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kathouse

IS SUPER WHITE, granite, quartzite or marble?

kathouse
7 years ago
I am very confused to what "SUPER WHITE" is.. I was told it is quartzite and is as durable as granite....but now some else has mentioned quartzite is not, it is more like marble and not recommended for kitchen counter???? I am confused?? Any answers??

Comments (211)

  • shannonj
    One more thing, I think the best advice given to me is really think about how you live , are you hard on things etc. and how much you are willing to put up with: cleaning, maintaining, chippy, etching.
    We put leathered and honed Virginia black granite in our laundry room. It is gorgeous and it is indestructible but does show some water spots and dust. Nothing is perfect!
  • Jenny
    Hi guys, going to post in a few places because I’m feeling a little confused/unsure. I got 2 samples of super white “quartzite” and tried testing them. The one that was sealed etched like crazy and the one that was unsealed looks totally fine. Is it just that they are different slabs? Or is it possible that it’s the sealer that got etched? Is that even a thing? Did any stone fabricators allow you to get a sample of your specific slab to test it before you 100% committing to it? Not sure where to go from here.
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  • Rosie Brunner-Menifee Memory Page

    I have shadow storm quartzite ! I love the look but it’s a soft stone and I have 3 chips in it ! If you hit it with glass it chips! I wish I went with quartz !

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    Jenny,, that's very odd. the part that etched may have a high concentration of calcite. super white is a dolomite, not a quartzite. dolomite is marble's first cousin. Sometimes different slabs have different concentrations of these minerals. you may have tested the actual marble or calcite portion.

    i have super white in my bathroom, sealed it w/ Sealers Gold, and haven't had one issue w/it.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    RevitaStone,,, super white is a dolomite. Quartzite is not based on density. Quartzite is a metamorphic rock made almost entirely of the mineral quartz. (sand particles that have had great pressure and heat applied to it over millions of years, if you want to get geologically nerdy about it) This OP has a piece that etches. True quartzite, will not etch. Now there is Super White that may have some quartz deposits in it, but geologically speaking, it's classified as a Dolomite.

    If you happen to get a slab w/a large majority of these quartz deposits, you will have a slab that leans toward the hardiness of quartzite. A super white slab that looks like this, prob has more quartz deposits and will act like quartzite,

    as opposed to a slab that looks like this, which most likely is your dolomite.

    What's confusing is that some may lean toward quartzite, but the majority are classified as a dolomite. But to flat out say that Super White is a quartzite, is absolutely false.

    Not all Super Whites are dolomitic marble. Some are likely to be calcitic marble, and others may be quartzite, which would indeed wear like granite. All are confusingly lumped under the same name. So if you go to buy stone countertops, bring along a glass tile and see if the rock can scratch it.

    In fact, RevitaSTone, try this with your "super white "quartzite" and see if it passes this test.

    Geologists use diluted hydrochloric acid to identify the mineral calcite, which is the primary ingredient in marble. A single drop of acid on calcite will yield faint bubbles as the mineral dissolves and gives off carbon dioxide gas. Alas, when acid is put on Super White it does not bubble at first. But, if the surface of the rock is scratched up, then the bubbles appear. This is the classic test for dolomite, which is a close cousin to calcite. Dolomite is slightly more resistant to acid than calcite, but it will still dissolve over time.

    What about Super White?

    Super White is one of the stones that is frequently caught in the quartzite vs. marble mystery. Most commonly, Super White is dolomitic marble. That means it won’t scratch glass and it will etch with acids. Some Super White has minor amounts of quartz mixed in with the marble. But the rock is still marble and will act like marble. When doing the glass test with Super White, be sure to test a few different areas to get a sense for the overall rock. Is it all the same? Or are there some parts that are harder or softer?

    Hardness can be determined by seeing if the rock scratches glass. Granite will scratch glass easily but no matter how hard you press, marble simply cannot put a dent into glass. When put to the test, Super White does not scratch glass.

    RevittaStone, perhaps you have similar looking quartzite, or slabs with more quartzite deposits, but the main make up of this Super White is dolomite.

    Please, don't be one of these companies that misinform customers as to the make up of this stone. Is Super White quartzite? Not 100% of the time. But it is 100% of the time made up of dolomite.

  • PRO
    RevitaStone Granite & Quartz Countertops

    Thank you for the very informative explanation Beth. As our multiple suppliers all label it as a quartzite; I would normally trust their judgement - as they are the ones who source the blocks, cut them into bundles and finish the surface of each slab but they may not be doing the research you have done on this type of rock.

    Marble.com lists it as a quartzite:

    https://marble.com/material/quartzite/465/super-white-quartzite

    & here, Stone Contact lists it as a marble but under the description notes it also a quartzite.

    http://www.stonecontact.com/products-424810/super-white-brazilian-arabescato-3cm-slabs

    I did find the publication that you reference here:

    http://pubs.naturalstoneinstitute.org/pub/ec94553e-ee1a-cfa9-9bf8-485a20cb83cb

    Which will be great for future explanations.

    Thanks, that was super helpful.

  • Jenny
    Found a fantastic deal on a remnant that is large enough for my island. Got a piece to test and put lemon juice, ketchup, grape juice and a cold glass of water on it- looks to be great. Can’t find anything that I like as much as this. Should I do it?!
  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    absolutely. that's a nice looking piece. what do they want for just that slab? (cash is king!)

  • Jenny
    $2400 installed for my (basically) 10x3ft island.
  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    And that's a leftover piece? If so, that's a bit high. If it's a solid slab, then it's ok.

    this was my leftover piece.

    he cut a 6' vanity top w/a 10"x6' back splash for my bathroom, and cut a 3'X12" piece for a makeup area. I think everything total came to 800 or so?? I know the slab itself was only a few hundred.

    However, your 10' is pretty large, but it's an easy fabrication.

  • Jenny
    Wow! That sounds super cheap. Another place I called said it would be $3800 so this sounded like a great deal.
  • Gina Lisi

    Is there any Quartz that looks similar to Super white Quartzite?

  • Karen Nottle
    I would say use Danby marble. I used the super white quartzite in my kitchen. It looks amazing but it chips super easy. The Danby marble I used in my bathroom is quite strong.
  • mshutterbug
    Old thread with so much good info! Just got off phone with a slabyard I’ve visited before. He said that they personally classify Super White as a marble because it contains calcium carbonate and WILL be prone to etch. I thought I’d solved my selection dilemma but I guess not. I love the look of it but I just don’t think it would hold up well to my family. Sigh. He suggested Sequel Super White quartz (photo below) which is pretty, but it’s not Super White quartzite/marble, which just has that natural and soft and dreamy look. Starting to think we’ll be stuck with no countertops forever!
  • Rosie Brunner-Menifee Memory Page

    It’s quartizte but has marble properties. I have shadow storm quartzite and it chips like crazy!!! Each stone is different when it comes to its properties you need to test a piece of your stone prior to purchase. Look on YouTube! Mine does not etch but I also paid a lot of money for a lifetime sealer. It was a mistake using this stone in an active kitchen. I would go with quartz next time there are some beautiful marble like quartz counters now!

  • 180mik
    Our fabricator warned us for Super White quartzite. He said SWQ is only for people who don’t cook and use kitchen to showoff or to resale house. SWQ looks good, but not meant for kitchen daily use. Now, we’re stuck with either go with granite or quartz. Personally, I don’t like quartz. Granite don’t have much choices in white colour. In quartz, some what like the Viatera Karis. Anyone, who can tell us, how is LG Viatera ?
  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    180mik,,,Super White is a dolomite. some slabs act like a hard quartzite, and do not etch or stain. I have it and mine has held up beautifully.

    if you want a white granite, look at Princess White or Shadow Storm

  • 180mik
    Thanks Beth. They both look nice, where I can look at actual slab.
  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    go to a stone yard (A company/seller of large slabs of natural stone, not a yard that carries bricks/stone for building materials) in your area. try and go to one of the larger yards since they will carry more of a selection. visit multiple yards for variation.

    they'll have slabs lined up and may even have pre-fab countertops (the smaller, pre-cut pieces)

  • Rachel Nye

    We had mystery gold quartzite installed..So far super durable (red wine left overnight and kids hitting barstools on it) and no problems.

  • businesswomen440
    I want to give some feedback after almost four years with Super White in my elderly mother’s kitchen, and in my daughter’s kitchen for about three years now.

    After some initial worries, my daughter who has two small children says “No worries. It’s kinda indestructible”. She and her husband are avid cooks and the counters get a lot of use. They don’t baby the counters but they do try to wipe things up as they go. So far no etching or issues. Same for my elderly mothers counters....and she doesn’t see that well to wipe up spills anyway.

    Here is my daughter’s kitchen:

    I would say that based on this experience , Super White is an excellent choice for those who want a marble look without the worry.
  • PRO
    D Old Granite LLC

    great feedback businesswomen440

  • Leana Giannios

    I'm late to the party, but is the super white quartzite acceptable for kitchens? I'm looking for something similar. Everything I love (white with veins is marble and is a no by my husband) I love the super white, and i love anything that looks carrara inspired. My kitchen is all white so the countertops can have some movement. Any suggestions? Also, any suggestions as far as where to look for stones in NJ?

  • Rachel Nye
    Leana we have Mystery White Quartzite and it's been amazing. Even with small kids (egg coloring....markers...juice). We seal it every so often (it's due) but so far so good. Even red wine left over night removed with magic eraser.
  • PRO
    Cambria

    Hello Leana Giannios, Cambria is made of natural quartz. It is stain-resistant and nonabsorbent. Quartzite requires sealing while Cambria is low-maintenance for life. We have a number of stunning designs in our Marble Collection and our dealers can be found by visiting our dealer locator. Hope this helps!

    Featured below: Cambria Brittanicca

    Cozy and Modern Mountain Home · More Info


  • Rachel Nye
    Cambria I tried every piece of marble look you have. We have actual marble floors and the fakeness of the material was very sad. The veining seems very artificial and like spider veins. Also you should tell the person what else is mixed with the quartz.... (plastics). For your prices a natural stone is the better choice. Otherwise felt like good old formica would have worked if not wanting a natural stone.
  • PRO
    Cambria

    Rachel Nye, we're sorry you were unable to find a design for you space. Cambria is made of natural quartz, pigment, and a binder, which is what makes our surfaces nonabsorbent. Cambria uses a Declare® label, which discloses a variety of details about our product. We are also listed as Health Product Declaration (HPD) v2.1 in the Public Repository. Unlike like other stone surfaces, we are NSF 51 certified safe for use as a food preparation surface. That's the same certification as stainless steel, there is no safer countertop for food preparation.

  • Patsy Cline

    Kim DiSpirito, What was the "lifetime sealer" you used on your Shadow Storm?

  • Diane Sacchetti

    businesswomen440 do you know where your daughter bought her Super White? There are so many review that say it etches and watermarks, etc. show on it. Did she do anything special to seal it?

  • businesswomen440

    In response to Diane S:

    We purchased our Super White Select at Granite and Marble Supply of Illinois for one project and Terrazzo and Marble supply for the other.

    In both cases, the stone has performed extremely well. I might add, it both cases it was polished and not honed. Hope this helps.

  • Diane Sacchetti

    Thank you businesswomen440! I have a Super White sample that I am testing. I cleaned it, sealed it, and let it cure for two days. I'm going to test it for etching and staining with vinegar, red wine and a lemon. I plan to let them sit overnight and see what happens. I've been to several distributors here in Boston and one distributor told Super White is a dolomite and that it's stronger than marble and the other distributor told me that it's closer to a marble and they've had complaints of etching and staining. As much as I love it, I don't want to end up regretting putting it in my kitchen...this is the last remodel for me. My bathroom is all marble and I have to say, I would not do it again. Thanks again for your input!

  • businesswomen440

    To Diane S.

    I have marble in my kitchen, and I agree, it’s not for the faint-hearted. I ended up putting a superior grade of plate glass over my island. That eliminated the anxiety over etching the marble. And people comment how gorgeous it is. But I needed the glass...I would never put marble on the counters again if I had a choice. Mine etches within seconds, not minutes. I wish I had put the gorgeous stone on my backsplashes not the counters.

    As far as the Super White, no question, it is a Dolomite. It will not perform like granite or true quartzite, where you can leave lemon juice or alcohol on it overnight without harm. But it is definitely not as sensitive as marble. For both my elderly mother and my daughter with two young children, Super White has performed beautifully. They don’t have to worry about little spills.....it would take a long time for it to etch.....but they do wipe up after mealtime.

    It is quite likely that the Super White will etch overnight if you leave acidic liquids on it. I guess the bottom line is this: If you are looking for an absolute indestructible stone with a guarantee against etching, then you are going to have to choose a natural quartzite, granite or engineered quartzite. It won’t have the veining of marble or Super White, but you can sleep well at night knowing you can wipe off any spills in the morning without issue.

  • lorine1

    Have had my super white quartzite for 3 years on kitchen counter. Lots of little scratches everywhere and we are very careful (no kids too). Bottom line it etches and scratches. Example; went shopping, unloaded grocery, places fresh tomato on counter for few hours and now large etch mark. Normally I know better, was thinking it was fresh etc,. hindsight; I should have gone with white carrara marble, it was a much better price, looks fabulous and wears the same.
    I was told this stone (super white) wears almost as well as granite, that's not true. I have carrara in all my bathrooms counters and on floors. It wears the same marble.
    Homeowners hope this helps,
    Lorine

  • Lydia Persky


    I think it might depend on the particular slab you get and the composition of your slab. We purchased our slab in Dallas and I believe it came from Brazil. I'm not sure if that makes a difference (assuming they are not the only country that export it but don't know). I was really nervous about going with Super White after doing research online and hearing stories of it scratching, staining and etching. But I'm so glad we did because we've had no problems with ours at all and we've had our countertops for 2 years now. No scratches, chips or etches. Every stain, even left on for days comes right up and I haven't even sealed them yet. We use our kitchen alot and cook almost every day. My husband and I drink alot of tea and coffee and so we are regularly wiping up tea and coffee marks and they never leave a trace after I wipe them up with water or marble cleaner.

  • Tara Simpson

    Lydia Persky,

    where in Dallas did you get your slab? I am currently looking. Thanks!

  • Diane Sacchetti

    I'm looking for recommendations for a very reputable fabricator in the Boston area. Given what I've read, for me to consider Super White Quartzite countertops, it’s important to find a reputable fabricator who will be honest about the quality of their slabs before I invest in Super White countertops. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

  • Diane Sacchetti

    Also, any thoughts on Fantasy Brown? Is it more durable than Super White?

  • Erika

    Diane, I'm in Boston area too and love the Super White or Wicked White but I'm nervous with the etching. I have been to 4 different wholesalers but not sure which one to go with.

  • PRO
    Len NW 7a

    Greetings Diane and others,


    I have had 2 negative experiences with Quartzite and discourage clients from using it now.


    In one case the moisture from the dishwasher (or perhaps the heat we will never know) turned the stone a dark mottled muddy color. No amount of polishing would change it, it was in the stone.


    The issue on the other project was visual...there were cracks and visual "flaws" in the product that were not structural but annoyed client. The cracks did not show when we looked at product in fabricator's yard.


    Talking to other people here in the Seattle area these are not isolated incidents. My advice is if you have to have white counters in a kitchen stick to man made materials.

  • Diane Sacchetti

    Hi Erika,

    I have not made a decision as of yet on which wholesaler to go with. As much as I love the Super White, I am leaning toward going with quartz. I have found a few that I like from different companies, MSI, Caesarstone, and Silestone. Good luck with your search!

  • Diane Sacchetti

    Len NW 7a, thank your for your feedback. I am definitely leaning toward quartz as I mentioned above I have found a few that I like from MSI, Caesarstone, and Silestone.

    I do love the natural stones but I do not want to deal with the disappointment should something happen. The fabricators I spoke with say that they would go with natural stone and that you just have to make sure you wipe things up and don't leave spills overnight however I do not live alone and cannot be sure that someone else won't leave wine or lemon, etc., on the counter over night. If there was light colored granite that I could find, I would consider going with that. So far, I have not found one that I really like.

  • Paru

    I have white macaubas .It is quartzite .It has been 3 years and it has held up well. I do not baby it. It looks beautiful.

  • PRO
    Warestone LLC.


    Our company has been fabricating quartzite and marble for 15+ years. Every stone is different. Even Super White, which we classify as a quartzite/dolomitic marble combo, is going to change from bundle to bundle. Sometimes it's harder and sometimes it's softer, but if the stone contains calcite which all marbles do, it'll etch and it'll scratch.


    Paru, we also work with Macaubus. Every time it comes through out shop, our team complains about the hardness of the stone because it tears our tools up so quickly. In my experience, it's a true quartzite which will hold up a lot better than Super White and most other natural stones.


    As for being a fabricator, we always share positive and negative experiences w/ our clients when it comes to each material/color that they choose. If it's a color that our shop or previous clients have had issues with in the past, we pass that info on. When we have non-stock material coming in from outside suppliers, we have to work with what comes in. Clients sometimes forget that we're fabricating the stone, and that we have no connection to the source of the stone or how the stone was created. The best we can do before we cut into it is inspect it and point out any areas of concern.


    To sum it up and hopefully help when it comes to natural stone, this is coming from an experienced fabricator and this is what I have to say:


    If your looking for a headache free, durable, natural countertop material, choose granite. It's so heat and scratch resistant, easy to repair if by chance it's chipped or stained, and a properly sealed granite top will require little to no maintenance down the road. Yes, there are hundreds of granite colors and every color has different mineral composition and characteristics, but to be categorized as a granite, it contains mostly quartz and feldspar. which means it's really hard. If you're concerned about chips, pick a granite that has a low mica content.


    If you're looking for color consistency and you don't mind the manufactured look, choose quartz. It's impact resistance is excellent and the resin used in quartz makes this surface nearly non-porous. They're also making sealers now specifically for quartz. I know, I know. The quartz companies have been telling you for years and it doesn't require seal treatment, right? It probably still doesn't, but better to be safe than sorry, right?


    If you have money and love the natural beauty of a true quartzite, do it. Installed, it may be the most durable of natural materials. Oh, and I'll mention it again- it's beautiful. Remember that bar top you've always wanted to do under lighting with? It's expensive though, and your fabricator may charge you a little extra to replace some of the damaged tooling.


    If you love the beauty of marble (including Super White, and my favorite- Fantasy Brown) and you don't mind the top showing some wear-and-tear, then choose marble. It's not durable and we tell our clients that, but that's okay with some people. I have good friends that did Carrara Marble for their kitchen island in their brand new home. They did the perimeter in a dark grey quartz and had the island honed (flat finish) to help against hiding etches. By doing only the island in marble, they'd created a beautiful focal point in their kitchen, but still had a contrasting quartz perimeter for food prep traffic, and what not, and in ten years if the island is beat to hell, they can just replace the island and not the whole kitchen.


    Please feel free to message me with any questions about materials and colors and I'll be happy to share our company's past experiences with those colors.

  • Diane Sacchetti

    Warestone LLC., I love fantasy brown as well as super white however I had pretty much decided that I was not going to go that route and then I was watching a couple of videos online regarding countertops, one from this old house and they said that if the fabricator seals the product correctly it should hold up and that they are making great sealants now...it got me thinking again but practically speaking, I will most likely stay away from them.


    The problem with Granite is, I have yet to find a color that I like. You mention quartzite however I thought that quartzite did not hold up either, that it is the same as super white and fantasy brown, is that not the case? Or is there a quartzite that is stronger that you can recommend?


    Thank you for your input!

  • PRO
    Warestone LLC.

    No problem! Happy to help! Yeah, I'm a marble lover. I have remnants of Fantasy Brown marble, (3" thick) Carrara White marble, and brushed Super White set aside for our next home. All are going in low traffic areas/bathrooms.


    Sealing marble correctly will help against stains, but not scratching or etching. Etching is caused by something acidic based eating away at the calcite in the stone. When you have something acidic spill onto a polished marble surface, it eats away at the first area of calcite that it's exposed to- your polished surface. A lot of homeowners confuse etches for stains. When it comes to repairs, in most cases stains are actually easier to deal w/ than etches.


    Granite and marble usually look nothing alike, so I can see how finding the right granite could be difficult. If you like the Fantasy Brown, check out a color called Monte Cristo. It's 'flowey' and has similar colors as Fantasy Brown. I'll see if I can post a picture of it before I leave the store today.


    A true quartzite would be ideal for a kitchen in most cases. Please remember that I had mentioned that we don't see Super White as a quartzite, we categorize it as a dolomitic marble and so do our local suppliers (now). A true quartzite should contain little to zero calcite. Fantasy Brown has always been a marble. I've read the arguments online that it's granite and/or quartzite, but we work with it all the time. Most of it has quartzite mixed in it's composition, but it's still calcite based making it a marble.

  • Diane Sacchetti

    Warestone LLC.I will check out the Monte Cristo granite. Also, how do you know if you are getting a true quartzite? And what are the names/colors that you would recommend for me to look at? Thanks so much for your quick response.

  • PRO
    Warestone LLC.

    This is a sample of Fantasy Brown on top of a Monte Cristo Island. Similar, but different. definitely beautiful. Definitely more durable.


  • Diane Sacchetti

    Awesome! Thank you so much!! I will see if I can find a slab/sample here in Boston.

  • Diane Sacchetti

    So to clarify, the Monte Cristo is more durable than the fantasy brown? Fantasy brown etches like super white correct?

  • PRO
    Warestone LLC.

    Yep. All of the Fantasy Brown that's ever come through our store etches. You're welcome! Good luck w/ your project! -Chris

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