It is easy to confuse quartz to quartzite seeing that both countertop materials contain the natural stone quartz. However, the two countertop materials are different in that while quartzite is a natural stone, quartz countertops are made of engineered stone. The latter does not need sealing thanks to the resin binders and the engineering process that makes it nonporous. However, quartzite, being a natural stone, requires sealing to ensure that liquids do not seep in and cause damages to the countertop.
Although the material requires sealing, it is stronger and more durable than other natural stone countertop materials such as granite and marble. With the right quartzite countertop sealer, your kitchen or bathroom countertop will last for a couple of decades.
What is Quartzite and Why Does It Need Sealing?
Quartzite forms when sand collects from desert sand dunes or the beach to form sandstones. Over time, buried sandstones are compressed and heated to make quartz which is light in color; mostly appears as white or light gray stone. The stone might have light red, blue, or green colors.
Like all natural stones, quartzite has microscopic pores that let in liquids if liquids are allowed to sit on the surface of the counter for longer than a few minutes. Seeped liquids can cause discoloration and can also lead to the propagation of bacteria. This phenomenon is experienced in all-natural stone countertop materials including granite and marble. The only exception to porous countertops is quartz which is nonporous and easy to maintain.
To ensure that liquids do not sip though, you need to seal the countertop. You also need to reseal the counter one or two times in a year depending on how often you use it.
How to Seal Quartzite Countertop
Quartzite is a strong countertop material that does not chip easily and does not etch when exposed to acids. However, when tomato sauce, wine, juices, and water sit on the surface, they seep through and cause staining. By sealing the countertop, you keep off stains and make it easy to maintain the counters.
The best quartzite countertop sealer products are made of natural wax, polyurethanes, or acrylics. While these are easy to apply, they wear off quickly and require constant resealing. If you need a sealer that will not wear off quickly, choose one made of siliconates or other substances that repel liquids. Sealers made of siliconates penetrate into the countertop which makes them last longer than topical sealers.
To apply the sealer, spray it or smear it on the countertop and leave it to dry. Check the instructions on the sealer container. In most cases, you will be required to open windows and ensure good ventilation when applying and after application. Ensure the sealer is evenly spread to avoid lumps on the surface of your countertop. The manufacturer will include “how to seal quartzite countertop” instructions. Visit this website to see how quartzite differs from quartz.
How to Avoid Stains on Quartzite Countertops
Even after sealing your quartzite countertop, you need to ensure you keep stains off the counter. Unlike quartz which will not let in any liquid, if the sealer wears off on a section of your quartzite countertop, it will stain on exposure to juices, wine, or other stains. Below are simple ways to keep your countertop stain-free:
Wipe Spills When Fresh
Immediately a spill occurs, you need to wipe it off to keep your counter clean at all times. This way, you do not give the stain enough time to seep into the countertop. You can use a damp cloth and the right quartzite cleaner. Avoid using abrasives – although the countertop material will not scratch, abrasives will make the sealer wear off fast. Again, avoid vinegar, citrus bases, and acid cleaners. Although these acids and bases are great cleaners and the quartzite material will not etch, they slowly eat away the sealant leaving your countertop exposed.
Protect the Surface
If you mix drinks occasionally on the surface of your countertop, you need to use a protective material such as a mat. If you cut fruits from your countertop, avoid that and instead use a chopping board. By ensuring common stains do not find their way onto your countertop, you are sure the surface will not stain.
Remove Stains with Poultice or Baking Soda
Instead of abrasives, you can easily remove stains from the surface of your countertop using a poultice or baking soda. Create a paste of poultice or baking soda and water and spread it on the surface of the countertop. Cover the thick spread paste with a plastic wrap and leave it for a day or two depending on the severity of the stain. Wipe the counter clean. If the stain persists, repeat the procedure.
Occasionally Polish the Surface
Although quartzite is strong, it becomes dull with time. You need to polish it if it starts looking dull to maintain its shine. If the counter chips or cracks, you need to hire a professional to restore it and enhance its look.
Quartz vs Quartzite
If you would rather have a countertop that does not quire sealing, your only option is a quartz countertop. There are many more advantages to a quartz countertop beside the fact that it is nonporous. The countertop material is available in numerous colors since manufacturers can add pigments of any color you can imagine. As such, if you need the look of natural stone, you can achieve it with quartz.
Quartzite, on the other hand, is only available in white and gray. The colors are not pure as other colors of sandstone such as blue find their way into the natural quartz stone. The porous nature of the quartzite and the hardiness (which means it lacks flexibility and is prone to chipping), make it less durable than quartz countertop.
Quartzite is better than granite and marble in terms of strength. However, quartz is better than quartzite in terms of strength, appearance, and ease of maintenance. When cared for as they should, quartzite countertops will last for many decades before they need a replacement. The easiest way to care for your countertops is to seal them.