Quartzite is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock that is formed when sandstone is subject to the extreme heat and pressure found within the surface of the earth. Quartzite is becoming an increasingly popular choice as a kitchen work surface due to its incredibly durable properties, but these same properties can make it difficult for fabricators to process.

 

What is Quartzite?

Much like granite and marble, quartzite is formed in the earth when extreme heat and pressure is placed on sandstone. Comprising of almost pure quartz, these forces recrystallize the sand and silica, merging them together.

The crystalline structure formed within quartzite makes it incredibly hard – so hard in fact that it typically breaks within the grains of stone, as opposed to the boundaries where they have formed together.  

 

Fusion Quartzite Slab - Quartzite Cutting - Stonegate Tooling


What Does Quartzite Look Like?

Quartzite in its purest form is white but is typically found in white and grey. As quartzite is naturally occurring, impurities can cause it to show a different colour. Iron oxides, for instance, will cause quartzite to be pink, red or purple. Other mineral impurities can cause the stone to be yellow, orange, brown, green or blue and these colours are highly coveted, especially when it comes to quartzite’s application within the home.

 

Quartzite’s Properties

Quartzite is incredibly hard. The quartz content of quartzite makes it measure around seven on the Mohs Hardness Scale (the test that compares the resistance of a mineral to being scratched by ten reference minerals). Quartzite is considerably harder and more durable than granite and also withstands heat very effectively. When compared with manmade quartz, quartzite is a much more hardwearing choice, especially when it comes to heat resistance – the resin used in the manufacturing of quartz is plastic-based so is easily damaged by heat.

That said, from a manufacturing perspective quartz is much easier to fabricate. As it’s manmade, quartz is more predictable in the workshop whereas quartzite is prone to chipping (due to its natural composition), a common challenge fabricators experience is their quartzite slabs chipping when being cut with a bridge saw.

 

Everyday Quartzite Maintenance

Like all natural stone surfaces, quartzite needs to be sealed with a high-quality stone sealer. Don’t be fooled, it’s a smart investment to pay extra for the highest quality sealer you can afford (no matter the cost, it’s still going to be cheaper than replacing the entire worktop!).

Sealing prevents stains penetrating the surface of the stone – done every year it guarantees to keep it looking its best, enhancing the colour and, most importantly, offering vital protection from everyday wear and tear.

Quartzite that is properly sealed is no more difficult to maintain than any other stone surface, spills should be cleaned up promptly with an effective, stone safe cleaning solution.

 

Concluding Thoughts

Quartzite is an interesting and incredible stone that looks fantastic in both classic and contemporary kitchens. As quartzite continues to become more and more popular we are all set to see more of it around and your workshop should be prepared to face the potential challenges associated with quartzite head on. Using the appropriate tooling for quartzite cutting is the first step and Stonegate offer a range of quartzite tooling that is guaranteed to work efficiently and produce clean, neat cuts without chipping.

  

 

Stonegate Precision Tooling, the UK's most trusted supplier...

Here at Stonegate Precision Tooling, we've had the privilege of working with stone fabricators across both the UK and worldwide in providing them with the most innovative tooling and consumables for stone. Our work with stone fabricators has given us the first-hand expertise our customers need when choosing a key supplier to provide them with the essentials to keep them in business.

Through aiming for 100% customer satisfaction we exceed in honesty, loyalty and integrity whilst ensuring that our high-quality, performance products are available whenever our customers need them - 98% of our customers receive their orders on the next day; on time, in full. We work hard with all our customers to provide a service that ensures our customers experience value in all that we do and it's this commitment that has enabled Stonegate to become the UK's most trusted provider of specialist products and knowledge to stone fabricators.

 

EXPLORE THE DIAMOND STONE CUTTING RANGE HERE

      

Further reading on the Stonegate Tooling Blog: