Introduction to Quartzite
If you’ve ever walked on a beach and felt the sand under your toes, you’ve actually walked on the precursor to quartzite.
As sand builds up on the earth’s surface (be it under an ocean floor, riverbed, or other bodies of water), thick layers of sand form, and as the earth ages, and other layers of materials settle on top of those layers of sand, the sand becomes sandstone. As the earth continues to age, and that original layer of compacted sand (now sandstone), gets pushed down further and further beneath the earth’s crust, the immense pressure and heat beneath the crust transforms it into quartzite.
With its glossy appearance and swirling veins, quartzite is very often mistaken as marble, however it does have a different mineral makeup than marble. It is interesting to note that one cannot actually tell, visually, the difference between a slab of quartzite and marble. It requires readings with scientific instruments to determine the mineral composition.
Also, some may confuse quartzite with granite. Again, they have completely different mineral makeup. Additionally, quartzite is slightly harder than granite, coming in on the Moh’s hardness scale with a 7, whereas granite is around 6-7. For reference, 7 is harder than a steel knife, and twice as hard as glass.
Of course, like marble and granite, quartzite is also a popular choice for counter tops, and like its cousins it also enjoys relatively good heat-resistance and acid resistance, lasting for decades, provided you seal it.
Quartzite tends to be a lighter colored rock. With off-whites being the most common. However, depending on the minerals in the area where the sand originally deposited, the color can vary widely from dramatic reds to cool blues.
How can I use quartzite for landscaping?
Like other types of rocks (granites, rhyolites, etc.), quartzite is used in all the same applications.
No one pays a contractor to have a boring looking property. To create interest, and impact, boulders are a great way of breaking out of a flat two-dimensional design, giving your space a focal point.
Not everyone has the time or budget to get custom paver walkways built. If you’re short on time and cash, a simple way to build a walkway that still looks nice is to used crush rock, of which quartzite is a solid choice.
Whether you have a flower bed, plants, trees, or shrubs you probably are using mulch. While mulch is good for plants, it does require replenishment 1-2 times per year. A more sustainable option is to use crushed rock instead of mulch (like beautiful white quartzite), and then appropriate plants that are adapted to living with rock.
America uses up a lot of water when watering their lawns. According to the EPA: “9 billion gallons of water a day for their landscaping”. But it doesn’t stop there. How about how much gasoline is used to then cut those lawns? Now we’re really talking! Imagine the environmental impact on that amount of water, and gas consumption, and the subsequent carbon footprint from the emissions.
Well, one solution is to just say goodbye to the lawn (or at least a part of it), and replace it with native low-water plants, and crushed rock! Quartzite comes in a variety of colors which really lends itself to landscape design. A low-water landscape does not have to look boring! On the contrary they can look very clean, fresh and beautiful.
We’ve got your quartzite
We are your source for quartzite landscape rock. Check out our catalogs, we’re confident we have the size and color that you need, no matter what type of project you have!
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- Arizona: Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Casa Grande
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- Utah: Salt Lake City, Saint George