Quartz vs Quartzite Countertops – Pros, Cons & Differences

What is quartzite, is it the same as quartz? – As a kitchen designer, I get this question a lot. And with a definite rise in the popularity of quartzite right now, it’s something that’s coming up more and more.

While the two materials certainly sound very similar, there are in fact, some very important differences between the two.

In this post, I’ll be comparing Quartz and Quartzite, looking into what they are, how they’re different, and the unique advantages and disadvantages that each one carries. So you’ll know which material is best for you.

Let’s get into it!

What Is A Quartz Countertop?

The quick answer, quartz countertops are essentially a man-made stone.

When you hear the term “Quartz countertop,” what you’re really hearing about is engineered quartz. This isn’t pure quartz hewn from the earth but a composite material designed to combine the best of nature and human ingenuity.

Engineered quartz countertops are made from about 90-94% ground natural quartz, combined with around 6-10% polymer resins and pigments. The result of this manufacturing process? A material that takes on the robustness of quartz, one of the hardest minerals on Earth, and the versatility of modern polymers.

Quartz countertop in kitchen
Very popular marble effect quartz countertop

Quartz countertops have gained quite a reputation among leading brands like Silestone, Caesarstone, and Cambria. These brands offer an impressive range of colours, styles, and finishes that can rival the natural allure of stone while providing consistent quality and design.

When it comes to sizes, quartz countertops typically come in two standard thickness sizes: 3 cm (about 1.18 inches), which is more commonly used, and 2 cm (about 0.78 inches). And typically come in slab sizes of approximately 300cm to 325cm long (120 – 128 inches) by 140cm to 160cm wide (55 – 63 inches), although dimensions can vary by manufacturer.

So why are quartz countertops so popular in kitchens? Well, aside from the huge range of colours and finish options available, they are non-porous, meaning they won’t absorb liquids like porous materials do. This non-porosity makes quartz highly resistant to staining, and you won’t have to seal them as you would with some natural stones. Plus, they stand up well to scratches, making them a forgiving surface when your knife misses the chopping board.

Moreover, quartz countertops are relatively low maintenance. A simple wipe-down with mild dish soap and water is typically all you need to keep them looking pristine.

Pros of Quartz Countertops

Quartz, as a kitchen countertop material, offers several notable advantages. I’ve made a quick list of some of the most important advantages.

  • Durability: Engineered quartz is incredibly durable due to its composition – a fusion of one of Earth’s hardest minerals and resilient polymers. This translates to a surface that can resist chipping, scratching, and cracking under everyday kitchen use, significantly outlasting many other countertop materials.

  • Non-porous: Unlike some natural stones, quartz countertops are non-porous. This means they won’t absorb liquids, reducing the risk of staining and bacteria growth. Spills, splashes, and splotches from coffee, wine, or cooking oils? No problem! Your quartz countertop remains unstained and hygienic.

  • Low maintenance: Quartz countertops are a dream for the busy homeowner. There’s no need for regular sealing like with granite or marble. A simple clean with warm, soapy water is all it takes to keep your quartz countertop looking as good as new.

  • Consistent appearance: Since quartz countertops are engineered, they boast a consistent colour and pattern, unlike natural stone which can have significant variations. This uniformity ensures that what you see in the showroom is exactly what you’ll get in your kitchen.

  • Variety of design options: Quartz countertops come in a vast array of colours, patterns, and finishes, thanks to the addition of pigments during manufacturing. From mimicking the look of natural stone to creating bold, contemporary hues, quartz gives you the freedom to complement any kitchen design style.

  • Resistant to heat and cold: While not invincible, quartz countertops are more resistant to heat and cold compared to many other materials. This means they can withstand the occasional hot pot or icy dish without damage, but it’s still best practice to use trivets or heat pads.

Cons of Quartz Countertops

Despite its numerous advantages, quartz countertops do have some drawbacks that are worth considering. Here are a few disadvantages.

  • Susceptible to heat damage: Although quartz countertops can handle heat better than many materials, they’re not completely heatproof. Extreme, sudden temperature changes or prolonged exposure to heat can cause quartz to crack. It’s always recommended to use trivets or heat pads under hot pots and pans.

  • Visible seams: With larger countertop designs, seams in quartz countertops can be noticeable, especially with lighter colours. While these seams can be professionally minimized, they cannot be entirely avoided.

  • Not completely scratch or stain-proof: Despite quartz countertops being highly resistant to scratches and stains, they are not immune. Sharp objects can still scratch the surface if used forcefully, and certain substances can stain if left for extended periods. As with all countertop materials, proper care is crucial to maintain their beauty and longevity.

  • Cost: High-quality quartz countertops can be on the pricey side, typically more expensive than basic granite, tile, or laminate options. The price is reflective of the material’s durability, beauty, and low maintenance, but it can be a hurdle for budget-conscious remodelers.

  • Not entirely natural: While this might not be a con for everyone, it’s worth mentioning that quartz countertops are not 100% natural stone. They are engineered from ground quartz and resins, and while this allows for a range of designs and colours, those desiring a completely natural stone countertop may be disappointed.

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What Is A Quartzite Countertop?

Quartzite is a natural stone, not a man-made product like quartz.

It starts its journey as sandstone and, under intense heat and high pressure over millions of years under the earth’s surface, transforms into quartzite. This results in a hard, durable and unique natural stone with a lot of charm and character.

Some popular types of quartzite include White Macaubas, Taj Mahal, and Sea Pearl. These types offer unique and stunning patterns that range from delicate waves to bold veins, just like the natural stones they are. Each slab of quartzite has its own unique patterns and nuances – no two are identical, lending a distinct and personal touch to your kitchen.

Examples of kitchens with quartzite countertops

In terms of size, quartzite countertops are similar to quartz and commonly come in slabs approximately 290cm to 340cm long (115 – 135 inches) by 140cm to 200cm wide (55 – 80 inches). However, the dimensions can vary based on the quarry and the specific slab. They are usually available in two standard thickness sizes: 2 cm (about 0.78 inches) and 3 cm (about 1.18 inches).

As a natural stone, quartzite is incredibly hard, ranking even higher than granite on the Mohs Hardness Scale. This robustness allows it to withstand the rigours of daily kitchen activities and makes it highly resistant to scratches.

Further enhancing its kitchen suitability is quartzite’s impressive heat resistance. Unlike many countertop materials, you can place hot pots and pans directly onto quartzite surfaces without fear of causing damage. However, to ensure long-lasting beauty, it’s still good practice to use trivets or heat pads, particularly for very hot or cold items.

But quartzite is not just about durability and practicality; it also shines in the aesthetic department. Boasting the unique, natural beauty that only Mother Nature can create, quartzite countertops make a stunning addition to any kitchen. Their patterns and colours, formed over millions of years, add an authentic and exquisite touch that’s hard to replicate.

Pros of Quartzite Countertops

Personally, I’m a fan of quartzite and its advantages as a kitchen countertop. Here are a few of the biggest pros.

  • Hard and Durable: Quartzite is extremely hard and durable, even more so than granite. It’s well-equipped to handle the day-to-day activities of a bustling kitchen, offering high scratch resistance that can withstand knife nicks and everyday wear and tear.

  • Heat Resistant: Quartzite countertops excel in heat resistance. They can handle direct contact with hot pots and pans without damage, a feature that makes them very kitchen-friendly. However, using trivets or heat pads remains a good practice to protect the surface.

  • Unique Aesthetics: Quartzite offers a distinctive, natural beauty that sets it apart. Every slab is unique with its own pattern and colour variations, bringing a piece of nature’s artistry into your kitchen.

  • Luxurious Look: Quartzite countertops can closely resemble marble with their rich veining and soft colours but are much harder and more resistant to staining and etching. This allows you to achieve that high-end, luxurious look without the high maintenance.

  • Natural and Eco-friendly: Quartzite is 100% natural, which can be a significant plus for those who prefer eco-friendly materials in their homes. Its extraction and processing have a smaller carbon footprint compared to engineered stones.

Cons of Quartzite Countertops

While quartzite brings many advantages to the table, there are also some potential downsides to consider.

  • Cost: Quartzite tends to be more expensive than other countertop materials, including some types of granite and quartz. The cost can increase depending on the type of quartzite and the complexity of the installation.

  • Maintenance: Quartzite requires more maintenance than quartz. It needs to be sealed upon installation and resealed over time to prevent stains and keep it looking its best. Although it’s hard and durable, spills should be cleaned promptly to avoid potential staining. You should also avoid using abrasive cleaners as this may dull the surface and remove the sealant over time.

  • Limited Color Range: As a natural stone, quartzite comes in a relatively limited range of colours. Most quartzite is white or light in colour with varying degrees of veining. If you’re after a specific, non-traditional colour for your countertop, quartzite might not offer as many options as other materials like quartz.

  • Seams: Just like quartz, seams can be visible with quartzite countertops, especially in larger kitchens. Skilled installers can make these seams less visible, but they can’t be completely avoided.

  • Variability: Each slab of quartzite is unique, which can be both a pro and a con. On the one hand, you get a one-of-a-kind countertop; on the other, it can be more challenging to achieve a consistent look across your kitchen, especially if you need more than one slab.

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What Is The Difference Between Quartz And Quartzite?

Despite their similar names, quartz and quartzite are two distinctly different materials with their own unique characteristics and advantages. Simply put, quartzite is a natural stone, whereas quartz is a man-made stone.

Origin & Composition

The primary difference between quartz and quartzite lies in their origin and composition. Quartzite is a natural stone formed from sandstone under intense heat and pressure over millions of years. It is almost entirely composed of natural quartz grains, with the colours and patterns formed by other minerals present during its formation.

On the other hand, quartz is an engineered or man-made material. It’s composed of approximately 90-95% ground natural quartz combined with 5-10% polymer resins and pigments. This composition allows for a wide variety of colours and patterns that can mimic the look of natural stone or create unique, modern designs.

Durability & Maintenance

Both quartz and quartzite are high on the durability scale, but they handle wear and tear differently. Quartzite is harder than quartz and can resist scratches better. It’s also heat-resistant, and able to withstand hot pots and pans better than quartz without the potential risk of damage.

However, quartz takes the lead when it comes to maintenance. Being a non-porous surface, it’s resistant to staining and doesn’t require sealing or resealing. Quartzite, being a natural stone, is more porous and needs to be sealed upon installation and then periodically after that to prevent potential staining.


Quartzite, with its unique patterns, shades and colour variations, brings a piece of nature’s artistry into your kitchen. Every slab is different, lending a unique and personal touch. Quartz, thanks to its engineered nature, offers a wider variety of colour options and can mimic the look of natural stone like granite, marble, and even quartzite.


Both quartz and quartzite fall on the higher end of the price range for countertop materials, with the cost of quartzite typically being more expensive than quartz. However, the price can vary widely based on the quality, colour, finish, and installation costs.

Environmental Impact

Quartzite, being a naturally occurring metamorphic rock, has a smaller carbon footprint in its extraction and processing compared to engineered stone like quartz. However, responsible mining and manufacturing practices can help minimize the environmental impact of both materials.

Which Is More Expensive, Quartz Or Quartzite?

When comparing the cost of quartz and quartzite, it’s important to note that prices can vary widely based on various factors such as the quality of the stone, the colour, the finish, and where you live. However, on average, quartzite tends to be more expensive than quartz.

Quartz countertops generally fall in the range of $50 to $120 per square foot, (£400/sq.m to £900/sq. m.) including installation costs. The price can go higher for premium designs or colours. For instance, brands like Caesarstone or Silestone offer high-end quartz options that can reach up to $150 per square foot, including installation.

Quartzite slabs, on the other hand, usually start at a higher price point. It typically costs between $60 and $200 per square foot, (£450/sq.m to £1500/sq. m.) including installation. More luxurious varieties, such as the popular White Macaubas or Taj Mahal quartzites, can even go beyond this range. Keep in mind that the rarer the quartzite, the higher the price.

You can see there is a significant overlap in pricing, however, the countertop installation costs will be comparable for the two surfaces. It’s always a good idea to get estimates from different suppliers and consider all costs, including those for edging and cutouts for sinks or stoves, when comparing the costs of quartz and quartzite countertops.

Also, if you’re going for quartzite, I think it’s crucial you visit the stone yard and look at all the options and pick out the slabs you love the look of most. As they’ll all be unique, a small sample could look quite different from the slab you ultimately end up with.

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Does quartz or quartzite stain more?

Quartzite is more prone to staining than quartz.

This is because quartzite, being a natural stone, is more porous than engineered quartz. These pores can absorb liquids and lead to stains. However, if properly sealed and maintained, quartzite’s vulnerability to staining can be significantly reduced.

On the other hand, quartz countertops, due to their non-porous nature and the presence of polymer resins, are highly resistant to staining.

Can You Put A Hot Pan On Quartz Or Quartzite?

When it comes to heat resistance and being able to put a hot pan down on them, quartzite has the upper hand.

Quartzite can tolerate direct heat from hot pots and pans better than quartz can. Quartz, while it can withstand short exposure to moderate heat, is susceptible to damage from high temperatures or sudden temperature changes.

However, using a trivet or heat pad is always recommended, regardless of whether you have quartz or quartzite countertops, to keep them looking their best.

Which is better quartz or quartzite?

Deciding whether quartz or quartzite is “better” comes down to your individual needs, lifestyle, and aesthetic preferences.

Quartz is non-porous, making it highly stain resistant, and it doesn’t require any sealing, which makes maintenance a breeze. It also offers a wide variety of color and design options, thanks to its engineered nature. These properties make it a great choice for busy kitchens and those who prefer low maintenance.

Quartzite, on the other hand, boasts a hard, durable nature that is scratch and heat-resistant. With its natural, unique patterns, it adds a luxurious, one-of-a-kind aesthetic to any kitchen. Despite requiring more maintenance than quartz (like sealing to prevent stains), it may be a perfect choice for those who prefer a natural stone with high durability and unique aesthetics.

In the end, both quartz and quartzite make for beautiful, durable kitchen countertops. Your choice depends on your preference for natural vs. engineered stone, your maintenance commitment, your design preferences, and your budget.

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Final Thoughts…

There you have it! Everything you need to know when comparing quartz and quartzite.

While the two materials sound similar there are some very important differences to understand when comparing the two countertops. The choice between quartz and quartzite countertops depends largely on your specific needs, personal preference, and budget.

Quartz offers versatility in design, colour options, and easy maintenance, making it an excellent choice for busy kitchens.

Quartzite, with its unique and natural beauty, offers a classic, luxurious feel, and incredible durability, an ideal choice for those wanting to bring a piece of nature into their kitchen with a little extra care. Both materials offer a long-lasting, durable, and beautiful surface for your kitchen counters.

So, will you go for quartz or quartzite in your new kitchen?



Michael from Kitchinsider.com

Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.