How durable are quartzite tiles and what are the benefits?

Quartzite is durable enough to be used around the home.

Quartzite is becoming more popular as a material that's both stylish and durable. While not as well known as some other natural stones like granite or basalt, it can be used for many of the same purposes and will be super long-lasting.

What is quartzite?

Quartzite is a metamorphic rock, formed when individual grains of quartz-containing sand compress and reform into sandstone. As the sandstone is subjected to intense pressure, it combines with other materials nearby to become quartzite – at this point, quartzite is formed.  This process takes place under high heat which creates a heavily resistant material.

On the official scale of how hard a material is, the Mohs Hardness Test, quartzite comes out with a score of seven out of ten, meaning it's pretty tough, and it's one of the harder natural stones out there. You know you'll have a solid surface if you use quartzite.

The durability of quartzite makes it suitable for various uses around the home.Quartzite's natural durability lends it to various uses around the home.

What kind of durability can you expect?

When picking quartzite, it pays to know that there are many variations and mislabeling can occur. Depending on the quality and mix, it will be more or less resistant to usual household use, and may need sealing more often. 

The main issue is that quartzite is sometimes mixed with resin to make it less brittle. When this happens, the stone tends to be less resistant and require more work in terms of keeping it protected. 

If you're thinking about quartzite tiles for your next project, here's what you can expect and what you should be aware of.

1) Heat fluctuations

Quartzite's intense formation process renders it resistant to temperature fluctuations. It won't crack in extreme hot or cold weather, making it perfect for variable climates and for outdoor use, such as in pavers or other garden areas.

Good quartzite is also relatively heat resistant, meaning you may be able to get away with leaving a hot pan on your kitchen countertops without any issue. However, it is worth getting your quartzite slab sealed or using cutting boards and surface protectors to ensure it is fully protected.

2) Water resistance

Quartzite is naturally fairly water resistant and is not soluble, but just how porous it is largely depends on the variety and how tightly bonded its minerals are. Sealing can give you piece of mind, and quartzite is a popular stone for bathrooms vanities and countertops. Its surface texture makes it non-slip so it's a good option for floor tiles too. It is easily cleaned with soap and water, to avoid mildew or limescale, with no special cleaning materials required. 

3) Stain and scratch-resistance 

Quartz scores highly on the Mohs Hardness scale, making it harder than glass, which means that quartzite is strong natural stone. Good quality quartzite (not the variety mixed with resin) is therefore very durable, which means scratching is minimal.

Quartzite itself is actually very highly resistant to acidic liquids, which cause staining in the first place, and has a low rate of absorption. However, it can contain materials such as calcium carbonate which etches easily, so it's still worth protecting your stone and mopping up spillages quickly. 

4) UV resistance

Good news for those thinking of using it for pavers, other outdoor uses or in rooms that see plenty of sunlight. Quartzite is highly UV resistant so won't fade and let your interior colour scheme down.

What makes quartzite great from a design perspective?

Quartzite has a similar look to marble, making it perfect for creating a soft and elegant look not always possible with laminate countertops. It's naturally white or grey, but if other materials are present in the formation process such as iron oxide, silica, carbonate and clay, a variety of patterns and colours can form. You may be able to get hold of quartzite with flecks of colour ranging from blue and green to pink or red. No two pieces of quartzite will be quite the same. 

At BauMart we offer a variety of quartzite known as green sukabumi, formed when there is a high volume of zeolite in the stone. Zeolite is known for its water-purifying properties, making it great for swimming pools and other wet areas. It's really popular in luxury Balinese hotels, and is mined only in West Java. 

It's also available in a range of different finishes including honed and natural split face, which means you can create just the look you want.

To talk about using Quartzite for your next project, chat to the friendly team at BauMart today.