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kelley_dunn

Quartzite Countertop Dilemma

Kelley Dunn
4 years ago
We are in the process of making selections for a kitchen remodel that will start in May/June 2018. Like many people we love the look of marble, but definitely couldn’t deal with the low durability aspects. I haven’t found a granite that would be a good substitute. So, now we are focusing on quartzites.

My concern is whether I can really trust the quartzite label in many of my top picks. Aside from the color name change issue across stone suppliers, they each also classify the quartzites differently. Sometimes it is labeled as granite (white Macauba), some times it is labeled as “soft quartzite,” sometimes they are labeled as calcite or dolomite.

All of the pictures below are labeled as strictly quartzite and I was assured by the stone supplier reps that they are true quartzites.
1. Piata 2. Mont Blanc 3. Calcutta Super White 4. Quartzite Gioia

I am also considering Zermatt.

Does anyone have experience with these? I wasn’t able to get samples to test at home. I do not want to spend $$$ on a countertop that will scratch/stain/etch.

Comments (103)

  • govner
    3 years ago

    There's been a change in our experience. The stone supplier (see previous post) is unable/unwilling to supply us with any colors of our liking and will be refunding our money. We are left with mercury grey counters that have on-going staining issues and have subsequently darkened and stained over the past 7 months. We plan to replace them.


    We are hoping to avoid a repeat of the same problem and would like some suggestions and would like to hear some peoples' experiences with calacatta white, lamberti bianco or other similar colors. Are they porous? is there a tell tale way to know how porous a quartzite slab might be (veining, layered material deposits, etc)? Is there a sealer/impregnator that will eliminate the tendency for fluids to enter porous quartzites (mercury grey and possibly others)?


    We really like the look of quartzite (light gray colors) and hope to be able to replace the mercury grey with quartzite with a proven track record of being non-porous and exhibiting the qualities of a dense, non-porous quartzite and less of a sandstone. Thanks.


  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    govner,,,, of the quartzite, the hardest (not as prone to staining or etching) are the Taj Majal, Sea Pearl, along w/these (but double check) White Macaubas, Azul Macaubas, Perla Venata


    Taj

    Of course, all of these still need to be sealed w/a top quality penetrating sealer. when water beads up on the surface, it's sufficiently sealed.

    I would still be careful when using acidic foods and wipe upspills promptly.

    have you considered the porcelain slabs? they have some newer ones that actually look like marble

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  • karin_mt
    3 years ago

    Oh goodness, that is completely not true. There are plenty of white quartzites. The mineral quartz is commonly white.


    The industry does not need more misinformation!

  • Kristy Lewis
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    After three coats of 511 impregnator sealer, the Mont Blanc only stained from tobasco. The other items (mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce, orange shampoo) didn't stain. It didn't etch at all and cut glass. I think it is just a very porous stone. We are currently planning to use it in the master bath unless we find something we like better and are looking for something less porous in the kitchen. Right now the top contenders are White Pearl (can't find much info on it), Artemis, Blue Tahoe and Calacatta. Our island will be dark blue. We LOOOOOOVE the blue Tahoe but are worried it may be too dark.

  • Kristy Lewis
    3 years ago



    Today I found this lot of Santorini quartzite and I'm in LOVE. It was hiding behind six slabs of granite but I saw the edge peeking out. I have two samples testing currently, but even without sealer, my first quick round of tobasco (which I've found to be the worst item to test with) didn't etch or stain. That is MUCH better than the Mont Blanc which sucked up all the stains easily. A squished blueberry did leave a faint mark but I think it's just a spot of moisture. I'm guessing that with the sealer it will be fairly impervious. We finally have a winner for the kitchen! We've decided to scrap the Mont Blanc and go with Arizona Tile Tipperary quartz in the master bath. It's much cheaper and I won't have to baby it. My builder and fabricator think I'm crazy for looking at so many slabs, but I definitely think it was worth the loooong hunt. I'm SO grateful for this forum and all the information I've gleaned. Especially karin_mt. You are such a valuable resource, so THANK YOU for sharing your expertise.

  • karin_mt
    3 years ago

    YAY! Great find, and your persistence and knowledge paid off. Congratulations on finding 'the one!'

  • J T
    3 years ago

    @karin_mt
    Thanks to you and reading your articles I found a Mont Blanc (the kind from Brazil so looks like true quartzite to me with the water streaks and veining plus it cut glass and didn’t etch (at first i thought the absorbing was etching) it is porous and before sealing it was absorbing water like crazy. The rings would dry out over time but of course that would be enough to drive anyone crazy. We sealed it a few times and behold it’s absorbed nothing since. I read your article saying that porous stone didn’t have to be a deal breaker if you treated it (sealed) it properly. Your articles were incredibly helpful and I appreciate you taking the time to write them and also to explain the metamorphosis process to us! Here’s to hoping my stone stays beautiful for years to come

  • Kristy Lewis
    3 years ago

    J T What sealer did you use? I've been testing with 511 Impregnator.

  • J T
    3 years ago

    Kristy its an old one we had in the back of our cabinet

  • klh7332
    2 years ago

    This is very helpful as we are looking at Mont Blanc and - is it quartzite or Marble? Our dealer said Marble which was a bit of a red flag but also said it was treated with Azerocare.


    So we took home a sample and it doesn't seem to scratch glass. I appllied red wine for 15 mins and lemon juice - no etching - and we have carrara in our master bath so I know etching unfortunately. The one inch water submersion for 15 mins yielded some porosity....it climbed maybe an 1/8th of an inch on the untreated side and it was consistant - treated side you could see a slightly darker shade the entire stone that was underwater.


    Major kudos to karin_MT and Beth H. Heat won't be a problem will it? I think I may still need to be careful with scratching (to some extent) but I took a heavy duty steak nife with super sharp edge and it made a nominal scratch.....and not sure if it really went that deep as it didn't etch in that area after the juice.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    You aren't ever going to submerge your countertop in wine, however, if you do, please invite me over.


    If the top has been treated with Azerocare, you aren't going to etch or stain it if you are even somewhat conscientious.

    No heat on natural stone without a trivet anytime. That's the opinion of the Natural Stone Institute and mine.

  • Marguerite Mastromatto
    2 years ago

    @karin_mt I am late to this thread. The quarantine put me behind and I am now picking a counter top. I just saw a Dakar quartzite from Brazil. It looks like the Mont Blanc quartzite but perhaps a little more on the taupe side. Another supplier has a Kalahari Quartzite from Brazil. I'm going to look through the articles posted to figure out if these are all the same stone, because they do look similar.

  • karin_mt
    2 years ago

    Sounds like you are going about it the right way.


    Here's a one-stop-shop article on how to do all the tests while shopping for a stone.

    https://usenaturalstone.org/how-to-be-your-own-stone-sleuth/


    Good luck!



  • shead
    2 years ago

    @Kristy Lewis, did you end up going with the Santorini and if so, how is it holding up? I saw some slabs yesterday that I REALLY like but they wouldn't give me any samples of it.

  • Marguerite Mastromatto
    2 years ago

    I have been to several stone yards, but only one gave me samples because they are regular stock. It's nice to have a piece because lighting in a warehouse or outside if different from inside your home.

  • HU-3170245259
    last year

    I’m looking to buy 2 slabs of Mont Blanc. Now after reading all these comments I’m afraid it will etch and stain?
    I don’t like the busy patterns. Maybe quart is the best alternative for a white painted kitchen?

  • J T
    last year

    My Mont Blanc is very white and not busy. Just some grey veining. and has not etched. We did get one stain from butter when we left it for a weekend and didn’t realize it. Now we’re just careful about fats(oils and butters etc) but otherwise no problems. Make sure it’s sealed and you should be fine

  • HU-3170245259
    last year

    I just spoke with my fabricator just now. He told me he just installed Mont Blanc and it’s been horrible. It’s stains from water. He said he wouldn’t recommend it. I’m going to pass and go back to Camelot Gray

  • Eileen Hecht
    last year

    I brought a sample of Mont Blanc home and drizzled some fresh cut lemon on it. I left it on the stone for about 20 minutes. It etched badly. My husband and grandchildren don't always wipe things up quickly so I'm still looking and running out of time! Thank goodness for these chats.

  • Eileen Hecht
    last year

    today I found a nice White Lux Quartzite. Anyone with experience with that one?

  • dorianday
    last year

    I’ve also just found and love White Lux quartzite. Wondering if anyone has any experience with it or knows anything about it? So far, no one will provide a sample :-/

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    last year

    No sample/testing, no deposit.

  • karin_mt
    last year

    Agree with Joe on that!

  • J Pru
    last year

    @dorianday, I also found a white lux slab I liked. FWIW, tested the sample and it etched from red wine. No staining from wine, olive oil, Tabasco or coffee.

  • Kimi Boquette
    last year

    Quartz I’ve been told turns yellow from UV rays. ??

  • Kimi Boquette
    last year

    Does anyone know where I can order samples or granite or quartzite?

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    last year

    "Quartz I’ve been told turns yellow from UV rays. ??"


    Engineered stone, commonly called "quartz" cannot be stored outside unprotected from sunlight. Once it's in a home, it's fairly protected, but if I had a particularly bright window, I'd make sure it had a shade.

  • dani_m08
    last year

    @karin_mt - I would like to look at some white quartzite slabs - which ones have a whiter background vs. gray? In your post above, you said that there are many white ones - I’m just wondering if there’s a way to narrow my search. Thanks!


    I’ve tried searching for marble treated by Antolini - but there’s nothing helpful in my search results. Is there some other way for me to search? I have a feeling that I may just have to start calling places on Monday. . .

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last year
    last modified: last year

    dmac, I've actually got that marble from Antolini. the treatment is called 'azerocare'. I mentioned it further up in the post


    it's true. it works. doesn't etch or stain.

    however, the portion where I put the toaster on the marble, the heat must do something to the coating. it still works, but feels a little rough. If you look sideways where the light hits it, you can see a little something, but otherwise it's held up great. I'll take it over marble that stains! And I've had lemon juice, oil, red juice, you name it, sitting on the surface. nothing.

    I will say this must be fabricated with clean running water w/no additives to it. we use recycled water here in Cal at our fabricators shop and they learned the hard way what happens. (the sealer turned iridescent w/the tainted water. they had to eat that slab because Antolini wouldn't cover them. said they should have known)

    the surface looks like it has a thicker sealer coat on it. not bad looking. you just know there is something on it. I love it and don't care!

  • Maria Obana
    last year

    You are the one that has to be happy!!! As someone said, you aren't going to submerge your counter in red wine - we're all pretty quick about cleaning up spills. Enjoy it looks wonderful!


  • Maria Obana
    last year

    Beyond all that, I am 3 years in my kitchen with Taj Mahal Quartzite and I still love it. I have to reseal it soon - no stains but I figure it's time. I clean it with alcohol (50/50 with water on a soft cloth) and then use either Stonetech or Granite Gold protector to polish it. I'm a pretty neat cook - I always used a thick wooden trivet or cutting board when I put anything warm on the counter, I I haven't "tested" the durability as others might just living life. Quartzite is a wonderful smooth surface material. I had 6 inch ceramic tile with grout before that, and this is soooo much better!!!


  • Kristy Lewis
    last year

    Sorry it’s such a late reply. I haven’t been on here much since we completed our home. I did go with the santorini and we love it!




  • dani_m08
    last year

    @Kristy Lewis - WOW!! ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!!!!! Qs:


    1. Paint color choices for perimeter cabinets and island?

    2. How tall are your ceilings?

    3. Will you please post some more photos of your kitchen from different angles?

    4. Did you design this yourself or hire a KD? If you did it yourself - you should be proud!

    5. Will you pls send me your address? I want to move in - just for a few weeks while you renovate MY KITCHEN!!!! ;)


    I am struggling with my decision re: glass vs solid doors for my stacked uppers. I’ve been thinking about doing some of each. Yours look great! Do you have a little step ladder tucked away somewhere in your kitchen?


    ENJOY!


  • dani_m08
    last year

    @Beth H. : you’re the reason I know about Aerocare! Is your Super White marble (I think that’s what you used for your vanity - I remember seeing a photo of your slab - BEAUTIFUL) in your bathroom also treated with it? Is that Calacatta marble in your kitchen?


    Very quick Q for you - mixing finishes in marble bathroom. Does matte black and chrome work? Does matte + polished?


    Another Q - have you ever done any virtual consultations for people? Here’s my situation. My daughter‘s best friend has a design degree (can’t remember right now which exact one) and has been working for about 2-3 yrs. I am renovating some rooms in my house + updating all of the others. She’s great - but not very experienced. I kinda feel like I would like some “extra eyes” on some aspects of the projects. I thought maybe doing something virtually might work. Let me know. Thanks.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last year
    last modified: last year

    dmac Super White is a dolomitic marble. not quite as fragile as carrara or regular marble. yes, it's in my bathroom. I just used a regular sealer on it and it's held up very well. You could use it in the kitchen if you're prompt about clean up. The upside to Dolomite is that it won't etch immediately like carrara does. It may take up to an hour. just depends on your slab.

    on my floors I have carrara, regular sealer, honed, and even water spots etch it. the stuff is so fussy!

    I did mix the two. they look fine.


    My island is the Calacatta w/the azerocare. remember I mentioned in the one spot where I put the hot appliances the sealer seems to wear away? well, now it has because I have a spot that is now etched. this particular area of the island gets used for everyday prep. even though I use a cutting board, my son/husband are careless. i'm sure it was one of the lemons that got that spot. the rest of the slab is still intact. So, I will say, if you do get it, don't put hot appliances on it (toaster, crock pot) apparently the heat slowly erodes the sealer. (Something I was not informed of)

  • dani_m08
    last year

    @Beth H. : Wish my master bathroom was large enough to accommodate a shower like yours. . .


    I also wish I didn’t have so many other projects - I’d love to add a wood plank ceiling!

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last year

    dmac,, my husband raised the ceiling because I wanted the higher ceiling and skylight. He actually built out this add-on (the before pics are in a post under my name) and did all of the framing for the bathroom/master closet.

    Because we did 90% of the work ourselves, it took quite awhile! lol. So when you say, 'a lot of projects', yep. I get it!

    The ceiling project only took a day. Both of us knocked it out in less than 6 hours.

  • S. B.
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Has anyone had experience with Cristallo Quartzite? Is it a true quartzite? Will it stain, etch? We're trying to decide if it would be a good choice for our kitchen. There are so many mixed reviews. We are also considering the Dakar Quartzite. Thank you!



  • dezedarin
    last year

    Kristy Lewis nice looking kitchen. Can you let us know how your Santorini is holding up. Any stains or water issues?

  • plmitchell4
    last year

    @Kristy Lewis I am also looking at Santorini. Have you been happy with it so far?


  • JLaRay
    last year
    last modified: last year

    @karin_mt I am sooo late to this thread, but found your comments so helpful. I went to MSI today and fell in love with Zermatt Quartz. Began research and can find very few reviews and those I have found were not favorable, but I love the look. So, I had an idea to counter the challenges noted with scratching/etching/staining...EPOXY. I know nothing about how epoxy works or Zermatt, but wonder if this is a good idea. Epoxy seems to leave a thick layer of clear material on the surface once applied. What are your thoughts? Anyone had experience with Zermatt? Epoxy and Zermatt?

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    last year

    Epoxy is terrible for a countertop that gets used. It looks beautiful right after it's installed, but while it's very tough, it's soft, scratches easily, and unlike Corian, the scratches aren't easily removed.


    Brand names on automobiles are fine for reviews as car brands are different. Brand names on engineered stone are useless as it is all the same 66% quartz 33% resin stuff. All of it.

  • karin_mt
    last year

    JLaRay,


    Good for you to be doing your homework! Zermatt is a porous quartzite, and several of those have been showing up here with staining problems and water absorption.


    Epoxy is not a good solution, though I can appreciate the temptation. But you'd be swimming upstream in trying to remedy a problem with a marginally effective solution. It's a much better idea to choose a material that's already suited to the task you're asking it to do.


    My suggestion is to keep looking.

  • Yin Johnson
    last year

    @karin_mt Hi, i have been reading these threads as we have been quartzite shopping. For the quartzite thats porous is there something we can do to ”extra” seal it? we are looking at Mercury Grey and Smoky Quartzite, which you previous said its closer to sandstone but it works with our design and i did test it with glass it is hard but concerned with etching. Thanks!

  • karin_mt
    last year

    I don't know the answer for sure, but I can offer some ideas.

    If I were getting porous quartzite countertops, I'd have the fabricator put the slab up on edge and seal the heck out of the upward-facing edge, then repeat on all sides. There's a technique called 'puddling in,' where a lot of sealer is put on the surface (like a puddle) and left to sit and soak in for awhile. Obviously the surface needs to be horizontal for this to work, hence the idea of putting the slab up on edge. Also, this would need to be done before it's installed.


    Then repeat the same method on the top, so that all the edges and the top are sealed well.


    If you have a willing fabricator, it would be useful to test this idea. It's something on my list to try.



  • telesaps
    8 months ago

    Do you think the darker quartzites, such as Blue Tahoe, are less porous? I found a beautiful honed Blue Tahoe slab at Arizona Tile, and am considering it. It is a fairly dark gray color.

  • Maria Obana
    8 months ago

    If you properly seal it, I don't think that you should worry about porous issues with quartzite, especially a dark color! I have had TajMahal in my kitchen for 4 years. I probably should reseal it, but I haven't taken the time - I use a cleaner that polishes and it still beads water so I don't worry. (Stonetech Sealed and I use their cleaner.) If you love the blue DO IT - you won't be sorry with a quartzite counter top!

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    8 months ago

    Maria:


    This board is replete with homeowners who sealed quartzite and are very sorry with it. Search please.

  • Maria Obana
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    I use all Stonetech products. The rest of my comment seems to have disappeared. My comment was based on my experience with a reputable stone craftsman and actual Taj Mahal quartzite. I cannot comment on other's problems only my own excellent experiences.


  • Maria Obana
    2 months ago

    And here I am here 4+ Yeats after install. Still looks great still love it. I probably should seal it again but haven't yet. Also, for daily cleaning, I mix 50/50 water and alcohol. Does not seem to affect my finish, been doing it for some time. Still polish with Stonetech.