Quartzite Countertops May be Gorgeous, But There’s Something Your Stone Dealer Isn’t Telling You

Quartzite

Figure 1: Author’s Anatardite Calcite, mislabeled as Quartzite from IMC

This story has since been updated here, here and here. Please read.

By Jon Anderson
Special Contributor

There are many options for countertops, ranging from bog-standard Formica and tile to stainless steel, slab glass, concrete, marble, granite, manufactured quartz and now natural quartzite.

The minimum one expects from a countertop is durability. Many would think durability, along with stone rarity, should increase with price. I think we all know that marble, especially the lighter colored varieties, can be fussy and prone to staining. It requires regular sealing to protect from stains, which is why it’s more often used in bathrooms versus kitchens. Sealing doesn’t protect against etching.

Quartz is a very hard and durable mineral that’s imprecisely used to describe two types of stone. There is manufactured quartz like Silestone and Caesarstone that take quartz aggregate and mix it with resin under extreme heat and pressure to form slabs. Quartzite is an all-natural stone mined the same way as marble and granite.

Quartzite’s appearance varies greatly but has distinct veining and can have a look anywhere from crisp solid coloring to very crystalline in appearance (like crushed ice). I’ve seen quartz so perfectly colored, I’d swear it was fake. While some patterns are brilliantly crazy, it’s generally a more subtle stone group that definitely causes as much “WOW” for viewers as it does owner’s wallets.

But quartzite has a dirty little secret. There’s a high likelihood it’s been mislabeled which may lead to problems.

Quartzite

Figure 2: Quartzite you’d swear was painted.

Etching: SOME Quartzite’s (and Onyx’s and Marble’s) Dirty Secret

According to the Marble Institute of America some quartzite etches because in slab preparation, resins are infused into the slab that enhance slab stability and make it shine. But when acidic liquids – wine, tomatoes, citrus, etc. – aren’t wiped up immediately, you’re left with a ghosted etch mark. Etching can also occur when cleaners that contain hydrofluoric acid are used. The resins are used before it gets to the distributor/fabricator so it’s not a “local” treatment.

Resins are natural or synthetic compounds generally originating from tree or plant sap. In the past, some stone slabs were rejected at the quarry because of brittleness. Resins can turn these previously unsellable stones into marketable slabs. I can’t help wonder if this is one reason why quartzite has only recently become popular.

Note: Most quartzite’s that etch are mislabeled. Actual quartzite is quite durable. The trick is to know if you’re being lied to.

Quartzite

Figure 3: Etching. The reflection should be square

Etching is especially apparent on light/white colored stone, but the dulling appearance of etching will be visible on any colored quartzite.

Reading across multiple message boards, it seems that because the etching is resin-related, etching is not universal. It’s dependent on the stone supplier (quarry) and what resin was used – some resins apparently don’t etch. While some suggest not all stones have been treated with resin, they seem to be outnumbered by stone experts saying that un-resined quartzite is next to impossible to buy.

Resin ingredients literally vary by country and even quarry which makes it hard to track what ingredient in the resin reacts to acids on the countertop.

Note: Some dispute that there are resins in the stone. Regardless, etching will occur if the stone isn’t a true quartzite.

Why doesn’t this problem occur with granite? Granites are formed via volcanic processes (igneous rocks) and are stable enough in slab form not to need impregnation of resins. Quartzite is a metamorphic rock that’s formed when sandstone-based rock is “morphed” from sand to glassy crystalline with heat and pressure. The crystalline structure creates a more brittle stone that is stabilized by resins.

All this I learned AFTER I’d installed quartzite (Actually Calcite) in my kitchen, started cooking and began to notice the un-cleanable etching. Recently I spoke with IMC, my stone supplier, and they were surprised to hear that no one had warned me. Nope, not once in the dozen-ish trips I made to IMC nor at any of the other stone yards in Dallas I visited, (including Allied Stone). Had I known, I NEVER would have purchased the stone, let alone pay extra over granite.

My neighbor has the exact same stone and is having the same problem. I recently saw it being installed at a remodel on Hanover Street in University Park and wonder how long before a new owner hears the ticking time bomb.

Basically, in my experience, the ONLY 100 percent safe, durable and un-etchable natural stone is granite. But unfortunately, I don’t have granite, so what are the options to minimize the problem?

Quartzite

Figure 4: Another “etcher” Onyx

Etch Fixes

Bad news. It’s likely unavoidable and not reversible. How quickly can it happen? I was told by one fabricator that in the time it took to grab a towel to wipe up a spot of lemon juice, one owner’s stone had etched. In the eighteen months I’ve had the countertops, I’d estimate that 10% of the surface is noticeably etched. There suggestions ranging from re-polishing to clear-coating it.

Re-polishing the stone would cost me $1,200 and the result would be just as susceptible to etching (requiring future re-polishing) and the resulting shine may not match the original finish. Either way, it’s an expensive, never-ending short-term fix.

Another option is a product called Clearstone that was developed in Australia. It’s a 1-2 mm thick overcoat resin that’s professionally applied. It comes with a 10-year warranty against etching (staining, etc.). However it has mixed reviews. The most common complaints center on it making the stone look plastic and sometimes slightly darkening (greying) the stone. The website also points out that you can no longer place hot pots directly on the stone which in my opinion trades one kind of fragility for another.

I met with the Clearstone rep in Dallas and his sample stone looks fine. I also found out that it’s true, hot pots aren’t recommended, but that after the four-month cure, while still not recommended, it’s kinda-sorta-maybe-OK. Which is a nice way of saying it’s not covered by their warranty so if you damage the countertop, it’s your problem.

…and then there’s the price! The stone cost me $6,500 installed. The Clearstone treatment would cost $4,200! In other words, the same cost to throw these finicky counters off the roof and install carefree un-etchable granite!

A third suggestion I’ve read is the most specious. Don’t buy high-gloss quartzite, buy a leather or honed finish instead. Well, DUH! If the whole slab already looks etched and imperfect, post-installation etching won’t show as badly. But equally, the stone’s beauty won’t show through either.

Learn from Me

Some posters suggest getting a chunk of stone you’re considering and taking it home for a literal acid test – leaving lemon juice, wine, etc. overnight to see what happens. But I’ve also read that etching can occur at differing rates on the same slab because some areas will have more/deeper resin than others. For this reason, the chunk test may not reflect the whole slab.

Eighteen months ago, I spent BIG to get the “cool” quartzite (mislabeled Calcite) that gets new etches with every party and made-from-scratch pot of spaghetti sauce. I’ve taken to covering the counters with clear plastic tablecloth sheeting sold by Jo-Ann Fabrics to protect the counters during parties. When cooking with acidic ingredients (like tomatoes or citrus) I cover my work area with silicone Silpats.

At the end of the day, I feel deceived and ripped-off, wondering if Formica would have been a better choice.

It’s criminal that consumers are being bilked by their stone suppliers into purchasing quartzite that is in fact something else … something more fragile.  At the very least, if (fake) quartzite continues to be sold, it should include the cost of a sealer like Clearstone as part of the deal.

Having lost trust in labeling, I still say … Go Granite or Go Home.

Remember: Do you have an HOA story to tell? A little high-rise history? Realtors, want to feature a listing in need of renovation or one that’s complete with flying colors? How about hosting a Candy’s Dirt Staff Meeting? Shoot Jon an email. Marriage proposals accepted (now that they’re legal in Texas)! sharewithjon@candysdirt.com

 

54 Comment

  • Great read
    Are consumers having this etching problem with Caesarstone?

    • mm

      I have heard of Caesarstone etching. It is especially a problem with citrus. You absolutely have to layer your cutting boards or else you risk screwing up your counters.

  • I have heard varying opinions on the manufactured quartz products. I’ve not personally used them.

  • Jon, thanks for the article. We’ll be replacing our 33-year old formica countertops soon, and had been weighing the pros/cons of each kind. We’re leaning toward the manufactured quartz, like Silestone, because of the cost, maintenance, looks, and you don’t have to blow up a mountain to get it. What do you think about that?

    • Julie, I think I’d be careful. See Joanna’s comment above. For me, I’ll never stray from granite again for a surface that’s going to be used. My biggest problem is that I was not told. Had someone said, “it will etch,” I could have made a decision that was right for me (in the case of my kitchen counters, I would have never installed it in a million years). There’s another wrinkle to this also. I recently replaced my windowsills with black granite – because nearly every other stone and color would be discolored by the sun. I even told one granite guy who suggested white marble that, “Sure, as long as you come out and replace it whenever it discolors…for free!” Suddenly, he thought black was dandy. So sun exposure is another issue for all light colored materials (natural stone and engineered) and some darker ones too.

  • Consumer reports and several other testing groups rank Quartz as more durable than granite, although CR suggests that both are good choices. Quartz should not etch and is resistant to heat.

  • Consumer reports and other testing organizations rank Quartz higher than Granite for durability, although both are typically suggested as good choices overall. Quartz should not etch and is heat resistant.
    As a side note, our favorite granite when we were looking was a leather granite. Didn’t get it bc of the cost, but not everyone wants shiny, glossy etc.

  • Great article!

    2 questions:

    1. Quartzite is naturally occurring and Quartz is man made?

    2. Curious- what is the name of the Quartzite that you chose?

  • I recently purchased sea pearl quartzite from a Dallas company and haven’t had any problems with etching. Perhaps it’s the specific color of quartz used for the installation? I had a fairly large sample beforehand to test the propensity for etching and couldn’t get anything to phase it. I used spaghetti and lemon juice all over it for two days and nothing. I’ve had them installed now for 2.5 years and still nothing. I frequently use lemon and lime for cooking and drinks and it’s been fine. I know for sure lemon juice has sat many times on it for at least 30 minutes before its wiped up after cooking. I just don’t want to blatantly turn away from using it right off because of a few bad stories. I was told it shouldn’t etch at all and so far that’s been true, and it’s a gorgeous stone that gets complimented every time someone sees my kitchen.

    • I’ve been researching and looking at slabs (particularly quartzite) for months (for a wet bar project – I have two small boys that can destroy anything). The learning process has been interesting. At the end of the day, I’ve learned that it’s really the industry that confuses consumers. True Quartzite (minimal calcite which is what causes etching) is rock solid, does not etch, does not scratch – it is bullet proof. After being so frustrated with being told different things (and reps and stone yards not being familiar with what I easily encountered on the internet), I found a rep who referred to quartzite as “hard” and “soft.” If you get hard quartzite (sea pearl is one, mother of pearle and luce di luna are two more examples) – they will not scratch, etch, stain. Soft quartzite (which many dealers refer to as just quartzite, or marble) is more like marble. So if you want quartzite – look for a hard variety. As an example, after being told a sample of super white (also referred to as Brazilian Calcutta by one dealer) did not scratch as badly as a marble sample, but it scratched. And red wine etched it within 5 minutes! I initially decided maybe quartz would be the best option until I continued to research and finally found a reputable place with a great sales rep who knew what he was talking about. I took home 2 samples of “hard quartzite” (sea pearl and mother of pearle) and they held up. Red wine, cola, oil, citrus for over an hour (unsealed) and not a mark – no etching at all. The gentleman helping me knew his stuff – pulled out a razor blade to the slabs (showed me at a corner of the soft quartzite – scratched horribly) and then took it and went the whole surface of a piece of sea pearl (I had to close my eyes). Not a mark. He knew his quartzite – he knew the durability of this “hard” variety and wasn’t afraid to SHOW me. And give me a sample. This is key when shopping for this stone – other yards would not give me a sample (they said they didn’t have one) and they certainly wouldn’t offer to take a razor to the slab and demonstrate. Frankly, most reps didn’t know enough about this very pricey and beautiful stone. If you are looking for quartzite – do your research, stick to picking a “hard” quartzite, and find a good dealer and you will be amazed with this stone – beauty and softness of marble which is bullet proof – better than granite.

    • I just got back from a stone fabricator looking for options for my kitchen countertops.
      After showing my color scheme and cabinet doors, one of the options shown me was Sea Pearl Quartzite. It did look very nice. In fact the sales person told me it was the counter she chose for her own kitchen.
      Doing a Google search is when this article same up, so I started to worry.
      Now that I see JB’s comment, I’m wondering if I wouldn’t have to worry about etching at all. Trying to make choices for any home redo to be less maintenance.
      I was told that for about $185, they can seal it before install and it will last 15 years.

    • JB,
      May I ask how your Sea Pearl Quartzite is holding up now after a few years? I’m starting to look at slabs and am mortified about purchasing a stone that is thought or touted to be something else. I’m considering Granite for the cost but REALLY am NOT crazy about the whole speckled look of granites so I’m leaning towards Quartzite. May I ask where you got your slabs as well too please? Thanks!!

  • IMC should be ashamed of themselves. This company has quartz site slabs in their store and brands it as granite. The only way we found out was to ask them and they finally came clean. Bad on you IMC in Fort Worth! They are under new ownership and are lying to their customers.

  • Finally someone has revealed the truth behind the difference between Quartz ( Caesar and Silestone ) and QuartZITE . People use the terms interchangeably but as the author points out Quartzite is a ” natural ” stone. I installed it without being told about the etching as it had been sold as ” durable as granite “. I would never have purchased it, had I known, as I did not purchase Marble because of the etching . Quartzite should be sold with a warning , not suitable for kitchens with real cooks or families !! Total waste of money.

    • mm

      And apparently some quartzites are actually calcites and even more prone to etching. Some quartzites don’t etch, furthering the confusion and misinformation.

    • We had a very similar experience. We knew marble etched and did not even consider it, but we were told by our contractor’s designer that quartzite is harder than granite and performs like granite instead of marble. We paid the extra money for quartzite and purchased something called “platinum pearl quartzite” from KLZ in Dallas for our kitchen island. The salesperson at KLZ even told us that some of the “super white quartzite” is not actually quartzite and is really marble, but assured us that the “platinum pearl” we were buying is quartzite. Of course, there was no sample available (shame on us for not being suspicious then), but we trusted our designer. The slab is beautiful, but soon after installation we noticed that everything (even if wiped up immediately) causes it to etch. We have had the fabricator and the supplier out who both acknowledged it is etching. The fabricator says it is a “soft quartzite” and behaves more like marble. Of course this is the first we are hearing of a “soft quartzite.” I suspect it is actually a calcite being marketed as a quartzite, but I am not a geologist. The supplier is claiming that the fabricator did not seal it properly, which does not make sense to me because if it was really quartzite it would not etch regardless of sealing.

      We are fighting with our contractor, but will have it replaced one way or the other. I really doubt that I will find a granite that I like that will compliment the soapstone perimeter countertops (which we love!), but I suppose that is the only option since it does not appear that we can trust suppliers when it comes to quartzite. Someone mentioned “sea pearl” quartzite. According to the fabricator, “sea pearl” is a “hard quartzite.”

  • Many stone suppliers are classifying dolomite marbles as natural quartzites, but this is an incorrect classification of the stone. Most marbles are calcites, which will etch when it comes in contact with household acids. Dolomites are harder and denser than calcites, but still a marble – these will hold up better than calcites, but will etch and should not be classified as a quartzite. Natuaral quartzites are actually harder than granite and will not etch.

  • Great read, but the root cause of this article isn’t accurate, as figures 1 and 3 aren’t actually quartzite at all. The fact that your supplier tried to pass off the problem as an unknowable, uncontrollable manufacturing problem makes me suspicious on many levels. Were they really that uninformed on a material that should be within their core competency to know, or were they just trying to avoid admitting that they’d either knowingly or accidentally sold you a product that was fundamentally inappropriate for its intended use?

    Quartzite is a very specific material made predominantly of silicon dioxide. Unless you’re cooking with scalding potassium hydroxide or hydrofluoric acid, it’s practically indestructible. Those beautiful swirls of color you see in some sheets come from other chemical impurities which may be prone to etching, but I have yet to see an actual quartzite slab that ever contained what looked like the large, shattered quartz crystals that you can see in Figure 1, because real quartzite is made when tectonic pressures and temperatures transforms quartz sandstone in to metamorphic rock.

    Those crystals are actually characteristic of calcite, which is highly reactive (relatively speaking) to the most common feature of every kitchen – water. This is well known, making the fact that they told you your problem was due to a resin issue quite troubling. Water fresh from the tap is usually OK as most municipal supplies arrive with a pH in the 7-8 range, but as soon as it’s exposed to air it starts absorbing CO2, which can drop the pH to ~5.6 in minutes to hours, depending on the water’s starting alkalinity. That’s low enough to start actively dissolving calcite, which means that regular old tap water will for sure etch your counter if it’s left on long enough.

    And that’s just tap water. Pretty much every fruit & vegetable out there has a pH low enough to dissolve calcite – tomato sauce alone has a pH between 3 and 4, while lemon juice is 2, so good luck finding a ‘safe’ meal to prepare on your very expensive, beautiful, but exceptionally delicate counters.

    People toss around the name ‘quartzite’ pretty loosely, particularly if the slab has what looks like large quartz crystals in it (a solid indication that it may in fact contain NO quartzite). Since calcite is utterly inappropriate for a kitchen, or really anywhere you can expect it to get wet regularly, you’d do yourself a favor bringing a sample home and leaving a towel soaked in lemon juice on it for several hours. All that should do to real quartzite is clean it.

  • Jon,
    I am curious to know more details of your interaction with the Marble Institute of America.
    I work there and our organization is an authority on natural stone, not resin.
    We also have documentation on this phenomena and none of it points to resin as the culprit.

    Basically, what you said we said, doesn’t sound like us.

  • I would say if you are keeping these counters, the color is beautiful by the way why don’t you invest in some custom cut sheets of tempered glass? i know this won’t be the same but it could be the saving grace. You would preserve the look but protect the finish. even if you don’t use them every day it could protect the counters against the high traffic days and the cooking. I feel for you.

  • Great info especially Adam’s piece. I have just installed what I thought and was told was Tajh Mahal quartzite. I asked ten times as I am aware of all the look alike stones. It was a 66 inch remnant and cost 1200 to install. Things went down hill quickly and after two weeks it is literally turning into one giant etching. I can’t even believe my eyes and it is obviously not quartzite of any kind. Tomorrow I will make an attempt at trying to have this resolved but from what you are saying this may not be easy. This is a reputable stone yard that just finished the new Nassau Colosseum.

  • How can I find a glossary of “hard” and “soft” quartzites?

  • It isn’t the resin in the stone etching. Plastic can’t etch. The stone itself is etching.

  • This article is misleading. True “quartzite” as the term is properly used is close to 99% pure quartz. In comparison granite contain from about 20% to 60% quartz with the rest mostly feldspar and some other minerals in minor amounts. Quartz is a 7 on the Mohs scale, whereas feldspar is a 6-6.5. Therefore , true “quartzite” is a little harder that any granite. Also, true “quartzite” does not etch for the simple reason that it effectively contains no calcite. The author’s understanding that quartzite etches comes from the fact that most slabs labelled “quartzite” are NOT true quartzite. There is no regulation as to what distributors call their slabs so something having only 70% quartz might be labelled quartzite, even though it is not really quartzite. Some will label granites as “quartzite.” Some will even label marbles which contain calcite and etch as Quartzite. Quartzite generally does not have the speckled granite look and is much harder than marble. If the edge of the slab scratches the flat surface of the glass tile, you know it is not marble/calcite. And if it is speckled, there is a decent chance it is a granite and not quartzite. Short of that there is little reassurance that you are getting anything close to true quartzite.

    • mm

      You’re right. The issue is the mislabeling of stone. I did a follow-up piece that explains this. https://candysdirt.com/2015/09/18/uchi-uchi-coo-showroom-event-aria-stone-gallery/

      • It would be appropriate to re-title this article and clarify the true issue in it. It is a bit misleading as it stands.

        • As someone who has worked with natural stone countertops for over 15 years, I completely agree with Chess’s comment. You are giving quartzite a bad name because your salesperson was dishonest and sold you calcite. Personally, I arm every customer with the knowledge to allow them to be an educated consumer. The highest compliment you can pay me is, “I learned a lot from you!” Frequently I advise folks to search online to read up on other people’s experience with quartzite, calcite, marble, etc. They are going to find your article, as I did. And they’re not going to bother to check out where you mention that the article has been “updated” three times. (You could at least say “corrected.”) Then suddenly I become the one they don’t trust, because they “saw something online” that says that quartzite etches. I’m sure you could figure out how to edit the post. Won’t you do that for those of us who make our living educating folks and selling the correct stone to folks for their needs?

          • mm

            You seem to think that mislabeling and misleading consumers are the exceptions rather than the rule. I will tell you that except for one stone yard in Dallas, none of the others knew a thing about calcite and were selling it as quartzite. You will note that even recent commenters to this 2-year old column are saying the same thing from all over. As of a month ago, the same place that sold me calcite as quartzite has simply removed labeling and places it alongside granite and quartzite.
            .
            This column still stands as a cautionary tale. However, I will add a few notes for those whose cursory research ends with this column.

  • I am having huge issues with the quartzite counters where the cut edges let in moisture, discoloring the edge and increasing areas on the top surface. Moisture is also following along the veins, which are now (after about 2 years) showing signs of cracking and separating. The warehouse is refusing to take any responsibility for the fault stone. Could it be that my particular stone is soft vs hard quartzite or that after fabrication there is no resin to seal the edges?

    • mm

      With no idea what your stone looks like, I can’t say why you’re having your problems. I’d make friends with a reputable stone dealer and email them a picture to get a second opinion.

    • I also am having problems with cut edges darling i have sea pearl quartile only 6 months old ! have u found out why this is happening?

    • I am having this problem also sea pearl quartzite 6 months old. were you able to find out why this is happening?

  • After reading your article and having my heart set on a Cielo Quartzite, I was reluctant to purchase! I went to 5 different stone dealers/warehouses here in Dallas and relayed your story and all but one told me that some places will sell you a marble and call it either a “soft quartzite” or just “quartzite” and you are really getting a marble. Marble is notorious for etching and staining and cannnot have hot pots on top. Quartzite, however is actually harder than granite and therefore less susceptible to stains and etching.. The 4 out of 5 places that stated this said that any dealer that will sell you a “soft” or “hard” quartzite is hiding the truth from you and you really need to do your research before purchasing your particular quartzite (as to whether or not it is a true quartzite) OR simply shop with a reputable dealer. The one dealer who said there was a soft and a hard quartzite was the one I did not do business with. Of course, I didn’t do business with all 4 of the others, but went to the one dealer who had the 3 slabs I needed for my project with the movement and veining I wanted. I hope that others will read my post to your excellent article and take heart. You CAN get quartzite and it won’t etch if it is true quartzite. I am sorry that your dealer sold you stuff that etches. These are huge investments and nothing is worse than looking at etched counter tops every morning. My fabricator confirmed this as well. He has been in the business for over 25 years and said that stone yards will name slabs various names/colors and types depending on what is the hot ticket item at the time. So it is up to us , the people spending our money, to do our research and find out whether or not we are getting what we want.

    • mm

      Check out my two updated columns on countertops. One from today (with a link to part one from last week). I’ve also included those links in the beginning of this article.

  • Thank you for this. I was considering quartzite for a kitchen counter. Shortly after installing a emperador brown marble vanity top, I placed a bottle of liquid toilet cleaner on the counter and it leaked – creating a white etched spot the size of a tennis ball. Of course, I was sick. We used a VERY fine sandpaper and lightly smoothed the area. Then, we buffed it with shoe polish. That was 5 years ago and the spot is still no longer visible.

    • mm

      Good for you! The darker the stone the better you are able to mask things. You can always repolish an etch (any color stone) but there is no permanent protection, so be careful. Hopefully you’ve read the updated pieces listed at the top of this article.

    • That’s great to hear! It’s good to know that there are tricks, that work, to help with etching.

  • I just moved into our new home and had my heart set on a new gorgeous Quartzite called Blazing Pearl. It looks like sea pearl without all the green. The marble yard assured me it was the highest premium quality. The fabricator got me a sample and I took it home and did the “Google” tests on it. It scratched with a key, it etched from lemon juice, and it didn’t scratch glass like it’s supposed to. I also had a sample of White macabus that did not scratch, did not etch, and DID scratch the glass backsplash sample I have. I called and said I was duped into believing them, and they continued to say it was premium quality from Italy. Luckily I have not installed it, but the rest of my kitchen is chosen based on that countertop. I cannot believe they would risk their reputation and sell me something that is not the quality they claim. Does anyone have experience with this color (Blazing Pearl)? What about the White Macabus? I guess I need to rethink granite, even though I dislike the spotted look of it. UGH

  • I had etching 2 days after my fantasy brown quartzite counters were installed. My fabricator came and literally sanded it down and it looked beautiful again. I was told that once the counters are sealed, I’ll be okay…but I’m hearing so many stories that my quartzite will never be okay with lemon, sauces, ketchup spills, wine, etc. ugh! I’m in love with my stone choice, however, I’m constantly wiping it clean. I have to just breathe and enjoy my counters, and the patina that’s inevitable.

  • I am considering getting fantasy brown as well. How is yours holding up?

  • I’m a professional stone restoration tech. Quartzite is a very hard stone (the hardest I’ve polished) and can only be polished with diamond discs finishing off the polish, depending on if you want a matte/satin/polished hone, with either a higher grit diamond or a combination of high grit diamonds and polishing powder.
    The polish can only be restored to a close finish but not to the degree of the factory finish because the factory process involves over 20,000 lbs/ft pressure in obtaining a high shine. It’s true, it’s very costly to restore the stone but still much cheaper than an entire overhaul of new stone being installed which can be upwards of $15-25K. An average Kitchen for me runs around $1000 on quartzite and cheaper for marble or limestone as they’re softer and much easier to work with.

    • Also two coats of impregnating sealer has prevented etching in my experience. Use a pH neutral cleaner at all times and it will neutralize the acid in the spill. That’s what causes the damage. It isn’t the immediate spill, it’s the acid being left active post cleanup without a neutralizing cleaner.

  • My beautiful blue “quarzite” is a hot hot mess, etching since day one, no matter how quick I clean or how cautious I am. Obviously not the real deal. Word to anyone, while it might take your breath away DON’T DO IT! Keep looking and you will find granite that will make you happy. Trust me a 6000 dollar counter that never looks clean is NO FUN

  • Wonderful article, I too, purchased the exact stone for its beauty; the look and the option over Carrara marble. I’m feeling the same way you are; deceived.

    I’ve already had it polished once in the 16 months in my new home. At dinner parties I hate going behind my guest and making sure their glass is sitting on a coaster. I would have been very happy with a granite.
    Linda

  • Our quartzite is only 15 months old and has etch marks all over…PLUS chips, at least in 7 different places….we paid a great deal of money for this gorgeous stone and it’s a hot mess and as others have stated, we we’re not told by the dealer.