Granite and marble have been the popular choice for countertops for many years. However, quartzite, with a Mohs hardness of seven, is harder, tougher and thus superior to both. It is also more resistant to abrasion and chemicals, and is available in a range of colors and patterns that many people prefer.
The Super Hero of Stone
Its very hardness also makes Quartzite more costly and more difficult to manufacturer because it is so very hard. Drills, cutting tools, and metal excavation equipment like trucks wear out more quickly!
So what is quartzite?
It’s basically sandstone that has been compressed and squeezed under tremendous pressure and high temperatures (metamorphism) until the individual crystals of sand plus the silica cement that bound them together as sandstone are recrystallized to make a new kind of super-solid crystalline stone. The result is a matrix of interlocking quartz grains of incredible strength!
This interlocking crystalline structure of quartzite makes it ultra hard, tough, durable rock. It is so tough that when broken (which takes considerable effort) the division literally splits the quartz grains rather than separating them along their boundaries.
What colors does Quarzite come in?
Quartzite is more frequently white or gray, but is also available in pink, red and purple thanks to the presence of iron. Other minerals sometimes thrown in by Mother Nature can make quartzite appear yellow, orange, brown, green or blue.
Its extreme toughness made it a favorite tool of Stone Age hominids more than a million years ago — proof that quartzite is a reliable materials that will never make a monkey out of you.