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Quartzite for your Kitchen Counter

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Lumix Quartzite on the Island and Madre Perla Quartzite on Main Perimeters – Photo courtesy of http://www.gramarstone.com

One of my favorite materials for kitchen countertops is natural stone quartzite.  It comes in so many beautiful patterns, has a look similar to marble, and yet is one of the most durable natural stones for your kitchen.

Quartzite is becoming more popular in recent years and is the top go-to solid surface product for natural stone lovers.  You can get it in many finishes such as polished, leathered, satin, brushed, or honed.

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Fusion Quartzite in a leathered finish from Gramar Stone Center in Anaheim, CA (photo courtesy of http://www.gramarstone.com)

Here are some of my favorite things about quartzite:

  1.  It’s one of the most durable natural stones available on the market for kitchen countertops.
  2. It’s also the most dense.  Fabricators may sometimes charge a little more to fabricate these bad boys due to this.  But in reality that’s probably a good sign that you’re getting some real tough cookies for your money.
  3. They come in beautiful patterns and colors that are similar aesthetically to marble slabs and work in any home style.
  4. More and more slab yards are importing them.  My favorite yard, Gramar Stone Center in Anaheim, CA has such a wide variety of colors and finishes to choose from, and mostly import this type of material only.
  5. They can be fabricated with almost any edge detail and aren’t limited to just one or two edge like engineered quartz.
  6. Easy to seal and maintain on your own.  Natural stones get a bad rap for being hard to maintain.  But in reality, sealing is such a quick and easy thing to do.  You can do it once every year or two (or as needed) and it only takes minutes of your time, or you can hire someone to take care of it for you, although the latter is a more expensive, unnecessary option.
  7. It can be refinished over time.  Let’s say the polish starts to scratch from you cutting directly on the surface (for shame!), or you’ve scratched it a little too many times – you can hire a company to come in a re-polish the surface to make it look brand spanking new again!
  8. You can also have the finish changed before it’s fabricated.  A lot of people are very particular on what type of coloring they want on their slabs.  So when you find the perfect color in a polished bundle, but you really had your heart set on a honed finish – it can be accomplished!  Just ask your fabricator to quote you a price to do this, or there are sometimes companies that specialize in stone refinishing depending on your location.
  9.  It’s also heat resistant and can be used outdoors or on fireplace applicatioins.  Unlike engineered quartz which can warp, discolor, or burn from exposure to high heat or outdoor use, quartzite is a great alternative for these applications.
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Taj Mahal Quartzite – photo courtesy of http://www.gramarstone.com

As you can see, I looooooove quartzite!  But of course there are some downsides that we need to discuss if we’re being fair.

  1. Firstly, it’s not cheap.  On average you’re looking at $3000 per slab without fabrication or installation.  Now that’s a loose term “per slab” because these are normally very large slabs, whereas some are smaller.  They average 60-70 sf per slab on the larger end, so they can cover quite a large area. The kitchen above with the Taj Mahal quartzite was large enough to use only one 70 square foot slab, vs two 45 square foot engineered quartz slabs.  So in this case, the quartzite was a more budget friendly option
  2. It needs to be sealed periodically.  Most people will recommend every year or two, and I’ve even heard some companies recommend every 10 years. It depends on many things, mostly based off how often you clean your counters and which products you use.
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Platinus Quartzite – courtesy of http://www.gramarstone.com

When it comes down to it, these two downsides aren’t even really that bad.  Yes, sealing is a bummer, but it’s not that difficult and takes so little time.  And you can even purchase certain products now that that seal each time you clean your stone.  So it’s almost not even an issue anymore.

And as far as pricing goes, it’s not like it’s something you update every year.  This needs to last you at least 10-15 years, or until your next remodel.  When you consider the overall costs of your kitchen remodel, what is another $1000 really gonna hurt when we’re talking about the countertop of your dreams!  So splurge away my remodeling queens, buy that gorgeous quartzite for your dream kitchen, and never look back!

And then hide the credit card statement from your husband right after!  tee hee 😉

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