Information About Natural Quartzite
This natural material is one of those stones you will find on the upper end of the hardness scale. Natural quartzite has a hardness of 7 so it is suitable for a range of uses. The formation of this natural stone is an interesting process. Having traits that make it very distinct from other materials yet desirable for homeowners, quartzite is used for some very practical applications. Caring for it can be a fairly simple task with a bit of know how and a good routine. In this article, we consider some of the basic information about natural quartzite.
How it Forms
Natural quartzite is a rock that forms when natural processes of the Earth act upon existing materials. Quartzite is classified as a metamorphic rock and is what results from intense heat and pressure acting on sandstone that is almost entirely made up of quartz. This heat and pressure often comes from tectonic compression.
So to put it simply, quartzite it sandstone that has been compressed and heated to the point that the quartz grains recrystallize with the material that was acting as the cement to form tightly interlocked quartz crystals.
Composition of Quartzite?
As you may have inferred from the previous information, the composition of quartzite is relatviely simple compared to some other natural stone that exists. Quartzite is nearly all quartz. In fact, some quartzite is formed from sandstone that is nearly pure quartz with only around 1% of material that is not SiO2. There are other substances in quartzite. But all quartzite is nearly 100% quartz.
We aren't going to go into a geology lesson in this article. In fact, with regard to the properties of quartzite, we will only briefly consider some pertinent information. However, knowing about the properties of this material cna yield benefits. Notice the following quote from the website Use Natural Stone:
Quartzite is pushing people to look beyond aesthetics and use the properties of a stone to determine what it is and how we should use it. Looks can be deceiving (and alluring!) but a stone’s inherent traits are something we can rely on, every time.
Rather then reiterate what others have already published about its properties, we will focus on some practical aspects of this material.
Like every other material, quartzite has specific characteristics through which it is identifiable. Here, we will briefly go through some of the traits of this natural stone.
Pure quartzite often ranges in color from gray to white. It can have other colors too, depending on the amount of impurities in the stone. Here, the term "impurities" refers to other minerals in the stone that are not quartz. The colors can be any of a variety. Some of these include:
A Hard Stone
Another characteristic of quartzite that stems from its quartz content is its hardness. Because there is so much quartz in quartzite, it is very hard. In fact, quartzite is on e of the harder natural stones that are used in architecture coming in at 7 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. The hardness makes it scratch resistant and very durable.
How Quartzite is Used
Quartzite is very versatile material. Because it is so durable, quartzite is used in many forms and for many purposes. Some of the uses for quartzite include:
- Railway Ballast
- Roof Tiles
- Wall Panels
- Quartzite Kitchen Countertops
One of the recent explosions in popularity for quartzite is its use for kitchen countertops. Its use as a good countertop material come from its hardness and durability. Because it is so hard and durable, quartzite is very resistant to heat and scratching. These are traits that many look for in a kitchen countertop.
Caring for Quartzite
Caring for a quartzite countertop is fairly straight forward. The simple routine of regular cleaning using an appropriate cleaner and periodic sealer applications keeps a quartzite countertop looking good and performing well for many years. Let's elaborate on how this routine works.
Sealing Natural Quartzite
The first aspect of the routine that we will consider is the application of sealer. Quartzite sealer does not make the surface of the stone impervious to staining. Rather, it gives the stone the ability to resist absorbing liquid at a quick rate. In other words, it slows down the rate of absorption so that the owner can clean the surface before the stone "soaks up" the liquid. This means, the quicker a spill is cleaned up, the better the results.
Proper Cleaners Make a Difference
Why does it matter what cleaner you use to clean a quartzite surface? The short answer is that some cleaners will destroy the sealer. Acidic cleaners breakdown the sealer immediately when applied. As a result, the best cleaner to use is a quartzite cleaner that is pH neutral. Using such a cleaner will allow the sealer to do its job longer. Using a pH neutral cleaner and responding quickly to spills will extend the period of time between sealer applications.
As we have seen in this article, quartzite is a very hard material that is durable, versatile, and is not complicated to care for and maintain. If you have your eye on quartzite surfaces, you will be getting a great material with a lot of potential!