Quartzite Benchtops: A Guide
When it comes to updating your benchtop or investing in your first one, you may find it challenging to determine which material to choose. As a homeowner, you’ll want to select a benchtop material that is both attractive and durable. However, it can be hard to make a selection with so many options available. Quartzite is one of the most underappreciated benchtop materials. Many homeowners appear to be unaware of this choice. Hence a guide is in order!
- The Look/Appearance
The look of quartzite is similar to that of marble. Many customers prefer a long-lasting benchtop but dislike the darker specks present in many granite varieties. Dark patches are rare in quartzite, if they exist at all.
Quartzite is either white or grey or a combination of the two, like marble. Colours from throughout the world are also available. In addition, quartzite is available in various colours, including blue, violet, emerald, and brown.
- The Cost
Quartzite is an excellent choice for those who desire the look of marble but don’t want to spend a fortune on a gorgeous benchtop. Quartzite worktops may appear expensive compared to laminate, but when compared to other stone benchtop options, quartzite is less expensive than marble and on par with granite and quartz. Quartzite costs between $60 and $100 per square foot on average.
Quartzite becomes more expensive as it becomes more exotic or scarce. Quartzite is more costly than granite when comparing equivalent grades of stone. A familiar quartzite, on the other hand, maybe less expensive than a rare granite. It all comes down to the sort of stone chosen and the availability of that stone.
The quartzite will be more expensive the thicker the slab. The demand for quartzite is increasing, but the stone is also becoming more widely available. Therefore, prices will fall as the supply increases.
- The Durability
Granite is frequently credited with being a long-lasting benchtop material. However, just because granite is long-lasting doesn’t imply other benchtops aren’t as well. Quartzite is not only long-lasting but is also more substantial than granite. Quartzite is between a seven and an eight on the Mohs scale, whereas granite is between a 6.5 and a 7. On the same scale, marble is usually a 3 or 4, while quartz is a 7. Quartzite is, in fact, the toughest of all tabletop materials.
The density of a benchtop is a critical consideration. Quartzite is denser than granite, which means it has fewer pores. Quartzite rarely needs to be sealed due to its density. The use of a sealer regularly will help to avoid deterioration, despite some professionals claiming otherwise. Quartzite, on the other hand, is less likely to stain.
Quartzite is not unbreakable, despite its durability. However, it is much less susceptible to etch and chip than granite, marble, and even quartz. Quartzite can also withstand high temperatures.
- The Maintenance
Quartzite is one of the simplest materials to manage when it comes to stone benchtops. Based on how porous the stone is, different types of quartzite will require subtly different levels of care. According to the general rule of thumb, should seal all stone benchtops to protect them from spills. Resealing depends on the density of the quartzite you get.
Stone Benchtops, like quartzite, require a lot of sealers. Once a year, use a sealer to preserve your quartzite benchtop from spills and other potential damage. The sealant will prevent your surfaces from staining and discolouration.
Quartzite benchtops should be kept clean and free of spillage daily. To avoid the sealant peeling off quartzite benchtops, all cleansers should be non-abrasive. If the sealer fades off, your countertops may not appear as shiny as they once did. To keep your benchtop looking its best, invest in a specific stone cleaner.
Almost any edge profile that can achieve with stone can be achieved with quartz. Two of the most frequent treatments are the standard eased edge, softly rounded over to avoid any harsh angles, and the more whimsical ogee, which resembles an S curve on its side.
Your manufacturer will work with you to choose an edge that complements the style of your kitchen and the thickness of the countertop—typically ½, ¾, or 1¼ inches—and will shape the profile using a template given by the manufacturer. Custom designs, such as a chiselled, bare edge (pictured) or a gently cascading three-level waterfall-style profile, are available from fabricators. Keep in mind that the more complicated the edge, the more expensive it will be.
Is Quartzite a Good Material for a Benchtop?
Quartzite is an excellent material to utilize in the kitchen. While it is not as common as granite benchtops, it has the same strength and durability as granite while still having the appearance of marble. And, unlike marble, it is resistant against etching and scratching. As a result, quartzite is a beautiful material for an island countertop.
Due to quartzite slabs being similar in size to granite slabs, most kitchens require multiple slabs. The fabricator will recommend the number of seams, their positions, and seam directions during the designing process. Ensure the colour and veining at the seams are consistent, so the countertop seems to be one continuous piece. Remember that precise alignment may not be achievable, so strive to reduce the deviations as much as possible.
There are a variety of surface finishes that can be used to modify the appearance of quartzite. A polished surface will appear shiny, highlighting the stone’s colours and veining. Honed surfaces offer a softer, matte appearance, with minor veining and colour variation. The surface of a leathered surface is slightly rough and has a sheer gloss.
Quartzite, as previously stated, is ideal for a kitchen island, where it can command all of the attention and is the star of the show. An island with cabinets that are a different colour than the perimeter is a modern trend. An island with blue cabinets and a stunning quartzite countertop may be breathtaking. However, it’s critical that the cabinets, backsplash, and flooring are aware of their supporting roles in the aesthetics. Avoid tiles, penny rounds, and materials with a lot of movement because they will compete with the island.