Travertine, with its gentle neutral colors. Soapstone, which is so silky that you can almost feel it with your eyes. Onyx, which combines deep black, rich brown, and ribbons of red and purple that cast suspense and intrigue wherever it’s displayed. 

We love all these types of natural stone for countertops – but two of them are our special favorites. These are quartzite and marble, which are just as suitable for countertops as they are creating complementary backsplashes. If you’re considering adding any natural stone features to your home or commercial property, let us tell you why quartzite and marble belong at the top of your list!


Quartzite: Beauty, Millions of Years in the Making

Quartzite forms when quartz-rich sandstone is heated and pressurized for eons. Gray, white, ivory, brown, beige, taupe, pink, yellow, blue, green, purple and orange – a wide spectrum of colors can manifest within quartzite while it forms, which is why it so perfectly complements any vision for interior design.

But quartzite isn’t just pleasing to the eye. The conditions of its creation also make quartzite outstandingly durable. It is safe to set 300 °F objects on a quartzite countertop, though it can briefly withstand flames as hot as 1,000 °F. Its superior resistance to ultraviolet light means the sun cannot fade quartzite, which is why it’s so popular for outdoor kitchens. And because quartzite forms under such intense pressure, its tightly bonded minerals leave very few pores where stains and bacteria can take hold.

Quartzite’s higher density does make countertop fabrication cost more, and also requires professional installation. It is also not impervious to staining, although it receives even greater protection once it is correctly sealed. But these are just minor inconveniences when you consider how lustrous and alluring any quartzite surface is bound to appear.


Marble: Ancient Stone Creates a Fresh Look

Marble forms when limestone, which is rich in calcium carbonate, is exposed to high temperature and pressures over the course of millions of years. The stone is white when it is pure, but natural impurities can give it blue, pink, green, yellow, gray and black accents. Like quartzite, marble can form with swirling patterns. No two pieces of marble can ever be identical!

People have created beautiful things out of marble since the dawn of time. That’s partly because it isn’t rare (the reason for its affordability relative to certain other types of natural stone). Although it is technically classified as a “soft stone,” marble can be exceptionally tough when it is prepared with care. Marble does contain pores, also it boasts intrinsic antimicrobial properties that deter bacterial growth. It’s also safe to set objects as hot as 300 °F on a marble surface!


Take care that marble is far from indestructible. Its porosity does mean that stains can easily take hold (especially in the case of acidic liquids, such as lemon juice and tomato sauce). The soft stone is prone to etching as well. These problems can be mitigated by cleaning with a mixture of 12 percent hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia, and buffing with #0000 steel wool, respectively. Sealing a marble countertop every six to 12 months will ensure it stays in its best condition for as long as possible.Gallery 77 offers every natural stone countertop, backsplash, and other surface you could name. If you’re remodeling a home or business in the greater Hudson, WI area, then we welcome you to contact us today. We’ll recommend the most sumptuous stone accent your budget will allow, and make its creation and installation a breeze!