When it comes to natural stone, quartzites are on point for residential designs. These exotic materials not only offer a stunning and sophisticated aesthetic that is truly unique to each individual design, but they also provide strength, durability and low maintenance, which is often necessary in active households.

Contemporary Stone & Tile Design (CSTD) had the opportunity to discuss the benefits and trends of quartzite with two industry professionals from leading stone suppliers. Below is the conversation we had with Sam Kim, senior vice president, product at MSI, and Roy Viana, director natural stone & slab for Dal-Tile Corp.

CSTD: What would you say are some benefits of using quartzite in a design?

SK: Quartzite offers worry-free value proposition, which is a highly coveted feature for both homeowners and pros alike. Virtually maintenance free, and virtually callback free. Each slab of quartzite is also unique – like a fingerprint -- what you purchase is unique to you, and there’s no two that are alike. Quartzite also offers today’s most sought-after warm and off-white hues that are inimitable -- offering dimensional color that can’t be replicated in any engineered product. Quartzite is truly a gift of nature, made affordable and accessible by today’s advanced quarrying technology and supply chain efficiencies of companies like MSI.

RV: Quartzite is a very on-trend product in stone. Natural quartzites feature the luxurious look and feel of marble, with all of the benefits of greater durability and hardness. For those seeking softer looks with more natural movements, natural quartzite is a good fit. Using natural quartzite also provides customers with a wide range of colors, from softer lighter colors to dramatic dark marble looks featuring movement.

Regarding countertops, natural quartzite continues to be the fastest growing category in natural stone for countertops.

CSTD: Are there any considerations that you point out to your customers in regards to maintaining quartzite?

SK: Quartzite is worry proof. It requires virtually no maintenance, like quartz. And unlike quartz, it can be used outdoors; in reality, and without the asterisks and caveats of quartz that claim to be usable outdoors. It is heat proof, which means you can place hot pans on it -- straight from the stove or the oven -- and it will be perfectly fine. Quartzite is really the ultimate worry-proof surface -- one of the best and the most durable countertop surfacing products in the industry.

RV: As with any natural stone product, we recommend proper stone sealing by a professional installer, prior to installation.

CSTD: What quartzite varieties seem most popular now?

SK: Taj Mahal, Zermat, White Macaubas, Florida Wave and Cristallo are some of the best-selling quartzites on trend.

RV: The most popular quartzite options right now are white quartzites with marble-like waves or linear movement.

CSTD: For which applications do you see quartzite used frequently?

SK: Countertops, walls and in bespoke high-end applications, as well as flooring.

RV: Kitchen countertops primarily.