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Overview of Muscovita

Basic Muscovita Quartzite Information

No matter how many other materials you have worked with, it is still a good idea to learn a bit about Muscovita Quartzite. Homeowners are drawn to natural stone surfaces because of the material's look. Quartzite surfaces have some basic guidelines to keep in mind if you are working with them. And if you are in a position to inform the home owner about Muscovita Quartzite care and maintenance, this info might be good to keep in mind. So let's get into the basic Muscovita Quartzite information.

Muscovita Quartzite Composition

One of the first things to know about Muscovita Quartzite is its make up. The composition of a stone impacts the applications in which it can be used. So here we will look at what Quartzite is made of and a bit about its traits.

Like other Quartzite, Muscovita is composed of specific minerals and substances. Natural stone forms by means of processes that alter the material that is in the the stone. Muscovita Quartzite is a metamorphic rock that, like all Quartzite is nearly all quartz. This is because Quartzite is the product sandstone having been transformed into a new material by means of intense pressure and heat.

Names of Quartzite often times contain a color name or perhaps a geographical area. This naming convention distinguishes one Quartzite from the others, even if they look similar. As Quartzite forms, events occur that cause the mineral content to vary. It is these variations that are responsible for the differences in color, grain, and texture. The definition that Wikipedia gives for Quartzite is:

Quartzite is a hard, non-foliated metamorphic rock which was originally pure quartz sandstone. Sandstone is converted into quartzite through heating and pressure usually related to tectonic compression within orogenic belts. Pure quartzite is usually white to grey, though quartzites often occur in various shades of pink and red due to varying amounts of iron oxide (Fe2O3). Other colors, such as yellow, green, blue and orange, are due to other minerals.

As the above quote makes clear, Quartzite forms in a variety of colors that come from the mineral content that makes up a specific stone. So what are the properties of Muscovita Quartzite? Let's look at some of them now.

Properties of Muscovita Quartzite

Like all natural stone, Muscovita Quartzite will have variations in density, porosity, and texture from one stone to the next. However, like all Quartzite, Muscovita is versatile and is used for an array of applications. So, if you think of "versatility" as a property, this stone has that one. But it also has other properties as well.

Hardness is the second property of Quartzite we will consider. Muscovita Quartzite is hard; registering at 7 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. The scale ranges from 1-10, so that puts it on the hard end of the scale. This means that a countertop made from Muscovita Quartzite will be scratch resistant and hold up well to normal household use.

Muscovita Quartzite Fabrication Info

Fabricating Quartzite makes use of some of the same basic techniques used with other natural stone and man made materials. These techniques include cutting and shaping the material along with reinforcing the countertop to prevent cracking and/or breaking.

Cutting & Shaping Quartzite

A Muscovita Quartzite countertop cannot be made without the task of cutting it. Doing this requires the use of a diamond blade designed for cutting very hard materials. blades for cutting Muscovita Quartzite are designed specifically for cutting hard materials like Quartzite. The hardness of the material also means that using a blade for hand cutting using an angle grinder is important. Turbo blades for cutting Quartzite are available and although blades designed for general use might work in some cases, having a blade designed for the material you are cutting is a key to getting the best results.

When you think of "shaping" a countertop drilling may not come to mind right away. Yet, core drilling is an important aspect of making a slab into a countertop. Cutting the holes for the faucet and soap dispenser (if one is being installed) is quick work if the proper bit is used with an ample tool. This is where core bits for cutting Muscovita Quartzite come in. Each bit will perform at varying degrees, but having one designed for the material is important.

Quartzite Reinforcement Techniques

Another aspect of fabricating Quartzite, including Muscovita, is reinforcement. When we say "reinforce" Quartzite, we are talking about something different from using one of the various Quartzite support braces available. Rather, we are talking about various techniques that are recommended by the Marble Institute of America for strengthening natural stone countertops. Let's consider these four briefly. (If you would like more info on these reinforcement techniques, check out How to Reinforce Stone Countertops. )

  1. Fiberglass Mesh - applying fiberglass mesh backing to the stone for support.
  2. Splines - using a "spline key" such as a large washer to reinforce the stone on a seam.
  3. Linear Blocks - adding a linear block of stone (matching or non-matching) to the underneath part of the stone to support the seam.
  4. Rodding - cutting a slot in the underside of the stone slab where you want to reinforce it and placing a strip of steel or fiber rodding in the slot and completely covering the rodding with epoxy.

Using one or more of the reinforcement techniques mentioned above along with countertop support hardware makes Muscovita Quartzite surfaces as strong as needed.

Muscovita Quartzite Care & Maintenance

When it comes to caring for Muscovita Quartzite, there are a few ways to keep the countertop looking its best and performing well. Sealer, daily cleaning, and stain removal are all important aspects of maintaining natural stone including Muscovita Quartzite.

Periodic Sealing of Quartzite

All natural stone has pores that allow liquids to penetrate the pores. These liquids can react with the substances in the stone or deliver a color that alters the appearance of the material. For keeping oil and water based liquids out of the stone, a natural stone sealer should be applied periodically. Applying stone sealer adds a barrier to the stone that increases the time it takes liquids to enter the pores. This gives the owner of the surface time to clean up any potentially stain-causing spills.

Quartzite Daily Cleaning

Another aspect of Muscovita Quartzite maintenance is the daily cleaning. It may be tempting for the owner of the stone to just use whatever household cleaner is handy. However, cleaners that are not formulated with the proper pH level will destroy the seal on the countertop. This would nullify any sealer treatments added to the Muscovita Quartzite surface.

Removing Quartzite Stains

On occasion, a Muscovita Quartzite surface might get a stain even if you have sealed the stone and cleaned it with the appropriate cleaner as mentioned above. In these cases, there are poultices and other stain remover products one can use to remove stains from a Muscovita Quartzite countertop.

In the end, working with Muscovita Quartzite surfaces is a matter of being familiar with not only the material itself, but also how to fabricate it, reinforcing it if necessary, and knowing which tools are most effective for working with it, and also how to care for and maintain the surface so that it will prove to be a functional and strong surface for the owner in the end.

* A thirsty quartzite stone is one that quickly absorbs water resting on its surface. Simply put a tablespoon of water on the surface of the stone. The faster the water is absorbed, the "thirstier" the stone is.
Image provided by James St. John under the Creative Commons 2.0 License.
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