Engineered quartz and natural quartzite are both excellent and popular choices for countertops. Although their names sound similar, they are extremely different products.
Engineered quartz is a man-made product consisting of crushed up stone and epoxy resin. Because it is man-made, the slabs are typically uniform in size, color, and pattern. The slabs are set in a mold and fabricated, whereas natural quartzite comes from the earth. Engineered quartz is non-porous and resistant to staining. It is also heat resistant, but not heat proof! The epoxy resin used to create these slabs can burn if a hot pot or pan is set on the tops. Engineered quartz is not UV resistant, and therefore cannot be installed outdoors.
Quartzite is a natural stone that comes from the earth. These slabs will vary in shape, size, pattern, and color, much like their other natural stone counterparts. Natural quartzite is an extremely durable and hard stone, ranking at a 7 on the Mohs scale. Because of this durability, it is an excellent stone for outdoor applications. It is heat and stain resistant, but still needs to be sealed and cared for properly. Although quartzite consists primarily of the mineral quartz, it can contain various other minerals that have been fused together over millions of years.
For more information on the differences between natural quartzite and engineered quartz, visit Use Natural Stone’s article.
You can also visit our Choosing Your Stone page.