone counter vendor is also selling sandstone. I live right near the Berea formation... you see where I'm going with this... My fireplace is made of local sandstone. I would love to use a local sandstone for my kitchen counter.

Here's what I know:
1.) I've read it is a stone made from grains of sand cemented together by calcite, silica, or other minerals.

I don't know anything about the characteristics (how much matrix, what type of cement, pore size etc...) of my local sandstone that might make it more or less suitable for a counter material.

2.) I've read it can be friable and porous, and so, less than ideal for kitchen hygiene. But is this necessarily the case with all sandstones? My local sandstone? Each quarry shows stone that looks SO different from that in an adjacent quarry. There's tons of variability in the appearance of the stone. Might this mean there could be a variety that would make for a good counter choice? Can you educate me a little?

Thanks. E

Ohio Sandstone

Arizona Sandstone


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Responding to homebuyer's post at the end of the old thread - It looks like your sample has a smooth eased edge. Even something very hard won't scratch glass if it isn't sharp. That's why Karen says to try it using a rough edge of the stone.

You could test your sample with acid to see if it etches or turn the hardness test around by trying to scratch the sample with a knife. Steel is harder than marble but softer than quartzite. Acid for an etch test can be lemon juice or a strong vinegar such as distilled white.

The glass scratch test is nice because you can quickly do it at a stone yard. They might not appreciate a customer throwing acid on their slabs or attacking them with knives. :) The glass test doesn't harm or change the slab and the slabs usually have suitably rough edges.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Oh, Karin, you are great! I just read the earlier thread, and you verified something for me, thank you! When I was helping DD with her Earth Science project this fall, I realized that the presence of layers, "movement," as we kitchen types say, and all the garnets meant that my Typhoon Green "granite" was probably gneiss. It has some chunks of pink feldspar and clear quartz crystals along with the black, which is probably biotite. But mostly it's green, and until you said it earlier, I didn't know feldspar could be green. That explains a lot.

So, is it fair to say that most of the "granite" that has those swoopy layers and veins as well as garnets is probably gneiss? Are any of them schists?

Also, I had originally fallen in love with Jerusalem Limestone, which I was told is a hard type of limestone. I was advised against it by various KD's. How cool it would have been, though, to have fossils in your counter! What can you tell me about Jerusalem limestone?


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

I realized I should show a you picture of my "gneiss" for verification.

 photo P4020348.jpg

This closeup shows the feldspar, which is a little pinker than it looks here. The bigger, dark roundish dots look like garnets to me.
 photo PA130410.jpg


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Oh yay, rock questions! :)

EAM - sandstone. Great topic. You have done your homework and everything you wrote is exactly correct. The durability of a sandstone all comes down to how well it is cemented and what the cement is (and by cement I mean the natural minerals that are holding the sand grains together). For a sandstone to be useful in the kitchen you'd need silica cement. Calcite cement will suffer the same problems as limestone and marble.

In addition to silica cement, the rock also needs to be well-cemented. Some sandstones crumble apart in your hand and others are as dense and tough as granite. It depends how much the rock was compressed when it formed and how well the mineral-rich waters circulated through the sand to bring in the cementing agents. Some sandstones are a bit more like quartzite if they have been compressed a lot and they are very well stuck together. That is what you want for a kitchen application.

You can get sandstones that are commercially available as polished slabs. Wild Sea is a sandstone that we have in our kitchen. It is not very porous and it behaves like granite.

You can also get rough, non-polished sandstones as slabs with a rough-hewn, rustic look. A sandstone called Frontier Sandstone is locally available here as countertop slabs.

As for your local sandstone, I would go check it out. By handling it and doing some tests you'll be able to get a feel for how it will behave in the kitchen. Personally, I would not go for a porous sandstone in my kitchen. If you put water on it and the water gets sucked into the rock, I would shy away. I'd worry that it would be impossible to clean because what would happen when milk, wine, chicken broth and coffee get sucked into those pores? Of course you could seal the rock but if it's that porous to begin with it seems like an uphill battle.

So go have a look, snap some pics and let us know!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Ginny,

Yes, yes and yes. You got everything right. Nice work! Garnets are (almost) always an indicator of a metamorphic rock like gneiss or schist, as opposed to an igneous rock like granite. But you can get garnets in sedimentary rocks as we have in our Wild Sea sandstone. That was one of the selling points of Wild Sea for me because you rarely see garnets like that.

The swirly, layery pattern in your rock and others like it is the other key feature of gneiss rather than granite. You are exactly right!

Schist is similar but with much more mica (either silvery muscovite or black biotite). Schist is not good as countertops because the micas are flaky and cannot be made smooth. It is suitable as flooring, siding, fireplaces or landscape rocks though.

As for limestone in the kitchen, it would be treated just like marble. A "hard" limestone is a myth. :) But having fossils in the kitchen would be cool, and is totally doable as long as you are OK with some etching and scratching. A geologist friend of mine has it. I don't know Jerusalem Limestone per se, but I think all the normal limestone properties would apply.

Love your salty animal friends there, they are quite the characters, aren't they?


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Thanks, I like unusual animals, so I couldn't resist aardvark and wombat.

Yes, you're right about the Jerusalem limestone. They told me it was "about as hard as marble," i.e., not as hard as granite. It wouldn't have worked for me. Also, instead of cooking, I would have been always looking for fossils.

I love rocks, and I was sorry that I never got to take Earth Science in school. My high school's idea of accelerating kids in science was to skip earth science and take them right to biology. For kids who lived in an area formed by glaciers (upstate New York), next to the largest inland body of fresh water in the world (the Great Lakes system), relatively close to Niagara Falls, and with the interesting Great Lakes weather (such as lake effect snow), a real loss in how they could learn to understand their world. We studied those things some in the earlier grades, but ninth grade Earth Science would have been nice. Now that DD is taking it, I have the opportunity to make up for it.

Thank you so much for this information! I love knowing about my gneiss counters.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Hi Ginny,

Agreed about the limestone countertop. I think it would be funniest while cleaning. Is that a crumb or a gastropod? (snail fossil)

I appreciate your comments about earth science education, as that is my field. New York state has a Regents course in Earth Science, and is one of the few that stresses it in high school, so that is a great place to enjoy geology as a high school student. Not to mention all the cool lakes, glacial features and oh the *amazing* rocks in the Adirondacks. I used to teach college-level geology in NY state, and what fun that was.

My NJ high school was the same as you describe, with the "smart" kids bypassing Earth Science which is terrible for attracting students to geology.

Now, the K12 science standards are about to change. Earth science will be much more integrated into K12 classrooms. Hooray! For those of us who are past high school (in terms of academics if not maturity) you can learn geology by taking an online course or by taking Physical Geology at a local college. It really is a fun class. I am biased of course!

Maybe someday I'll develop an online class in Kitchen Geology. Let's see, the course title could be something like this. "From Gneiss Rocks to Nice Countertops: Understanding the use of Rocks in the Kitchen."

:)


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Love that title! I know you're kidding, but a course like that would be a big help to many.

I like those Teaching Company DVD courses - I should see if they have one on geology.

Did you ever get to the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca? It's great.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

So I have read and read so much I feel overwhelmed about stone/marble choices. All of your insight is so definitely appreciated. If i am understanding correctly Super White Quartzite is harder than marble, but still will etch. Does this mean that you will get less chips around the sink area/edges than with marble? Also do you know how Danby marble compares in hardness to Super white? Thank you so very much in advance for any insight you may have. I have literally looked and read so much about carrera, danby, quartzite. It is just such a huge investment. I have two little girls and am trying to do my version of a "dream kitchen" which definitely for me incorporates a natural stone. Thank you in advance!!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

cloud swift, thank you for the ideas. I just took a hammer to it and it still wont scratch my stella artois bottle :(

its interesting, a steel knife scratched part of it, but not other parts of it, I think there may be some large chunks of true quartzite running through it, but the rest of it is a very sparkly gravely white substance that definitely scratches and does not leave a scratch in glass.

However, I did leave a lemon on it over night, and red wine for a few hours and no etching or staining? Assuming I don't plan on digging sharp knives into my counters on a regular basis, maybe its still a safe countertop material?!

Also, the slab yard employee called it 'truffle' but I have since found a kitchen on here which I'm sure has the same type of stone and the member called it Fantasy Brown Quartzite. I then was able to find many images on Google of Fantasy Brown Quartzite and I'm quite certain that's what I have & saw. But are those all wrong?

I also have a beautiful sample of Madre Perla Quartzite and I can tell there's a big difference it the 2 materials. That scratched glass very easily & obviously, and the sharp edge of the knife does nothing to it.

This Truffle/Brown Fantasy definitely is not as strong, but it also appears safe to staining/etching...any thoughts?

Here is a link that might be useful: Brown Fantasy Quartzite image


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Hi Chicago,

Here are some answers to your questions.

If i am understanding correctly Super White Quartzite is harder than marble, but still will etch.
No, not quite. First, let's abandon the name Super White, since sometimes that's marble and sometimes it's quartzite.
Quartzite is harder than marble and will not etch. Marble is soft and it etches.

Does this mean that you will get less chips around the sink area/edges than with marble?
Perhaps, but not always. Chipping is actually not necessarily related to hardness. Some very hard stones chip (see thread about Antartide quartzite).

Also do you know how Danby marble compares in hardness to Super white?
Again, the name introduces a lot of confusion to this question. Danby is the same hardness as Super White if the Super White is marble. But if the Super White is quartzite, then that would be harder than Danby.

Sorry that I don't have completely straight answers - the names of stones make it too confusing to take them literally. Best of luck with your research. You are smart to take your time and keep on reading.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Karin_mt you are Far too kind to answer my questions!!!!

Ok, so the slab I have tagged at yard says "Super White Quartzite" but that does not necessarily mean it's quartzite? from what I saw before I am going to try your test with a glass bottle. I really would like something rather tough, but natural and beautiful. definitely hard search ;) I love the olympian and mountain white danby and actually can get that for a way better price. Would that actually be just as hard as super white? With the right sealer I won't have to worry about stains too much, but etching right? So, with the whiter marble that is honed like Danby the etching won't be as noticeable as on polished right? And lastly, do you know anything about what crayons or "washable markers" can do to marble? THANK you so much in advance for taking the time to help answer my inquiring mind as I have about a week to get the final decision made. I so appreciate it!! take care


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Hi Homebuyer,

Hmm, a real mystery rock! Oh I just wish I could see it for myself, but it's kinda fun to do internet geology diagnostics.

So, part of the rock seems hard and part is soft. I could see that, as the rock is made of different minerals. Tough to say exactly what minerals those are though.

Did you try the etching test on all the parts of the rock? Especially the softer areas? I'd be surprised if the rock really is softer than glass but doesn't etch, as that is sort of contradictory. But alas, you have the rock in front of you and we don't!

Just for kicks I linked a related thread for you about this same (?) rock.

Here is a link that might be useful: white reef - fantasy brown


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Chicago,

Right, Super White Quartzite is likely not really quartzite. The reason I started posting about rocks on GW is because that stone is misrepresented as something it isn't. So I would assume Super White is marble unless your tests tell you otherwise.

Given that assumption, Super White is the same hardness as Danby and other marbles.

Yes, honed is better than polished for hiding etching.
Yes, sealer helps prevent staining but it is not absolute.

No idea about crayons or markers but you can experiment with that if you can bring home some samples.

Good luck!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

karin, after everything I learned from you, I just had to share this blog post that I read on the website of a large distributor in the Boston area. With all the misinformation out there from the supposed experts, how is anyone supposed to make an informed decision on this extremely expensive purchase? I'm even more thankful now for your help!

Here is the quote, re: quartzite:
"This is an amazing material. It is naturally strong, resists heat and is hard to stain. Quartzite is formed from sandstone and quartz together under a great deal of heat and pressure. The empty grains of sandstone are filled with quartz. This process makes quartzite harder than quartz. On the Mohs scale of hardness (1-10), with 10 the hardest, granite measures between 6 and 6.5; whereas quartzite measures around 7.
However, there is a chance for etching to occur on its surface."

Obviously, it was the last sentence that got me. How confusing!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Actually, it gets worse. Here is more "information" about quartzite from the same site:

"The principle flaw you'll find in quartzite is its tendency to etch in certain areas of countertops. Etching, or cutting and scratching into unprotected surfaces due to acid or other other substances, can be prevented by hone finished stone rather than polish finished. Honed countertops are not reflective, unlike polished, but it's more difficult to polish stone the harder it is. Because honed stone is smoother and flatter than polished, this can help prevent etching. While not as glossy as a polish surface finish, honed surfaces on harder materials are much more durable for quartzite kitchen countertops."

It seems reckless to suggest that a honed surface can prevent etching.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

AAAAAGH!

That reminds me of grading freshman essays about rock forming processes. All the right words are in there, but they are combined in impossible ways.

"This is an amazing material. It is naturally strong, resists heat and is hard to stain.
Yes, this is right. We're off to a good start.

Quartzite is formed from sandstone and quartz together under a great deal of heat and pressure.
Not quite. Sandstone is made of quartz grains, so that's where the quartz comes from. No additional quartz is magically added to the rock. The part about a great deal of heat and pressure is right. Partial credit for that.

The empty grains of sandstone are filled with quartz.
What? Can you please explain what an empty grain of sandstone is? I think what they meant is that any empty spots in the rock disappear because the rock is compressed and the quartz grains re-grow to fill up any voids.

This process makes quartzite harder than quartz.
Hmm, not possible. Quartzite is made of quartz, right? So how can it be harder than quartz?

On the Mohs scale of hardness (1-10), with 10 the hardest, granite measures between 6 and 6.5; whereas quartzite measures around 7.
Yes, good job!

However, there is a chance for etching to occur on its surface."
Noooooo. This of course is only true if you are lying about quartzite and it is actually marble. Good catch Soibean!

Phew. That was fun! :)


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Uh oh, now I see your second post. Yeah, now they have left the area of geologic misunderstanding (which is understandable, I guess) and they have entered the area of saying things that are not true. I agree Soibean, that they are suggesting that etching is prevented by honing. They also confuse etching with scratching.

My favorite part is where they talk about the difficulty of honing a hard surface. Well, if it is truly a hard surface (real quartzite) then it will not need honing because it won't etch. Furthermore, honing certainly does not make the surface more durable. Doesn't that seem impossible?

Sigh. Amazing how businesses can get away with this. Imagine if we were so clueless about our jobs?


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

just wanted to say thanks for starting another thread! Your help and insight has been fantastic. I wish this could be somehow added to the Sticky thread.

Rock On.

Yes, I really wrote that.

:)


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

I am looking into going the quartzite route. Sounds like a good compromise between durability of granite with the look of marble. Whenever I bring the thought up my friends tell me its very expensive. Double the price of Carrara Marble. Do any of you know if that is true? Is Madre Perla quartzite or any other marble look alike quartzite much more expensive?


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Most quartzites cost more than the average granite and more than many but not all marbles. The marble look alike quartzites seem to be in high demand at the moment and are priced accordingly.

The best thing is to do is to find something you like and get a price quote on it - remembering that some of the cost is materials and some is fabrication cost. Some fabricators charge more if you choose a more expensive material (because of higher risk if they make an error and have to pay for replacement material) or more for quartzite because it is hard and wears through the tool bits faster, but some don't. Our fabricator did not - they gave us a price quote before we chose the material and it didn't change based on that choice.

Our quartzite, Azul do Mar, cost $54 per square foot for the slabs. That doesn't include fabrication. We bought whole slabs and kept the remnants - some of which have since used for our fireplace surround.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Thank you, Karin, and everyone for the wealth of information, patience and inspiration on this and the previous MQ&OR posts. I have lurked, but now I must speak.

I'm getting rid of my marble countertops. They are like my last bad boyfriend - beautiful, sexy, unreliable and disappointing. I have tried so hard. Every day I promise myself I'll do better. But the tiniest drop of juice, salad dressing or even a dollop of Fancy Feast etches immediately. Our hard Chicago water leaves spots and rings so I've spent a fortune in the past two years getting them cleaned and sealed. When the sun shines across the beautiful polished surface, all I can see are the marks of my failure. I can't go on.

From the many posts and Karin's wisdom, I see that I if I still want the whiteish gray (which looks wonderful in my kitchen), I should look for quartzite. My contractor said he would go with me to look at stone, and I am prepared to take my bottle and lemon.

Here's my question: my current counters have edges that are squared off. (Did I mention they chipped when I hit them with a teacup?) Karin says that harder stones can chip, too. Am I better off asking the fabricator to make a rounded edge (not sure what the technical term is) so there isn't a sharp striking point? Is there a thickness the stone should be for maximum endurance?

Again, thank you everyone. In my heart I believe that I can find happiness again in a more stable countertop relationship.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Oh my Gretchen!

Well, those old boyfriends are better off left behind. I applaud that you've just come to terms with it and are moving on. And Fancy Feast leaves an etch? That would be the last straw around here.

Chipping can be specific to an individual rock, as opposed to a broad category of rocks, but in general the granites and quartzites are going to be a lot stronger than marble. I think if I were in your shoes I would find the right stone first, and then inquire with the fabricator or post here to see if it has chipping tendencies and do an edge treatment accordingly. I do believe the rounded edges are less prone to chipping.

Also check out white granites like River White, Alaska White, Delicatus, Snowflake. I am not all that well-versed in granite names, but I believe those are on the right track. One of the backsplash threads that is currently running has River White and it's really pretty. Watch out for Antartide/Antarctica which is a very hard quartzite that is prone to chipping.

Good luck with your new search. Excellent that you will be able to go shopping armed with glass bottle, lemon and contractor. Sounds like your bases are well covered! Keep us posted as you search for the new, perfect life partner. Make sure the new stone has a healthy relationship with his mother. ;)


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Thanks so much, Karin. This has been an amazing thread.

--Gretchen


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My 2 week old quartzite has cracked!

Hi, I was wondering if anyone had heard of Sun Gold
Quartzite. I had it installed on my island 2 weeks ago and already have an 11" crack going from one end ( 6" overhang supported by 2 layers of pjywood) . The crack goes through the 2cm layer and the 2 1/2" mitered edge. The fabricator is asking what I did? I did nothing, He is coming to look at it today . He is very defensive but the stone yard is more empathetic ( it appears) . They recommended him and are making him come. My island is only 31" by 66". I paid 1800 dollars. Way too much for 2 weeks. I am wondering if this is really quartzite. It did scratch the bottle. Does anyone have any ideas what happened? It looked gorgeous when it was installed. When I place a level on it, the bubble is between the lines but slightly more to one side. Could this be the issue? Thank you for any information.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Karin,

Sort of off topic....but it was mentioned. I teach 5th grade and you will be glad to know that here in Oklahoma, we DO teach all sciences. In fact, our class just finished learning about metamorphic, igneous, and sedimentary rock, etc. So maybe the middle schools will go back to teaching all forms of sciences. There is hope! Peke


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Found this link on another post. I thought it was interesting, but I don't know how accurate it is. Karin, what do you think? Peke

Here is a link that might be useful: absorption, era, etc on granite


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Carol,

With your stone just 2 weeks old it sure sounds like a weakness in the stone or some odd problem in fabrication or installation. Very strange that the crack goes through the miter and into the bottom piece too. That makes it seem less likely that there is a defect in the stone. So, the crack is in the overhanging section, I assume? Does the stone have a clear liner grain? Is the crack parallel to the grain of the stone? And is the edge of the island also parallel to the grain? It's possible that the grain of the stone happened to align with the edge of the island which could cause it to crack. But I am really not an expert in this. Hopefully you will get some support from the fabricator and/or the stone yard.

Oh, and this doesn't mean that your stone isn't quartzite. Odd things can happen in any stone, all the more likely if it has a strong linear grain to it.

Peke,

Yay for science in schools. Especially science that is taught in ways that make it memorable, relevant and accurate. And what could possibly be more fun than rocks? :) My hat is off to you and all other teachers for doing such important work.

That website you linked is very good. I have used it before and it's authored by a geologist, albeit one for whom English is not a first language. But aside from that the info is helpful and accurate.

Maybe now that granite is de rigeur in all kitchens, that will spawn a new league of geo-literate citizens!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Thank you Karin for your response. My crack runs perpendicular to my grain. It goes from a 6" overhang in 11" onto the island. I think maybe the island top was so heavy that the 2 men thought it laid flat in the adhesive but it did not settle totally into the adhesive and when I worked at that end for the very first time, it leveled into the adhesive. 3 hours later I noticed the crack for the first time. as my guests were gathering around admiring the workmanship.! Imagine my shock as I realized my new, wrong direction, graining was actually a crack. The visitors treated me like a widow! LOL . I was proud I didn[t lose it but instead remained calm and went to bed and remained awake most of the night thinking about it. The fabricator was here and wants to repair it. He tried to say I dropped something or hit it but that did not happen and there is no dent, dimple or depression to back up his theory. I am willing to do what it takes to get a new top, possibly in a different stone although I have just painted etc and this color is beautiful. Would you accept a repair at this point? I can't imagine it would be acceptable as the stone has a variety of shades, a flowy, marble like pattern( it did cut glass) and is only 2 cm thick. Thanks for your knowledge and support. Carol


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Hi Carol,

Oh that is a sad story indeed. I would also be awake all night worrying about it.
If it's a subtle crack, it might be worth trying a repair and it might be just fine. I don't know if that would be enough to make you happy though.

My DH just chimed in and suggested that the plywood underneath may have flexed when you worked at that spot. I can imagine that if the wood flexes that the stone would break. If this is the case then it's certainly the fabricator's issue. It also seems like it would keep happening even if the crack were mended.

While I do know about rocks, I don't really know much about fabrication. You might ask Old Ryder who posts here. There are also lots of people who have great advice to lend when things go wrong. This might warrant a new thread so you can get the full compliment of GW opinions.

So sorry for your troubles!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Karen, I think you just saved me $6000. I live in Manhattan. After going to several stone yards hunting for White Princess, we found it at Arena. They were very nice people and have the a wonderful warehouse as far as labeling, space, variety. All the materials were clearly marked/sectioned off with color coded signage.

The White Princess didn't appear as we thought. But it didn't matter. We found, what we thought to be the most stunning piece of Quartzite. It had an amazing silver detail.

I'm a mess in the kitchen, it's like a bomb goes off when I cook.

We held the slabs we wanted and they gave us a sample. The slabs did have a few scratches that they insisted the fabricator takes care of. I kept asking if this Super White was maybe a bit closer to marble because it seems uneven on the surface. In the pics I'm posting, you can even see it was crumbling on the bottom a bit where the wood keeps it from the floor.

They just kept on insisting, no, it's all quartzite and much harder than marble. Even the very nice owner, who said he owns(ed) 5 warehouses. So I thought, he would know.

So we held them, and were SO happy after weeks of searching. I googled to learn more about Super White, because I went for White Princess.

I came across your posts and did the test on my sample. It nearly crumbled on the glass bottle. A SPOON easily cut into the surface.

Outside of the frustration, I'm left wondering, what is this particular "Super White" it looks nothing like what I've seen posted. It kind of looks like the other "super whites", but I've not seen the Silver detail. Other places we visited had more of the Super White that I've seen in these posts with that darker grey contrast. What on earth is this?

They said it was from Brazil, if that matters to you at all.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Pic 2. You can see the stone crumbled on the ground.

And a bigTHANK YOU!!!, by the way.
Jacob

This post was edited by jbl1274 on Sun, Mar 24, 13 at 14:04


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Pic 3

This post was edited by jbl1274 on Sun, Mar 24, 13 at 14:02


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Pic 4

This post was edited by jbl1274 on Sun, Mar 24, 13 at 14:06


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Pic 5


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

This was a backup option. The only photo I had.

Fusion Quartzite?

I'm going back this this week and am curious to have a closer look at some of the other "quartzite" They had the largest selection I've seen.

The only granite I took to was Costa Rose.

Thanks again. Even if I didn't find a wonderful counter, I gained some wonderful knowledge.

Too bad I didn't have this fascination with Geology when I was failing it in College.
Jacob


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

JBL that's a beautiful stone and sorry to hear it's so soft. Interested to hear what the Rock Whisperer has to say about it. Glad you didn't buy it and don't know if I would buy anything from them because it sounds like they're clueless or trying to deceive you and not sure what's worse!

Carol, I'm so sorry to hear about your cracked countertop! Love how quick they are to blame you, that you must have dropped something on it! Yeah right, like what an anvil from the 2nd story? Sounds like something happened during fabrication or on install and replacement should be on them. I wouldn't accept a cracked stone or a repair. You should post a new thread about this so the experts will see it and weigh in. Good luck.

Gretchen your bad boyfriend analogy is a crack up! I'm also attracted to those pretty boy marbles, but they are too high maintenance and I don't have the time and patience to pamper those "all about me" softies. Sure I fantasize about a relationship, but I know it could never be more than a costly fling. Call me shallow, but once those looks fade I'd want to kick him to the curb!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Hi Jacob,

That's an interesting story. Thanks for sharing your experiences and posting the photos. That stone does look like marble and the crumbling sounds terrible. I wonder how they can fabricate a rock like that.

The silvery parts of the rock are from other minerals. If you imagine limestone (the precursor to marble) forming on a tropical sea floor, you can also imagine that you'd get an occasional lens of clay in there too. This clay, when metamorphosed, becomes mica which has a metallic sheen to it. Since the whole rock gets crumpled up like taffy, the mica layer becomes swirled up. You can mentally unfold that silver layer and visualize how contorted the rock has become.

As for one Super White vs another, it's likely that the rock varies or comes from a couple different quarries. It's also possible that the names are mixed up and they actually are different rocks. One way or another you are doing well to avoid it. So long as you are armed with the scratch test and the lemon test, you will not get mislead! Keep up the great work. And maybe write to your geology professor and tell them how much you love rocks nowadays. :)

Keep us posted as your search progresses!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Great Thread-thanks Karin and all posters.
Excellent info.
Super white has become so popular and misrepresented. its scary how so much misinformation can get out.
I am a stone refinisher in the ny metro area and we get several calls regarding super white each week.
They seem to be more managable with a honed surface but the stone can be difficult to maintain as it is acid sensitive.
Many more stones being sold as quartzite that are geologicaly something else. Sold as a granite performing stone they can be hard to maintain as they perform more like marbles.
. My mentor was Maurizio Bertoli.
who talked about the lemon test many years ago. He helped countless consumers and pros as well regarding their stone issues. I like the glass test-good idea.
Sorry to read about Grecthens losing battle withher marble.
Comparing it to an old boyfriend seems harsh. Maintaining marble couldnt be that hard!!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Karin, I have a stone in my kitchen that I always thought was a quartzite. I was told by the stone yard it was a quartzite. Now, this thread had me question this. My fabricator told me it was very hard. I took a sample home before I decided on it and threw on everything I could think of including a lemon wedge, red wine, ketchup, salad dressing. This was an unsealed sample! Nothing happened. It was left on overnight.

I was thrilled. I had it installed and for 2 years had no problems. The fabricator sealed it and a year later, I sealed it again with porous plus.

The stone was called Verde Lichen. This is what it looked like.

 photo DSCF5082.jpg

2 years later, I am getting areas I would call etchings. Worst of all, I don't know what is causing them. One area is near the sink I attributed to the scrubbing of a pot on the stone. Another area is near the stove. No idea what that is from.

Any ideas?


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Oh, and forgot to add that I did the scratch test.

It scratched the glass. Glass wouldn't scratch it.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

La Jan,
I believe verde lichen is quartzite but lets see what karin says. From my perspective here what I think may have happened.
You tested the unsealed sample and found that it didnt etch and wasnt porous. (as it didnt absorb any liquids)
Your fabricator applied the first applications of sealer and more likely than not he may have known it wasnt porous. So he may have used small amounts and made sure he removed any leftover sealer from the surface of the stone.
Your stone was fine until after you applied more sealer to it.
Did you happen to do the water test for porosity prior to the application. You may have seen that the stone isnt porous.
If you applied the sealer to a very dense surface you must make sure that all the sealer residue is removed from the surface. Even if you leave a microscopic trace of sealer residue on the surface (sealer are impregnating and live below the surface)it can etch from acidic compounds.
We run into this issue often when folks try to seal stones like black absolute and other dense stones. They find stones that never etched before -etching!.
If you have a good relationship with your fabricator he may be able to help you remove the sealer or you can google up a stone refinisher in your area and he or she will be glad to service the stone and correct the issue.
As far as the cleaning of the pot-it probably left scuffs from the metal on the surface and some very fine abrasive compound will remove it. Even if they are light scratches they should be able to be removed.
Hope this helps!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Jbl - Fusion wow that's eye catching. I've seen it at a few slab yards, but it's always listed as granite. Did you try the scratch test? I'm wondering if there is Fusion quartzite and granite or if this is another that's often mislabeled.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

The fusion is beautiful!

How do you all get samples? None of the places I have been will let me have a sample to test.

Peke


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

I just finished reading through all of these posts and they are SO informative, thank you! I was planning on purchasing Super White for my island as a more durable alternative to to marble but now just might go with my heart and get the marble now.

For my perimeter I am looking for a gray stone such as Jet Mist granite or Aboslute Black although most pieces I have looked at are "leathered", "antiqued" or honed. Can anyone comment on the durabiliity of these finishes? I understand that Absolute black isn't really a granite but am wondering how porous it is after stripping off the top layer. Any advice is appreciated!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Most well known stones have a rating for porosity and it can vary somewhat from slab to slab.
The ratings are usaully done on a sawn cut piece which we can call open(rough) and at its most porous surface.
As the surface gets more and more finished(increased luster and clarity) it becomes less porous.
I hope I am explaining that properly. A polished piece will theoretically be at a point where the stone is least porous for that stone. However some stones will always stay porous an example would be kashmir white that will act like a sponge no matter how it is finished.Black absolute is a very dense stone and whether polished or honed is very durable.I hear complaints from black ab honed owners regarding the stone shows everything. I find if finished right and maintained properly using neutral ph no rinse cleaners and an occasional degreaser the stone will serve you well for many many years.Many folks tend to color enhance black ab which is a coating to make it darker. Over time that coatings will need maintenance.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Srosen it's great to have the expertise of a stone finisher on the board! I'm learning so much. I assumed granites all basically performed the same, but now I know better.

This time around I want lighter stone countertops and have been reading that white granites tend to be more porous than other colors. Is that true in general? I wasn't considering Kashmir, but after what you said I'll definitely avoid that one!

Just saw a granite I really liked called White Ice. Do you know anything about that one regarding tendency to be difficult to cut, be porous, stain, chip, etc?
Thanks.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

karin-I have avidly been following this thread. I was one of your "pupils" in Rocks 101, although I did not raise my hand in that class. LOL I have learned so much, truly invaluable information.

We are in the process of remodeling our kitchen. My husband is building the cabinets, so we have a ways to go before we start the stone search, but I feel so much better going in armed with knowledge(and glass bottles and lemons) I too am one of those women who is hopelessly in love with that bad boy, marble. I don't think etching will bother me. We have a sample of carrara that we have put through the ringer, so I know what I'm in for. I still love it, and think it looks beautiful.

Thanks so much for all of your patience in answering questions. You rock! I'm all for a Rocks 103 class. Truly a fascinating topic.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

GardenerCT,

Jet Mist has a strong following, while Absolute Black sometimes has some problems with the finish. People report etching, but that is not possible with Absolute Black, it is not soluble in household acids. The problem may be with the sealer.

Do you want a honed stone, or is that just the way you've seen it? There isn't really a difference in the durability of honed vs polished finishes in granite. A polished, dark stone takes diligent cleaning to keep it spot-free, but that would be less of an issue with a honed surface. Many people report that honed Jet Mist looks like soapstone.

But in terms of durability, I think you will be fine with either of these rocks, with any finish.

Island, it's true that you read about the white granites being more prone to staining. I'm not sure if that's because they are white and the stains show up more, or if there is another reason. But in any case, these will need careful sealing. I haven't heard of White Ice but maybe SRosen has. Was that one of the stones in a recent thread all about white granites? There were some stunners in there.

Welcome Ikeltz! I'm glad to see that you are such a good student. Marble is so classy. I admire all of you who can tolerate its bad habits. I am hoping for a marble top for our mantel and/or a buffet where I can appreciate it without cooking on or near it. But both of those projects are a year or more down the road. So until then I will live vicariously through other people's projects. Enjoy your shopping and testing! Be sure to keep us posted with your progress.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

OK, that is weird because I know I answered La Jan's question last week. The post seems to have disappeared so I will reply again. My hunch is that this is not etching but rather fine scratches, particularly in the sealer. Another possibility is that hard water has dulled the finish.

You could try Soft Scrub, but do test this in an inconspicuous spot first as it could damage the finish. But if your stone really is quartzite then I would think Soft Scrub might help buff out the imperfections.

Hope that helps!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Hi Karin,

I have been following both rock threads for a while and I am absolutely charmed by you. Hoping you could help me out as well.

I found a slab called Moon Night (this also goes by Super White, White Princess, etc) which the stone yard calls a quartzite. I did the glass test and it scratched the glass. I also tried this with marble they had there and like you said, it did not scratch.

However, I was able to scratch the surface with a knife. What does that mean?

Also, I can see actual pieces of quartz in the slab. Does that mean anything? Or can marble have bits of quartz in it as well?

I was not able to do an acid test on it though.

Thanks again for a truly amazing reading experience. Everyone here has been so helpful. And entertaining!

Here is a pic of the slab in question.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Island,
Sorry for the delay in responding.
"Light granites tend to be more porous than dark granites"
That is such a broad statement these days with so many types of stones available.True granites tend to be more porous than mercantile granites a name devised to keep us all less confused. Mercantile granites are the stones sold as granite but geologically are different.Related in some ways but geologically different.
Feel any less confused!!
To add to this many stones today come in resined which makes them makes them resistant to stains and also fills fissure and natural pitting.
So it is extremely important to be an educated consumer and test stones for porosity, acid sensitivity and hardness.
To answer your question about white ice.
Stones should be tested on an individual basis.
While kashmir white is very porous.
I think you will find that white ice will show no signs of porosity as the stone is typically resined.
It comes from brazil but I am not sure if it is a true granite or not. Maybe Karin could look into that. I think it is a mercantile granite.
Anyway test a sample piece-I think you may be quite pleased.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Hi Lemon,

You're very sweet, thank you!

Hmm, Moon Night. That's a name I have not heard. I stared at your photo and googled around a bit. The answer is not clear. It does seem to be a synonym for Super White, which is a big red flag for marble rather than quartzite.

Scratching glass, yet a knife scratching it are contrary bits of evidence. When the knife scratched the stone, are you certain that the knife left a permanent indentation? Is it possible that the mark you saw was a trail of metal left by the knife? That will happen with a really hard rock. But if you rub the spot with your thumb and really look at it, you can tell who scratched who. Also, make sure you are doing the scratch tests with the rough, unpolished (unsealed) parts of the rock.

Testing it with a lemon or vinegar will reveal more answers. Can you get a sample?

As for seeing quartz in the rock - it's hard to visually distinguish between any of the white-ish minerals in a polished slab. Calcite is also white, as is feldspar. Quartz looks glassy and translucent and breaks with an irregular or sometimes a curving surface. Calcite is more cloudy and breaks into rhombus shapes with the planes intersecting at 120 and 60 degree angles. Feldspar has a porcelain-like luster to it and breaks on 90-degree planes.

The way minerals break is highly diagnostic yet is impossible to see on a polished surface where everything is equally flat. The edges of the rock hold some clues, but you have to know what to look for, and even then in some cases the edges are sawn flat. This is why geologists carry hammers - a freshly broken piece is your best friend. You think the slab yard folks would be cool with us showing up armed with hammers?

Anyway, in your photo you can see some tiny fracture lines going across the large white pieces. But they are not irregular like you'd expect with quartz and they are not at the angles that would be diagnostic for calcite either. Hmm.

The last clue is the overall texture of the rock. See how it's made of white pieces suspended in a grey background? That's called a breccia. Lots of marbles have this breccia texture, which comes from the rock breaking into bits as it undergoes stresses. I can't recall seeing a quartzite do this. So that would be one more clue toward marble.

So... I guess this is a long winded way of saying I don't know! If I *had* to guess I would lean toward marble. I'll look forward to hearing more about what you are able to find out. Thanks for sharing this mystery rock!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Island,

I did some reading about White Ice. It's pretty much a true granite. I could not find any info on its porosity but I think the stone dealer should have that info for you.

There is a chart that I linked at the bottom of this post that lists the water absorption rate for a whole bunch of different granites. This ranges from 0.05% up to 0.5%. Sure enough Kashmir White is one of the more porous ones. I didn't see any trend that white ones are more porous. In general all of these "granites" (meaning all the igneous and metamorphic rocks that are called granite in the trade) are not very porous, but as with every stone, if you can bring a piece home you will learn how it behaves.

A few posts up Srosen commented that a slab is more porous when unpolished and less porous when polished. I don't think that is correct. Polishing alone (no sealer, no resin) does not change the properties of the rock. It just creates a very smooth and uniform surface, but it does not fill in any pore spaces within the rock. Sealer does change the porosity by filling in the voids.

I hope that helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: properties of various granites


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Ms Whisperer thanks for the info and the link. Cool!
I have a sample of White Ice granite and left Diet Coke, spaghetti sauce , water and wine on it for about 24 hours and all wiped off with only water and didn't leave a mark except the sauce slightly stained the unpolished (not sealed?) side edge.
Trying oil, vinegar and lime now.

Does anyone know, are the slabs in the yards typically just polished, or polished and sealed? Because if only polished it did prevent the spaghetti sauce from soaking in the surface of my sample. Haven't asked anyone in the slab yards yet, because they're usually tied up with customers doing more than browsing like me.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Good point Karin,
I had always been told honed surfaces would be more porous than highly polished surfaces by my peers in the stone industry.
I was told polishing will close up the pores of the stone and the surface tension was increased making the surface less absorbing.
Granites are polished by abrasives ,pressure and heat.
When the stone starts to polish a being layer is formed thus making the stone
Very shines and less absorbent.
Well we ran some tests on Santa Cecilia ,Virginia mist and blue eyes.
Honed all these surfaces were absorbent .we sealed none of them and let liquids on for up to 2 hours.
Polished pieces also were absorbent .we didn't baby sit them so there was no way to tell which stained faster. The point is they all stained.
So while a polished surface may be less absorbent to some extent if you are buying an absorbent stone you will need to seal it well.
Marbles including limestones and travertines will show(depending on the stone) differences in absorption between honed and polished.
There is a scientific reason for that that however.
When calcareous stones get polished in the processing points the final polishing is done using an acidic(potassium oxalate ) polishing compound.
This creates a chemical reaction with the calcium in the stone forming calcium oxalate along with the beilby layer and theoretically the surface is less absorbent .
We will see if we can test some marbles as well.
Anyway I think the point is that consumers(and pros) should not take any info for granted and test everything.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

After looking at cesarstone and granites I have finally decided to do the Carrara Marble. I we try and be careful but I will also enjoy it as it ages (I hope). I am do the permitter honed and the peninsular polished. Any thoughts on that??


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Polished or Honed

After looking at many cesarstones and granites I decided to throw in the towel and do the Carrara Marble. Always loved it and goes best with my floors and the look I want. I was thinking of doing the perimeter honed and the peninsular polished. Any thoughts?
Sam


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Hi Karin--I have spent the last hour+ reading through your very helpful posts. Thank you so much for your insights. I just wanted to clarify, if the Super White passes the scratch and acid tests, and I confirm it's a quartzite, how does that compare to granite (in terms of how you would want it to perform in the kitchen)?

Also, what are your thoughts on quartz, either the lagoon or lyra in terms of look and durability?

And I would love anyone else's input too.

Thanks in advance!
Katy


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Hi Katy,

Genuine quartzite will perform very well in the kitchen and will be similar to granite in terms of durability and stain resistance.

I haven't really checked out the quartz colors much. I definitely like quartz countertops just as much as rock ones. In terms of durability I think they are all in the same range. There are slight pros and cons, but quartzite, granite and quartz are all good bets for kitchen performance.

Srosen, thanks for filling in the details there. I have not heard of using an acidic polishing compound on marble. I'll have to ponder that one for a bit.

Marion - if you are a Carrara gal, then go for it! No doubt it is a stunningly beautiful material. Enjoy!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

karen, I found this slab today. It was called fossil black.
What is the story behind it? Very interesting rock.
peke


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

bump


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

bump


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

I'm here - sorry!
Awesome rock. It's limestone with fossil nautiloids in it. Nautiloids are sort of squid-like creatures with tentacles and a chambered shell. The nautilus, with its familiar coiled shell is a modern cousin. This version has a straight shell. They swim in the ocean and they are predators.

For the most part, in this rock you are seeing them in side view. You can see the chambers in their shells, with a little curved line that separates each chamber. The little beastie lives (well, lived) in the outermost chamber.

Some of the fossils are ring-shaped and that's the same animal but you are looking at it head-on.

Nice sample! It would be a disaster in a kitchen though, being limestone.

Here is a link that might be useful: more about nautiloids


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Thanks, Karin.

I knew there had to be a great history on it. Interesting to see a fossil that old.

I also saw this slab at the same place. They called it Gray Goose. I think it might be Super White or Arabescato. I know they have different names.

Peke


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Woo hoo! I think I have found my stone if it is a real quartzite. I couldn't do the bottle test and couldn't get a sample to test. The slab's edges were not rough so I couldn't scratch the glass.

It is called Sea Pearl. Two slabs were side by side. They sell it with one side polished and one side honed. I can't decide which side I like best.

If anyone has Sea Pearl in their kitchen can you post a picture please?

Peke


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Woo hoo! I think I have found my stone if it is a real quartzite. I couldn't do the bottle test and couldn't get a sample to test. The slab's edges were not rough so I couldn't scratch the glass.

It is called Sea Pearl. Two slabs were side by side. They sell it with one side polished and one side honed. I can't decide which side I like best.

If anyone has Sea Pearl in their kitchen can you post a picture please?

Peke


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

I have seen the sea pearl in person too. On the website of the dealer the list it under their marble category, while calling it Sea Pearl Quartzite - Granite. Confusing! It did scratch glass a little and the salesman put acid on the edge and it didn't bubble. But I can't get a sample and its so expensive that if I bought it and it etched, I would be kicking myself.

I did find one person on Pinterest the had it in her kitchen, polished. I managed to track her down and message her. She said that she didn't have any etches or stains after a year's use.

Here's a picture of the Sea Pearl that I saw. Still love it.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Wow, that is spectacular, especially the photo that Gigibozo posted.

You'll definitely need to test it, regardless. Gigi, that's funny that they call it marble, quartzite, and granite. If that doesn't confuse customers, nothing will!

Keep us posted Peke!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Gigibozo, I love it too. Does your picture have a pale blue-gray running through it? It is nice to hear that someone has lived with it for a year with no etches.
Peke


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Gigibozo, I love it too. Does your picture have a pale blue-gray running through it? It is nice to hear that someone has lived with it for a year with no etches.
Peke


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Peke, yes I would say pale green, blue and gray too. There's a just little bit of rust which would be fine with me.

Here's a close up picture for your viewing pleasure.

Are you able to get a sample?


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Has anyone experience with this Inifinity leathered granite ? I am considering it for my perimeter countertops and testing it for etching etc....so far so good. Has anyone used an enhancer ? I was told that would keep the surface dark. Is that in addition to a sealer ?
I am also looking at light colored quartzite for my island top but if etching and staining are going to be an issue, then maybe I should take the risk with marble


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Is that a photo of Infinity Granite? That sure doesn't look like granite, nor anything in the "granite" family of countertop materials. It looks like limestone to me. Did it scratch glass? I'd be really wary of that one.

As for a light-colored quartzite, that is fine if it is actually quartzite. Many quartzites are mislabeled and are actually marble. So if you want an etch proof surface then you want to find a genuine quartzite. They're out there, but your slab yard won't be much help in distinguishing between the two. You have to do that part yourself.

OK, I just googled up some images of that rock. It is not granite at all. It's breccia ("breh-CHIA"), which is a sedimentary rock made out of other bits of rock that are naturally cemented together. That in itself is fine, but the question you need to ask is, what are the rock fragments that are in there? They really look like limestone to me.

When you test this rock for etching, scratching and staining, you'll need to test all the various parts of the rock. Proceed with caution.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Gigibozo, it is just like the one I saw in Tulsa. Did you get to do a scratch test? I couldn't do one because there were no sharp edges.

No I can't get a sample to test. I wish I could.

Did you see a honed one too. I couldn't decide which I liked best.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Peke,

The slab I saw had a slightly sharp edge and it did scratch the glass somewhat. The salesman showed me how an acid product that he had made the edge of a marble slab bubble, but it did not occur with the Sea Pearl. That said, the salesman could not guarantee that this slab wouldn't etch. His feeling was that the material would allow for more time to clean up before etching would occur. The information was not as helpful as I would like..

I would have loved to see it honed as that is my preferred finish.

I don't know how the pricing is in Tulsa, but a slab here in the East is $3700+. I would need 2 slabs plus fabrication, putting the total cost about 25% over my budget.. I'm leaning toward my second choice of Caersarstone London Gray.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

I didn't know about the scratch test yet when I saw it ... here's the tag on it ...so far I've seen no etching or staining on my sample.
the stone yard said it's a new piece they just started carrying, it's such a big decision but I love the look .... should I believe the label ?


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Here's one more photo I have of the Infinity Leather Granite .... Many thanks for all your input !


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

"...the salesman could not guarantee that this slab wouldn't etch. His feeling was that the material would allow for more time to clean up before etching would occur. "

Ugh! This annoys me to no end! The salesperson has every reason to know the answers to these questions. They can very well test for hardness, etching, as well as the actual composition of the rock. But no, they ask you for $3700 per slab and let you figure out the answers and take the risks. Oh, and they won't give you a sample to test - just to make the whole process feel a little more slimy. Sigh.

Gigi, that is a beautiful rock. I would totally insist on a sample or walk away from that dealer altogether. I think they need to get the message that customers will not put up with such nonsense. Can you imagine anything else that costs $3700 where the person selling it can't even definitively tell you what it is?

Sheesh, sorry! I have hit my limit of ridiculousness!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Laura,

Thanks for posting more info. Interesting that there is no etching. Yes, do try the scratch test and report back. Those white veins are likely calcite (the same mineral as marble) so they might warrant testing for etching too. It's definitely a cool rock so keep us posted.

As for the question of should you believe the label... if there is any take-away from these rock-whisperer threads, it is: NO, do not believe the labels! (or the salespeople!)


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Karin, Thanks so very much for the heads up on the white veins .... my sample only has the black rock , I'll try to get a piece with the white portion and report back :) So far the black portion has passed vinegar, lemon, comet, canola oil .... Do you think it is more resistant because it has a leathered finish ?


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Karin, I have been told so many frustrating things at various stone yards. At one, I was told to keep a particular quartzite polished to prevent etching. In an email that was forwarded to me from my fabricator, it was suggested that I merely needed to keep a certain quartzite slab well sealed to prevent etching. I don't understand how they can present something that just isn't true.
And now with the Sea Pearl, more frustration in not being able to test it myself.

So it looks like Caesarstone for me. It may not be my first love, but I know that it will look like its pretty self for a very long time without babying it.

Karin, thanks for all of the help that you provide to all of the posters. You are very generous with your time.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Hi Laura,

If it's not etching during your tests it's because the rock is not limestone or marble. So that is good news! The honed/leathered/polished surface doesn't change whether it will etch or not, because etching is simply a matter of the composition of the rock itself.

Did you try the scratch test yet? That will give you more useful info. But since the rock is not reacting to acids then my hunch is that it will pass the scratch test. Let's hope so. If that is the case then I think you'd be good to go in terms of avoiding limestone or marble.

The white areas warrant some attention but even if those are calcite, so long as the rest of the rock is OK, I don't think I'd let that change my mind about the rock overall.

Gigi,

I agree with you completely and I can only imagine how frustrated you must be. I can't understand why the decorative stone industry is so squirmy about this stuff. Why don't they just tell people the truth? And first off, they would need to learn some basics themselves because it sounds like plenty of them have their geological facts very mixed up. But I'm not talking complicated science here, I'm talking the stuff that intro college students learn in the first two weeks of a basic geology course. That would be enough for them to know how rocks behave and to be able to pass on credible information to prospective customers.

Anyway, I would do the same thing you are doing. And I would definitely send the stone yard a photo of your beautiful new Caesarstone countertop and explain why they lost the sale.

Good luck to both of you!
Karin


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Gigi, here is my first love...Lemurian Supreme. I don't know the price, but it is the most expensive slab they have. They said it was three times the price of the Sea Pearl (and it is premium too!)


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Lemurian Supreme. Same slab.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Gigi, here is a slab of sea pearl honed.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Gigi, here is a close up of the honed sea pearl.

How did you find out the cost of one slab? Or is that the price when fabricated? Peek


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

I love this thread! I am learning so much and I am going to re-read many times. I love the limestone with the nautiloids! How awesome.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

We almost purchased a Moon Night slab for our bathroom vanity counter. The stone yard said it was marble. It was confirmed after I tested the small sample they provided.
Unfortunately among 8 slabs the stone yard has, every single slab has lots of cracks and fissers. In spite of its stunning beauty, we decided to walk away.

Luckily, in a different stone yard we found a quartzite slab called Moon Light. The slab is of excellent quality. It has similar color and pattern as Moon Night, but the movement is more dramatic. It is pricy, but requires a lot less maintenance.

Hope it would turn out as a good choice.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

So what does a fissure look like?


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Peke, the sea pearl is equally pretty honed. Thanks for the pics. Your first love is a real eye catcher. I'm pretty sure that I never came across a stone like that. The slab price came right off the the supplier's website. They list all of their slab prices and sizes. The cost to fabricate would be in addition to that.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

AZ Mom,

So did you decide on the Moon Light then? Is it a real quartzite? If so then you've made a good choice. Do you have pictures?

Peke, a fissure is just another name for a crack.
Have you been able to test that Sea Pearl yet? I'm curious about that one.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Karin,

Hi ... my stone passed the scratch test ...the salesman said the white portion of the stone is quartz and that the stone contains no feldspar. He gave me a sample containing the white portion and so far the white areas are equally resistant to stain and etching .... while surfing the web I found a granite called Negresco and it seems to more closely resemble my sample, much more than the Infinity .... so confusing, it's such a huge investment


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Gigi, my fabricator told me today that the Lemurian Supreme sells for $4500.00. That is 1 slab that is 2cm.
Plus they charge $30.00 sq Ft

None of the stone yards will tell us the prices. They will only tell the fabricator.

Volga Blue is another possibility. It is sort of like the Lemurian. Still like the sea pearl though. It is $22.00sq Ft plus fabrication costs. Volga blue is $21.00 sq ft.

Karin, no I haven't been able to test it. I have to drive two hours to see it. I will keep asking though.

Peke


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Gigi, my fabricator told me today that the Lemurian Supreme sells for $4500.00. That is 1 slab that is 2cm.
Plus they charge $30.00 sq Ft

None of the stone yards will tell us the prices. They will only tell the fabricator.

Volga Blue is another possibility. It is sort of like the Lemurian. Still like the sea pearl though. It is $22.00sq Ft plus fabrication costs. Volga blue is $21.00 sq ft.

Karin, no I haven't been able to test it. I have to drive two hours to see it. I will keep asking though.

Peke


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Karin, what I meant was if it looks like a fissure but doesn't go all the through is that bad? Could it be only a surface crack that has been filled in naturally? Or should I stay away from all fissures? Thanks, peke


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Hi Peke,

Natural rocks will often have cracks/fissures, so it's hard to make a blanket statement to avoid them all. Most cracks fill in with mineral cement, but that is not always strong. If a crack is open, that is something to be wary of.

You wouldn't want cracks in unsupported areas of the rock, like where it overhangs. Also watch for cracks near corners, edges or seams. But aside from that, a surface crack does not seem like a reason to be troubled. Really, if the rock is going to break it will likely be during fabrication, transport, or installation and in each of those cases it's the fabricator's problem, not yours. Once the slab is set in place there is not much stress acting on it. (aside from overhangs)

Laura,

It sounds like you have done your homework nicely and this rock is not limestone. My next guess is that it's a breccia made from pieces of a dark sandstone or an igneous rock like basalt. In either of those cases you will be safe from etching. Your slab is a nice departure from the usual stuff, so I'm looking forward to seeing it in action. Keep us posted!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Thanks Karin,

Friday is the day I am choosing a slab. Sea Pearl is in the lead, but I want to see a Volga Blue up close. I don't know if it is granite or quartzite yet.

Peke


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

My turn to ask about a stone. Thank you for all the advice and information, Karin. I have learned so much from your posts!

I am considering using a quartzite called Brentwood. It is quarried in the US by Semco Stone in Missouri.
http://www.semcodist.com/product.php?product=Brentwood Countertop

The stone is available in 6cm thick slabs which would keep me from having to laminate my edge. I have a sample (unsealed) that I am subjecting to torture this weekend. So far no etching, but it is porous and readily absorbs liquids. Staining TBD...
The photo below is a rough cut slab just out of the saw shop. The other stone in serious contention is a very light colored Prada Gold, but I have had little luck finding any details about staining, etc. for that one as well and cannot get a sample. Thanks for any insight.

Brentwood quartzite
image

Prada Gold granite


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Hi Myers,

Hmm, these are interesting examples, thanks for sharing them. The Brentwood is a sandstone, not a quartzite, so that is why it is so porous. So, it's an un-metamorphosed version of quartzite. In other words if you take sandstone and put it through the metamorphic process (heat + pressure) you get quartzite. That process squeezes out the pore spaces and makes the rock denser, which is why a true quartzite is so strong. But this rock has not been through that process so it's a regular sandstone, a sedimentary rock.

If you can get a sealed sample to test, that would be key. But the high porosity may be a deal breaker, I'm not sure how effective and permanent it would be to seal it. I imagine the stone company can shed more light on that. You might also want to get the contact info of someone who has been living with that rock as a countertop for a few years to hear about how it holds up.

The second photo is a metamorphic rock, and it could be marble, or quartzite or something in the gneiss family (similar composition to granite). So do the scratch and etching tests on that one to rule out the possibility of it being marble. However if they won't give you a sample to test I'm not sure how to proceed. That rock looks a lot like a geologic map of the Appalachian mountains with their folded bands of rock. So I would be partial to that one, at least in terms of the visual.

I hope that helps!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Thanks for looking at these. Interesting that the Brentwood is not a true quartzite. They are marketing it as such. How do you make the determination of a sandstone vs quartzite? Is it because it easily absorbs liquids?

I like the Prada Gold as well, it is less $ too! The only concerns are it is only available polished and I would prefer a less shiny finish, and to get the edge detail I want we will have to laminate the edge.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Hello karin,

We purchased the Moonlight. I did not test the slab because there was no sample available and I did not have my little glass bottle with me (thank you for the tips you shared with us). But stone yard sales manager, an employee there, our GC and fabricator all confirmed it is quartzite. In addition, the employee sent me a photo of her shower using the same Moonlight slabs. The shower is stunning. She said she loves the shower since it does not need much maintenance.

Here is the Moon night Marble:

 photo marble_zps385af7c0.jpg

The one with straps is Moonlight Quartzite.

 photo Slab_zpsd12c5583.jpg

My number one choice is a "Fusion" slab, yet it is too expensive. The Moon night is most closer slab to "Fusion" in the grey color we need. But I was too concerned about the number of long cracks throughout the slab.

When we saw the Moonlight, it is closer to Moon-night, but it does not have that "Fusion" look. But we were under schedule pressure and did not want to start all over again, after all, this is only for bathroom counter top. The Moonlight is more dramatic but with little blemishes. When running my hands over, it felt more smooth and harder. I thought it was a good marble slab before I learned that it is quartzite. Our GC likes the stone, he has spent fair amount of time with fabricator to template the slab. I hope the vanity counter top would turn out good.

Here is a dramatic. interest slab,

 photo spaceshuttle_zps29965608.jpg

As you mentioned earlier, it contains fossils. To me it looks like a photo of galaxy with moons, planets, and space shuttles flying around. This is one of the most amazing slabs I have ever seen.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Hi Meyers,

I determined that the Brentwood is sandstone because you can still see the layering and bedding within the rock, and the layers a flat rather than twisted around and deformed. Horizontal layering is a diagnostic feature of a sedimentary rock. When a sandstone becomes quartzite the layering gets obliterated, or at the very least the layers get distorted. Some rocks are only partway along the metamorphic process and they still show faint layering. White Macabus quartzite is an example of this. In your case it looks like all the original layering is still intact. To be sure though, one needs to look at the quartz grains. In a sandstone, you can see individual sand grains. In a quartzite, the grains are fused together, hence the lower porosity. It's hard to see this with the naked eye, usually a hand lens is needed.

AZMom, that lower photo is great. I can see the space scene you describe! For me, it looks like an ancient ocean with all those animals zipping around, eating each other and whatnot. Of course my imagination is tainted by the fact that I know that those are marine fossils. Either way, the rock is a wonderful snapshot of a distant scene. How neat that rocks can preserve a moment for millennia.

On Moonight vs Moon Night, I would have guessed the rock types to be opposite from what you said they are. That just points out how impossible it is to tell them apart just by looking. The Moonlight is another example of a breccia rock that is made up of fragment that are glued together. I have seen plenty of marbles like that but not any quartzites. But that doesn't mean it can't happen, obviously!

That is going to be one dramatic and beautiful bathroom, nice going!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Hello Karin,
The GC brought me a piece of Moonlight sample after I posted the previous message. It bits in glass bottle easily. Moon-night was slippery, no matter how hard I tried I could not make a single scratch on glass. I also did vinegar and Ketchup test on the Moonlight sample of both polished and unpolished sides; it does not etch or stain.

We stumbled into the stone yard. After purchased the Moonlight, we learned from others that the place is a high end shop famous for exotic selections and high quality. I am happy for getting a nice quartzite slab, also for finding a trustworthy company for our future slab purchases.

Could you please tell us more about the three Quartzite slabs in the following photos? Such as how the color and patterns were formed. Each one of them shows us the beauty only mother nature could create.

Kaleidoscope: like a watercolor painting
 photo Pretty-1_zpsec232591.jpg

Mardi Gras, look at the fierce, violent beauty, so very van Gogh.

 photo pretty-2_zpsa33e1e2c.jpg

Revolution : Speechless, especially seeing it in person.
 photo pretty-3_zps58d5e62c.jpg

I spent a few years working on Space programs. Funny how our view could be influenced by our life experience even over a granite slab.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

azmom that Mardi Gras is gorgeous! Are you in AZ? and if so did you see this slab in the Phx area? I'm in NM but have looked, and will be out again in the next few weeks, to look for slabs in Phx again. I saw a Fusion slab I really liked also.

I googled Mardi Gras and found this worrisome Youtube video..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WydBvq8DLY0

Karin would you mind taking a look at it and give your thoughts? Would a true quartzite really scratch this easily? Loving both of the rocks101 threads. I've learned so much this weekend and don't feel "quite" as scared to drop LOTS of money on slabs :)


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Hi AZMom,

Whoa, aren't these fun!

Let's see - Slab #1 retains its original layering, but during metamorphism the rock was compressed and heated. The heating allowed the rock to bend into a ribbon-like texture, sort of like taffy would. This rock was only mildly compressed, so the original layers are still there, but you can see they've been wrinkled up when the rock was shortened. (Imagine pushing on a throw rug from either end - it just ripples a bit.) The orange hue is from some iron oxide in the cement that was in between the quartz grains when it was originally deposited. For example, many sandstones in the Southwest have a similar orangey-brown color.

Slab #2 underwent a more turbulent metamorphic process. For starters, the original rock had more variation in composition so you have layers of different colors. Then the rock was really tortured during metamorphism - it was compressed so much that the layers wrinkled, stretched, then broke apart and began to drift away from each other. But if you pick a prominent layer like the white one you can mentally string it back together and see that it was originally one continuous layer.

The name Van Gogh is perfectly fitting, isn't it?

Slab #3 - my first reaction is that this slab is dyed. There are plenty of orange-red minerals, and cranberry-red minerals, but aside from rubies, I can't think of any red-red minerals. It could be an iron-oxide that is making it red, but normally those have a bit more orange in them. The rock is made out of white/clear quartz but the cement between the quartz is what's giving it the red color. So it's either an iron-oxide cement or it's dyed.

Fun rocks, thank you!

Your description of how a rock feels when it does and does not scratch glass is exactly right. No doubt you've got yourself a quartzite then, yahoo!

How neat that you've worked in the space program - no wonder you see fossil spaceships and galaxies in these slabs!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Karin,
Thank you so much. What you taught us are so fascinating. Understand how these slabs were formed, I appreciate them even more. They have their “life stories” they are no longer just some static rocks.

I received one sample of Revolution and one of Kaleidoscope. Both are marked quartzite. Both bit right into glass and do not etch and stain. I looked at 4 sides of each sample, grains and vines are consistent with the pattern on their top, polished surfaces. The color of Revolution sample is less vibrant than the slab in the photo I posted, but it is definite in burgundy, brownish red color family, very pretty.

Hello Terri, Yes I am in Phoenix. I saw these slabs at Cactus Stone, 602-914-2202, 401 South 50th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034. WWW.Catusstone.com. They have lots of gorgeous, hard to find exotic marbles, granites, soap stones, and quartzites.

The store has a small corner where they keep Gemstone slabs. Many eye candies there.

Cactus Stone also have a store in 15551 N. Greeways-Hayden, #125, Scottsdale, AZ. 602-914-2202. Selling tiles. All the tiles there are fabulous.

Karin, Terri found a worrisome Youtube video, could you please share your opinion?

Terri, The Mardi Gras I saw is labeled as Quartzite. I have tried using sharp knife to cut 3 quartzite samples I have, but could not get any scratches on the samples.

I am not so sure how the woman in Youtube could make big scratches on Quartzite so easily by using small clay like dish. Is it possible at the bottom of the dish, a knife was mounted, which is made of industrial diamond?


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Hi AZ and Terri,

Terri, I must have missed your post over the weekend, sorry!

No need to worry about the video. First of all, it's just someone else's video and who knows what the conditions really are and what they are trying to prove. But more importantly, it's more likely that the rock is scratching the plate than vice versa. To tell the difference you'd have to rub your finger across the scratched area and see if there is really a scratch in the rock, or if the plate left a trail of clay across the surface of the rock. I'd definitely guess the latter. Anyway, I would dismiss that completely.

AZ, all those rocks sound like quartzite. Your description is spot on. Also, Revolution and Kaleidoscope really have the glassy look of quartzite as well. Revolution sounds like it's got bright burgundy iron oxide cement then, based on your description. Perhaps it is reminiscent of rocks from Mars? :)

Terri, good luck with your shopping and selection process. You know we will be here when you get closer to choosing one!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

azmom thank you so much for the info! I am definitely going to check out both places when I'm back in Phoenix in a few weeks. Hopefully if I find something there my granite guy here will agree to pick it up when he is there getting his stock.

Karin thanks so much for checking out the video. Makes perfect sense that the marks are from the bottom of the bowl and not scratches on the slab. Thank you again for taking the time to educate us. This has been so interesting! And I will definitely let you know when I've got a few picked out :)


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

hi karin! i don't mean to beat this topic to death, though there's clearly a lot of interest so hopefully this isn't an annoying question or point of clarification...

i've read each and every message on the 150 post thread and every message on this thread (probably two or three times each--we're talking a true thread stalker here!) and one thing i'm still not 100% clear on is whether Super White is 2 different beasts - one in marble form and one in quartzite form, or if any given slab can be a bit of both.

I get that you need to do the scratch test and acid test. I've done part 1 and each slab in the stack at this particular granite slab warehouse easily scratched the glass - 2 sample scratches shown below. i was shocked how easily it scratched the glass, and how other marbles there laughed at trying to scratch the glass. :) by the way, i took a couple sample glass tiles which looked less out of place than a glass bottle as i walked through the slab warehouse.

 photo 20130502_150902.jpg

so when the time comes, i plan to get a sample and go at it with every form of acid i can think of. i guess my concern is that i could get a sample piece that behaves more like quartzite and then the rest of that slab may be more like marble. is that possible? or back to my initial point--do you think there are 2 stones out there that look identical just with different compositions? it seems to me, though i can't find those posts now, that there were a couple folks who tested their samples and were shocked when it seemed like quartzite but then etched when they got it installed.

here's the slab in case you want to see. i lust over the deeper grey tone of this with the chunky white spots, but my husband and i are very tough on our counters, and we have 2 little ones. etching would be devastating to us.

 photo 20130426_125218.jpg

would love to get your opinion.
thanks for all the great information and questions by all.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

They call that slab Grey Goose in Oklahoma
Wish they would all use the same names.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Hi Maggie,

First of all, using a glass tile (instead of, say, a whiskey bottle) for your scratch tests is very smart. A lot less conspicuous.

So it seems the crux of your question is, can a slab have both calcite and quartz in it? The answer for the most part is no. Usually it's going to be one or the other with the exception of veins. The veins can be either calcite or quartz and they are not always the same as the rest of the rock. Aside from that, marble is not likely to be blended with quartzite. Not to say that it could never happen, but that is not the way these rocks typically form.

The other answer is yes, several rocks are going by the name Super White and some are marble and some really are quartzite. Although it seems the majority are marble. Similarly several rocks that are the same thing have different names (a la Grey Goose). The names are just ridiculous, so probably the safest thing you can do is ignore the name and take each rock for how it looks and how it responds to your tests.

Since I see that you are a sharp student about these rocks, see if you can visually tell the difference between quartzite and marble. Even though they look nearly the same, the quartz is glassier and the calcite has a softer luster and is a bit duller. If you do the scratch tests on a few slabs, note the results and then really look at the rock you might be able to see the differences visually. That would be one way to make yourself feel better about knowing which rock you've got. I too would want to be super careful so I applaud how thorough you are being.

Good luck!
Karin


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

I found a new sea pearl today. It has a lot of movement.
Peke


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Close up of sea pearl


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

This is supposed to be a quartzite. It is called Kristalo


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Look what you can do with the Kristalo.

Granite on top, then Kristalo in the middle of the edge, then more granite. Then put a light underneath.

It is really pretty in person.

Karin,
Is there a difference between the honed and polished Sea Pearl? Will one scratch more than the other? I know they are not supposed to scratch, but would the only difference be that one will reflect UCLs more? I can't get a sample to test. Pros and cons needed. I am leaning toward the honed. It looks so soft. Thanks peke


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

I read through the entire first thread and was so happy to see it continue here! We are ready to select our kitchen countertops..thought I wanted granite but fell in love with this slab of Super White!
Karin: I would love your help on this....
Got a sample home yesterday and I was able to scratch glass with the rough edge of it. However it appears to have some scratches on the shiny smooth surface. I have tried scratching it with the glass bottle (on smooth finished side) and it does not leave a mark.
So what do you think, is it really a Quartzite because the cut edge sratched the glass or is it marble?


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Hi Peke,

If the rock really is quartzite, then both the honed and polished surfaces will be scratch resistant. If it's marble, then neither surface will be scratch resistant and the polished surface will show scratches more.

UCLs will make a brighter, sharper reflection on a polished surface but you can temper that with diffusers on your UCLs. But if you are leaning toward the honed anyway, then that's not a problem.

It's crazy that your slab yard won't let you test a sample. What is your contingency if it turns out to be marble after it is installed and paid for? Personally I would not go near a deal like that.

Laura,
A smooth surface doesn't work for the scratch test because there are no protruding edges available to bite into the glass. So you have to use the edge. If the edge left a definite scratch then it sounds like quartzite. Make sure to inspect the glass and make sure the rock really did leave an indentation in the glass. You should be able to feel the scratch in the glass with your fingernail.

Then do some acid tests. The two test should be consistent with each other, and then you will have your answer.

Good luck to both of you!
Karin


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

They told me it was quartzite. Nobody has a sample of sea pearl anywhere near me. Peke


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

They told me it was quartzite. Nobody has a sample of sea pearl anywhere near me. Peke


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Karin, I just had to show you this rock. It has so much movement. I can almost see the rocks melting and bending to these lines.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

WOW!!! Love it. Yes, you can totally feel the stretching and bending in that one. It sort of blurs the line between a folded rock and a faulted one. People who live in Oklahoma and work in the oil business will look at the rock and be reminded of seismic reflection lines.

Thanks for sharing that one. Your rock yard has some neat stuff!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Karin, what about that Kristallo I posted a few posts ago? Have you heard of it? You can put a light behind it and it is pretty. It is supposed to be quartzite. Couldn't test it.

If the sea pearl scratched the glass can I assume it is quartzite? I can't do the stain test. Is it safe to assume?
Thanks, peke


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Karin,

Again, thank you for the explanations regarding the video, they are so insightful.

terri,

Yesterday I went to Cactus Stone and Tile at 15551 N. Greenway-Hayden Loop Suite 125. It still gave me the "Wow" even I had been there before.You ought to check that store out.

While in Phoenix, you may want to stop by Aracruz at 2310 W Sherman Phoenix, AZ 85009. 602-252-1171. Both people and prices there are friendly. Arizona Tile in Tempe, 8829 S. Priest Dr. 480-893-9393 and Scottsdale, 14700 N. Hayden Rd., 480-991-3066, are worthwhile to visit. Make sure your granite guy opens accounts with all of these stores.

Feel free to send me email if there are any stone yards you want me to check out first. We just finished our 1st bathroom remodel, I need to actively search for slabs for kitchen and 2 more bathrooms.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Hi Peke,

No, I have not heard of Kristallo, sorry.

Yes, if a rock scratches glass then it's not marble, so if Sea Pearl passes that test then you are most likely OK. I understand that your supplier does not allow you to test samples and that still would make me uncomfortable, but if it scratches glass that is definitely a good thing.

Karin


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Thanks Karin, I used maggiepie's idea with the glass tile. Best $2.00 I ever spent!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Peke, did the Sea Pearl scratch the glass easily? I may go see a slab of Sea Pearl my fabricator sent me a link to, I love the look of it, but don't want to waste my time on a trip to go see it if its not quartzite. Thanks!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

It did. I didn't even have a very rough edge. It was rather smooth. I used a glass tile I bought at Lowe's. 1.99 was well spent.

Try to get a sample. I can't get one to test.

Some places say it has a greenish tint to it. I see a touch of blue-gray. A lady at the stone place says it looks gray outside in the sunlight. I have no idea what color it will be in my kitchen.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Does anyone have experience with Wallace Creek Limestone from Polycor as a countertop? It's a gorgeous dark gray, like Soapstone. The "Antique" finish is somewhere between honed and leather...feels wonderful.

But it is limestone, and I'm concerned about its durability, and lemon juice resistance

Here is a link that might be useful: Wallace Creek Limestone


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

I am usually a very calm person, but I just might talk to the general manager of the stone yard and complain.

I have been to see the sea pearl at least five times. I call ahead to make an appointment to see ALL the sea Pearl slabs. I drive 2 hours one way. They tell me they will have the forklift guy move the slabs so I can see them. Then when I get there all I see are the same two slabs that I do not want because they have a rust streak in them. I know there is one slab that doesn't have the rust streak, but it has 5 or 6 slabs piled in front of the polished side. I can see the brushed side from the back partially. It looks like the one I want if I could just see the whole thing.

The last time I went there I asked why they hadn't moved the other slabs so I could see it since I called ahead. The girl said they all look the same. (that's not true.) Then she said I don't actually pick a specific stone. I just get the one they give me.

I left, but no one else has sea pearl. So should I call the GM and complain? peke


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

I found this stone the other day. It did scratch the glass and there was no bubbling when I put vinegar on a sample at home. So does that mean it is quartzite? The person said it is white macaubus quartzite.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Strayer, that looks like White Macabus, and both your tests confirm that. I think you are good to go! Rarely can we be that certain, but both your tests are in agreement and WM is a distinctive one. Yay!

Peke, I feel your pain! I wish I had some advice to offer but it sounds like your stone dealer is not doing you any favors. If it were me I would probably complain. Plus there is no way I would be okay with not selecting the exact slab. Good luck!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Karin mt,

Everything I learned about stone came from you! I was reading that whole long thread before ever posting a question.

On the other thread about the 2cms vs the 3cms...I'm still a little confused what I shoud do. The slab in the photo above is a 2 cm.

I will keep checking the other thread to see if I can learn more on that issue.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Strayer, you have done very well, Grasshopper! The slabs you have are the Holy Grail for many, so you are fortunate. As I said in the other thread, I think 2 cm is a nice look, and I've seen edges left as 2 cm, unlaminated. But I'm no fabricator so don't take my word for that. Hopefully your fabricator can give you a straight answer.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

My wife picked out a slab of what the stone yard is telling us is Granite however the information suppied at this link describes it as Quartzite. The application is for our kitchen counter and possibly backsplash. I don't have a sample but perhaps I can get one. They offer a lifetime sealer but am now wondering if we need it.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.
Ron

Here is a link that might be useful: Red Coninas


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Wow! The stones that people have been posting are gorgeous! Don't you wish you could have more than one kitchen?


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Ronrath, that is sandstone. We have a very similar stone called Wild Sea in our kitchen. You will want a sealer as sandstone is more porous than granite. But it should hold up just fine in terms of etching and scratching since it's mostly made of quartz.

The wavy pattern is called cross-bedding. It forms from ripples on the sea floor as currents carry sand along the bottom of the ocean. The current in both of those pictures ran from left to right.

I love Wild Sea because of the cross bedding and they way it reveals the conditions under which the rock formed. I admire and pet our rock every day!

Ginny, I can only imagine having more than one kitchen and allowing them all to become messy. How depressing would that be? :) So personally, I will stick to one kitchen! (But I am scheming to use rocks in other places in our house, over time.)


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

I'm sure Daisy and Ivy would keep both kitchens clean, under the supervision of Mrs. Patmore. Don't you have staff?


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Peke, I think it is terrible that you have been doing all that driving and they haven't been keeping their word. So I think you should call the GM but not to complain- that sounds so negative. I would just explain the situation and ask him if that was they way he expected his employees to act, ie to say one thing, "I will move the slabs", and then do another. I would ask if it is true that you do not get to pick a specific slab. I think his answers to those questions will tell you whether or not you wish to do business with his company.
Our dollar is sometimes our tool, we need to think about where we plant those dollars and what businesses we help to grow. For example, we have several lovely nurseries in the town where I live, one never supports school sports, church programs, etc... the other does and hosts open school day for the village cooperative nursery school and events for seniors and special needs youth groups. Guess who gets my money and guess which one I tell everyone I know, not to shop at and why.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Karin what is your opinion on slate, specifically Pennsylvania slate for countertops? I had leathered Black Cambrian (granite?) and Brown Shada picked out for my counters, but the Brown Shada just died in my north facing kitchen. Next option was Antarctica, but most in the house didn't like it. Third was slate and Blue Pearl. I can get slate shipped here, but it has to be measured and installed by people in Ohio and fabricated in PA, then shipped. I read on the Internet that it has many pros, but also cons. It acts like soapstone, but is harder and less reactive to acids. You can treat it like soapstone, sealing with oil. Easy. I wanted it because I lived in the slate belt. All Blue Pearl is the final option, mostly because I can't find any beige or lighter color I like that isn't too busy. Cambria quartz ( not using) isn't as foolproof as salespeople tell you. No silver cleaner, no copper cleaner, etc., not heat resistant, scratches more easily, etc. I use copper and silver cleaner, so what would that do around an undercounter sink?

So, after all this rambling, I believe all Blue Pearl is the choice; however, I may not seal it because it is one of the harder stones. I don't like shiny, but this stone does not like good honed in my eyes.

I will find a way to get a piece of slate somewhere in my house. Making a rectangle can't be too difficult!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Karin what is your opinion on slate, specifically Pennsylvania slate for countertops? I had leathered Black Cambrian (granite?) and Brown Shada picked out for my counters, but the Brown Shada just died in my north facing kitchen. Next option was Antarctica, but most in the house didn't like it. Third was slate and Blue Pearl. I can get slate shipped here, but it has to be measured and installed by people in Ohio and fabricated in PA, then shipped. I read on the Internet that it has many pros, but also cons. It acts like soapstone, but is harder and less reactive to acids. You can treat it like soapstone, sealing with oil. Easy. I wanted it because I lived in the slate belt. All Blue Pearl is the final option, mostly because I can't find any beige or lighter color I like that isn't too busy. Cambria quartz ( not using) isn't as foolproof as salespeople tell you. No silver cleaner, no copper cleaner, etc., not heat resistant, scratches more easily, etc. I use copper and silver cleaner, so what would that do around an undercounter sink?

So, after all this rambling, I believe all Blue Pearl is the choice; however, I may not seal it because it is one of the harder stones. I don't like shiny, but this stone does not like good honed in my eyes.

I will find a way to get a piece of slate somewhere in my house. Making a rectangle can't be too difficult!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Sorry about the double post. Don't know what happened. Hope I don't do it again. Using an IPad.

Anyone have suggestions for a backsplash, besides subway tile that will look good with Blue Pearl?

Karen in Ohio.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Hi Karen,

Cool! A new type of rock to consider, I like that!

I like slate and it is durable and should hold up well in a kitchen. I especially like the idea of using your local slate in your kitchen, which would add an interesting note to your project.

From the durability point of view, there are two small caveats. The first is that slate is a rock with prominent layering and those layers are also planes of weakness. Granite (true igneous granite) and marble are equally strong in all directions so fabricators can sculpt edges and corners without worry of the layered structure creating a problem. I'm sure the fabricator has experience handling this, but it's something I'd ask about.

The second thing to look for is the degree of metamorphism in this particular slate. Like quartzite, slate is a metamorphic rock and may have undergone a range of heat and pressure. Some slates are weakly metamorphosed and split easily along the layers. Others have been heated and squeezed more and are extremely tough and durable. I'd want to make sure this slate falls on the strong end of the spectrum. The way I tell the difference here is to have a sample and break it with a hammer. By doing that you can observe how much effort it takes to break and how likely the rock is to split along its layers.

That aside, have you gotten a sample to check out the aesthetic qualities? What color is this slate? I like the subtle shine that slate has, and the layers lend a neat, linear texture to the rock. I also like working with slate for landscaping purposes. Our rock yard has some Pennsylvania Bluestone which I would just love to use for patio rocks, but I can't live with that type of long-distance shipping when we have plenty of local Montana rocks to choose from.

This thread is about to run out but I will start a new one so that you can post follow-up questions. It would be good to see a photo of this slate if you have one.


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

This thread approacheth the 150 post limit, phew! I've started a new thread because we are still having fun with this topic. Besides, we can't be done because Peke has not found her Perfect Slab yet! ;)

Here is a link that might be useful: Rocks 103!


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

edited to move to rocks 3

This post was edited by kksmama on Fri, Jun 21, 13 at 21:57


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RE: Marble, quartzite and other rocks in the kitchen

Has anyone ever heard of "White Crystal" Quartzite

I saw it at the stone yard here:

http://www.msistone.com/quartzite/white-crystal/

I have attached additional photos.
It almost appeared translucent

I did not know about the glass/scratch test so I did not try it.

I have been unable to find this anywhere else.
Based on the photo is this a true quartzite?


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