Man-Made Quartz or Quartzite: Which One Is the Best for Your Client? March 6, 2018 Quartz and quartzite are two of the most popular stones for kitchen countertops. The stones are stunning, durable, and versatile, and they are ideal for a wide variety of uses. However, they are not created equal. Quartzite is a natural stone product that is mined from the earth’s crust and sold in slabs. Man-made quartz, on the other hand, is a stone product engineered from ground-up quartz, resin, and pigment. Even though their names are similar, quartz and quartzite are beautiful and unique in their own right. It’s important to know each of their pros and cons so you can select the appropriate one for the job you are working on. To help you, here is a closer look at the similarities and differences of man-made quartz versus natural quartzite: Appearance Both quartzite and quartz can mimic the appearance of marble or limestone; however, it is clear that quartzite is a natural stone and man-made quartz is not. As it forms, quartzite absorbs the minerals around it, resulting in stunning masterpieces of soft-colored hues swirled throughout the neutral base. Quartzite can receive a leathered, honed, polished, or brushed finish depending on the desired aesthetic of the space. On the contrary, man-made quartz is available in a wide variety of colors, and while it still emulates the movement of marble, limestone or even concrete, it is not the real deal—but there are endless possibilities for the hues and textures of the stone. Which One to Choose? That depends on the overall design scheme. If your client desires an upscale design in a solid color or prefers a more minimalistic pattern, then man-made quartz is the best option. With its wide array of options—including stones that mimic the refined style of granite, marble, or even concrete—you are sure to find the ideal countertop to complete the space. However, if your client prefers the unique beauty and unrivaled artistry of Mother Nature, then you should go with natural quartzite. Hardness and Durability Both quartzite and man-made quartz are hard stones that are more durable than most materials, making them an excellent option for a kitchen countertop. However, when it comes to hardness, quartzite wins. Since it is quarried from the earth, it is one of the strongest natural stone options available, and when treated with an impregnating sealer, is it also stain and scratch resistant. Man-made quartz is still strong, but since it does contain some resin, it cannot withstand extremely high temperatures quite as well as quartzite. However, this integrated resin does make the stone more flexible, so it is less prone to chipping. Which One to Choose? Again, both options provide extreme durability and resistance to stains, so it really comes down to aesthetics. Man-made quartz is more consistent and therefore can provide more predictability for clients who are adverse to variation or natural inclusions such as fissures. It is also important to keep in mind that man-made quartz is not UV resistant so the material will fade or discolor in direct sunlight. For this reason, we do not recommend man-made quartz for exterior applications. Quartzite, on the other hand, is 100% natural so there will be variation in color, which many people consider a benefit, as well as fissures and other interesting characteristics present that your client will want to capture or avoid. Countertop Maintenance When it comes to maintenance, man-made quartz is simpler. Since it is a non-porous, synthetic substance, it does not absorb stains or bacteria and therefore does not need to be sealed. Quartzite, however, is a natural, porous material, so it is more prone to stains. But as long as the quartzite is properly sealed upon installation, and re-sealed annually or as needed, then it is just as simple to clean up as man-made quartz. With both stones, specific cleaners should be used that are not too abrasive. Which One to Choose? If your client is willing to re-seal the stone annually and stick to mild cleansers, then either stone is a solid option for cleanliness and maintenance. When your client is looking for a marble-esque countertop, yet their lifestyle demands something more durable, then either man-made quartz or natural quartzite is an excellent choice. Each has their pros and cons, but both of them are sure to bring the wow factor to the space. To learn more about the man-made quartz and natural quartzite stones we have available, contact us today.