Engineered Quartz Tile | Quartz | Quartzite
Last month we covered melanine kitchen cabinets, now it is time for kitchen counter top materials. You might have heard of all these different terms: quartzite, quartz, engineered quartz tile, and wondered what they all mean. Are they the same? Well, no. They aren’t the same, but there are similarities between them.
Let’s look at each one. The engineered quartz tile is made from natural quartzite and synthetic materials. Most people refer to the engineered quartz tile simply as quartz. On the other hand, quartzite refers to the completely natural quartzite rock material.
Now you may be asking, why do some people prefer quartzite over engineered quartz tile and vice versa? After all, they’re both made of quartzite.
As is always the case with all the different countertop materials, they both have their own unique qualities, attractions, and weaknesses that can make one favorable over the other.
In terms of looks, it really does come down to “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Some people prefer a completely natural look; others appreciate the color diversity available with engineered quartz tile.
Engineered quartz tile is available in more colors than quartzite, thanks to added pigmentation. With quartzite, you’re mostly limited to white and grey, with the other color possibilities limited to natural minerals.
In terms of hardness and durability, quartzite can easily be compared to granite, so it has no problem in this department.
Engineered quartz tile is very hard also, but it does have one minor weakness. The resin used in making the engineered quartz tile is made from plastic, which means that the tile will melt if it comes in contact with a temperature exceeding 300 degrees Fahrenheit (which is why you shouldn’t place a hot pan on this type of countertop).
Is quartz/quartzite the best natural stone?
Quartzite, engineered quartz tile and granite all have nearly the same durability. However, there are many other natural stone choices besides these. These other options may not have as much durability as quartz and granite, but if you don’t care for the appearance of granite or quartz, just know that there are other natural stone tile options to consider.
When it comes to looks, engineered quartz tile (and to a lesser degree quartzite) can achieve a look of uniformity that may be pleasing to the eye.
Granite on the other hand is defined as a 100% natural stone. Therefore, the color variations and patterns are numerous.
However, if one wanted to achieve as uniform a look as possible with granite, then they would need to ensure that the granite slabs come from the same quarry, and in the same general vicinity.
- More colors
- Susceptible to melting after 300 degrees Fahrenheit
- Almost as durable as quartzite
- Colors limited by mineral composition
- Natural stone
- About as durable as granite
- Wider range of colors and pattern variations
- Natural stone
- Durable as quartzite
Verdict: unless you’re extra worried about a high traffic area in your kitchen, you can hardly go wrong with any of these three choices. For most of us, it really comes down to personal preference, and where you lean on the natural vs synthetic spectrum. If you lean more towards natural, then your choice should mostly depend on where you lean on the uniformity vs variation spectrum.