Quartz vs Quartzite: What’s the Difference?

The terms quartz and quartzite can be confusing because they are often used interchangeably. While quartz and quartzite both contain the mineral quartz as a raw material source, the two stones are not the same. So what’s the difference?

Quartzite

Traditional Kitchen
Natural Quartzite
Quartzite is a common material formed in the crust of the earth. This natural stone originated as sandstone and was transformed into quartzite when the spaces between the sandstone were filled with the mineral quartz and then fused together under extreme heat and pressure.

Quartzite is very hard, but like marble, granite and other natural stones, it must be sealed for protection against wine, acidic foods, coffee or other common foods that can also etch or stain. As a natural material, quartzite will have variation, with each slab containing a unique spread of color and sparkle throughout. The most sought after quartzite originates in Brazil and India, with the difference in price for the material reflected by availability and location.

Quartzite is typically more expensive than the engineered stone, and it’s more difficult to work with, so make sure the fabricator that you are working with has experience with Quartzite.

Quartz

Orlando, FL Renovation
Engineered Quartz – Photo by Wolfe Rizor Interiors 

Quartz is an engineered stone, a combination of nature and technology. Resins, polymers, and sometimes pigments or even pieces of glass, are added to crushed quartz to result in a sparkling stone well suited for countertops. This composition material tends to be a bit stronger than quartzite and is not likely to etch. It can also withstand high temperatures, up to about 300 degrees F.

Because quartz is manmade, the color and sparkle will be will be more uniform; quartzite has a more natural look when compared side by side to quartz.

While quartz and quartzite are not the same, both are beautiful and durable. Natural beauty or manufactured consistency? It’s up to you!

Prestige Marble and Granite offers both Quartz and Quartzite, in addition to many other beautiful stone varieties. Whatever stone you choose, rest assured our experienced fabricators can handle the job!

How to Choose the Best Lighting to Enhance Your Granite or Marble Countertops

If you have invested in marble or granite countertops (or are planning to), don’t forget the important role your lighting plays when it comes to displaying your beautiful new countertops in their best light.

When considering how to best illuminate your under cabinet countertops, understand that the cabinetry will create dark shadows that will cause your countertops to recede into the background and blend in with your backsplash. Ceiling lighting won’t reach your countertops, but under cabinet light fixtures will not only give you excellent task lighting, they will illuminate the stone, calling attention to the textures and colors, and creating a little sparkle because light is reflected by the quartz crystals that are inherent in both marble and granite.

When selecting your under cabinet lighting, be aware that marble or granite countertops can create a mirrored effect. Avoid light fixtures that reflect directly onto your countertop by choosing fixtures that have a lens over the light bulb to minimize reflections. Also, consider the color, as dark countertops will absorb more light – you’ll want to make sure your fixtures give off enough light.

There are two main types of under cabinet lighting: linear (or strip) and puck. Linear fixtures are long and thin, and will distribute light more evenly across the countertop. They are designed to fill up the space beneath each cabinet cavity and are sold in standard increments of length. If you go with linear, you should try to select the longest light fixture that will still fit under your cabinet.
John Willis Homes

Linear or strip lighting – Photo by brendamayton

Puck lights are small, circular light fixtures that create pools of light on the kitchen countertop. If you decide to go with puck lights, make sure to install one puck light for every six to ten inches of space.

Burnaby Kitchen
Under cabinet puck lights – Photo by SKG Renovations 
For kitchen islands, the best lighting fixtures for tasks and enhancing your marble or granite countertops are pendant lighting, either several smaller fixtures, or one over-sized fixture. They are a great solution for providing adequate task lighting while also providing an opportunity to enhance the kitchen design. Typically pendants should be placed 28 to 34 inches above the countertop, or 72 inches above the floor.
PMG Kitchen
Island with pendant light

When it comes to your countertops, Prestige Marble & Granite is here to help you with a vast selection of unique, exotic and rare natural stones from around the world. Our knowledgeable staff will guide you through selection, layout, design and installation. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom any time!

Kitchen Design Trends: Black is the New White

There was a time when wood tones and white were the popular color choices for kitchen cabinets and kitchens in general. But like all things interior design-related, kitchens go through trend cycles every few years and colors have gotten bolder and more dramatic.

If you’re considering an update for your kitchen, black just may be the new white. There’s no denying that black kitchens can have a real wow factor if done right. Untraditional and unique, black kitchens are becoming a fashion statement, and proving to be a noteworthy kitchen color in 2016. Here, we’re sharing a few of our favorite black kitchens to get you inspired.

Bosch Kitchens
Rich black cabinets are accented by sleek silver toned elements and elegant marble countertops. Plenty of natural light and wood flooring add warmth.
Vallejo Street Highrise
Taxicab-yellow counter stools to add a playful dash of color to this sophisticated black kitchen.
St. Charles Residence
This black kitchen is a beautiful balance of color, with the granite-topped island contrasting with and complimenting the wall of elegant black cabinetry.
Marchvale Kitchen
White marble countertops are the perfect counterpoint to the rich black wood, with a gray backsplash and wood floors adding balance and warmth.
Rocky Ledge Kitchen
The black marble on a black island here is stunning! The bright silver fixtures, stools, and range, along with a white blacksplash contribute the perfect amount of light reflection to keep the space from being to dark.
TRADITIONAL HOME MAGAZINE
Nothing says elegance like a combination of black, gold and marble!
JADO DECOR CHRISTINE TSINGELIDIS COLE STREET
Glossy black cabinets, minimalistic lines and black stone countertops are striking in this modern kitchen.

 

For more black kitchen inspiration, head over to our Pinterest board!

 

Whatever color you choose for your kitchen, be assured that we have your counters covered!  Prestige Marble & Granite is here to help you with a vast selection of unique, exotic and rare natural stones from around the world. Our knowledgeable staff will guide you through selection, layout, design and installation. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom any time!

Tips for a Happy Remodel

color swatches and plans

How to Survive a Home Renovation

It’s a rare couple who can agree upon everything in their lives; and even if you concur most of the time, it’s likely you will still differ on some issues in your lives, especially during a remodel. Given that home renovations can be a little stressful at best, it’s not surprising that differences in opinion can escalate into outright discord. How do you resolve polar opposition with your loved one when undergoing a major renovation? Follow these tips for a happy remodel.

Budget

What couple doesn’t disagree about expenditures at some point in their lives? Major renovations are costly, with a wide range of price points available for all the different elements. Differences of opinion on where and how to spend are bound to arise. The best way to get through this potential roadblock is to set a sensible budget range as soon as possible. Your remodeling professional can help you, based on the size of your space and your basic needs and wants, as well as the amount of money you have to spend. It’s smart to work within a range, rather than a set dollar amount, because you could encounter something unexpected, especially if your home is older. Another reason to have a range is because you might want to make a change or two along the way–without straining the budget – and the relationship.

Define your style

If your tastes or design styles are markedly different, don’t despair; your remodeled space doesn’t have to be one style or the other. A professional designer can help you combine your styles, even if you can’t see it yourself. So, the tip here is to define your styles, no matter how incongruous they may seem, and present them to your designer at the beginning. You may be surprised at how an interior design professional can bring together the most dissimilar tastes.

Research

Your remodeling professional can be your guide throughout the renovation process, but do your homework. The digital age has made it easy to learn about design styles, color, appliances, materials and more. Whether you research together or separately, create a notebook of all the things that interest you, then share and discuss them with your designer or remodeling pro. Your notebook can be a real one with clippings and handwritten notes, or you can head to the internet for great tools like Houzz and Pinterest.

Compromise

It’s realistic to understand from the beginning that you may not be able to agree on everything and you may just have to compromise. Separately make a list of your needs and wants, then work together to combine your “must-haves.”  Being open to the give and take of a major project is the first step in the right direction–and the best direction for your home and your family. By starting a major renovation project with a mindset of diplomacy and flexibility, compromises will come much easier.

When it comes to your countertops, Prestige Marble & Granite is here to help you with a vast selection of unique, exotic and rare natural stones from around the world. Our knowledgeable staff will guide you through selection, layout, design and installation. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom any time!