Bhandari Marble World
Quartzite is a metamorphic rock made almost entirely of the mineral quartz. Quartzite begins its geologic life as sand grains, perhaps on a beach, desert dune, or riverbed. Over time, the sand grains become compressed and stuck together to form sandstone. If the sandstone gets buried ever more deeply underneath layers of rocks, it gets hotter and more compressed. With enough heat and pressure, the sand grains lose their original shape and fuse to their neighbors, forming a dense, durable rock. The process is similar to individual snowflakes merging into solid, glacial ice.
Quartzite is usually white or light-colored because quartz sand is light-colored. Additional minerals carried by groundwater can impart hues of green, blue, or ion-red. Van Gogh and Azul Macaubas quartzites are examples of vivid coloring.
Regardless of color, quartzite is made of one thing: quartz. That’s helpful because quartz has distinct properties that make it easy to tell apart from other minerals. (Note I’m talking about the mineral quartz, not the composite countertop material that is also named quartz.)
Bhandari marble world’s Properties of quartzite
You needn’t be a geologist to appreciate the hardness and durability of quartzite. Not only does this make for a tough stone, but it also makes it easy to tell quartzite from the imposters. Quartz is 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. That means it’s harder than glass and harder than a knife blade. These things are easy to test with a sample of stone.
Mohs Hardness Scale – A Definitive Guide to Quartzites
If a rock that is labeled as quartzite is soft, then it was mislabeled. The unfortunate term “soft quartzite” has emerged to try to explain why a rock that is labeled quartzite is actually not hard and durable like real quartzite. There is no such thing as soft quartzite though. There is only one kind of quartzite and it’s hard. A rock labeled as soft quartzite is most likely marble.
Resistance to acids
Quartzite will not etch from acids like lemon juice or vinegar. If a rock labeled as quartzite becomes etched from acid, then it’s been mislabeled. Marble and dolomitic marble, on the other hand, will etch from these acids. Dolomitic marble etches slightly more slowly than regular marble. But quartzite will not etch at all from normal kitchen acids. Not one little bit!
Quartzite has a range of porosities. Some, like the Taj Mahal or Sea Pearl, have been highly metamorphosed, and the minerals are bonded together tightly. White Macaubas and Calacatta Macaubas have been exposed to less intense pressure, so they are more porous and will benefit from sealing.
Things that do not help distinguish quartzite from non-quartzite
The country of origin, price, or the name of stone are not reliable indicators of what type of rock you’ve got. In many cases, it’s not even possible to tell marble and quartzite apart visually.
What’s the difference between quartzite and granite?
Granite is a whole separate category of rocks that form from liquid magma. Visually, granite has distinct flecks of darker colors in it, while quartzite has either no dark color at all or has subtle, flowing areas of different colors.
Sometimes quartzite is mislabeled as granite, which is not the worst mistake because they have similar properties. Granite and quartzite are both harder than glass, and neither will be etched by acids. Geologically, they are different classes of rocks, but that is less important than how they will behave on a countertop or as floor tile
Bhandari Marble World
By D.C. Bhandari, CEO, Bhandari Marble World
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