My favorite slab ever! Help decide please!
yaelkame
July 19, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We placed this beautiful "quartzite" on hold, took home a SEALED sample and put it trough the food stain test for a few hours. The oil and vinegar destroyed the seal. How to resolve this or any suggestions on a similar granite that won't stain. Thank you!
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
This is a beautiful slab. I have used quartzite for clients with a busy family and they have nothing but good things to say about it. I suspect it's the vinegar that destroyed the seal. Key would be to clean up when you cook and not leave stuff on the counter for hours. Regular polish with a marble and granite polish should help you keep it looking like new.

My next kitchen will definitely have quartzite counter tops. It's beautiful. Looks like marble but is as hard as or a bit harder than granite.

Good luck.
July 19, 2013 at 2:27PM     
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yaelkame
Thank you. I would never Intentionally leave the food on the counter... But my life is hectic and lots of people through my house. What type of granite cleaner would you recommend? I'll buy one and see if it works on this sample. Maybe that will help me decide. Thanks again!
July 19, 2013 at 2:32PM     
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H Kara
Bought this same quartzite for my kitchen . Have had nothing but heartache with it. Had it sealed with Granitle Shield which I was told would protect it. Had immediate etching and staining which will only come off with professional polishing. Granite Shield told me they do not warrant quartzite from etching. So it is a useless product on this stone, and none of the cleaning products will get up etching on this stone.
I had someone come out to look at the counter that is familiar with marble and quartzite, and he told me this stone should have never been sold for kitchen use. It is to soft.. I too was told by our sales person that quartzite is a harder material than granite and practically maintenance free.

I use my kitchen, and I am a neat cook, now I am afraid to even put a glass on the counter because it leaves rings that won't come off. If there is a product that will prevent the etching and staining I sure would love to hear about it.
July 20, 2013 at 1:13PM   
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
I have used Mother of Pearl for a client in her kitchen and she absolutely loves it. When I followed up with her she said she hasn't had any problems with it.

I did attend a seminar hosted by the Marble and Stone Institute of America, I may have the name wrong, but it was something like that and we were told that natural quartzite is harder, slightly, than granite but the benefit was that it has the soft graining and beauty of marble. I'm very interested in your dilemma as complete customer satisfaction is a very high priority for me. I'm wondering if there are different strengths of quartzite. As I mentioned above my goal is to have quartzite in my next kitchen, but I cook all the time for many people so I don't want something that will not take the action in our home :-) I'm so sorry you are having these problems. Ultimately we are all at the mercy of the people selling the product and we do rely on their advice.

Wish I had a definitive answer for you.
July 20, 2013 at 1:53PM   
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gipper1971
Quartzite is soft and similar to marble. It needs to be sealed yearly. Clean up spills promptly and it should hold up. Granite is the hardest substance and easiest to care for.
July 20, 2013 at 3:43PM     
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kinaanderson
It also depends on the sealer used. There is a 15 year sealer that some of the fabricators use, which is more expensive but does have a 15 year guarantee or the sealer manufacturer will strip, clean & re-seal or quartzite.
July 20, 2013 at 3:49PM   
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
okay everyone - I have just started an experiment. I have a piece of madre pearla or mother of pearl quartzite - photo attached - and I've hit it with every type of acid I can think of, lime juice, grapefruit juice, lemon juice and home made red wine vinegar and salt- it's sitting in the sun with a martini glass on it - I will keep you posted of the outcome in two hours. Let's see how it performs.
July 20, 2013 at 4:13PM   
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H Kara
I was sold Granite Shield with a lifetime warranty, except after one day it etched, emailed Granite Shield and was told that Granite Shield is not guaranteed on marble or quartzite. They also said it would help protect it up to 80%. It did nothing to protect it from etching. Can't even leave a glass on the counter. The sealer was useless.
July 20, 2013 at 4:14PM   
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
The cleaner I use is Granite and Marble Top - cleaner, conditioner and polish
July 20, 2013 at 4:16PM   
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H Kara
But does it get rid of etching? I was told only polishing it would get rid of the etching.
July 20, 2013 at 4:19PM   
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
http://www.marble-institute.com/consumers/care.cfm here is a link to the Marble Institute of America entitled "get to know your stone" - how to care for your stone.
July 20, 2013 at 4:27PM   
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indianpatti
I would recommend River White granite ...
July 20, 2013 at 4:39PM     
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simplify52
I have been told that there is a huge difference between quartz and quartzite. I was told that quartz is harder than granite and quartzite is not. I have been told that quartz doesn't stain but quartzite does. Is this true and, if so, maybe the salesman who sold it to you does not know the difference. Don't know if this helps but just throwing out something I have heard. That slab is gorgeoous!!!
July 20, 2013 at 4:42PM   
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simplify52
Ohhhh, Indianpatti, that is River White granite is beautiful. I don't think I have ever seen that before!
July 20, 2013 at 4:43PM   
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indianpatti
I think so too! My goodness, why would you want something harder than granite? I always laugh when people say that ... they used granite for buildings (think old banks) .. endured all kinds of weather.
July 20, 2013 at 4:51PM     
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H Kara
How did the experiment go with the lime and lemons? Any Etching?
July 20, 2013 at 6:59PM     
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yaelkame
Thank you! I would live to see your " martini glass test" we are quite nervous to use this beautiful quartzite and I am grateful for all of your responses. The river white granite looks like a great alternative. Anyone have any other ideas? Thanks again!
July 20, 2013 at 7:21PM   
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
Well - I stretched it out longer than I had intended. I threw everything I could think of at this piece of Madre Perla, or Mother of Pearl Quartzite. Oil, grapefruit, lemon and lime juices, sat a martini glass on it, raked it with a fork, after two hours I washed it with a wash cloth and dried it. Also left a can of tomatoes on it for an hour with the metal bottom right in the middle of all this acid. Not a mark on it. After that I took a cut lemon and left it cut side down for another hour and a half and I also took a paper towel with gritty salt and rubbed at it for a minute. I took my sharp butcher knife and ran it across the sample with a decent amount of pressure and still not one single mark. I don't know what to tell you. Based on these experiments I would definitely put this product in my kitchen as my counter top.

One thing I should mention is that natural quartzite does have a mesh backing and one of my kitchen fabricators said it will have a tendency to be a bit more brittle so I wouldn't stand on it or smash at it with a mallet.

It's possible that this particular stone is harder than other quartzite products.

I wish I had a definitive answer for you and will explore this further as I wouldn't want to specify a product that won't stand the test of time.

If I am able to find out anything more I will definitely keep you all in the loop.

It would be great if someone from the Marble Institute of America would respond to this thread with information which would help you all.
July 20, 2013 at 7:45PM     
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H Kara
The question I come back to is, maybe it's the sealer, that's compromised? I sure would like to know what you have on that stone
July 20, 2013 at 8:59PM     
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
I was wondering that as well or if it's the difference between the actual stone.

At 11:30 p.m. I put a cut side down lemon on it and also left a glass sitting right on some of the juice. This morning at 6:30 I cleaned it and there wasn't a mark on the sample - it was as beautiful as always.

This morning at 6:45 I put a tablespoon of red wine on the sample and cut a tomatoe with a very sharp knife, not taking any particular care when cutting. At 7:30 I checked it. No etching but I did notice a pink cast to the veins that were affected by the wine. I have since put a kettle of boiling water on it and a mixture of baking soda and water and am letting it sit. I will let you know if that takes out the pinkyness to the veins.

I'm a bit busy today but will post photos some time later today.

Monday I will call Tempo Marble and see if I can get the contact information for the speaker who came from the Marble Institute of America and also ask her if she has any insight into quartzite in particular. They carry a lot of it.

Have a great day.
July 21, 2013 at 4:52AM   
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
Below are the photos of the different stages. As you can see the baking soda mixture took the wine stain out in about 15 - 20 minutes. So good to know. I will check it later once it has had time to dry and see if the grayness has disappeared in that veined area.
July 21, 2013 at 5:07AM   
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Molly
My thought is: if you have a busy a kitchen, then you should cater to that. It's probably one sacrifice you won't regret when it comes to picking function or aesthetics. Every imperfection will break your heart with a beautiful counter top.
July 21, 2013 at 5:14AM     
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H Kara
I cook a lot and entertain a lot, when I was told that this quartzite was more durable and practically maintenance free, I thought that was a no brainer. Little did I know, I wasn't told the truth.
July 21, 2013 at 6:35AM   
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yaelkame
Thanks Carolyn. When I put down ketchup, wine, soy sauce, mustard, and coffee over night they cleaned up beautifully. It was only the oil and vinegar that ruined the beautiful stone. It seems like it even disturbed the movement of the veining.
July 21, 2013 at 6:41AM     
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yaelkame
Kara, can I see pictures? What about if you have it refinished and then re-sealed 4 times?
July 21, 2013 at 6:48AM   
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olldcan
I would go with that slab, it's just beautiful. Pick up a new package of dish cloths and read your family the riot act!!! I think most of us use cutting boards and if we don't, we should!!! Same for wiping the counter, if you make a mess, clean it immediately!!!!!
July 21, 2013 at 6:49AM   
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olldcan
BTW, I always love an experiment :)
July 21, 2013 at 6:50AM   
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H Kara
I use cutting boards I am a maniac about keeping the counter clean, I walk around with a towel in my hand, and yell at anyone who dares put a glass down without a coaster. But is that how I want to live, in terror of a piece of rock? If there are others out there who don't have a problem with etching, then maybe it's the sealer or the slab that I got that is defective?
July 21, 2013 at 7:27AM     
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H Kara
Images of etching and staining are on my page.
July 21, 2013 at 7:29AM   
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lapannacotta
pick another stone.. in a month (of maintenance free issues ) you'll have forgotten all about this slab. we had carrara marble honed and super sealed .. in kitchen and bath. it was ok more or less in the kitchen, but i did seal on top of the sealer with beeswax every 6 months (hassle) and a rotary polishing pad on my drill.

it was the cheapest stone - about 5 a square foot for a slab of 50 or so sq feet. really gorgeous but ultimately we did always have that worry about someone putting red wine down. it did show stains REALLY QUICKLY. so we were careful, but woudl not want to to use this again. looking at ceasarstone in misty marble or whatever it's called.
July 21, 2013 at 7:40AM   
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wench7
Just get it honed to remove the shiny finish so etching will not show , and accept the fact that there will be some discoloration but with the "movement " of the piece most will never show and will blend in with variety of colors in the slab. And go with what you love, or you will be forever disappointed!
July 21, 2013 at 8:03AM     
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H Kara
The stone has been installed since May. Had it taken out and re-polished and re-sealed last week. If I have it honed then all the beauty of the stone is gone. Will look like cement. No answers as to why it is etching and what can be applied to it to stop the etching. Anyone else have problems with Granite Shield and or quartzite?
July 21, 2013 at 9:36AM   
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
Here are some interesting observations from people who have quartzite http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0422364917346.html some interesting reading on this subject - if scroll down a fair way there is a post about resins which will cause etching. Keep you posted later on what I find out from Tempo.
July 22, 2013 at 4:21AM   
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DIAspoton
just an FYI. last week i brought a marble top for a side table in from the garage. it had been out there for 3 yrs with red wine and other stains. washed it off. placed hydrogen peroxide soaked cotton balls on the stains. then a flat cloth. then plastic cling wrap to keep the liquid from drying out. then heavy books for pressure. 24 hrs later the 3 yr old stains had completely disappeared! amazing.
July 22, 2013 at 5:14AM   
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H Kara
Thanks to Carolyn, I think I found an answer as to why my quartzite etches and others do not. Found a link that said if the stone had resin applied to it at the suppliers then that would cause the etching on an otherwise very durable and etch resistant stone. You can have the etching polished out but not the resin. Once the resin is on there the stone will always etch. Below are pictures of my quartzite with and without the etching. It is called Himalayan quartzite.
July 22, 2013 at 8:50AM   
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PRO
Granite Transformations
You'll have to consider what's more important for your kitchen, the look or functionality.

Most natural stones are going to have to be sealed to protect them from oil, liquid, heat, scratching and staining. Most companies won't give you a lifetime warranty.

Our granite counters are heat, stain and scratch resistant. We provide a lifetime warranty and your counters are permanently sealed since our product is engineered (90% granite and 10% polymer).

Check out our selection here- http://www.granitetransformations.com/southjersey/products/granite-countertops/colors/

Hope this helps!
July 22, 2013 at 8:57AM   
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H Kara
Sorry this does not help, since I was told that this stone was very durable and was resistant to etching, staining, burning and scratching. It was practically maintenance free. That was the selling point, how could I not get this beautiful stone, when it was so practical. It turned out to be a nightmare, etched immediately. And I clean up immediately when I cook,nothing left over night on counters. The sealant put on it does don't warrant quartzite from etching. I feel I was deceived into getting both.
July 22, 2013 at 9:08AM   
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suesings
Kara, so the shop put the resin on it? Do most stone shops do that? I love the Madre Perla Quartzite and would love to have it but I would be so bummed out to find out it etched and stained so easily.
October 10, 2013 at 4:37PM   
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H Kara
Don't know who put the resin on it or if it even has resin, that hasn't been determined, just a guess right now. If it does might have been done by supplier. . If you use your kitchen other than just a "show kitchen " I would tell you run away from this stone. It was twice the price of a granite I was looking at, and it's been nothing but trouble.
October 10, 2013 at 5:24PM   
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