Hot Trends in Quartz February 15, 2017 WHAT IS QUARTZITE? Quartzite is a natural stone formed when sandstone comes under extreme heat and pressure through tectonic forces.In simpler terms, tectonic force is what takes place when plates or layers on the earth’s surface move. While it is being formed, changes in temperature will create the striking veining that makes quartzite so desirable. Quartzite is also an extremely hard stone. It is very durable and is one of the hardest natural stone options. This product is heat-, scratch- and UV-resistant. Quartzite comes in a soft color range of white, cream, grey, brown and black. Quartzite can be used on countertops, floors, backsplashes, tub decks and in wet areas. Quartzite has a similar look to marble with its soft hues and characteristics, but is less maintenance. Like most natural stone surfaces, quartzite should be treated with an impregnating sealer to help protect the material from staining. Watch our vlog for more information on sealing stone surfaces for your home here. When selecting a stone it is important to keep your lifestyle in mind. If you have a busy, high traffic kitchen and pets, a durable stone like quartzite might be a better option than a marble. Marbles typically require more care and may not be suitable for every style of living. View our quartzite gallery here. Quartzite is often confused with man-made quartz products offered by companies like Caesarstone®, Silestone® and PentalQuartz®. So what is the difference? Quartzite is a 100% natural stone product that is quarried from the earth. Man-made quartz is an engineered stone product that is created through a manufacturing process, which mixes resin, quartz and pigment. Click here for images and inspiration with man-made quartz. WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF QUARTZITE VS. MAN-MADE QUARTZ? PROS OF NATURAL QUARTZITE Natural Stone: Quartzite is a product that is quarried from the earth. Strength: Quartzite is one of the hardest natural stone options. Durability: Quartzite is scratch-resistant; it is also stain-resistant when treated with an impregnating sealer. Profiles: Because of its flexibility, many different types of profiles or edges can be added to a slab. Heat Resistant: Quartzite will resist both hot and cold temperatures. Finishes: Many finishes can be applied to this natural stone such as, leathered, brushed, honed and polished. Characteristics: Quartzite offers beautiful veining and movement which occur naturally throughout the stone. Care: Everyday care is simple; with a damp, non-abrasive cloth or sponge countertops can be frequently wiped down. Mild soaps and stone cleaners are also safe for use if the clean up is heavy. Repairs: Quartzite can be repaired or refinished on-site if needed. CONS OF NATURAL QUARTZITE Maintenance: Quartzite requires sealing for protection from stains and water penetration. Fissures: Most natural stones contain fissures. A fissure is a small fracture that does not go all the way through the stone. Some fissures are filled with resin to strengthen the stone and others are left natural as it is the character of the stone. PROS OF MAN-MADE QUARTZ Durability: Man-made quartz is stain-resistant from cooking oils, liquids and foods. Profiles: Because of its flexibility, many different types of profiles or edges can be added to a slab. Color Options: Man-made quartz is available in a wide range of colors from white to blue and everything in between. Brand Availability: Man-made quartz is a popular trend in kitchen design today. Brands such as Caesarstone®, PentalQuartz®, ONE Quartz, 4E Quartz, Silestone®, Viatera® and Cambria® are available brands. Characteristics: In the past, man-made quartz was known to be very consistent in color and pattern with little to no variation in appearance. However, this has recently changed due to design trends. Man-made quartz is now available in patterns that mimic the look and veining of natural, high-end marbles and granites such as Calacatta, Statuary and Azul Aran. Brands like Caesarstone® have also managed to stay on trend and develop quartz slabs that resemble concrete for those seeking an industrial look. 99% Bacteria Free: Man-made quartz is a non-porous material making countertops sanitary. CONS OF MAN-MADE QUARTZ *UV Sensitive: Overtime sunlight can dull or lighten the appearance of man-made quartz. Warranties: Most manufacturers offer warranties on slabs. However, this will be void if the fabricator alters the factory finish.