shead

Quartzite in a kitchen - yay or nay?

shead
2 days ago
last modified: 2 days ago

We are in the process of a new build and I feel drawn to lighter colored stone counters like quartzite for our new kitchen which will have Repose Gray perimeter cabinets and a BM Whale Gray island. I have had a horrible experience with a lighter “granite“ in the past, though (Kashmir White) so I’m a little gun shy about another white granite anyway. We have visited a couple of stone yards already and the guy at the first one told us to run from quartzite because it was not as hard as granite (but harder than marble) but still etched like marble. He said he’d never recommend it for a kitchen. Now that I’ve done a little more research, it appears that while some quartzite are less prone to issues than others, some can successfully be used in a kitchen without a lot of “babying.” To that end, I would like some Houzz opinions on the issue.

I found this one that I really LOVE:



It is Olympia leathered.

If I went this route, I’d use this on the island and a black or gray granite in either a leathered or honed finish similar to these on the perimeter:





Comments (50)

  • lkloes
    2 days ago

    Quartzite is actually slightly harder than granite and is a great choice for a kitchen!

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    2 days ago

    The more I read Houzz, the less I believe quartzite is suitable for a kitchen countertop application. Corian would have died in its infancy if it had a quarter of the problems this stuff does. But it's hard, shiny, and "natural" so women fall in love and it gets a pass. Again. And again.

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  • shead
    Original Author
    2 days ago

    @Joseph Corlett, LLC, I'm glad you commented because we met with a solid surface fabricator the other day and I really liked several of the Corian and Hi-Macs colors he had. Then I read that solid surface scratches easy, especially if something is dragged across it, which made me turn back to stone for the island. I have four kids and we will be doing a lot of schoolwork at our island so I need something that will be resistant to scratching and other stains. Someone had said that even scooting a bag of ice across their solid surface caused scuffs :/

  • lkloes
    2 days ago

    Joseph Corlett, wow! How utterly patronizing and dismissive. Carry on, bro.

  • Marianne Wydra
    2 days ago
    last modified: 2 days ago

    I am also re-modeling my kitchen. I think quartzite is beautiful but I've had quartz for over 15 years and it still looks great. I'm doing quartz again just for that reason. It's tough, can take a lot of abuse and still look good years later. MSI has recently come out with a "lumos' product that is supposed to have the depth of color and veining of real stone You might want to look at MSI Q-Quartz Lumos

  • Jar G
    2 days ago

    @shead I think your misunderstanding @Joseph Corlett, LLC's comment. He isn't saying Corian has problems. He's saying quartzite has way more problems than Corian and yet it is more popular. Corian is actually a decent product. Seams are nearly invisible and if it does scratch it can be sanded to get the scratches out.


    As for the patronizing nature of the comment, well it is kinda true. There have been numerous threads around here with quartzite staining and yet people keep buying it. At least once or twice a week you can find a posting with someone's picture of their quartzite counters with stains acting confused as to why their supposedly impervious counters are stained. its almost like people do no research before buying the product.

  • traci_from_seattle
    2 days ago

    I don’t think you can make blanket statements about any material. Some quartzite will stain, some won’t. My kitchen quartzite looks as good as it did the day it was installed and I didn’t seal it. The granite in my powder room , which should be more durable, gets large water spots just from normal hand washing.


    OP, that first stone you posted goes by a few different names (I think Florida Wave is one) and unfortunately I think is one people have had issues with. It’s gorgeous though.

  • zthar
    2 days ago

    I had quartzite for 5-years in my previous home, loved it, no issues. FYI (the installer used a sealer.)

  • AJCN
    2 days ago

    We have White Macaubus Quartzite on our kitchen island. It doesn't stain or etch. The last time I visited stone yards with a friend, there were lots of white quartzites by various names.

    When I renovated my Dad's house, we put in Taj Mahal Quartzite.

    I have read on Garden Web about issues of discoloration of white macaubus near a stove or sink, maybe from water or oil. But since ours is on the island, we have not experienced this.

    My Dad's Taj is gorgeous.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 days ago
    last modified: 2 days ago

    The guy at the first one told us to run from quartzite because it was not as hard as granite (but harder than marble) but still etched like marble. He said he’d never recommend it for a kitchen.

    So if the guy at the stoneyard said ^ this to you, I'd run from that place since the guy has no clue what he's talking about.

    Quartzite is harder than granite and will not etch or stain. period.

    Quartzite is an 7 on the Mohs scale, granite a 6 and marble a 3. (Mohs is a hardness scale they use for minerals. diamonds are a 10 on the Mohs scale)

    Glass is a 5. Glass will scratch a piece of marble, but will turn to powder if you run it across granite or quartzite. (It's one of the tests when figuring out what kind of stone you're look at. Lemon juice is another test. You can take a glass tile with you. With the corner of the slab, scratch the glass tile. Glass won't make a mark on quartzite, so it's a quick test)

    The problem arises when stone yards and sellers sell certain slabs and label them as quartzite, when they are NOT. That's why you hear of people complaining about their quartzite etching or staining. what they have is actually marble, not quartzite.

    For the longest time Super White was labeled and sold as a quartzite. it's not. it's a Dolomite, which is marbles first cousin.


    Fantasy Brown is often sold as a quartzite but it's a type of marble.


    You'll have to do research and find the TRUE quartzite slabs and not rely on stupid salespeople at the stone yards. apparently geology isn't their forte.

    Taj Majal, Sea Pearl, White Macaubus, are a few examples of true quartzite.

    Quartzite should not have any problems at all. none.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    yesterday
    last modified: yesterday

    "Quartzite is harder than granite and will not etch or stain. period."


    "That's why you hear of people complaining about their quartzite etching or staining. what they have is actually marble, not quartzite."


    Sorry Beth, but there are tons of posts of genuine quartzite, here and on stonefabricatorsalliance.com, with adhesive edge bleed from the adhesive used to build up edges and the silicone to gasket between the bottom of the stone and the sink flange. I'll let you look 'em up. Look here too please. More. Let's keep going please.


    Are there some quartzites that don't bleed? Sure, but I'd make the fabricator do a mock-up and wait a year before I gave approval.


  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    yesterday

    "Joseph Corlett, wow! How utterly patronizing and dismissive. Carry on, bro."


    Ikoles:


    Readers get no value from illogical ad hominem attacks. Please articulate an argument to my points that they may find useful. Thanks.

  • wilson853
    yesterday

    Our quartzite (nuage macchio oro) has been installed for over two years and it is still perfect but I strongly suggest doing the tests that karin_mt has written about. Some can be very porous. See the article below. After installation we saw a shadow around our soap dispenser. The fabricator had forgotten to seal the inside of that hole. We let it dry out and then they sealed it. Since then no issues. I tested several 'quartzite' samples that etched so they were definitely mislabeled at the stone yard. We don't baby ours and don't use any special cleaners.

    https://usenaturalstone.org/properties-of-quartzite/?utm_source=related-articles/

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    yesterday
    last modified: yesterday

    "Then I read that solid surface scratches easy..."


    Corian and other solid surfaces scratch more easily than other surfaces, however, since the color/particulates/movement go all the way through, the scratches are easily removed. Scratch through the picture on a sintered, admittedly difficult to do, and you're done; no fix.

    And again, the double standard rears its ugly head. When marble and quartzite scratch and etch, it's "patina". The darker the solid surface color, the more easily scratches show. The tech refinishing your solid surface tops will be there several hours; the tech refinishing your stone will be there all day and more maybe. Do the math, please.


    Renewability of solid surface? I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:

  • SashaDog
    yesterday

    I have solid white Hi-Macs and I’m very happy with it. I can’t speak to the colors/designs, but the white can scratch or ‘patina’ but it’s not noticeable because the surface is matte finish and the color is the same throughout.

    Weve done homework, Art, build volcanos, spilled red wine and left it to the next day, gotten black sharpie on it and nothing stains it. I spend 30 minutes cleaning the entire counter with soft scrub a few times a year and it looks like new. It is stress free.

    Theres a lot of people here who poo-poo but I think it’s hugely underrated. My aunt installed white Corian in 1985 and it still looks like new. She just changes the backspalsh every 10 years or so to update.

  • shead
    Original Author
    yesterday

    @Jar G, no, I understood Joseph! He walked with me through my White Kashmir debacle a few years ago :)


    @Beth H. :, yes, that guy was an idiot. We definitely ran from there.


    Thanks for all the info, everyone! Decision, decisions!

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    yesterday

    SashaDog:


    And your aunt will never post on Houzz that she can't get a backsplash to coordinate with her solid white 34-year-old tops, as so many do with all the swirly-doodles in natural stone.

  • MinnesotaMary
    yesterday

    I'm in the middle of our kitchen remodel and one of the things I did early on was research quartzite as that is what appealed to me aesthetically. I read all I could including the negative experiences here on Houzz. One of the most helpful things I read was the link @wilson853 posted above. Then I spoke to a number of stone yard people as well as fabricators. In the end, I chose Taj Mahal quartzite because it meets my requirements of form and function. I will be diligent with the installers making sure everything is sealed properly and I hope to report in a couple of months (and years to come) how happy I am with my decision.


    Don't give up on quartzite, @shead , if that is what you love. Just do your homework! Good luck.

  • Keepthefaith MIGirl
    yesterday

    @Shead, I love that middle picture. It looks like an arial view of a mountain range. We're thinking Fantasy Brown because we love movement and only want busy-ness on a flat surface not walls. We also have grown kids and when grandkids come along hopefully we'll have it sealed and keep it nice. if you're using it that much then durability may be your priority. Definitely go with what makes you smile as a priority tho. The kitchen is the first place to set your mood in the morning ☕🌅

  • vinmarks
    yesterday
    last modified: yesterday

    Just read through this post. You will see many people having problems with their quartzite. This is only one of several.

    https://www.gardenweb.com/discussions/4118536/help-quartzite-counter-has-changed-colors#n=114

    I agree with some of what Beth said as far as stones being mislabeled but several people in that thread have Sea Pearl. Sea Pearl is supposedly a true quartzite but they have the dreaded darkening edges around their countertops.

    I’ve been seeing more and more threads on Houzz of people having issues with quartzite.

    Some people haven’t had any issues with their quartzite while others have. Some people haven’t had any issues with their granite others have. Some people haven't had any issues with their quartz others have.

    Like traci in seattle said you can't make blanket statements about any one material.

    The answer to Quartzite for a kitchen is “It Depends.”

  • lkloes
    yesterday

    Joseph Corlett “Pro”: “It’s hard, shiny, and natural so women fall in love...” What? What kind of professional opinion is that? I stand by my (ad hominem as it may be) comment. Good day, bro.

  • shead
    Original Author
    yesterday

    I actually think Joseph has a point. I “fell in love“ with Kashmir White without doing a lot of due diligence and the warts exposed themselves very early on. I especially want to avoid something like that this time around which is why I’m trying to make a highly informed decision and asked the question. Heck, if I could do a Kohler Whitehaven sink and an undermount sink on an 11 ft x 4 ft island with no seam, I might even be open to laminate, which sure would make DH happy...lol.

  • chispa
    yesterday
    last modified: yesterday

    I have Taj Mahal quartzite and it is pretty bullet proof, but we have seen plenty of posts over the years of quartzites, that are mostly mislabeled marbles, and have issues show up pretty quickly after installation.

    I would use the Taj Mahal again in a future project, but unfortunately most of what is quarried today is not as pretty as what was available 4+ years ago.

    And yes, plenty of people, both men and women, choose looks over function/durability when selecting materials. See all the posts about falling in love with marble for shower floors!

  • Natalie DeLuca
    yesterday

    I love our quartzite. We have 3 kids and we have it in all bathrooms, bar, and kitchen. It does not etch or stain. However the bleeding from fabrication is real. Ours has been minimal though.

  • MinnesotaMary
    yesterday

    @chispa, did you use Taj around your fireplace as well? I was thinking I read that in some previous posts. I may have sent you a PM because I have some questions. If you are willing to answer some questions about your experience, send me a message please. If I have you confused with someone else, my apologies. (Also, OP, sorry about the detour post.)

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    yesterday
    last modified: yesterday

    jospeh, where in my comment did you see me say anything about bleeding? Don't put words in my comment. If you want to add to what I've said and bring up the issue w/incorrect adhesive, then do so. My comment is correct.

    I said staining and etching. (perhaps I should have specified from food and drink and not from the install. I just assumed everyone knew what I was talking about. )

    If a fabricator/installer is familiar w/quartzite and knows which ones bleed, then he needs to pick the right product. It has nothing to do w/the geological make up of the stone though. People complain about quartzite etching. All I said was, 'quartzite does not etch or stain'.

    as for the solid surface / corian you like so much, personally I think it's ugly.

    Corian reminds me of the sugar/cream station at Starbucks!

    Shead, I don't know what you think of it, but solid surface would be last on my list. quartzite is beautiful in comparison.

    Got to some diff stone yards and try to find something that you like.

  • gettingandspending
    yesterday
    last modified: yesterday

    We have just installed Taj Mahal quartzite in our kitchen. I love it. I wanted marble but it's not practical, so I looked at all sorts of options.

    We were somewhat limited as we needed 3cm thickness, so a couple of the gorgeous manufactured options were not available. The thing I found that really frustrated me was the variation on terminology among distributors and fabricators. I found such terms as "hard marble" and "soft granite" which are nonsense and just confuse the customer. Fortunately I took my geologist son with me, so he kept me away from the beautiful "hard marbles" and "soft granites" which were usually dolomites, only marginally harder than marble.

    I had granite, and knew that it was virtually indestructible, so I wanted something just as tough, but prettier. It boiled down to quartzite, and after that, budget and availability.We were just replacing the counters on existing cabinets so colour choice was also limited. After four repeat trips to the stone wholesalers, I chose Taj Mahal. It is at least as hard as granite, and can handle hot pans. I had the slabs honed, as that is the look I prefer. As for staining, I left cherry juice, tea and cooked blueberry on an unsealed piece overnight, and had no staining when I cleaned them up the next day.

    Taj Mahal is generally full of movement; my only advice would be to ensure that you discuss with the fabricator how the pieces will lay out in your kitchen and how they will place any seams.

    By the way, on staining, when my Bianco Romano granite was installed, there was some sort of nasty greenish stain left by the installers. The company gave me a poultice material which I had to put on 5 or 6 times, but eventually the stain disappeared completely.

  • Renee
    yesterday

    Cambria Quartz is what I have for my island and counter tops and I love it! It’s not cheap but many colors and designs to choose from. I chose Golden Dragon. I also used a slab for my fireplace.

  • MinnesotaMary
    23 hours ago

    @Renee, how many cuts did they have to do on your fireplace and was it 2cm or 3cm? Thanks.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    23 hours ago

    "... and can handle hot pans."


    It cannot, at least according to the Natural Stone Institute of America, the industry's 70-year-old trade association. Use a trivet please.

  • PRO
    Jeffrey R. Grenz, General Contractor
    22 hours ago

    Every surface choice has upsides & downsides.


    Like many things in life, there are relationships between cost, practicality & beauty.

  • megs1030
    20 hours ago

    We have quartzite in our kitchen for almost a year now. No etching, no chips, it's super durable. I do notice that if I don't seal it every couple of months, I do get some water stains that fade 99% over time to the point that only I know that they exist. So now, I just will be sure to seal it every 3 months. Overall, very happy with our quartzite.

  • wiscokid
    20 hours ago

    Every 3 months sounds very high maintenance.

  • megs1030
    19 hours ago

    Eh, sealing is not difficult. But had that been explained when I shopped around, I may have chosen something else. Hard to say since I'm not a fan of quartz and didn't see any granites I liked. I love the look of the stone we purchased.

  • roarah
    19 hours ago
    last modified: 19 hours ago

    When I tested quartzite years ago i found the more it looked like marble (more white) the more it acted like marble so I went with the cheaper option of real marble. 15 years later I still love my polished marble some etches but no stains.

    It will be replaced soon with another marble only because I do not love my cabinet layout and backsplash any longer. If you love it it might be worth the issues. I found some issue with every counter product. There is still no perfect material in my opinion.

    15 plus years, tons of kids in kitchen and a messy dh later not too bad.

  • shead
    Original Author
    19 hours ago

    @wiscokid, I was kinda thinking the same thing 😬


    Black leathered granite is looking more appealing. Even though I really want a light color on the island, I’m afraid the love affair would grow stale quickly with high maintenance 😌 We operate a large cattle farm and we homeschool so I need something to stand up to the rigors of multiple times a day usage and messy eaters (DH and the kids).

  • pamtheartist
    18 hours ago

    I didn’t have a lots of options 19 yrs ago when we remodeled our kitchen, but the remodeling gods were watching over me. My medium color granite with lovely light swirls and off white Corian sink still look like new. And that’s with no resealing, refinishing or elbow grease cleaning. Sometimes just go back to basics and ignore the latest trends.

  • gettingandspending
    17 hours ago

    @shead

    First, on light colours vs. dark: we have had polished Bianco Romano granite for five years at our mountain condo that I absolutely love. It's nice and light, and I haven't had to do anything to it. Nothing has stained it, so far. It has lots of life to it, movement and subtle colour. No problems with hot pans either. If it were the right colour for our home kitchen I would have ordered it for there too.


    Second, watch out for rough finishes. "Leathered" is bumpy. You won't be able to write or draw on a piece of paper very well. Food won't wipe up smoothly. My Taj Mahal was mistakenly delivered 'leathered' and they had to come in and re-polish to the 'honed' I wanted.


    Polished is the best option for maintenance as little or nothing will affect the surface. 'Honed' is a similar smoothness, but not shiny, so it is marginally more porous but easy to wipe off and care for. 'Leathered' is not great if you use your counter for rolling out dough, and the rough/bumpy surface makes it hard to keep clean.


    All that said, distributors/fabricators don't all speak the same language regarding finishes either; in Calgary, where I live, I found two surfaces, both called 'leathered' that felt and looked very different. Also, one place calls 'honed' 'satin'. You have to see the material in person to ensure you are getting what you want.


    For durability and ease of maintenance, the harder the stone (Mohs scale ~7+), the smoother/shinier the surface, and the more varied/busier the patterning, the less marks will show and easier it is to look after. As @Jeffrey R. Grenz, General Contractor said, every surface has its downsides.


    Finally, I don't know why you would have to seal any surface every three months. All the fabricators here recommend yearly, or every couple of years. In fact I never once sealed my old polished granite once in 18 years.

  • roarah
    17 hours ago
    last modified: 17 hours ago

    Shead, I do nothing to my marble. It was polished so does not need sealing. Is polished quartzite the same?

  • Susan Murin
    16 hours ago

    I have Taj Majal quartzite and it is absolutely bulletproof in its unsealed state in my very hardworking kitchen.

  • MinnesotaMary
    15 hours ago

    @Susan Murin, I am so happy to hear you say that. Thanks! Feeling even better about my decision.

  • vinmarks
    12 hours ago

    I'm going to have to disagree with gettingandspending. I have leathered granite and it is no harder to clean than polished. I roll out dough for pizza and pies without issue.

  • Renee
    9 hours ago

    @MinnesotaMary
    Here is a photo. 3cm and I think it was one and some I had leftover for the hearth. I absolutely am in love with it!

  • dsgts
    7 hours ago
    last modified: 6 hours ago

    I have Victoria Falls quartzite in a satin finish. It seems impervious (so far) and I love it. However, if I were doing this again, I would seriously consider Corian. The soft surface and purported ease of refinishing Corian, if needed, are very appealing.

  • gettingandspending
    6 hours ago

    @vinmarks - It depends what your fabricator meant by 'leathered'. There is not just one texture that goes by that name. That's why I said it's important to see the slab. My 'leathered' Taj Mahal caused pastry to stick and be uneven and bumpy.

  • gettingandspending
    6 hours ago

    @dsgts Victoria Falls is gorgeous and looks a lot like my Taj Mahal. Not sure why you'd prefer Corian. What is 'satin' finish?



  • gettingandspending
    5 hours ago

    @vinmarks I found this quote: There is no industry standard on what constitutes a “leather finish” on granite, according to Jeff Handley, member relations manager for the Natural Stone Institute (440-250-9222; naturalstoneinstitute.org), a trade association. “It absolutely depends on the fabrication shop as to what type of tooling they used.” Sometimes a leather finish has a texture midway between a polished surface and a honed finish, he said. But when a different shop does it, the leather finish might be rougher.

  • dsgts
    5 hours ago
    last modified: 4 hours ago

    gettingandspending, Satin is slightly honed, not matte and not polished (think of paint finishes).

    It isn't that I would prefer Corian, but if I were doing this again, I wouldn't feel that I need to have a natural stone. My friends thought it was necessary for my house and I went along with their opinions. The quartzite is gorgeous! I don't regret it, but going forward, I believe I might be just as happy with Corian, especially if I wanted to conserve funds.

  • MinnesotaMary
    29 minutes ago

    I have also come across the term "brushed" granite - and I have not see it in person - but it sounds as though it is another word for "leathered"? This is called "brushed." It can be confusing out there.

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