Quartz and quartzite are two gorgeous options for your home. But they are not the same material. They offer differences in looks, durability, care and price that you should know about before making your selection.

Quartzite is a natural stone that occurs in metamorphic rock that starts out as sandstone and evolves over time under heat and pressure. It is quarried, then cut into slabs and used for applications such as countertops, flooring, wall covering, vanity tops and stair steps.

Quartz is a man-made material created by combining crushed stone with color and resin to make an engineered slab.

One of the main benefits of quartzite is that many of the varieties have a similar look to marble, but require much less maintenance. It can be a good option for consumers who want the look of marble with greater durability.

Its sophisticated good looks combine with crystalline sparkle, durability, earth-toned colors and stylish appearance to make it a top trend for applications from kitchen countertops to feature walls.

Quartzite forms in a range of colors. Natural, earth-toned hues are the most commonly seen. The neutral tones of white, gray and beige are popular for the current trend toward lighter surfaces.

Quartzite can also be found in blues, green, pink and red hues.

Quartz, because pigment can be added, is available in a much wider range of colors. The way the countertop material is formulated gives it the appearance of natural stone such as granite or marble.

The bottom line in appearance is that if you want natural stone, quartzite is your choice. If you’d like a more diverse selection of colors and patterns to consider, you’ll find it in quartz.

A professional stone fabricator can tell you which stone is your best choice based on the application.

Andrea Antunes McGilton is project manager at Distinctive Granite and Marble, with showrooms in Okatie; Lady’s Island; Pooler, Ga., and on Hilton Head Island.