Defining Quartzite (Not Quartz!)




What is quartzite?

Quartzite is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock. It forms when quartz-rich sandstone is subjected to extreme heat and pressure. Under these conditions individual quartz pieces will recrystallize giving it a beautiful and decorative often marble-like pattern. The interlocking crystalline structure of quartzite makes it a hard, tough, durable rock. The stone is quarried and sawn into slabs which are later precisely cut to become countertops.


Why choose quartzite?super-white-kitchen-main-street-cabinet-co

Quartzite is an increasingly popular choice for homeowners and interior designers. Its sophisticated good looks make it a top contender for everything from kitchen countertops to feature walls.

One of the main benefits of quartzite is that many of the varieties have a similar look to marble, but require much less maintenance, so it can be a good option for consumers who would like marble countertops but want something sturdier. Quartzite is a naturally strong and durable stone which is relatively heat resistant. For some people, it’s the only surface that they would ever consider due to its incredible beauty and strength.


white-macauba-island-leslie-hayes-interiorsWhat kind of variations can be expected?

Quartzite forms in a range of colors. In its purest form it’s white like marble, but can have impurities in it that lead to some incredible patterns and colors. Natural, earth-toned hues are the most commonly seen. Quartzite can also be found in various other color options, such as blue, green, pink or red. The color variation depends on several factors such as the amount of iron oxide present, the region the stone comes from and the age of the stone. Some quartzites even have translucent properties and can transmit light like onyx.


How do you care for quartzite?nacarado-bathroom-david-j-wade

Quartzite is not indestructible and should be sealed to help protect the surface from stains.  Sealing is typically applied initially by the installer when the quartzite is first installed, and should be re-applied periodically after that, generally about every 5-15 years depending on the sealer used.  As with all natural stone surfaces, spills should be wiped up as soon as possible.

Final Notes:

Quartzite is a term that is used quite loosely in the stone industry because it is sometimes used to describe stone that are closely related to dolomites and marbles. It’s important to know if the stone you’ve selected is a “soft” or “hard” quartzite. Be sure to check with an Intrepid associate or your fabricator for specific information.

Here are some popular quartzites, and the categories they fall into:

  • Hard quartzite: Cielo, Sea Pearl, Taj Mahal, White Macaubas, Nacarado
  • Softer quartzite: Super White, Austral Dream, Fantasy Brown




Visit the Intrepid Marble and Granite showroom to view a large variety of hand-selected quartzite slabs from around the world, and receive expert advice and assistance from our team. Alternatively, view our selection online

*Click on an image for a direct link to our available inventory!