Drawn to the look of marble countertops but scared off by maintenance horror stories (how long do you really want to remember that bottle of great red wine?). Consider quartzite, a countertop stone that looks like marble but wears more like granite.
A very hard, metamorphic quartzite rock that originated as sandstone (not to be confused with quartz composite countertops, which are a manufactured product of about 90 percent quartz and 10 percent acrylic or epoxy binder). Pure quartzite is usually white to gray (see some of the different options below) with veining, but it also can carry shades of reds or blues. Sealing it well is key, but unlike granite, even well sealed it will develop a patina.
For more kitchen counter options, see 10 Easy Pieces: Remodelista's Kitchen Countertop Picks.
Above: Designer Jen Turner used a quartzite stone called Luce di Luna with striped veining for the countertop of her kitchen island. To see the entire remodel, go to The Architect Is In: Jen Turner's Grand DIY.
Above: We first learned of the material via designer and stylist Joe Williamson, a veteran of the remodeling world (see House Call: Favorite Renovation Blogs), who used quartzite Super White. "We recently renovated our kitchen and couldn't decide what to use for our countertops," he says. "Marble is the prettiest, but it scratches, chips, and stains easily. Granite is durable, but really only belongs in Jersey McMansions. Then we were introduced to Quartzite Super White, a naturally occurring stone. It looks like a heavily veined gray and white marble. We couldn't be happier with it." Williamson sourced his quartzite countertop material from the Stone Company of the Berkshires. White Princess quartzite slab. Image via Granite Gurus.
Still stuck on marble? Be sure to read How Michelle Learned to Live with a Marble Backsplash.