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How Can You Tell The Difference Between Quartzite and Marble?

Quartzite and marble are both beautiful stones that are very popular choices for countertops in bathrooms and kitchens. Both stones have a variety of uses, such as material in construction and art. Both stones are durable and will last for years to come if taken proper care of.

A look at various kitchen countertop samples on display.

Countertops are one of the main features of a house and can make or break the décor in your kitchen or bathroom. With all the materials and designs that are available in today’s market, it is hard to choose the correct material for your home. To be able to get a better understanding of the materials used for countertops, let’s take a look at the differences between quartzite and marble and how to tell the difference between the two.

The growth in popularity of the natural stone for kitchens and bathrooms and its many similarities to marble has many consumers confused about the differences. Both of these stones can be used for countertops as well as tables, walls, flooring, and other construction projects.

Related: What is Quartzite | Types of Marble | Things About Marble | Marble Countertops

Origination of Quartzite and Marble

Marble and quartzite are both metamorphic rocks. While their composition can be changed with heat and pressure, neither of these stones will melt. Marble is a mineral that is created from dolomite or limestone.

Quartzite is not a mineral and is derived from the quartz sandstone by using heat and pressure on the sandstone’s quartz grains to fuse them. Both stones are pretty durable but since marble is a softer stone, it needs more special care to keep it looking great than quartzite does.

Unique Features of Marble and Quartzite

A close look at a textured quartzite slab.

While marble is a softer stone, quartzite is hard and durable. In its chemical makeup, marble is mainly created from calcite while quartzite is not. This means that if a liquid with a higher acid concentration of spills onto a marble countertop, such as lemon, orange, or tomato juices, the surface can be forever altered and spots and etches in the marble can occur. This does not happen with quartzite.

Uses of Both Marble and Quartzite

Marble is the rock with the most uses of all. It can be used for its beauty in a variety of ways, including architecture and sculpture. It can even be used for its chemical properties in pharmaceuticals and agriculture.

Some companies use marble in their production of cosmetics, paint, and even paper. Since marble is lower in cost and there is plenty of it, it is crushed to be used in a lot of valuable ways, including in the construction of houses and buildings.

Quartzite is a decorative stone that is used to create countertops, stairsteps, flooring, and even to cover calls. Sometimes it is crushed and used in the process of paving roads and bridges.

Marble or Quartzite: Which is More Expensive?

A close look at a white marble kitchen countertop.

Many people think that marble is more expensive than quartzite but that is not always true. One of the most popular types of marble is Carrara and it is actually very affordable. It is a very popular choice for budget-conscious homeowners who are in the process of renovating their kitchen or bathroom.

Other types of marble are also affordable including, Statuario which can actually be cheaper than quartzite. On the flip side, Calacatta is a marble stone that is one of the most expensive natural stones there is on the market. Quartzite is more moderately priced but is sometimes still considered a luxury for budget-focused homeowners when doing renovations.

Buyer Beware

One important thing that homeowners and people doing home renovations should be made aware of is that in recent years since there has been a rise of quartzite as a viable competitor of marble, some dealers will actually try to pass off marble like quartzite.

A close look at a breakfast bar with dark granite countertop.

In other words, you need to be diligent in checking to make sure you are getting your money’s worth and the correct material that you ordered for your countertops, walls, or flooring in your renovation project is the same one you are receiving. But how do you do this you may ask? The best way to tell the difference is to do a scratch test on a small piece of quartzite that you are interested in purchasing.

You can even ask the dealer if you can apply an acidic substance like orange juice to the stone or use your car key to scratch the surface to see if it actually scratches. If they refuse to let you do this, you should take your business elsewhere. Reputable dealers will actually have a test kit consisting of acid and picks, called Moh’s hardness picks, to test all of the stones they have available before you to select from.

The best way to get the best piece of stone for your project is to find a dealer with the experience that has a great reputation to deal with. To find the best one for you and your project, you will need to do your homework both through the Internet and by talking with people you know. This will save you a lot of trouble in the long run and ensure that you end up with the best natural stone for your project to make your home gorgeous.