Is Fantasy Brown a Marble or Quartzite?

Fantasy Brown has just arrived at Victoria Stone Gallery! But there’s a bit of speculation over what sort of natural stone it is. Is it a Marble or a Quartzite? Long answer short, it’s a hard marble that performs like a Quartzite. This article that we came across today talks the science and formation behind this peculair stone, and discusses in detail whether Fantasy Brown is a Marble or Quartzite.

There are thousands of natural stones available in the world right now. But every now and then there comes a granite, marble, or quartzite that we just can’t get enough of, we get regular calls about, and homeowners simply must have.

Fantasy Brown is one of those stones. Cool gray waves and smooth swirls tumbling diagonally across the slab, stunning mineral formations, and the faintest hues of green and rose make this a truly unique stone. But what is it? Is it quartzite as so many fabricators label it or are the suppliers who categorize it as marble correct?

“It mostly does perform like a quartzite or a granite. It’s a great stone. Geologically it does have some calcium carbonate & thus is a marble. A very hard marble. Even so, we have never noticed it etch, but since there’s some calcium carbonate we called it what it is – marble (just in case).” – Jeff @ Architectural Granite and Marble, Ltd. (AG&M)

The answer is a little complicated. Most broad stone types like marble or granite include a wide variety of different mineral compositions. Some marbles are much harder than others, and the same goes for quartzite. So, the precise geological term for a stone is not always a guarantee of how the stone will last or stand up to normal wear and tear.

Technically Fantasy Brown is a Marble, but There’s More to the Story

Geologically speaking, it contains the mineral calcium carbonate, which is a defining feature of marble. However, it’s an extremely hard marble with a very low risk of etching or staining. In other words, it behaves like a quartzite.

“Because we can’t expect our clients to know the finer details of how each individual stone will perform in the kitchen, we classify them according to durability. That means that in our showroom, you will see Fantasy Brown labeled as a quartzite.” – Kasey King | Sales Consultant at Tate Granite | Tate Ornamental

Fantasy Brown Quartzite is a durable, reliable countertop choice. With proper sealing once to twice a year, you won’t have to worry about etching or staining. Quartzite is scratch resistant, but we don’t recommend cutting on your natural stone, as it will dull your knives!

Fantasy Brown

Actual photo of Fantasy Brown slab available at Victoria Stone Gallery

Marble vs. Quartzite? What’s the Difference?

Both are metamorphic stones. One of the three main types of rock (the other two are igneous, which includes granite, and sedimentary).

Marble is created when limestone is “recrystallized” through exposure to heat, pressure, and/or chemically-active liquids. These forces change the composition of the stone, leaving behind an interlocking pattern of white crystals. The swirls and colors found in marble are technically impurities. They occur when clay, sand, iron, and other materials find their way into the metamorphosing limestone.

“Marble is softer than granite and quartzite, which makes it more susceptible to scratches over time. The calcium in the stone means it may etch when exposed to acidic liquids like lemon or vinegar.” – Lauren Little Rhodes | Sales Consultant at Tate Granite | Tate Ornamental

“The stone is what I call a “combo stone”. It’s a combination of quartzite minerals and calcite. alcite being a soft mineral and quartzite being a hard one.  So this stone, depending on its density plus quartzite to calcite ratio, can be pretty darn durable but that durability will fluctuate with the ratio of quartzite to calcite in the slab. The more quartzite, the more durability. We have sold a lot of this material and have had rave reviews from customers on how much they love this stone. I think a lot of customer satisfaction comes with properly educating customers on the type of stone they are choosing and how to take care of it.” – Laura Bolen | OHM International, Nashville, TN

While marble comes from limestone, quartzite is created when those same “metamorphosing” forces of heat, pressure, and chemically-active liquids come into contact with sandstone. This difference is what gives quartzite its glassy surface. Quartzite can range from slightly harder than marble all the way to harder than granite.

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White and grey marble island top

Marble vs Quartzite – What are the differences?

Marble vs quartzite? Both are both naturally occurring rocks, that share similarities. Though they share certain functions and physical features, marble and quartzite differ greatly in geology so in turn, performance as a benchtop material.

Island bench made from white quartzite in a modern kitchen

White quartzite island benchtop

Chemistry of Marble and Quartzite

Marble is a mineral that is primarily comprised of calcite. Natural physical and chemical impurities add to this makeup, giving patterns and veining. Unlike marble, quartzite is not a mineral, it is made up of sandstone and quartz, both sedimentary rocks. Quartzite also takes on environmental impurities and inclusions, producing different colours.

How are Marble and Quartzite formed?

Both are metamorphic rocks, meaning that they are changed by pressure and heat, but don’t melt. Marble begins life as a limestone. Quartzite is made when quartz grains found in sandstone are fused under pressure and heat.

White marble quarry

Carrara Marble Quarry

What are the main features of marble?

Marble is white when pure and is much stronger than limestone, the rock from which it forms. Colours and patterns we see in our final marble slabs, are caused from impurities and inclusions introduced to the marble in the forming process. The common colours of marble are green, pink, black, beige, brown or grey. Marble has weak chemical bonds so is easy to quarry, carve and polish. These bonds also mean that marble is susceptible to attack from acid. To see if the stone is a ‘pure’ marble, it will fizz upon reaction with acids.

White and grey marble island top

Carrara marble island top

What are the main features of quartzite?

Like marble, quartzite is white when pure, and is much stronger than sandstone, the rock it’s from. Depending on the rock’s mineral impurities, quartzite takes on different colours and patterns. The most common colours of quartzite are white and dark grey. Unlike marble, quartzite is a tough and hardy material, being very resistant to chemical and physical weathering

Marble vs Quartzite – Countertop material?

Quartzite is commonly used as a construction material for benchtops, cladding and flooring. Many find it attractive as a benchtop choice as it so indestructible and requires little to no maintenance.

Marble is also used as a construction material for buildings, tiles, counter tops, cladding, floors and other architectural surfaces. As marble is softer than quartzite, it is also used for monuments and sculpture, as it is easily carved and sculpted. Marble is often used as a countertop material, despite it’s softness. To read more about marble and it’s performance, check out our post on marble and 5 facts you might not know.


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Super White Dolomite quarry in Brazil

All You Need To Know About Super White Dolomite

Super White Dolomite…

Is a fantastic natural stone option to have in the household for kitchen benchtops, island tops, splashbacks and bathrooms. It has the desirable marble-look, but Super White Dolomite is harder than a typical marble and comes in large-sized slabs. Here at Victoria Stone Gallery, we are fortunate to have a close relationship with the quarry, which is how we are able to secure a direct, consistent quality stone for Melbourne homes.

We have a lot of customers come to our Warehouse to check out this highly sought after stone. Here are some questions we are frequently asked about this highly sought after exotic, stone…

Where is Super White from?

Super White is sourced and quarried from the South of Bahia, Brazil. They are then transported more than 800km to reach the city of Cachoeiro de Itapemirim (this is where our director lives!), here they are carefully processed, before being transported directly to Melbourne, Australia.

Super White Dolomite quarry in Brazil

Super White quarry, Brazil

There’s more than one type of Super White?

In the international stone market, there are four different types of SW. Super White Calacatta, Super White Arabescato, Super White Light and Super White Dark. In our Warehouse, we have a regular and consistent supply of Super White and Super White Calacatta. Each type is graded by the quarry depending on its tones and patterns. The grading reflects the price, offering affordable options.

Super White Dolomite Calcatta

Super White Calacatta available at Victoria Stone Gallery

What is Super White made out of?

The slabs are a unique makeup of dolomite and quartz. The large white parts are a dolomite marble, which is harder than a typical marble. The quartz veins running through the stone aid its structure.

If it looks like Marble, is it still durable?

Very! Don’t let the look delicate, marble-look let you wonder otherwise. Because of its make-up, Super White dolomite is less porous, stronger, resistant to heat, more durable and less prone to staining and etching

Super White Dolomite slab

Super White Dolomite available at Victoria Stone Gallery

So, Super White is very durable, does it still require much maintenance?

Super White is a great option for the household but still requires care and maintenance. It should always be sealed by your fabricator or installer and we recommend re-sealing it about once a year, depending on the usage and exposure to household products and sunlight.

Treat it like any other stone! Clean it on a daily basis, wipe spills up as soon as possible and don’t put hot pots and pans straight onto the surface.

What sort of finishes is it available in?

Polished, honed, semi-polished. Tip: a honed finish over polished will be more forgiving to any damage and act as extra protection. If you find a slab here that you love the look of but is only available in polished, speak to your stonemason about getting it honed!

Can the slabs be book-matched?

Yes, Super White comes book-matched.

Super White Dolomite Bookmatched


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Uba Tuba Splashback Flashback!

Uba Tuba Granite slab

Uba Tuba, a common kitchen benchtop material in the nineties. Loved for its dark reflective, tightly packed grain surface. Now a timeless look in the household, we’re hearing a demand for this retro-look piece of natural stone.

Uba Tuba is…

A Granite quarried in coastal Brazil, from the Ubatuba area.

∴ An Igneous Rock made of mostly quartz and mica.

∴ Quarried in large quantities.

∴ Tightly packed grain, with very little veining. Small Quartz pieces make up the delicate pattern. 

∴ Variable in colour. Primarily dark green, sometimes black, depending on the section of the quarry it is cut from.

∴ Characterised by its flecks of black, gold, brown, blue and white.

∴ Popular in kitchen design and office fit for decades.

∴ Very affordable!

∴ Low maintenance.

Found right here in Melbourne at Victoria Stone Gallery for your Uba Tuba kitchen benchtop or splashback desire!

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Granite Benchtops Slabs Row

Granite Benchtops – Hard To Beat!

You must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard already the advantages of Granite benchtops. Strong, durable, and little maintenance required. Have it in your Melbourne home or bathroom for life!

We have over 15 styles and counting for your Granite benchtop dreams at Victoria Stone Gallery. Read on and shop our Granite product catalogue.

What type of natural stone is Granite?

Granite is one of the world’s toughest stones! An igneous rock formed over millions of years from extreme heat and rapidly cooling volcanic magma.

Granite is second strongest to diamonds and some Quartzites.

Granite Slabs Row

Uses for Granite?

Diverse and durable, Granite can be used decorative or functional! Granite benchtops and granite bathrooms are hugely popular in family homes. Granite is a popular stone choice for outdoor areas in Australian homes for BBQ areas and outdoor table tops.

Outside of the household, you’ll find Granite used for anything from tiles, paving stones, building construction, bridges to tombstones.

Why should you choose Granite?

It is dense, durable and very resistant to chemicals and acids! It offers the beauty of natural stone with less maintenance and will add value to your home. Granite comes in a limitless range of colours, and loved for its speckled appearance given off from small shiny flecks.

There are some great retro looking granite slabs here at Victoria Stone, with Uba Tuba Granite making a real comeback!

Uba Tuba Granite Benchtops

A typical Uba Tuba Granite benchtop look. Photo credit: bestdesignideas.com

How do you maintain Granite?

It’s true, most Granite applications require little to no maintenance. But, to see your Granite benchtops live out a lifetime and prevent liquids from absorbing in, have it professionally sealed at least once after installation. Granite benchtops will buy you a little more clean up time in between spills than marble benchtops but do wipe them up as quickly as possible.

Our friends at the Granite Benchtop Company recommends this fail-safe method for caring for your granite benchtop.

How to clean granite benchtops

Granite Benchtops require little to no maintenance, a dream clean!

Special considerations when shopping for Granite?

Granite benchtops are more uniformed compared to heavily veined natural stones. If you’re a homeowner or architect in Melbourne that prefers the solid, consistent look, then this could be the stone choice for you.

We know now that Granite benchtops will withstand household battles more than others, but did you know that granite is stronger than a knife? Always use a chopping board to keep your knives in good condition.

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Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite Quartz V Natural Stone

Quartz V Natural Stone

Shopping for a new stone benchtop for your kitchen? There are a lot of stone options in the Australian market these days, which is great! But it all drives down to two options. Man-made (aka reconstituted or reengineered stone) Quartz V Natural Stone.

Are you looking for indoor or outdoor application? Do you need a stone benchtop to withstand a hectic lifestyle? Are you wondering which will add more value to your home? Have a read of this super informative article from Phillymag.com & Colonial Marble & Granite for a quick crash course in the differences and similarities between Quartz V Natural Stone.

Quartz vs. Natural Stone: Similarities, Differences and When to Use Each

When you’re opting to swap out your old bar or kitchen countertops for something new, there’s a lot to consider. First, you need to think about value and quality — are you willing to pay a little extra for quartz or natural stone, which has more staying power than laminates and can also help raise your property value? Aside from being a good investment for your home, natural stone or quartz are durable enough to withstand the wear-and-tear of extreme cooking and regular family gatherings. So, if you’re ready to make a valuable upgrade to your living space, here’s what you need to know about quartz and natural stone countertops, and what you should expect out of your install.

First, a briefing on both:

  • Quartz, in its natural state, is found in large crystals or small, sand-like grains. Once mined, the stone is mixed with man-made materials, like resin, which allows for a cleaner cut and more scratch and stain resistance. Quartz is one of the most popular materials for counters and backsplashes, due to its durability and antimicrobial, non-absorbent properties. Colonial Marble offers one of the widest varieties of quartz in the country, from the extremely durable Q Quartz to ECO, which is made mostly of recycled materials and comes in a variety of hues and textured patterns.
  • Natural stone is a bit less malleable than quartz but withholds a snowflake-like individuality that makes it truly, naturally unique. Sourced straight from the earth, natural stones like a soft-coloured limestone or bold marble show off raw patterns, flecks and textures that quartz can only mimic through manmade mixing. When it comes to choosing a timeless, on-trend look, Arctic Cream graniteBianco Venatino marble and Lagos Blue limestone are three (literally) solid options.
Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite Quartz V Natural Stone

Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite

The differences between Quartz V Natural Stone:

  • Quartz is fused with resin and other polymers, and does not need to be sealed regularly. Natural stone, however, may require yearly sealings to maintain its smooth look and durability. Additionally, this material makeup is less prone to chipping than natural stone.
  • Since quartz is mechanically engineered with naturally mined materials and binding resins, cleaner cuts are available. It’s because of this that quartz is considered extremely design-friendly.
  • When opting for natural stone, it’s a good idea to go with an “eased edge,”. It gives the stone a thick cut look that helps to play up the natural texture and marbling.

The similarities between Quartz V Natural Stone:

  • Quartz and natural stone are both extremely heavy. Due to this, it is important to work with a professional during installation. The team at Colonial Marble will not only help with installation but can provide samples, quotes and even a Kitchen Visualizer to help you decide just where to make your upgrades.
  • Natural stone and quartz do not always hold up to extreme weather conditions, making indoor installation the preferred method. Planning on installing an outdoor bar or fireplace? Make sure your granite or marble surface is safe from hard rain and the scorching sun.
  • Historically, the price of quartz and natural stone, like marble, seemed out of reach for many. But, as granite, marble, quartz and stone countertops become increasingly trendy in today’s homes, materials are becoming more and more affordable.
Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite2

Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite

Contemporary house in Germany built out of grey Quatrzite matte stone

Curious Over A Quartzite Benchtop

What is Quartzite? How is it different to Marble? Read on into the world of this natural stone and why we recommend a Quartzite benchtop for your kitchen in Melbourne.

Keep an eye out for some coloured  Quartzite benchtop beauties that we will be bringing in from Brazil in the new year!

What type of natural stone is Quartzite?

Quartzite is often confused with Quartz, a man-made produced stone, engineered from resin and quartz chips tinted with various colours.

It is a metamorphic rock that is the result of sandstone and the mineral quartz being put under extreme heat and pressure within the crust of the earth. Its changes are a slow process resulting in an altered appearance of rich colours and patterns that are formed as a result of different conditions.

Colours range from white to black, with shades of blue, green, yellow and brown. A slab can appear grainy because of its formation from sandstone through recrystallization of Quartz grains. At least 90% of a Quartzite stone slab is Quartz.

Quartzite kitchen benchtop

Uses for Quartzite?

For a long time, it was commonly used for bricks and other building materials. It became very versatile in construction, used for strong materials to flooring to decorative wall coverings and recently has become very popular for kitchen benchtops.

This contemporary house in Cologne, Germany was built in 2016 out of grey Quartzite stone. The stone is so diverse, it flows systematically through the interior, cladding bathrooms, the whole of the swimming pool area and many of the home´s floors. Read the full article here.

Contemporary house in Germany built out of grey Quatrzite matte stone

Contemporary house in Germany built out of grey Quartrzite matte stone

Quartzite is awesome for an outdoor stone application. It has very low water absorption rates. It is very resilient to staining from leaf and debris. And it has a high resistance to slipping thanks to its textured surface.

Why should you choose Quartzite?

Interior designers love a quartzite benchtop for the look, builders and homeowners love it for its durability!

It comes in lots of popular varieties, like White Macaubas, Mother of Pearl, Taj Mahal and La Dolce Vita. Here at Victoria Stone Gallery, we will be specialising in a big range of exotic coloured Quartzite, bringing it in from Brazil to Melbourne.

It’s heat resistant and naturally strong. On the Mohs scale of hardness of 1 to 10 (10 being the hardest), Quartzite measures in at 7, with Granite behind in between 6 and 6.5. This difference will buy you a bit more time to clean up before the stone starts to etch if it comes into contact with acidic materials.

How do you maintain a Quartzite benchtop?

Although it is heat resistant, any prolonged heat exposure can cause problems.  Just avoid that by using trivets, hot pots, chopping boards! Avoid etching by keeping common household items that are notorious for etching away, like lemons, fizzy drink, and red wine. Etching is basically the surface damage in the form of a dull mark on natural stone.  It happens when acidic substances come into contact with natural stone that contains calcium carbonate.

Sealing will depend on the type of Quartzite you have, ranging from not having to be sealed at all, to resealing every year or so, to regular sealing. Check with your stone fabricator which category yours falls under! Adding a stone sealant will give an extra layer of protection.
Just like with any other natural stone surface, clean up spills quickly, using a damp, soft cloth and a mild spray disinfectant if needed.

Consider picking a honed or leathered finish over a polished finish – they are more forgiving on etching and stains! Honed benchtops aren’t as reflective as polished and are smoother and flatter, which helps to prevent etching. A honed finish on harder stones is much more durable for benchtops in your kitchen.

Generally there is a lot less maintenance in comparison to other natural stone, yet still with the look of marble!

Leathered Blue Roma Quartzite from Victoria Stone Gallery

Our Blue Roma Quartzite looks striking in a leathered finish.

Special considerations when shopping for Quartzite?

Quartzite comes in soft or hard variations, sometimes the fabrication can be more expensive when it’s harder to cut through. Always check with your preferred fabricator if they have worked with it before! A Quartzite benchtop offers a lifetime of unique look alongside practicality, give it the professional installation and fabrication it deserves!


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More About Marble

More about Marble

Thinking about buying Marble for your benchtop in Melbourne, Victoria? Here are some fast facts to get your shop on! Find out some more about Marble.

More about Marble

What type of natural stone is Marble?

Marble is a metamorphic rock. It forms when limestone is subjected to the heat and pressure of metamorphism. This video of marble quarrying in the Italian Alps shows some neat footage of how marble can be quarried.

Carrara Italy – marble quarry in Fantiscritti valley. Marble works of Miseglia. Apuan Alps mountains.

Uses for Marble?

White Marble has been used for centuries in classic sculptures to construction. You might recognise it in such works of art like Michaelangelo’s, David, or the Taj Mahal, even recently in modern-day photo shoots like the one campaigned by NZ brand Lonely Lingerie where woman modelled next to Carrara Marble. Marble is commonly used in Melbourne in the bathroom, kitchen benchtops – Where the Kitchen starts, splashbacks or reception counters. Don’t let the characteristics of Marble scare you away from using it in your home! Read our post on Marble & 5 Facts Nobody Will Tell You.

Why should you choose Marble?

It’s beautiful and timeless. Homeowners and Melbourne stone fabricators sometimes shy away from marble being one of the softer natural stones and more prone to etching and stains. The right care will maintain it and you’ll have a stunning marble benchtop, adding value to your home. Read this amazing story on Natural Stone at home? How much is it worth – who knows how much value your marble benchtop or marble bathroom may bring you!

How do you maintain Marble?

Be sure to seal your marble benchtop every one to two years. Protect your marble benchtop from vinegar and citrus’. Avoid using acidic or abrasive cleaners on your marble benchtop.


Check out our Marble catalogue.

Marble & 5 Facts Nobody Will Tell You

Marble gets a bad reputation these days. People are shying away, choosing manmade stone, quartzites or granites. While this is all well and good (and often recommended!), it is important to remember that marble has long been the leading stone when it comes to durability and beauty. Varieties of marbles have been used for eternity and well and truly stood up to the test of time. Natural stone is not a perfect product, but the options are pretty damn good!

It is considered a soft stone when compared to other natural stone surfaces. It is completely natural and is made up mostly of calcite. Calcite is considered soft, so it will etch and dull with exposure to acids. It can also scratch. However, in saying this, marble receives a 3-4 on Moh’s Scale of Hardness. This is actually average hardness. By no means is marble weak. It’s counterparts, granite and quartzite are ranked at 6-8.

It is important to remember that marble is an extremely good benchtop and building material. When treated right, your benchtop, vanity, floor or table will last many lifetimes and stay looking great! In fact, many people find the beauty of marble lays in the way it ages, giving eternal character.

Many think the only redeeming factor of marble is its look, that it’s simply irreplaceable. While it’s true you can achieve the look with alternative stones, why not dive right in and go for the real thing?

  1. It is extremely durable.

    There is a reason why statues and buildings built thousands of years ago still stand today. There are actually marbles that are very hard, found in Asia. The softer stones are the European ones.  Many famous sites are made entirely of the stuff and have stood for centuries.


    The Pantheon, Rome, 126 AD

    Michelangelo’s the State Of David, 1504

    Taj Mahal, 1658

  2. It does not hold nor conduct heat.

    The stone is heat resistant, naturally of course. It has been used to cool down interior spaces, especially in hot climates. This is one of the reasons a marble bath that is not heated is maybe not the best idea (unless you like cold baths!)

  3. Marbles are available in a range of colours.

    Carrara and Greek marbles are the most famous. Many think the stone only exists in white and grey, like the famous Calacatta or Statuario. Marbles actually are found all over the world and can be red, green, pink, brown, yellow or combinations of all of the above. Many of the coloured marbles are much, much harder than the typical stone found in Carrara,

  4. Slabs are not as expensive as you might think.

    The price of the stone is actually extremely variable and is determined by the quarries. The famous Italian stones can range from $100 – $3000 per m2.

  5. Etching gives your stone character!

    We just love the idea that etching and stains give your marble character! The European attitude is that you shouldn’t seal your marble, so it can soak up the excitement of life. Stains and etchings are signs of a well-loved benchtop and of good times!