kelley_dunn

Quartzite Countertop Dilemma

Kelley Dunn
2 years ago
We are in the process of making selections for a kitchen remodel that will start in May/June 2018. Like many people we love the look of marble, but definitely couldn’t deal with the low durability aspects. I haven’t found a granite that would be a good substitute. So, now we are focusing on quartzites.

My concern is whether I can really trust the quartzite label in many of my top picks. Aside from the color name change issue across stone suppliers, they each also classify the quartzites differently. Sometimes it is labeled as granite (white Macauba), some times it is labeled as “soft quartzite,” sometimes they are labeled as calcite or dolomite.

All of the pictures below are labeled as strictly quartzite and I was assured by the stone supplier reps that they are true quartzites.
1. Piata 2. Mont Blanc 3. Calcutta Super White 4. Quartzite Gioia

I am also considering Zermatt.

Does anyone have experience with these? I wasn’t able to get samples to test at home. I do not want to spend $$$ on a countertop that will scratch/stain/etch.

Comments (76)

  • sierrakaren
    2 years ago

    Is quartzite is ok for shower wall? Thanks everyone for discussion. I was at MSI location yesterday, and not having previously read this, fell in love with slabs labeled Zermatt, Mont Blanc, White Macaubus.

  • rob_jc4
    2 years ago

    I was hoping to jump into this post with a question regarding the sealing of my newly installed Mont Blanc quartzite. I tested the samples before installation and they easily scratched glass and didnt etch with any acids so i'm confident this is quartzite and not marble. However this stone is quite porous and i have a couple of dark stains (pics to follow) i'm working poultice on. The stone dealer supposedly sealed this and our installer quickly wiped it down with sealer as well. Should i take another step and have it professional sealed with an impregnator at this point? Some of these threads have shown their counters riddled with dark spots so i'm trying to be a little proactive about it.

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  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 years ago

    Rob,,,if you sprinkle drops of water on it, does it sit there or absorb? if it absorbs, it needs sealer. if not,,,it prob is sealed as best as it will be. try diff spots and see.

  • Maria Obana
    2 years ago

    We haven't moved back in yet, but we love the looks of our newly installed quartzite counter tops. We used Taj Mahal in the kitchen and bathrooms. Our back splash added glass/stone mixed tiles to (hopefully!) compliment the existing glass block which we kept.

  • Maria Obana
    2 years ago

    Rob - mine is highly polished and has impregnator on it of some kind - water beads up immediately - it doesn't seem at all porous. We are a few weeks away from moving in so I have no practical experience living with it yet.

  • rob_jc4
    2 years ago

    Good to know Maria, I will likely be looking into an impregnating sealer soon. Although these could have been stains from installation and we just didn’t notice them until we really started looking...it’s odd bc we don’t really cook In he areas thy have occurred.

  • lkfost
    2 years ago

    Since I had been trying to find some picture of the Zermatt Quartzite (also known as mont blanc) when I was trying to pick a countertop and backsplash, I feel it might be helpful to others to share a couple photos. I think my fabricator did a great job.




  • Maria Obana
    2 years ago

    Is that Quartzite or is it Marble? I was under the impression Mont Blanc is Marble.

    Update: We've been in our home for 4 months now and we are really happy with our TajMahal counters. I clean them with just water and dish soap if something is greasy or sticky and then rinse and wipe. Weekly I uses something called something like Granite Gold on it - it just puts a little something slick on the surface and makes them incredibly smooth. I plan to seal them again just before my Christmas party, but it seems like they are still well sealed.

  • Nadia Kovtunovich
    last year
    A month ago we finished our kitchen and moved it. We bought the Zermatt Quartzite and it’s horribly etching/staining :( just living in here for a months, we did have it sealed. I tried different etch removing stuff and also used poultice stuff and not much luck. In one stop the poultice left a big stain and did not remove the previous stain and I feel like crying :( I did so much research and I came to conclusion it’s great stuff, my brother in law has Calcutta quartzite and he has no problems with etching/staining and he’s been living in his house for 4 years. I did few other spots with piulcitd last night but took it off this morning(and letting it dry out to see the result) the reason I took off the poultice this morning bc I see that the fists stain I worked on left stain from the poultice :( what should I did now??? please help...I am about to cry a river :( I really really regret not getting quartz like I originally was thinking, I just want to beat my self up for making this mistake. Please please don’t buy Zermatt Quartzite
  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last year

    nadia, at this point I'd call in a stone restoration expert. I've had my marble shower floor redone twice now, and it looks brand new.

    Poultices are hard to control unless you know exactly what stain you're targeting. poultices will do nothing for etching.

    after the stone guy refinishes it, you may want to settle on a honed finish. Honed finishes will not show etching as much as a polished surface.

    And with that much etching, it sound like you have an actual marble (calcite) rather than a quartzite. Or, that particular slab is riddled w/calcite deposits.

  • rob_jc4
    last year
    last modified: last year

    The stonetech oil and stain remover has worked very well for us. But you must follow instructions to a t. Spread it out well beyond stain and leave it there for several days. Ours too had some residual dark rings that faded but took weeks to cometely fade away. I’ve also had a lot of luck with acetone placed on a folder paper towel. Will saturate it and then let it dry for completely and repeat until stain fades. Works very well on fresh oil stains. But like last comment said, our quartzite will not etch whatsoever And to be honest I was freaked out at first but its been over a year and it’s no big deal anymore. Occasionally will get a small oil stain but it comes right up With the Acetone. The stone is super hard so doesn’t scratch so the shiney finish still looks just like the day it was installed.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last year

    sorry, but I wouldn't risk anymore DIY stuff on this stone. you probably have a marble rather than quartzite. the last thing you want to do is start slapping on different products hoping to get results.

    Acetone won't work on etches. If you're trying to remove a large etch, it will need to be resurfaced. If it's a small etch, I wouldn't worry about it.


    if you have a stain like wine or something, you can try baking soda in a paste. Peroxide is also known to help. I'd just hate for you to make it worse.

    Call in a stone restorer. for 500 bucks he should be able to refinish the entire countertop


  • Kristy Lewis
    last year

    karin_mt Did you end up doing the ceramic coating? We are trying to pick a quartzite and that was an option given to us by the fabricator.

  • karin_mt
    last year

    Hi Kristy,


    Hm, I think you meant your message for someone else? We're not putting in a new countertop or considering any coatings.


    My advice, though, is to try to pick a stone that doesn't need a coating.

    Look at some of the 'crystalline' quartzites (Taj Mahal and similar), which have low porosity. Or, stones like Fusion are similarly robust.

    This article may help.

    http://usenaturalstone.org/properties-of-quartzite/

  • Maria Obana
    last year

    So a year back into the house and we LOVE the Taj Mahal quartzite. I haven't felt the need to reseal it- it's still solid. No stains and so easy to clean up after cooking - I just use a soapy sponge and wipe. For a good cleaning I spray 50/50 mix of water/isoprophyl alcohol - doesn't seem to affect the sealer and I figure it kills germs. I do also use a granite polish once a week - compared to my old tile counters with the grout these are a dream. I don't set metal hot or cold directly on the stone, I alway use wooden cutting boards or a towel under. No scratches, no problems!

  • karin_mt
    last year

    Maria Obana good to know. That stone is a good one, and field reports like yours are helpful. Thank you for sharing your experiences and enjoy your beautiful stone.

  • Maria Obana
    last year

    We are!!!!!!! Thanks for your advice!


  • new-beginning
    last year

    Kristy Lewis

    karin_mt
    Did you end up doing the ceramic coating? We are trying to pick a
    quartzite and that was an option given to us by the fabricator.


    It was threelittlelights13 whose husband wanted to do the ceramic coating.

  • govner
    last year

    Hoping someone can help us out. We had mercury grey quartzite installed about 6 months ago. It was sealed at fabricator's shop and after installation. We had staining within 2 days and have been fighting staining ever since (multiple seal coats applied) . The good news is that the stone supplier (Daltile) and installer have finally agreed to replace the counter tops. We love the look of the mercury grey but are not happy with the staining (primarily olive oil) that occurs. Of course, we are questioning whether the material was actually quartzite or closer to a sandstone (lots of veining/layering) on the quartzite spectrum. Has anyone had any experience with mercury grey? Any suggestions on a replacement with similar coloring that is a true quartzite?

  • karin_mt
    last year

    Sorry that happened to you and I'm glad you got a resolution.

    Is this your stone? http://daltilestonecenter.com/SLC/ProductDetail.aspx?ID=3419

    If so, you are spot on. It's much closer to sandstone.


    Not quartzite, but Viscont White has similar coloring, and the pattern varies depending on which way it's cut.


    Also, some of the Fusion-style quartzites have similar coloring and are quite bulletproof.


    One last one: Wild Sea is a sandstone and has fabulous cross-beds, but it's dense and does not stain. We have it and I love it. The coloring is more toward warm tones, though.



  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last year

    govner,,,some quartzite are 'softer' and could contain higher concentrations of calcite (marble). that's why some stain and etch more than others.

    I just got a Calacatta slab that was treated from the factory in Italy w/zerocare. It's their patented sealer they apply after they cut them from the blocks before shipping them overseas. the guy at my stone yard did a test on a piece of marble for me that looks a lot like your Mercury Grey.


    this was 5 mins time lapse. R to L-olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, ketchup and something else.

    you can see the etch marks and staining.

    here the same test was done on their zero care sealant piece. same food items and same amount of time. after wiping it off:

    It's just now starting to get to america and not all of their slabs have it.

    you could ask your stone place if they carry anything w/zerocare


    here's the slab I got. Antolini is the company. you can see the paperwork on the right side if you enlarge it.

  • govner
    last year

    Karin, Thanks so much for the response. And yes, the pictures in the link you included are exactly like what we have.


    We've suspected that our stone is on the lower end of the quartzite spectrum if it actually can even be classified as quartzite. SO frustrating that the sales/marketing of the material states that it's quartzite and the best thing since sliced bread, or at least sliced granite. Thank you for the suggestions as well. The next trick is going to be trying to get them to agree to give us what we thought we had purchased, Their quartzite selections are somewhat limited.


    Beth, thank you for your suggestions. Fingers crossed that we can find something that Daltile will be able to supply since we are pretty much locked in with them since they supplied the mercury grey.

  • dooders1981
    last year

    I have super white in my large kitchen. I had it honed and sealed before install 6 years ago. It still looks perfect. I love it! Have single ogi edge. I always wipe it dry around facets and sink as precaution. I do not allow anything wet to sit on it overnight or any citrus or red wine, It’s not hard to just putyour dishes in sink or dishwasher. Easy and Worth it to me. The preinstall seal they did has worked great, Having said that if we were still raising kids I think I’d put in a carara looking quartz. No worries whatsoever!

  • wilson853
    last year

    govner, our quartzite is Tahitian Cream from Daltile. It may not be the color that you want, but I can recommend it for its durability. We have a busy kitchen and use a lot of olive oil, lemon, and wine, and we have no chips, stains or etching. We do nothing more than wipe it down with a dishrag. This section next to my prep sink has an area that looks marble-like, but it has been impervious to everything. The only issue that we had was around the soap dispenser hole. It developed a shadow in the first week. We removed the dispenser and let it dry out. The fabricator then sealed the inside of the hole so make sure that they do that. Since then no issues. Installed April 2018.



  • Kristy Lewis
    last year

    I am SO frustrated. We have spent the past few days looking for the perfect "true" quartzite, but it seems like slab yards just slap on a label at whim. We've looked at ones called White Ice, White Fusion, White Storm (probably Shadow Storm which I do have a sample of and it etched after sealing), Arabescato White, etc. and they all look like dolomites or marble to me but are labeled as quartzite. Without being able to test them myself, I'm afraid to purchase them. I've read that Mont Blanc is also a dolomite, not a quartzite. Are there any that I can be SURE are quartzite without testing? What about White Pearl/Sea Pearl? Artemis? Florida Wave? We want durability in a light natural stone and just can't seem to find it. We've wasted a month because our fabricator told us the Shadow Storm we chose was a quartzite, then backpedaled after I started asking specific question once all of the experts on Houzz provided an education.

  • J T
    last year

    Kristy what did you find? We’re in the same predicament. Found a Mont Blanc i liked. Brought a sample home albeit not from
    The Same batch as the one i pick and possibly not sealed properly as it’s a sample. However it had dark absorption rings after seconds of any material (water, lemon, ketchup) being left on it. Don’t think it’s true etching and maybe just super porous and would dry out but how annoying to always have marked counters. I use water daily!!
    So we also want Florida wave or Artemis as they are similar coloring to Mont Blanc just more movement (maybe would hide more?!!) let me know what you find or what you test!

  • J T
    last year

    Here are the progression pics

  • govner
    last year

    There's been a change in our experience. The stone supplier (see previous post) is unable/unwilling to supply us with any colors of our liking and will be refunding our money. We are left with mercury grey counters that have on-going staining issues and have subsequently darkened and stained over the past 7 months. We plan to replace them.


    We are hoping to avoid a repeat of the same problem and would like some suggestions and would like to hear some peoples' experiences with calacatta white, lamberti bianco or other similar colors. Are they porous? is there a tell tale way to know how porous a quartzite slab might be (veining, layered material deposits, etc)? Is there a sealer/impregnator that will eliminate the tendency for fluids to enter porous quartzites (mercury grey and possibly others)?


    We really like the look of quartzite (light gray colors) and hope to be able to replace the mercury grey with quartzite with a proven track record of being non-porous and exhibiting the qualities of a dense, non-porous quartzite and less of a sandstone. Thanks.


  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last year
    last modified: last year

    govner,,,, of the quartzite, the hardest (not as prone to staining or etching) are the Taj Majal, Sea Pearl, along w/these (but double check) White Macaubas, Azul Macaubas, Perla Venata


    Taj

    Of course, all of these still need to be sealed w/a top quality penetrating sealer. when water beads up on the surface, it's sufficiently sealed.

    I would still be careful when using acidic foods and wipe upspills promptly.

    have you considered the porcelain slabs? they have some newer ones that actually look like marble

  • karin_mt
    last year

    Oh goodness, that is completely not true. There are plenty of white quartzites. The mineral quartz is commonly white.


    The industry does not need more misinformation!

  • Kristy Lewis
    last year
    last modified: last year

    After three coats of 511 impregnator sealer, the Mont Blanc only stained from tobasco. The other items (mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce, orange shampoo) didn't stain. It didn't etch at all and cut glass. I think it is just a very porous stone. We are currently planning to use it in the master bath unless we find something we like better and are looking for something less porous in the kitchen. Right now the top contenders are White Pearl (can't find much info on it), Artemis, Blue Tahoe and Calacatta. Our island will be dark blue. We LOOOOOOVE the blue Tahoe but are worried it may be too dark.

  • Kristy Lewis
    last year



    Today I found this lot of Santorini quartzite and I'm in LOVE. It was hiding behind six slabs of granite but I saw the edge peeking out. I have two samples testing currently, but even without sealer, my first quick round of tobasco (which I've found to be the worst item to test with) didn't etch or stain. That is MUCH better than the Mont Blanc which sucked up all the stains easily. A squished blueberry did leave a faint mark but I think it's just a spot of moisture. I'm guessing that with the sealer it will be fairly impervious. We finally have a winner for the kitchen! We've decided to scrap the Mont Blanc and go with Arizona Tile Tipperary quartz in the master bath. It's much cheaper and I won't have to baby it. My builder and fabricator think I'm crazy for looking at so many slabs, but I definitely think it was worth the loooong hunt. I'm SO grateful for this forum and all the information I've gleaned. Especially karin_mt. You are such a valuable resource, so THANK YOU for sharing your expertise.

  • karin_mt
    last year

    YAY! Great find, and your persistence and knowledge paid off. Congratulations on finding 'the one!'

  • J T
    last year

    @karin_mt
    Thanks to you and reading your articles I found a Mont Blanc (the kind from Brazil so looks like true quartzite to me with the water streaks and veining plus it cut glass and didn’t etch (at first i thought the absorbing was etching) it is porous and before sealing it was absorbing water like crazy. The rings would dry out over time but of course that would be enough to drive anyone crazy. We sealed it a few times and behold it’s absorbed nothing since. I read your article saying that porous stone didn’t have to be a deal breaker if you treated it (sealed) it properly. Your articles were incredibly helpful and I appreciate you taking the time to write them and also to explain the metamorphosis process to us! Here’s to hoping my stone stays beautiful for years to come

  • Kristy Lewis
    last year

    J T What sealer did you use? I've been testing with 511 Impregnator.

  • J T
    last year

    Kristy its an old one we had in the back of our cabinet

  • klh7332
    last year

    This is very helpful as we are looking at Mont Blanc and - is it quartzite or Marble? Our dealer said Marble which was a bit of a red flag but also said it was treated with Azerocare.


    So we took home a sample and it doesn't seem to scratch glass. I appllied red wine for 15 mins and lemon juice - no etching - and we have carrara in our master bath so I know etching unfortunately. The one inch water submersion for 15 mins yielded some porosity....it climbed maybe an 1/8th of an inch on the untreated side and it was consistant - treated side you could see a slightly darker shade the entire stone that was underwater.


    Major kudos to karin_MT and Beth H. Heat won't be a problem will it? I think I may still need to be careful with scratching (to some extent) but I took a heavy duty steak nife with super sharp edge and it made a nominal scratch.....and not sure if it really went that deep as it didn't etch in that area after the juice.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    last year
    last modified: last year

    You aren't ever going to submerge your countertop in wine, however, if you do, please invite me over.


    If the top has been treated with Azerocare, you aren't going to etch or stain it if you are even somewhat conscientious.

    No heat on natural stone without a trivet anytime. That's the opinion of the Natural Stone Institute and mine.

  • Marguerite Mastromatto
    4 months ago

    @karin_mt I am late to this thread. The quarantine put me behind and I am now picking a counter top. I just saw a Dakar quartzite from Brazil. It looks like the Mont Blanc quartzite but perhaps a little more on the taupe side. Another supplier has a Kalahari Quartzite from Brazil. I'm going to look through the articles posted to figure out if these are all the same stone, because they do look similar.

  • karin_mt
    4 months ago

    Sounds like you are going about it the right way.


    Here's a one-stop-shop article on how to do all the tests while shopping for a stone.

    https://usenaturalstone.org/how-to-be-your-own-stone-sleuth/


    Good luck!



  • shead
    3 months ago

    @Kristy Lewis, did you end up going with the Santorini and if so, how is it holding up? I saw some slabs yesterday that I REALLY like but they wouldn't give me any samples of it.

  • Marguerite Mastromatto
    3 months ago

    I have been to several stone yards, but only one gave me samples because they are regular stock. It's nice to have a piece because lighting in a warehouse or outside if different from inside your home.

  • HU-3170245259
    last month

    I’m looking to buy 2 slabs of Mont Blanc. Now after reading all these comments I’m afraid it will etch and stain?
    I don’t like the busy patterns. Maybe quart is the best alternative for a white painted kitchen?

  • J T
    last month

    My Mont Blanc is very white and not busy. Just some grey veining. and has not etched. We did get one stain from butter when we left it for a weekend and didn’t realize it. Now we’re just careful about fats(oils and butters etc) but otherwise no problems. Make sure it’s sealed and you should be fine

  • HU-3170245259
    last month

    I just spoke with my fabricator just now. He told me he just installed Mont Blanc and it’s been horrible. It’s stains from water. He said he wouldn’t recommend it. I’m going to pass and go back to Camelot Gray

  • Eileen Hecht
    last month

    I brought a sample of Mont Blanc home and drizzled some fresh cut lemon on it. I left it on the stone for about 20 minutes. It etched badly. My husband and grandchildren don't always wipe things up quickly so I'm still looking and running out of time! Thank goodness for these chats.

  • Eileen Hecht
    last month

    today I found a nice White Lux Quartzite. Anyone with experience with that one?

  • dorianday
    5 days ago

    I’ve also just found and love White Lux quartzite. Wondering if anyone has any experience with it or knows anything about it? So far, no one will provide a sample :-/

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    5 days ago

    No sample/testing, no deposit.

  • karin_mt
    5 days ago

    Agree with Joe on that!