What is the Difference Between Quartz and Quartzite

The main difference between quartz and quartzite is that quartz is a mineral composed of silicon and oxygen, whereas quartzite is a metamorphic rock that forms from the metamorphism of sandstone.

Despite sharing a name, quartz and quartzite are two distinct materials with different compositions, appearances, and features. Both are common materials used to make countertops.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Quartz
      – Definition, Features, Uses
2. What is Quartzite
      – Definition, Features, Uses
3. Similarities Between Quartz and Quartzite
      – Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Quartz and Quartzite
      – Comparison of Key Differences
5. FAQ: Quartz and Quartzite
      – Frequently Asked Questions

Key Terms

Quartz, Quartzite

Difference Between Quartz and Quartzite  - Comparison Summary

What is Quartz

Quartz has a simple chemical formula: SiO2, where silicon (Si) is bonded to two oxygen (O) atoms. This composition forms a tetrahedral structure, with each silicon atom surrounded by four oxygen atoms arranged in a three-dimensional framework. This basic structural unit repeats to create the crystalline structure of quartz. The crystal structure of quartz is trigonal, belonging to the hexagonal crystal system. It usually forms hexagonal prisms with pyramidal terminations. The crystals are often transparent or translucent, and they exhibit a vitreous luster. Quartz can occur in a variety of colors, including colorless, white, pink, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, brown, and black. The coloration is often due to the presence of trace elements or irradiation during the crystal’s formation.

Quartz vs Quartzite


Quartz has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, making it relatively resistant to scratching. While some varieties of quartz are transparent, others, like milky quartz, can be opaque. Moreover, quartz is piezoelectric, meaning it can generate an electric charge in response to applied mechanical stress. Quartz is stable at high temperatures and does not undergo significant changes in its properties.

Quartz has a wide range of applications across various industries, owing to its unique properties: Quartz is a key raw material in the production of glass. Its high melting point and low thermal expansion make it ideal for manufacturing glass products such as windows, containers, and optical lenses. The piezoelectric properties of quartz find applications in electronic devices, including quartz crystals used in oscillators and resonators in watches, clocks, and electronic circuits. Quartz is used in construction materials, including concrete and ceramics. Quartz sand is a primary component in the production of concrete, and engineered quartz surfaces are popular for countertops and flooring.

What is Quartzite

Quartzite is a metamorphic rock that forms from the metamorphism of sandstone. It is composed predominantly of quartz, with the original sand grains of the sandstone recrystallizing into a more tightly interlocking crystalline structure. This transformation occurs under high temperature and pressure conditions, typically associated with the deep burial and geological processes that lead to the conversion of sedimentary rocks into metamorphic rocks.

Quartzite’s hardness and resistance to abrasion make it a durable material. It can withstand wear and tear, making it suitable for applications where durability is essential, such as flooring and countertops. Quartzite exhibits excellent heat resistance, making it suitable for use in areas where exposure to high temperatures is expected, such as kitchen countertops. Quartzite is generally resistant to chemical weathering, contributing to its longevity and suitability for outdoor applications. The recrystallization of quartz grains during metamorphism reduces the porosity of quartzite. This low porosity makes it less susceptible to water absorption, enhancing its resistance to weathering and staining.

Compare Quartz and Quartzite

One of the most popular applications of quartzite is in the production of countertops. Its hardness and heat resistance make it a desirable material for kitchen and bathroom countertops, providing both functionality and aesthetic appeal. Quartzite flooring is valued for its durability and resistance to abrasion. It is commonly used in high-traffic areas such as hallways, entryways, and commercial spaces. The attractive appearance of quartzite, along with its durability, makes it a preferred choice for wall cladding in both interior and exterior settings. It adds a touch of elegance to architectural designs. Some varieties of quartzite, especially those with unique colors and patterns, are used in the creation of monuments and sculptures. The hardness of the rock ensures the longevity of such artistic endeavors.

Similarities Between Quartz and Quartzite

  • Quartz and quartzite are composed primarily of the mineral quartz.
  • Both are also recognized for their hardness.
  • They are generally resilient to chemicals.
  • Both are commonly used to make countertops.

Difference Between Quartz and Quartzite


Quartz is a mineral composed of silicon and oxygen, while quartzite is a metamorphic rock formed from the metamorphism of sandstone.


Quartz can form in various geological environments, including igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks, while quartzite specifically forms from the metamorphism of sandstone.


Moreover, quartz crystals can exhibit a variety of colors, and they may be transparent or translucent. However, quartzite is generally light-colored, with shades of white, gray, pink, or reddish-brown.

Porous Nature

While quartz is non-porous, quartzite is generally porous.

Heat Resistance

Quartz is resistant to moderate heat, but prolonged exposure to high temperatures can cause damage. Meanwhile, quartzite exhibits excellent heat resistance.


Quartz is low maintenance, requiring simple cleaning with mild soap and water, while quartzite requires periodic sealing to maintain resistance to stains and ensure durability.

FAQ: Quartz and Quartzite

Is there quartz in quartzite?

Yes, there is quartz in quartzite. Quartzite is primarily composed of natural quartz grains, along with varying amounts of other minerals such as feldspar and mica.

What are the disadvantages of quartzite?

Quartzite’s disadvantages include its porous nature, requiring periodic sealing to resist stains, and it can be more prone to chipping and scratching compared to other stone surfaces.

Is quartzite cheaper than granite?

Quartzite is generally more expensive than granite.


The main difference between quartz and quartzite is that quartz is a mineral composed of silicon and oxygen, whereas quartzite is a metamorphic rock that forms from the metamorphism of sandstone.


1. “Quartz.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation.
2. “Quartzite | Parent Rock & Characteristics.” Encyclopedia Britannica.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Rose quartz SiO2 locality – Dolní Bory, Czech Republic (50660502442)” By Jan Helebrant – IMGP2021732 (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Sample of Quartzite” By Manishwiki15 – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Hasini A

Hasini is a graduate of Applied Science with a strong background in forestry, environmental science, chemistry, and management science. She is an amateur photographer with a keen interest in exploring the wonders of nature and science.

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