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June 23, 2022

Quartz, Quartzite, and Marble

Right now, we are seeing more and more kitchen and bath renovations and even new builds because of our current housing market…and who doesn’t want the kitchen or bath of their dreams where they can have exactly what they want? Now que the difficult part–finding the perfect stone to achieve those dreams. When choosing a stone for your kitchen and bath there are many things to take into account like durability, longevity, veining, and heat residence. And those are only half of what to consider. We also understand that choosing a stone for your remodel can be quite the investment and you need to make the right decision according to your lifestyle.

Below is a breakdown of three different stones that are most popular among our clients. Hopefully this list of pros and cons will help you make a decision for your upcoming remodels on which stone is right for you.

Quartz:

Quartz is a man-made stone crafted of natural minerals and resin to create a surface strong enough for countertops and tiling.

Pros: 

  • Looks like real stone
  • Smooth, glossy appearance
  • Does not need to be sealed
  • Homogenous look(little variation in the stone)
  • More cost effective than quartzite

Cons:

  • Hard surface, but can scratch
  • The resin used is a form of plastic and can melt when in contact with a heat source above 300 degrees
  • Man-made–loses its sense of authenticity 
  • Meant to mimic marble and quartz and runs the risk of looking too fake 

Quartzite:

Quartzite is a natural stone crafted from sandstone that has been heated and applied pressure.

Pros:

  • Withstands heat very well(aka hot pans or pots when cooking)–however, never sit anything hot directly on the countertop 
  • Smooth, with a grainy appearance
  • Natural Stone with a harder composition than marble but with the same look
  • Keeps it color and resists UV radiation that may lead to fading
  • Stain-resistant with a sealer

Cons:

  • Since it is a natural stone, it has a higher cost than an engineered stone like quartz
  • Not a homogenous appearance(could be a pro if this is not what you are looking for)
  • No harsh chemical cleaners(too many acids will damage the stone’s surface)
  • Can become brittle if things are dropped or smashed on top of the countertop
  • Needs to be resealed every 1-2 years

Marble:

Marble is a natural stone composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals. The five most well-known types of marble include carrara, statuary, calcutta, emperador, and crema marfil. 

Pros:

  • Variety of colors and veining
  • Medium sized grain–can see the crystallization(could be a con if this is not what you love)
  • Natural stone–authentic beauty
  • Comparable to quartz countertops in pricing depending on the stone
  • Heat resistant up to extremely high temperatures
  • Added value to your home overall value–marble is classic and timeless

Cons:

  • Hard enough to be used as a masonry stone, however, is prone to a lot of chipping (it is easy to carve–think Ancient Rome and statues….your countertops will be similar but this can be celebrated as a characteristic of its natural qualities.)
  • Countertops will need to be sealed every 6 months to a year
  • Can stain easily if in contact with acids such as citrus juices of vinegars
  • No harsh chemical cleaners to be used–mild detergent and warm water.

While there are definitely advantages and disadvantages to each stone, it is important to keep in mind when searching for the perfect stone what qualities of the different stones are most important to you and your lifestyle. Aesthetics and beauty only go so far when choosing a stone because the stone will also need to function in your home as well. 

Check out last month’s blog post on material care and maintenance for specific tips on how to clean and care for marble.

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