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Materials - Natural Quartzite

Quartzite, not to be confused with the mineral quartz, is a hard, metamorphic rock which was originally sandstone. Sandstone is converted into quartzite through heating and pressure usually related to tectonic compression within orogenic belts. Pure quartzite is usually white to grey. Quartzites often occur in various shades of pink and red due to varying amounts of iron oxide. Other colors are commonly due to impurities of minor amounts of other minerals. Natural quartzite should not be confused with the artificial ‘quartzite’ tiles now produced.

In true metamorphic quartzite, also called meta-quartzite, the individual quartz grains have recrystallized along with the former cementing material to form an interlocking mosaic of quartz crystals. Minor amounts of former cementing materials, iron oxide, carbonate and clay, are often recrystallized and have migrated under the pressure to form streaks and lenses within the quartzite. Virtually all original textures and structure have usually been erased by the metamorphism.

Orthoquartzite is very pure quartz sandstone composed of usually well rounded quartz grains cemented by silica. Orthoquartzite is often 99% SiO2 with only very minor amounts of iron oxide and trace resistant minerals such as zircon, rutile and magnetite. Although few fossils are normally present the original texture and sedimentary structures are preserved.

Composed predominately of crystalline quartz, with a recrystallized rather than cemented texture, quartzite is a very hard and durable stone type that is very resistant to chemical weathering.

Typically, quartz will have a high abrasion resistance that would be ideally suited to heavily trafficked flooring and external paving applications.

We include here a palette of some of our most popular materials. This display is not exhaustive as there are many others to choose from that are available to us from worldwide resources.