What is Quartzite?
Quartzite is a decorative stone. It may cover walls, roofing tiles, flooring, and stair steps. Its use for countertops in kitchens is expanding rapidly. It is harder and more resistant to stains than granite.
Occurrences In the United States, formations of quartzite can be found in some parts of:
- eastern South Dakota
- Central Texas
- southwest Minnesota
- Devil’s Lake State Park in the Baraboo Hills in Wisconsin
- near Salt Lake City, Utah
- in the Appalachians and other mountain regions
Quartzite is also found in the Morenci Copper Mine in Arizona. The town of Quartzsite in western Arizona derives its name from the quartzites in the nearby mountains in both Arizona and Southeastern California. A glassy vitreous quartzite has been described from the Belt Supergroup in the Coeur d’Alene district of northern Idaho. (credit Wikipedia)
When sandstone is cemented to quartzite, the individual quartz grains recrystallize along with the former cementing material to form an interlocking mosaic of quartz crystals. Most or all of the original texture and sedimentary structures of the sandstone are erased by the metamorphism.