When designing a kitchen it can be a confusing task. All of the elements must be practical and durable, but also fit the chosen color scheme and style of your living space. The significance of countertops is often overlooked when putting together a design, yet they can have a huge impact on the look and practicality of the room. They need to be able to withstand daily use, including the use of heat and knives, easy to clean and maintain, and fit with the rest of the décor. Being such a large aspect of the kitchen it’s safe to say that countertops are one of the most prominent aspects of kitchen design.
However with such a boggling range of options available how do you select the right one for you? Do you choose granite, a solid but pricey choice for most kitchens? Or maybe consider increasing your property value with marble, a beautiful but more fragile offering?
At Mackson Marble Granite, our experts have developed a tailored collection of countertop materials, all of which have been chosen for their superior quality. Our natural stone countertop offerings of marble, granite or quartzite provide a modern touch to your cooking space, with excellent durability.
Marble and granite are certainly traditional choices, but quartzite has increased in popularity in recent years as trendy designers searched for new ways to decorate the hub of the home. So, what has piqued everyone’s interest in this previously unknown rock?
When sandstone is exposed to heat and pressure, it forms quartzite, which is then quarried and cut to shape. Being metamorphic rock, quartzite has a rough surface which requires sealing at least twice a year as, due to the porous surface, staining can occur.
Don’t let this put you off, though – quartzite is one of the most hard-wearing natural rocks available, being even stronger than granite. Resistant to heat and ultraviolet rays, quartzite’s durability can’t be understated. However, a chopping board is still required to prevent scratching from sharp objects.
Style-wise, quartzite has a naturally-occurring colour range with lighter and darker grey variants which can be slightly translucent. Pink and red marbling can also occur due to the natural dispersion of iron oxide. The final look is elegant and natural, with a textured feel, due to natural variants in quartzite’s porosity.
As one of the most popular natural stone choices for Long Island kitchens, quartzite countertops have many benefits which put it above its marble and granite counterparts. But did you know that we also offer an alternative to quartzite that has its own unique benefits?
Often mistakenly considered interchangeable with its natural counterpart, quartz, unlike quartzite, is man-made, comprising of 93% quartz particles held together by resin.
This combination results in a material that consists of many of quartzite’s benefits, with fewer issues with durability.
The manufacturing process of quartz results in an artificially smoothed surface, meaning it does not require sealer. This non-porous surface works as a barrier against moisture and microbes, reducing the likelihood of staining and microbial damage.
The increased durability means that quartz requires less frequent replacements, and on top of that, quartz is also recyclable, proving that being man-made doesn’t reduce this material’s eco-credentials.
Unlike quartzite, quartz is only resistant to temperatures of up to 150 degrees, so placing a hot pot or pan directly onto it is out of the question. This is due to the resin content, which is not as heat-resistant as natural quartzite.
However, quartz can be more scratch-resistant than quartzite, although it is not completely scratch-proof. However unlike natural materials, quartz can easily be repaired by buffing and polishing shallow scratches or refilling deeper chips with resin or epoxy.
One of the biggest benefits to quartz is the wide variety of colours that it is available in. This is because pigments can be added to quartz during the manufacturing process, resulting in a spectrum of colour options and the potential for bespoke patterns, or even replications of other stones, such as marble or granite. However, unlike natural stone, quartz is smooth to the touch.
Quartz vs Quartzite: Which is Cheaper to Buy or Maintain?
Quartzite can cast upwards of $200 per square foot of material, whereas quartz is a little easier on the pocket, reaching to around $150 per square foot.
This is because mining and shipping solid slabs of quartzite, cutting them into shape with a diamond blade and shipping them to their individual retails. It is also worth noting that quartzite slabs vary widely in sizing, as due to the natural rock formation, standardisation is impossible to achieve.
Quartz, on the other hand, is much easier to manufacture. The combination of natural particles, resin and pigments can simply be poured into the shape of choice and then set by baking it into standard sized slabs.
It is also recommended that quartzite countertops are re-sealed twice a year. A natural stone sealant can be purchased for up to $30 and the work can be completed at home, but is still an additional cost which increases if you decide to pay someone to complete the labour for you. This is due to quartz not requiring any sealant, this additional cost is eliminated.
So, which stone is better?
With quartzite’s natural finish, unbelievable heat protection and unrivalled strength, it is an excellent option for those who want a natural, durable countertop and don’t mind completing the resealing process twice a year.
On the other hand, quartz is an excellent option for anyone looking for a low-maintenance countertop with a wide range of colours and patterns available, for a truly bespoke-looking kitchen.
Ultimately, the best choice for a countertop can only be decided by you, based on your needs and requirements. Hopefully our summary has helped you decide which Mackson countertop you choose.
To take the next step in achieving your new dream kitchen, contact our team of experts today. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about our stock, and provide tailored advice.