Making the Term Quartzite “Crystal” Clear

Browse around an interior design forum for virtually any length of time and you will find that the term “quartzite” can add an air of mystery to a material that seems to change depending on who is describing it. This mystery can cause your head to swim with questions. Finding the answer can seem challenging when there are so many contradictory comments on the Internet. Why does knowing the difference matter? Why is there such confusion? And what is the truth when it comes to quartzite?

True Quartzite

Do Technicalities Really Matter?

Some may wonder if it matters whether the right term is used when describing a decorative piece for the home. One might reason, “If the person sees it, and likes it, why would the official term matter?” On the surface that seems reasonable. Yet, it really is important to know exactly what the material is. If the term used misrepresents the material, it can have a range of consequences. For example if the term for one material is used to identify a totally different material that has different care requirements, this can cause major problems. We’ll circle back to this idea later in the post, but for now let’s explore why it can be confusing trying to identify true quartzite.

Terminology Can Confuse Consumers

In the stone industry there are a variety of terms that can get confusing for the homeowner trying to find just the right material for their dream home. Some terms that get mixed up or blended together are:

  • Quartz
  • Quartzite
  • Natural Stone
  • Granite

I won’t go into all the details about these terms and distinguishing one from another since this post is focused on quartzite. However, I will just say that these terms get applied to materials that are very different from other materials labeled the same way. Lets now get to the main point of this post, which is helping you understand clearly what quartzite is.

What Truly Constitutes Quartzite?

As with the other stones that we have discussed on this blog, there are characteristics that make quartzite a great choice for some people. But if the person gets something other than quartzite, but selected the material because they know quartzite is “hard” then this can cause issues for the customer. You may be asking yourself, “Does this actually happen?” Notice what Karin Kirk stated in the article The Definitive Guide to Quartzite.

I’ll get right to the point: quartzite is commonly mislabeled. Some quartzite is the real deal, but sometimes marble or dolomitic marble are labeled as quartzite. Because each of these stones behaves differently, people might understandably conclude that quartzite is variable. But it isn’t; quartzite has very consistent properties. Unfortunately it has variable labeling.

The article goes on to explain very clearly how to determine what the stone actually is. Additionally, we have received questions from actual customers that indicate that there are materials being labeled quartzite that have the properties of marble. This can be seen in the questions themselves and in details that are lined out in the aforementioned article.

So, what is the solution? There is no substitute for taking the time to find a reliable, reputable, stone supplier. Additionally, mistakes do happen and it never hurts to do a stone test on a sample from the actual slab that you are considering – if it is possible. Putting the effort into identifying what you are actually getting will yield years of trouble-free joy from your quartzite stone counter top.

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