Slate vs Quartzite Flooring

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Floors

Quartzite is one of the most frequently mislabeled materials in natural stone. Cut and polished it is often mistaken for granite or marble. Left in its natural cleft state, many people confuse it with slate. This metamorphic stone does share traits with both marble and slate, but it’s made primarily of quartz that has undergone a dramatic transformation through heat and pressure. Therefore, it’s actually more durable and resistant to scratching and stains than either marble or slate. If you’re considering a slate floor for your home, but are uncertain if the stone you have picked is slate or quartzite, take a look at a few general characteristics of both to figure it out.

Slate

Slate was originally made up of layers and layers of compressed mud. It naturally clefts or slices itself along these cleft lines, and if you hold a piece of ungauged slate on its edge, you can often see the lines or grooves that these layers create.

Slate can be found in many colors from gray to green to purple, and many slates are often made up of several different colors in one. It is not uncommon to find a piece of slate that is different colors on either side, in fact.

When slate spalls, or flakes, shortly after installation, it does so in thin layers. The stone therefore may be dusty or muddy after being washed and little pieces may break off. The stone itself is fairly smooth, however, despite the clefts and valleys in the surface.

Quartzite

Being made of compressed quartz, quartzite is a lot more sparkly than slate. In the light it will often glitter like it is made of diamond dust. To the touch, ungauged or natural cleft quartzite may feel rough to the touch, similar to the surface of an emery board.

Quartzite can also be very dramatic in its coloring, with two popular colors – Desert Gold and Moss Green – actually coming from two sides of the same quarry.

When quartzite spalls after installation, it will appear to be covered in fine grit. Some people may describe it as being sugary as the tiny granules break off. Like slate, this does stop after a few months, but it’s less likely to be dusty or muddy during this time.

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