Marble Vs Quartzite (The Pros and Cons)
Marble is a natural stone characterized typically by its soft veining. Although it comes in a variety of colors and patterns, most commonly marbles are shades of grey and white with veins rather than speckles. Marble is much softer than quartzite so as a result will show wear over time. Marble is very porous and therefore can easily stain. Just like quartzite countertops sealers can be applied slow this absorption down. Etching however is an issue with marble, which cannot be easily fixed. Etching is a chemical process that alters the marble’s appearance and structure. This occurs when anything acidic comes into contact with the stone (IE: lemon, ice tea, citrus, wine, salad dressing). Etching will remove any shine to the stone and then leaves a dull rougher spot on the countertops. Since this is a chemical reaction, it is not reversible. Honing is a process by which polish of the stone is pre-worn away in fabrication on the countertops. While this makes the stone more porous (the polish acts as a barrier) it also minimizes the appearance of etching on the countertops. Marble customers understand and appreciate this timeless look, but evolving finish. Just look at Europe, thousands of years old and the wear and tear is what has made it even more beautiful!
Quartzite often occurs in various shades of pink and red due to varying amounts of iron oxide, pure quartzite though is usually white to grey. Other minerals may cause quartzites to also come in shades of yellow, green, blue and orange. Typically Quartzite will have a glassy, soft appearance, and can be a more durable alternative to marble. Quartzite should NOT etch, like marble. However miss categorization as a marble is common, so homeowners should be sure they know the qualities of the stone they are getting. Applying lemon juice to the surface of a sample and letting it sit overnight is a simple way to show if the stone is a true quartzite and is in fact not a marble. If it is not a true quartzite, an etch mark will be visible and/or touchable. Quartzites are very hard and as a result they can expensive to quarry and fabricate. Expect quartzites to be at the higher range of pricing as a result. Quartzite’s often have limited edges, overhangs, and stone lengths that may also be factors to consider for your individual project.