Quartzite stone is an extremely compact, hard, granular rock consisting essentially of quartz. It often occurs as silicified sandstone, as in sarsen stones.
The interlocking crystalline structure of quartzite makes it a hard, tough, durable rock. It is so tough that it breaks through the quartz grains rather than breaking along the boundaries between them. This is a characteristic that separates true quartzite from sandstone.
Quartzite has a diversity of uses in construction, manufacturing, architecture, and decorative arts. Although its properties are superior to many currently used materials, its consumption has always been low for various reasons. The uses of quartzite and some reasons that it is avoided are summarized below.
In architecture, marble and granite have been the favorite materials for thousands of years. Quartzite, with a Mohs harness of seven along with greater toughness, is superior to both in many uses. It stands up better to abrasion in stair treads, floor tiles, and countertops. It is more resistant to most chemicals and environmental conditions. It is available in a range of neutral colors that many people prefer. The use of quartzite in these uses is growing slowly as more people learn about it.