Quartzite vs Marble Countertops: Differences and Detailed Comparison

Quartzite and marble are cousins in the world of natural stones. But when it comes to choosing your next countertop, it will make a whole lot of difference to pay attention to their distinctive features. Marble might be the queen of countertops but doesn't show the same strengths as quartzite. It all comes down to comparing the quartzite vs marble characteristics to understand how each stone will perform in your kitchen. So let us dive in and compare the quartzite vs marble countertops to unravel their differences and thus point out details about their durability, maintenance, and appearance. 

Quartzite vs Marble 

One common characteristic between marble and quartzite is that they are both non-foliated metamorphic rocks. In plain English, this means that their appearance is not layered. So is this actually an oranges-with-oranges comparison? Let's see the geology of the two stones. 

Quartzite 

The natural stone is formed when sand grains are pressured by the earth's surface and affected by the heat and thus bind together to create sandstones. Now, the sandstones continue to be influenced by the heat and pressure and over a period of time, they recrystallize the sand grains and the binders keeping them joined together until the interlocked grains create the stone quartzite. It's crucial to point out here that the main mineral composing quartzite is quartz. But there is a world of quartzite vs quartz countertops differences. So if you want to read about the engineered material, read the quartz countertops pros and cons

white-macaubas-quartzite-countertop-kitchen

Photo by HGTV

Marble 

Although marble is also a metamorphic rock, it is formed by limestones. They are also affected by the pressure and heat under the earth's crust and their main mineral, known as calcite, crystallizes again and again until it forms a rock with interlocked crystals. That's marble. If you want to know more details, check out the marble countertops pros and cons

bianco-carrara-marble-countertop-kitchen

Photo by Decorpad

Appearance 

It takes the experience to compare marble vs quartzite countertops and notice their differences. They are so much alike. In order to buy the stone you want, you need to know about them both. So read the marble and quartzite countertops pros and cons. Below we pinpoint their main distinctions as far as their appearance is concerned. 

Quartzite Countertops Appearance 

The quartz grains composing quartzite create veins in all sorts of patterns. That's why quartzite and marble are often confused. The appearance of each slab is subject to the region's impurities and the way the counter was cut. The veins are often subtler than marble and might cross the slab in a diagonal way, form swirls, or travel in a rather linear way. Check out the quartzite countertops pictures and designs for inspiration. 

super-white-quartzite-countertop-kitchen

Photo by Holhy

Marble Countertops Appearance 

The veining is the main characteristic of marble countertops. Just like quartzite, the looks of marble slabs will form different patterns based on whether the counter was cross- or vein-cut. The slabs might be polished or honed and the finishing methods define whether the counter will be matte or glossy. 

nero-marquina-marble-countertop-bathroom

Photo by Xiamen Shiyue Stone

Marble & Quartzite: Appearance Comparison 

They are both gorgeous. Although marble is broadly recognized as one of the most elegant natural stones, quartzite countertops share exactly the same charm. 

Daily Care & Maintenance 

Cleaning quartzite and marble can be easy if you take into consideration the composition of each stone since it defines their vulnerabilities. So let's see how easy is to maintain these counters. 

Quartzite Countertops Maintenance 

Quartzite is porous. In other words, it needs sealing. If you do that, the daily care of your counter will be easy. You just wipe the slab with a damp cloth and if you want, you can use a mild free of chemicals soap to clean the stains. If it is sealed, it won't stain. The even better news is that by nature, quartzite won't etch either. So if you leave slices of oranges on the slab, that's perfectly alright. 

green-quartzite-countertop-kitchen

Photo by Cybbal

Marble Countertops Maintenance 

Marble needs sealing rather regularly because it's one of the most porous natural stones. Of course, no matter which natural stone you compare - quartzite vs granite vs marble, they all need sealing. The only exception to the rule is soapstone. So if you want to invest in a natural stone and spare yourself the hassle of maintenance, check the soapstone countertops pros and cons

If your marble countertop is sealed, it is easily cleaned with a wet cloth & mild soap. Now, the disadvantage of marble is that it's too sensitive. Although it will be stain resistant if sealed, stains must be cleaned as soon as possible. The even worst news is that marble can etch. So don't leave these orange slices here. And don't use abrasives either. 

arabescato-marble-countertop-kitchen

Photo by HGTV

Marble vs Quartzite: Which is easier to maintain? 

Some marble countertops might be breathtaking but don't let their good looks fool you. In order to maintain them this way, you need to be extra careful. And that's not often possible, especially if you have kids or cook a lot. Both stones need sealing but quartzite is not just more forgiving but less porous than marble and resistant to etching. 

Durability 

On Mohs Hardness Scale, marble ranks 3 while quartzite ranks 7. Do you see where I am going with this? 

Quartzite Countertops Durability 

Since quartzite is composed mainly of the mineral quartz, it's one of the most durable materials. It's heat & scratch resistant and won't dent, etch, or crack. Such qualities make quartzite ideal for high-traffic counters but don't imply that they are immune to damage. Since they are sealed, you need to use trivets and cutting boards to avoid harm on the sealant. 

durable-fusion-quartzite-countertop-kitchen

Photo by HGTV

Marble Countertops Durability 

If you are looking for durable solutions, marble is not your stone. The quartzite vs marble comparison might not be equal since quartzite contains quartz while marble does not, but surely this is not your problem. Not that marble is not durable. But it doesn't even begin to compare with the strength of quartzite. It's rather soft and thus prone to scratching and chipping, but it holds well under heat. Once more, it's vital to point out here that you need to use not just cutting boards but trivets too since the counters are sealed. 

bianco-oro-marble-countertop-kitchen

Photo by Decoist

Which is more durable – quartzite or marble? 

Quartzite is obviously more durable than marble. Although it is still not entirely bulletproof, quartzite will take the daily beating in the kitchen. 

Color Options 

Aesthetically, they are both elegant. In terms of patterns, they both feature veins. But let's see what options you have when it comes to colors. 

Quartzite Countertops Color Options 

The natural stone is light and rather inclined towards grayish and whitish tones. Overall, the color options between quartzite countertops are rather limited to white, cream, gray, and brownish with pink, silver, green, blue or metallic veins. 

lumen-quartzite-countertop-kitchen

Photo by Jackson Design & Remodeling

Marble Countertops Color Options 

The color choices are richer here. Although marble is often associated with white, there are black, gray, rose, gray and other shades. It depends on the stone's composition. If dolomite and calcite dominate, the stone is as white as it can get. More minerals mean more impurities and more color options. 

java-suede-marble-countertop-bathroom

Photo by Lena Thompson Interiors

Marble colors ˃ Quartzite colors 

If you like to have several color options, invest in marble. Not that you won't have choices with quartzite but they will be more limited. In either case, you need to remember three things. 

  1. Neither quartzite nor marble countertops have solid colors
  2. The color options are limited to what nature offers
  3. And the color of each slab is subject to the stone's composition

Quartzite vs Marble Cost Comparison 

It's easy to compare the quartzite vs marble cost. They are both expensive. Marble is more expensive than quartzite although the price always depends on the quality of the stone. Expect to pay approx. $100 per sq. ft. for quartzite and $150 per sq. ft. for marble. If you want to compare prices among various natural stones, check the marble vs quartzite vs granite countertops differences. Or check the soapstone vs granite countertops differences. The cheapest option is granite followed by soapstone followed by quartzite and leaving marble as the most expensive option. That's if you want the best quality of marble but there are some inexpensive choices, like Carrara marble, which cost approx. $40 per sq. ft. 

delirium-quartzite-countertop-kitchen

Photo by Rachel Reyes

Installation Costs 

The most expensive marble countertop can be as high as $200+ per sq. ft. while the priciest quartzite will be around $120+. But when you get offers, remember to estimate the installation cost too. This expense varies from contractor to contractor but it will average around $30 - $50 per hour times the hours needed for the installation. Don't forget to add to the cost expenses, like transportation, cutouts, sealing, finishing etc. 

light-grey-marble-countertop-kitchen

Photo by HGTV

Summary: Marble vs Quartzite Countertops 

Let me help you reorganize your thoughts by listing the main differences between quartzite and marble countertops. 

Quartzite Marble
Extra durable Not as durable
Requires sealing Requires sealing
Easy to clean if sealed Easy to clean if sealed
Resistant to etching, scratching, and heat Prone to scratching and etching
Light hues - limited color options More color options
Expensive More expensive

 

 

Pros & Cons of Quartzite Countertops: They earn our trust due to their durability and resistance but still need sealing and the color options are limited.

Pros & Cons of Marble Countertops: They are very beautiful and available in more colors than quartzite but they are not as durable and cost more. 

If you like the striking appearance of marble but don't want to deal with scratches, quartzite is a better option since it's an equally beautiful stone with the difference that it's extra durable. But both need maintenance.

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