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Quartzite

Quartzite is a very hard metamorphic rock which was originally pure quartz sandstone. Sandstone is converted into quartzite through heating and pressure, usually related to tectonic compression.

Pure quartzite is usually white to grey, though quartzites often occur in various shades of pink and red due to varying amounts of iron oxide (Fe2O3). Other colors, such as yellow, green, blue and orange, are due to other minerals.

When sandstone is cemented to quartzite, the individual quartz grains recrystallize along with the former cementing material to form an interlocking mosaic of quartz crystals. Most or all of the original texture and sedimentary structures of the sandstone are erased by the metamorphism. The grainy, sandpaper-like surface becomes glassy in appearance Minor amounts of former cementing materials, iron oxide, silica, carbonate and clay, often migrate during recrystallization and metamorphosis. This causes streaks and lenses to form within the quartzite.

 

Colors

Quartzite properties

  1. Very hard (hardness according to Mohs scale – 7-7.5)
  2. Resistant to etching
  3. Resistant to chemical weathering
  4. Harder than granite
  5. More resistant to stains than granite, but less resistant than engineered quartz

What is quartzite used for?

  • Kitchen worktops
  • Bathroom vanities
  • Furniture countertops
  • Wall cladding
  • Flooring
  • Stairs
  • Fireplace surrounds
  • Windowsills