Quartzite is a natural stone that is very hard and therefore scratch and stain resistant. It can handle extreme heat without issue. Quartz by contrast is man-made and designed to mimic the qualities of quartzite. It is made from natural minerals including quartz, plus resins, and pigments. It is very hard, stain, etch, and scratch resistant.
Pure quartzite is usually white to grey, though quartzite often occur in various shades of pink and red due to varying amounts of iron oxide. 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.
Quartz, because it is man-made will often be more consistent in pattern and offer a wide range of colors, patterns, styles, and brands to choose among. It is scratch, stain, and heat resistant (resistant not proof!). Quartz has the natural mineral “quartz” within it, which is how it derives its name. The natural quartz is then blended with other raw materials, polymer resins, and pigments. Quartz is often referred to as “engineered stone” or “re-engineered stone”, this is because the manufacturing process mixes approximately 95% ground natural quartz with about 5% polymer resins. The combination of strong natural quartz gives quartz countertops great durability while the resins help to make the product non-porous (unlike natural stones). Pricing will vary among quartz brands and styles. The brand, along with the popularity of a color, and the complexity of its design will influence the raw slab price from the manufacturer. Quartz will typically range from low/mid-range to high price points. Quartz can typically accommodate more edge profiles, larger unsupported overhangs, and stone length than a Quartzite.