What is Quartzite? - Properties, Uses & Facts

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Rock Deformation: Causes and Types

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 What Is Quartzite?
  • 1:12 Formation of Quartzite
  • 2:31 Uses of Quartzite
  • 3:34 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Heather Pier

Heather has taught high school and college science courses, and has a master's degree in geography-climatology.

Learn about quartzite, a hard, light colored metamorphic rock that forms when quartz sandstones undergo metamorphism. It has many uses, including building materials and industrial chemical applications.

What Is Quartzite?

Quartzite is a rock with an identity crisis. Particularly when it is used as a building material, quartzite is often mistaken for marble or light-colored granite. The recent development of synthetic quartz countertops has added additional confusion to the situation. It's not easy being a rock with an identity problem, especially when technically speaking, it isn't that hard to classify.

By definition, quartzite is a light-colored, hard metamorphic rock, which forms from the metamorphism of quartz sandstone. When a rock - in this case quartz sandstone - is exposed to changing temperature and pressure conditions, it undergoes metamorphism and becomes a metamorphic rock. Any type of rock (igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary) can become a metamorphic rock if the conditions are right.

Because quartz sandstone can come in a variety of lighter colors depending on its mineral content, quartzite can also come in a range of colors. Its color variations have led it to be a popular countertop material, and its durability makes it an excellent choice as a building or construction material. Quartzite can be found all over the world, but particularly in currently or formerly tectonically active regions where the proper metamorphic conditions exist for its formation.

Formation of Quartzite

Because it is a metamorphic rock, quartzite forms under metamorphic conditions. It often forms along plate boundaries where the motion of Earth's tectonic plates creates the temperature and pressure conditions needed for metamorphism to occur. It is considered to be a non-foliated metamorphic rock, meaning it does not contain any clear layering of its minerals as foliated metamorphic rocks, like gneiss or schist, do. Instead, it is irregular in its shape and can appear to be almost blob-like at times. It does not form foliation because it does not undergo any shearing, or sideways stresses when it is undergoing metamorphism.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account