The similarity in the appearance of quartzite and sandstone is due to the fact that quartzite is essentially quartz-rich sandstone that has been exposed to extreme heat and pressure during tectonic and volcanic processes. The temperatures and compressive forces cause a fusing together of embedded quartz crystals creating a solid “natural laminate” for the remaining components of the stone. These environmental pressures produce in quartzite a material of extreme strength, density and durability. Here we’ll take a look at some of the many uses of this versatile and enduring natural stone in Dana Point landscaping, hardscaping and outdoor masonry.
Outdoor cooking surfaces
By no means limited to use outdoors, quartzite’s extreme resilience to heat, water damage, staining and chemical erosion makes it ideal for use in kitchens, particularly where it will be exposed regularly to harsh conditions. The density resulting from the fusing of the quartz grains makes quartzite countertops highly impervious to liquids, and even easier to clean than granite surfaces. Quartzite’s range of colors and wild variations of natural textures and patterns contained in its polished surface ensure outdoor kitchen countertops with some incredible character. Although white and light brown are common colors of quartzite, pinks, grays, reddish browns and even blues and greens are not unusual. Despite its durability, superficial etching in its polished surface can appear over time with heavy use.
Quartzite inherits its sand-like grain from sandstone, and while quartzite is more likely to look and feel glassy due to its fused quartz structure, it retains enough surface texture to be considered reliably non-slip for use around pools. Its resistance to acids and imperviousness to liquids stands it in good stead for use as a poolside paver. It’s also not likely to be affected by salt-staining for use alongside pools with salt water chlorinators.
With an unfinished, honed or polished surface, quartzite provides a patio surface in accordance with your tastes and offers a more durable alternative to sandstone, limestone, travertine or marble while maintaining a similar aesthetic. Irregular slabs also offer a similar looking alternative to flagstone for a rustic, natural mood for outdoor spaces. Quartzite’s properties of durability and impermeability once again play to its advantage in creating a space that is also easy to clean and practical, ideal for homes with pets that might wish to make use of the patio, as well as the occasional inevitable splash of red wine or spill while entertaining.
The beauty of quartzite can easily extend to all of a home’s hardscaping needs including steps, walkways, driveways and as veneer for retaining walls. It can also be used to create stacked slab or boulder style walls. Quartzite's density and structural strength is able to withstand the pressures of heavy foot traffic and moderate vehicular activity. These same characteristics have made quartzite a commonly used gravel for railway track ballast. Its range of coloring also means that the gravel can be an aesthetically pleasing option for home use, as filling for plant beds, gravel driveways, gravel paths or simple drainage.