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Know Your Stone

WARNING: this information may cause
feelings of overwhelm and confusion;
DO NOT WORRY!

While this may be your first stone countertop, we’ve done this 10,000+ times in homes ranging from cozy to palatial. Our Stone Specialists know stone literally from the inside out. We’ll work with you to find your perfect choice factoring in style, cost, availability, performance and, of course, joy! 

Below is a comparative summary of the amazing stone we’re lucky enough to work with every day. When you’re ready to learn more, schedule your appointment or request a quote, we look forward to working with you!

How Does it Compare?

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Granite

Granite, like quartzite and marble, is a natural stone. It originated deep in the Earth’s core some 300 million years ago and is one of the oldest, strongest stones on the planet. Granite’s patterns, colors and qualities are as mystical and diverse as nature itself; no two pieces are alike which is a key point of differentiation from quartz. With quartz, color and pattern can be controlled and enhanced because it’s a manufactured stone.

Hardness and durability

Granite is one of the hardest natural stones along with quartzite. Marble, another natural stone, is comparatively softer. Granite does compare to quartz in hardness which means they both deliver a strong, durable countertop surface. Granite, like marble and quartzite, requires sealants and protective fabricating processes to maintain its beauty. At Hard Rock Stone Works, we use a proprietary sealing method that ensures your granite countertops will look and perform beautifully for many years. With quartz, the polymer- and cement-based resins used to form this manufactured stone act as a sealant and are one of the reasons that quartz is non-porous as compared to granite, quartzite and marble.


Quartz

Quartz, unlike granite, marble and quartzite, is a manufactured stone. It’s made using natural stone – about 95% of its composition is crushed stone – with polymer- and cement-based resins. The variations in quartz are endless with the potential to be any color and include other materials for color, sparkle and shine. Quartz patterns are also by design, they can copy natural stone or offer something entirely different.

Hardness and durability

Quartz is exceptionally hard, rivaling and many times surpassing granite and quartzite. For this reason, it’s an excellent choice for high-use areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. When it comes to heat resistance, quartz is not as strong as the natural stones, however it performs very well with use of a trivet or heating pad. Quartz also has an antimicrobial advantage over natural stones because it’s non-porous. The resins that are part of its composition act as a permanent sealer against bacteria and stains.


Marble

Marble, like quartzite and granite, is a natural stone. Both marble and quartzite are metamorphic stones formed over hundreds of years deep in the Earth. They both feature natural veining and coloring depending on the minerals present during their metamorphosis. Marble’s origin is limestone while quartzite originates as sandstone.

Hardness and durability

Marble is softer than quartzite on the Mohs hardness scale though it can be very durable in the right application. Of course, marble is always beautiful and prized for its timelessness and translucency. Like its natural stone counterparts granite and quartzite, marble countertops require sealants and protective fabricating processes to maintain their beauty. At Hard Rock Stone Works, we use a proprietary sealing method that ensures your marble countertops will look and perform beautifully for many years.


Quartzite

Quartzite, like marble and granite, is a natural stone. Both quartzite and marble are metamorphic stones formed over hundreds of years deep in the Earth. They both feature natural veining and coloring depending on the minerals present during their metamorphosis. Marble’s origin is limestone while quartzite originates as sandstone. It’s important to note that while quartzite and quartz sound similar, they’re very different. Quartz is a manufactured stone made from about 95% crushed natural stone and 5% binding material such as a polymer- or cement-based resin. While quartz comes in seemingly endless colors and patterns, quartzite options are mother nature’s unique choices alone.

Hardness and durability

Quartzite is harder and more heat- and etch-resistant than marble and most quartz. Quartzite and granite are about the same hardness on the Mohs hardness scale. Natural stones, including quartzite, marble and granite, require sealants and protective fabricating processes to maintain their beauty. At Hard Rock Stone Works, we use a proprietary sealing method that ensures your quartzite countertops will look and perform beautifully for many years.


Porcelain

Porcelain, like quartz, is a manufactured material using many natural components. In the case of porcelain, kaolin clay is the primary ingredient along with other minerals. Like quartz, porcelain comes in a variety of colors, patterns and finishes. Keep in mind, the pattern on a slab of porcelain is only on the surface while granite, quartzite, marble and quartz are patterned throughout the entire slab. This characteristic of porcelain limits some edge options as compared to natural stone. Porcelain edges can also be mitered to “carry” the pattern onto the edge.

Hardness and durability

Porcelain is very hard and durable, about the same as quartz, granite and quartzite. Porcelain, like quartz, is also non-porous which makes it resistant to staining and bacteria. While porcelain is very scratch- and chip-resistant, if a chip does occur it can be difficult to completely repair. Porcelain has a unique advantage over quartz in that it does not fade in direct sunlight.