The high demand for natural stone countertops is no surprise to interior designers. It’s undeniable beauty radiates through a well designed space and typically steals the show. Even though they require a periodic maintenance regimen, homeowners tend to gravitate towards the large natural stone slabs displayed row after row in granite yards. As the buyers study the patterns, colors, and overall feeling each slab produces within their consciousness it is a clear and consistent winner when comparing to the emotional response of man made material.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some very beautiful quartz slabs and they have graced many of my most prized projects! However, today we will feature one of the most beautiful of all natural stone countertop materials – Quartzite.

To help me bring to light all things Quartzite I have recruited Jeremy Wilson, salesperson and countertop extraordinaire with prominent Asheville based fabricator, Mountain Marble. For years Jeremy has been my number one go to guy when it comes to selecting countertops for custom home builds and renovation projects. His extensive product knowledge, experience, and impeccable client relations skills make the process easy and enjoyable. Jeremy has graciously answered a few questions to help introduce himself and Quartzite to our readers.

Q: Which product would you like to feature in our blog, and what sets it apart from the other products you sell?

A: Quartzite. It is a natural material that starts as a quartz-rich sandstone which transforms into a solid. Quartzite is known for its incredible hardness, great durability, resistance to extreme temperatures, and immense beauty. While some quartzites are very dense and resistant to water absorption, others can be somewhat porous. Due to it’s incredibly high abrasion resistance it can be difficult to quarry and fabricate which affects availability, fabrication lead time, and overall cost.

Most quartzite has naturally occurring cracks and fissures which are common in natural stone, and do not indicate a defect in the material. Some look very similar to marble with distinctive and elegant vein patterns. However, because they do not contain calcite they do not perform as a marble would. Clients must be aware that sometimes hard marbles are advertised as quartzites which can be misleading. Quartzites are not as prone to etching as marble so buyers should know what they are purchasing beforehand. Mountain Marble runs specific acid and scratch testing on anything labeled as a quartzite prior to selling so our clients know that they are getting a true quartzite material.

Some quartzites can also have quite a palette of colors starting with simple white and gray tones and then dramatically shifting into a multitude of brilliant and dynamic colors, giving each stone a very distinctive, rich look. Quartzite is being more commonly used in contemporary design as clients, designers, and architects love its elegant look.

Though they perform similarly quartzite generally costs more than granite, running anywhere from $140.00 – $500.00 per square foot depending on stone selection, size of the project, and scope of work. They can also come with a polished, honed, or leathered finish to compliment the look of the project.

Q: How did you get involved with Mountain Marble?

A: I have now been with Mountain Marble for six years starting in March 2015. I was a kitchen designer for a large cabinetry and appliance store years ago when Mountain Marble first opened. This was at a time when stone was not the default countertop material for most projects. Mountain Marble would fabricate and install stone for us when a stone project would come along, so I got to know the owner Hank Strauss through that connection. As years passed I stayed somewhat in the kitchen and/or bath industry so my name was always around in certain circles. In 2015, through a mutual friend, Hank discovered I was looking for something new and I discovered he was looking for someone new, so our paths crossed again. After two attempts to come to work at Mountain Marble, we finally came to an agreement on the third try and here I am. I must say that I have enjoyed my time with Mountain Marble as well as the relationships I have built here, and look forward to staying for many years to come.

Q: Who do you look up to when it comes to the products you sell? Has there been a mentor encouraging your professional growth?

A: Having been an employee, manager, and a business owner, many different individuals have influenced me over the years. When I was a kitchen designer my mentor was Lane Pressley who later became my business partner and still remains one of my best friends. When it comes to influences in the business world, my former employer Rex Ballard, my current employer Hank Strauss, and several other successful business people have taught me a tremendous amount about how to build and maintain client relationships, especially at the higher level to which I am now more accustomed.

Overall I must say that the greatest influence in my life has got to be my mother. After the death of my father when I was only four years old she raised me as a single mother for most of my formative years. She’s the toughest woman I know and it was her, through her example, that taught me a work ethic. There have been many times I have seen her outlast and outwork bigger, younger people without complaint. Then and now she certainly would not expect any less from me, and I honestly don’t know where I would be today had it not been for that.

No matter what you lean towards aesthetically our talented builder team can
help make your dream home a reality. There is no substitute for the experience,
passion, and craftsmanship we bring to each and every project with the end
goal of quality, longevity, and valued relationships.

Article Written by Jennifer Scott

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