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Blue Roma Quarry - A Definitive Guide to Quartzites

The Definitive Guide to Quartzite

Use Natural Stone is a great online resource for learning everything natural stone.  Here’s a great article we found on a Guide to Quartzites. It answers a lot of commonly asked questions about one of our favourite Brazilian stones.

Read the full article, The Definitive Guide to Quartzites by  Karin Kirk here.


The Definitive Guide to Quartzite

Quartzite may be the most confusing natural stone out there. A quick internet search will reveal an unsettling disparity of information. Some people say it etches. Some say it doesn’t. Sometimes you hear it’s a hybrid between marble and granite. Yet, others report that it’s harder than granite. Which is it? Why are there such conflicting reports about quartzite?

Let’s use my favourite tool – geology – to suss out the answer to this mystery.

I’ll get right to the point: quartzite is commonly mislabeled. Some quartzite is the real deal, but sometimes marble or dolomitic marble are labelled as quartzite. Because each of these stones behaves differently, people might understandably conclude that quartzite is variable. But it isn’t; quartzite has very consistent properties. Unfortunately, it has variable labelling.

Emerald Green - Victoria Stone Gallery

Emerald Green Quartzite at VSG.

What is quartzite?

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 neighbours, forming a dense, durable rock. The process is similar to individual snowflakes merging into solid, glacial ice.

Quartzite is usually white or light-coloured because quartz sand is light coloured. Additional minerals carried by groundwater can impart hues of green, blue, or ion-red. Van Gogh and Azul Macaubas quartzites are examples of vivid colouring.

Regardless of colour, 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.)

Properties of quartzite

Hardness

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 labelled as quartzite is soft, then it was mislabeled. The unfortunate term “soft quartzite” has emerged to try to explain why a rock that is labelled 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 labelled as soft quartzite is most likely marble.

Resistance to acids

Quartzite will not etch from acids like lemon juice or vinegar. If a rock labelled 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!

Porosity

Quartzite has a range of porosities. Some, like 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 a 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 colours in it, while quartzite has either no dark colours at all or has subtle, flowing areas of different colours.

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.

Shop our range of Quartzites.


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Natural Stones for a Minimalist Approach

Natural Stones for a Minimalist Approach

Natural Stones for a Minimalist Approach

Author Bio: Nicole Andrews is the marketing manager for Euro Marble in Sydney, Australia. With a background in interior design, she enjoys writing about the latest industry trends. In her spare time, she walks her dog Rusco down at Bondi Beach.


In an increasingly crowded world, the minimalist interior design tries to bring a balance by reducing the amount of clutter in our homes. This trend promotes spacious rooms, with a focus on natural materials (mostly wood or stone) and clever arrangements that brings space separation without the use of walls or big pieces of furniture.

Modern minimalism dances around geometric shapes, neutral colours, and natural textures that give the room warmth. When it comes to the walls and floors, the textures should be natural and (especially for the floors) easy to clean and maintain. This is why you’ll almost always find natural stone and wood in a home with a minimalist approach (think about Scandinavian design).

Both materials can be used for floors and walls in a wide range of settings throughout the house or for the facades. However, natural stone is more durable and resists better to the elements and wear and tear, which is why we recommend it for most designs.   

How to Select the Right Stone for a Minimalist Design

Colour, texture, and lines are the primary elements of a design that wants to be simple, freeing, and welcoming. As such, these are the elements to consider when you choose the right type of natural stone.

Colour

Natural stone has the advantage of colour because it features hues of black, grey, and white. These are known to promote an atmosphere of calm and serenity, which makes the material perfect for minimalist interior designs.

For instance, if you decide to use predominantly white marble, this makes space feel clean and exquisite, with a note of elegance that’s difficult to obtain otherwise. Furthermore, you have the possibility to implement a monochrome palette (an all-white room), which are very popular in the Scandinavian culture.

Carrara Slab

Carrara Slab available at Victoria Stone Gallery

But if you choose to go with a dark colour, it will make for a fantastic background while highlighting the other nuances used (whites and greys). A black marble floor, for instance, will bring a splash of colour in a minimalist setting. And it works in any room of the house (starting with the kitchen and ending with the bathroom).  

Nero Marquina slab

Nero Marquina Marble at VSG

Texture

The fundamental concept that represents the minimalist approach is simplicity. As such, the texture of the materials used for interior design should allow for easy cleaning and maintenance without the need for rugs, carpets, or other accessories. So, the subtle textures of natural stone will fit right in.

Thinking from an interior design perspective, the smoothness of marble or the rugged beauty of travertine are fantastic for day spaces such as the living room or a home office. For bathroom and kitchen areas you can always go with the durability and freshness of granite, while for the bedroom, you can choose a warmer texture, in a darker colour, such as quartzite in brown hues.

Palomino slab

Palomino Quartzite

Pattern

With natural stone as your go-to material, there is a plethora of lines and patterns from which to choose. As it turns out, minimalist designs are all about lines and patterns. Creating harmonious combinations that lead the eye and fill out space.

Patterns can be included in any type of design element, from countertops to backsplashes, to floors and walls, or you can use them to highlight the focal piece of a room. Regardless, the unique beauty of these patterns will be forever by your side, encouraging creativity and originality!

Wrap Up  

The minimalist approach is more and more popular these days, and that is due to its many benefits. Starting with a more organized space that invites to focus and productivity and ending with a house that helps you feel relaxed and balanced this trend can have a strong influence on our lives.

However, it’s important to understand how minimalism works and this includes learning about the right type of natural stone to select. Each home is unique, so the choices you make must be fit to your needs and the ones of your family.


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Natural Stone Feature Wall

Natural Stone Feature Wall in Vogue

Interior Designer, Gregory Vaughn, sees the potential of a natural stone slab beyond its most common use as a kitchen benchtop, island or bathroom vanity. Gregory Vaughn is talking a natural stone feature wall.

After decades of specifying natural stone, he can truly appreciate a stone slab as a work of art from Mother Nature.

Challenging the common denominator of all types of natural stone in the home – its horizontal application, Gregory has called for more vertical application -in stone feature walls. We couldn’t agree more!

“Kitchens and bathrooms have been designed around natural stone for years but what’s really coming back into vogue now are feature walls where the stone slabs are applied vertically as an accent, sometimes being the design feature of the room.

Decor aficionados are taking note and filling their Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards with prime examples. It is literally one of the hottest trends right now in interior design.”

This trend is likened to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe‘s work on the iconic Barcelona Pavilion, dating back to 1929.

In this article, Gregory shares his work on a client’s home to create a similar zen-like atmosphere. Finding a slab of Red Onyx too beautiful to cut up, the duo agreed on using it as a wall panel in the bathroom.


With some absolutely unique and stunning stone slabs at Victoria Stone Gallery, we would love to see the natural stone feature wall trend continue. Here’s some inspo.

Palomino Quartzite

A coppery-gold Quartzite, characterised by its large rings in white, gold and blue tones.

Palomino slab

Blue Mare Quartzite

A bright baby-blue Quartzite with smoky-coppery gold veining.  Particularly stunning in its leathered finish.

Rainforest Brown

A brown and green, heavily veined marble with blue-black undertones. If you like this, check out Rainforest Green.

Skyfall Granite

A heavily contrasted black and white granite from Brazil. Characterised by its dramatic, chunky white veining.

Nero Marinace Granite

A unique black granite, tightly packed with variously sized pebbles.

Nero Marinace slab

 

 

 

Chris from Nova Stone, representing one of many Brazilian stone companies at the Atlanta Trade Show

Brazilian Stone ‘Rocks’ Another Big Trade Show in Atlanta

Great news for the Brazilian stone industry! Companies from all over Brazil made a large presence at the largest stone event in North America yet again.

Amongst over 70 Brazilian companies and their representatives, was our director Chris van der Linden heading the Nova Stone stand.  Here’s what he had to say about the ever successful trade show of the year, highlighting the Brazilian stone industry:

“Our company Nova Stone received such an overwhelming reaction to our collection of natural stone. It is clear that the entire global market, especially in the Southern Hemisphere, is experiencing a resurgence in natural stone.

The trends for 2019 are definitely forecast towards naturally inspired interiors. There is no doubt in my mind that we will be seeing a lot more Brazilian stones in homes reaching as far as Australia and New Zealand.”

At VSG, our stock of Brazilian stone comes in the form of beautiful Quartzite slabs. Quartzite has a marble-look but is as resilient as granite, making it perfect for a low-maintenance, affordable option for kitchen benchtops, islands and bathrooms.  Browse our Quartzite page for an idea of whats in store and whats to come.

Nova Stone Brazilian Stone at Atlanta Trade Show

Nova Stone Brazilian Stone at Atlanta Trade Show

For any queries on Brazilian stone that you can’t, but want to see in Melbourne – contact us! We strive to source and supply the best natural stone material to Melbourne.

Read more on the Atlanta trade show in the article below sourced from Global Atlanta.


Major events in Atlanta are becoming a key entree for Brazilian companies in the U.S.

 Coming off its successful presence at the poultry and processing expo in January, Brazil last week once again made a big bet on a major Atlanta trade show.

This time, rather than chicken feed and animal proteins, the Brazilian Consulate General in Atlanta was helping firms showcase their stone products at the annual Coverings conference, the largest tile and stone event in North America.

More than 70 Brazilian companies showcased more than 700 types of natural stone materials at the May 8-11 trade show, which  drew  exhibitors from more than 40 countries. 

Brazilian firms enjoyed more than 15,000 square feet of exhibition space dedicated to their country which presented products under one brand umbrella: Brasil Original Stones. Brazilian government agencies were on hand as well: Apex-Brasil promotes the country’s exports in general, while ABIROCHAS is the tile and stone industry association. 

A highly visible presence at the industry’s top event was a no-brainer for Brazil, in part because Brazil’s stone sellers need to understand the preferences of designers, architects, consumers and contractors in a vitally important market. 

This is how the Reinaldo Dantas Sampaio, the president of ABIROCHAS, the Brazilian Association of Dimension Stone Industry, put it in materials written for the show: 

“The event is of fundamental importance for the Brazilian stone industry, since it gathers the major global covering producers and receives visitors from our biggest buyer – the US. Presently, Brazil is the largest supplier of slabs to the American market, which answers for 65 percent of the Brazilian stone export sales. In 2017, Brazilian exported US$1.1 billion, of which $692 million were imported by the U.S.”

Mr. Sampaio said despite the hurdles facing Brazil’s economy, producers are investing in quarrying and treatment technologies to improve sustainability and meet the standards of the U.S., which is experiencing a new wave of construction growth.  

Brazilian slabs are mostly used in countertops for single-family homes, so Mr. Sampaio sees a big opportunity for Brazil to deepen its penetration in the commercial and multi-family segments. 


Natural stone imperfections in a quartzite

The Beauty of Natural Stone Imperfections

Natural stone imperfections – they’re not uncommon! In fact, it’s rare to see a slab of marble, quartzite, travertine or granite that is completely impeccable and unblemished.

Their uniqueness can result from anything from heat, pressure, mineral makeup, volcanic activity or time. We’ve found this article here that explores just a few of the possible natural stone imperfections that can make your stone benchtop one in a million!


Natural Stone: Not A Game Of Perfect.

It might have been Dale Clevenger, former principal horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, who at one point during his illustrious career surprisingly said that he is yet to perform a perfect concert. Whether it was truly him who said it, this sort of notion really hits close to home: here at Blue Pearl Stone, we are yet to see a perfect slab of natural stone.

Naturally occuring crack in a slab of Zsa Zsa quartzite

Naturally occuring crack in a slab of Zsa Zsa quartzite

Natural stone, by nature, is always imperfect.

This is not because of some mystical curse or an outlandish series of mishaps.  There will most likely be a slightly brownish patch somewhere on a beautiful white Carrara marble, a tiny pit in a Luna Pearl granite slab, and amongst the undulating wave-patterns of a Macauba quartzite you may just happen upon a cloudy patch.

Pits filled with resin in a slab of Noce Travertine

Pits filled with resin in a slab of Noce Travertine

Natural stone just won’t stand up to the fastidious scrutiny of perfectionists.

And it really shouldn’t. The real beauty of any natural stone comes from its unabashed uniqueness. Natural stones are either formed under subterranean pressure, are a result of sedimentation or a product of volcanic activity. But wherever they might come from, the thousands and millions of years that it takes for these stones to form means that each slab is exposed to the caprices of time and stands as a testimony to all the events that occurred during its formation: a slight drift in the tectonic plates, a trapped and fossilized organism here and there, or the leaking of an uncommon material into the ossifying sediment. You name it.

Rock sedimenttion at the blue lias cliffs at Lyme Regis - Wikipedia

Rock sedimenttion at the blue lias cliffs at Lyme Regis – Wikipedia

In granite, for example, there’s a mineral called biotite, which is softer than granite’s other components. The main components of granite, feldspar and quartz (the mineral), have the hardness of about 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale. But biotite’s is only 2.5. This means that biotite flakes and crumbles more easily compared to the other minerals, sometimes leaving tiny pits behind. Yet, this by no means compromises the integrity and durability of granite.

Fissures and pits filled in with epoxy resin in a slab of Noce Travertine

Fissures and pits filled in with epoxy resin in a slab of Noce Travertine

Take fissures for instance: fissures are natural cracks that found in the surface of stones. Most are almost undetectable, but some are wide enough that quartz bits and epoxy resin are required to fill them in. Mining companies extract stone out of the ground in large cubes (see video), then slice the cubes up like bread. Cracks can occur during these processes, but if the accidental crack doesn’t entirely damage the integrity of the stone, it’s immediately restored with resin, and can go on the market.

We’ve also received requests for service calls regarding cloudy patches on countertops. In certain natural stones there will be areas that have a slightly different composition than the rest. Which, accordingly, take polish differently. The results are occasional cloudy patches and they, too, are perfectly natural.

For some inspiration and encouragement, let us suggest an article by Faith Durand, blogger and author of several cookbooks, in which she elaborates on her penchant for so-called etchings.

While etchings are man-made marks on countertops, the accepting and easygoing approach of a professional cook in these matters can be quite reassuring, especially for those with misgivings about purchasing natural stone products. Read Faith Durand’s “Here’s What an Etch on a Marble Countertop Actually Looks Like” article.


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Fantasy Brown - close up
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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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Stone island
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Improve Your Home With A Stone Island

Out with the dining table and in with a Stone Island!

A stone island in the kitchen can allow room for a lot of improvement in the household.  It can buy you space, save money and increase home value. An island can transform from a family’s communal hub of the hustle and bustle, to being the centre of a night entertaining friends – the versatility one can offer is endless. Designers and architects these days are calling the kitchen ‘the heart of the home’ and here’s how we think your kitchen can benefit from an island.


Stone Islands are…

A multipurpose space. Families are stepping back from the lounge and into the kitchen and an island is a great gathering point! It’s a great place to relax, catch up on each other’s day or have the children do their schoolwork. A big preparation space may help involve the kids with the cooking! For those who like to entertain, an island offers a nice open area for everyone to interact. With an island, you also have the option to chuck some extra bar stools around for additional seating! With so many options, an island acts as a focal point of a room, opening up the whole living space.

Fun to accessorise! Starting with your stone, opt for a classic white Marble stone and compliment it with colourful appliances. Or get a statement piece, like a Quartzite or Granite and make it a kitchen feature! Easily change the mood of your kitchen by swapping out bowls of fruit, for flowers or niche jars. Go big and consider an oversized light fixture, which is becoming a popular design trend. Use the space above the island to hang a row for pots and pants.

Stone Islands help…

Add storage and reduce clutter. What more could you want out of a kitchen! Whether you want a sleek, minimalist look or you simply don’t have enough room to put appliances or rubbish bins, you can tuck them all away in drawers and cabinets underneath. Think specifics like cutlery, a wine rack or a space for your bulky pots and pans. In a recent Houzz study, it was noted that 39% of homeowners are adding islands for additional storage, alone.

There’s a stone option for everyone. Whether your lifestyle is more suited to a natural stone surface or reconstituted stone, kitchen stone islands can be made out of Marble, Granite, Quartzite, Super White or Trendstone Quartz. If you want a super big island, Trendstone XL slabs are a great option. At 3.4m x 1.9m you can have a seamless surface.

These are just a few of many ways that a stone island can increase your kitchen’s functionality.

Adding an island truly allows you to take great advantage of the space in your home. Even if you have a small kitchen to work with, added storage and surface area outweigh the concern. Keep in mind, you can always go for a portable kitchen island on wheels, too!


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Blue Roma Quartzite Benchtop

Quartzite Benchtops – On Trend For 2018

Move over Marble and Granite, Quartzite Benchtops are the choice for kitchens in Melbourne in 2018!

Renovating your kitchen for the new year? Wanting to invest some value into your family home but wanting something different yet resilient? These Brazilian beauties offer the Marble-look with the durability of Granite. Here’s why Quartzite Benchtops are on trend.


The kitchen has become the ultimate communal space in the family home that brings everyone together.  No longer is everything sitting in front of the television in the lounge, they are all hovering over the kitchen benchtop or kitchen island. This is great but what natural stone option can handle the busy family life? The wine spills? The lemon juice? A Quartzite benchtop can.

Quartzite stone is becoming a knowingly more practical alternative to Marble.  For designers and architects, it is aesthetically pleasing. For builders, its durability is a no-brainer. And for homeowners, its low maintenance wins above all.

The formation of Quartzite contributes to all of its winning factors. At the beginning, sandstone transforms into Quartzite by extreme heat and pressure –  becoming much harder and less porous, ultimately helping it withstand heat incredibly well. Go ahead and enjoy a mug of coffee on that stone bench!

Unlike Marble, Quartzite is extremely hard and resilient and won’t etch from household acids like lemon juice or vinegar. This is because Quartzite doesn’t contain calcite, a carbonate mineral, that is susceptible to etching by acidic products.

Quartzite stone requires far less short and long-term maintenance. We recommend to keep it sealed, but its original seal will go much further than on any other natural stone.

And if it wasn’t obvious by now, thanks to the elements of Quartzite, its suitable for indoor AND outdoor application!

Why are Quartzite benchtops so popular in the design industry?

Where it is likened to Marble, is its looks. Quartzite has some unique colours and marble-like veining. Whether you want a real statement piece in a neutral-toned kitchen or a classic marble-look, Quartzite has both options. Designers and homeowners are now wanting to compliment White Kitchen Cabinetry with Statement Benchtops. The design options are endless!

Outside of the home, Quartzite stone is also incredibly on-trend, spot them in office fit outs and bar benchtops. A real popular look is back-lit Quartzite, complimented with a vodka, soda and lime on top of it – no worry if it spills!

If Quartzite hasn’t won over your heart yet, give us a call or come see our selection at Victoria Stone Gallery. We are proud to have a direct source from Brazil to Melbourne, Victoria.


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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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Azul Macauba, a blue Quartzite used in this state of the art pool
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Blue Quartzite Beauty – A Pool House

A Beautiful Sight, the Blue Quartzite.

We love our selection of blue Quartzite stone slabs at Victoria Stone Gallery. Check out this pool house we came across. Designed by a New York architect Rafael de Cárdenas, for a mid-19th-century English country manor.

Cárdenas’ approach to architecture and design “sees it apply form and materials to create spaces with distinctive atmospheres”. Blue Quartzite marble, the perfect distinctive material to use.

Azul Macauba, a blue Quartzite used in this state of the art pool

“Given that the pool house was going to be its own building, the main thing was to make it feel like a destination.” said de Cárdenas. “Something quite distinct from the main house, that would draw on and complement its surroundings.”

Other natural stone included in this state of the art pool house is on the walls and the floor around the pool. Botticino marble tiles makes up the floor, treated with an anti-slip rullato finish on the floors.

Azul Macauba, a blue Quartzite used in this state of the art pool

The book-matched Azul Macauba quartzite, creating the intense blue colour of the pool really caught our eye!

Quartzite is an increasingly popular choice amongst homeowners, designers and architects. Not to be confused with  Quartz – the man-made material created by mixing crushed stone with colour and resin to form an engineered slab. Quartzite is formed by naturally occurring metamorphic rock. It starts out as sandstone and evolves over time under intense heat and pressure. Look out for exotic patterns of pinks, greens, reds, brown and blue quartzite that mainly come from Brazil.

Check out our evergrowing Quartzite collection. We have plenty more arriving in the new year! Our favourite blue quartzite is our Blue Roma. We currently have it available in a polished or leathered finish. Read about some other alternatives to marble.

Watch this video of Azul Macauba being quarried in Brazil.

Azul macaubas

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Read the full article on dezeen.com

 

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