Installing new countertops in your home is a big investment. You’ll probably keep the counters in your kitchen or other space for 10 to 15 years. You can’t easily swap them for new surfaces, so you want to make the right decision. There are many different materials you can choose including wood block, concrete and more. However, there are two types of countertops that should definitely make the short list when you’re trying to choose: quartz countertops and quartzite countertops.
Both of these are manufactured materials and very hard. Since they are nonporous, they have been approved by the National Sanitation Foundation as being safe for food handling and preparation. In fact, these are the only stone surfaces that have been certified in this way. They prevent the growth of dangerous bacteria and germs, and they also don’t emit harmful gases or poisonous elements. Finally, the production of quartz and quartzite is environmentally friendly.
With all of these benefits of the two countertops, how are you supposed to choose between the two? Here is some information that should let you know a little more and help you make your decision.
The Difference Between Quartzite countertops and Quartz countertops
Before you choose what kind of countertop you want, you should know the difference between a quartzite countertop and a quartz countertop. There are many similarities to the two substances: both are very hard and very easy to keep clean. All you have to do is use a soft cloth and a simple household cleanser to wash either of them. However, there are some more differences between the two that you should be aware of before making your final decision when investing in new countertops. Since you’ll be having your countertops in your home for several years, here is some information which should help you decide between the two types:
A pure quartzite countertop doesn’t come in a lot of color options. This means you’ll probably be able to find then in a snowy white or possible gray color. You may also be able to find some in a slightly pink or gold color, but this will depend on the amount of iron oxide in the stone. Marble colored quartzite is also available.
Quartz has more colors available than quartzite. With its multi-dimensional, gem-like color options, quartz creates a very attractive and nice countertop option for your home. White quartzite makes for very nice looking kitchen countertops. Quartz comes in almost any color since it is engineered and manufactured, so you can find quartz in white, rose, violet, yellow and brown, among other colors.
Quartzite countertops cost less than quartz countertops generally. You may expect so spend between one-half and two-thirds the cost per square foot on quartzite than you would on quartz. You’ll want to contact a contractor to get a more specific estimate of what each type of countertop would cost, but generally speaking, you’ll pay more for quartz counter tops than you will for quartzite.
Another difference between quartzite countertops and quartz countertops is what they are made out of. Both materials are manufactured, but quartzite is harder than quartz. Both materials can be made to be smooth, creating an ideal countertop. However, quartzite uses quartz and sandstone instead of just quartz. This makes quartzite somewhat harder than quartz. Because of this, many contactors prefer to work with quartz because it is easier to work with.
When it comes down to it, you’ll want to compare samples of both materials to know if you want to install a quartz countertop or a quartzite countertop in your home. Your contractor will be able to explain the differences in more detail and be able to answer any specific questions you have about color, price or availability.
Quartz countertop and Quartzite countertop Safety
While there may be some important differences between quartz and quartzite countertops, the safety procedures you should follow for both are the same. Even though these countertops are strong and chemical resistant, there are definitely some things you’ll want to do to make sure you and your family are safe on your new counters.
Even though quartz and quartzite are strong, hard surfaces, they aren’t impervious to scratches, nicks and dings. You should take some steps to make sure your countertops stay in top shape and don’t end up ruined before their time. Here are some tips to maintain surface durability:
- Use a cutting board on top of quartz or quartzite counters to protect the counter. This will also prevent your blades from becoming dull before their time when they hit the stone.
- Don’t use harsh chemicals to clean the counters. Substances such as harsh solvents from drain openers, oven cleaners and paint stripping solutions can damage the quartz or quartzite. Instead, use something such as a soft cleaner to wash the countertops.
Since the quartz or quartzite is not porous, it doesn’t have any tiny pockets for germs to get in. This makes it resistant to the growth of mold, mildew or bacteria, thus making it safer for your family to use than other countertops. This doesn’t mean bacteria can’t exist on its surface, however. When cutting meat or other products that can contain harmful bacteria, make sure to thoroughly wash the area afterwards so that you and your family don’t get a dangerous infection or food-borne illness.
As mentioned, you don’t need to use harsh solvents or chemicals to keep your countertops clean. Instead, simple soap and water will work fine. If you have food that is stuck on the surface, you can use a scouring pad with a mild abrasive. If you want to avoid streaks, you can use a window cleaner on your quartz or quartzite counters.
When you are trying to choose what to use for your next counters in your kitchen, consider quartzite countertops or quartz countertops. Both are durable, long-lasting materials that require little maintenance. Talk to a contractor about installing a quartzite countertop or quartz countertop in your home soon and see the benefits of these attractive materials sooner than later.