Taj Mahal, like other quartzites, is priced not so much by quality or country of origin as much as its availability.
Quartzite is an increasing popular choice among homeowners and interior designers due to its sophisticated look, natural strength and relatively low maintenance. It’s commonly found in leathered, hone and polished finish, which makes it ideal for both contemporary luxury spaces and casual chic kitchens and bathrooms.
Quartzite is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock. It is created when quartz sandstone is subjected to extreme heat and pressure caused by tectonic plate compression. The result is a network of interlocking quartz grains of incredible strength.
Although, the crystalline sparkle and strength of this natural stone make it a great countertop material for kitchens and bathrooms, it does have its drawbacks.
While strong and durable, quartzite is not indestructible—Sealing is recommended and should be carried out by the installer when the quartzite is first installed, and should be re-applied periodically after that, approximately once or twice per year.
According to the Marble Institute of America some quartzite etches because in slab preparation, resins are infused into the slab to enhance slab stability and make it shine. But, when acidic liquids – wine, tomatoes, citrus, etc. – aren’t wiped up immediately, you’re left with a ghosted etch mark. Etching can also occur when cleaners that contain hydrofluoric acid are used. The resins are used before it gets to the distributor/fabricator so it’s not a “local” treatment.
If these drawbacks aren’t enough to sway you from quartzite, it’s luxury price tag may be a budget buster. Many of the lighter and more transparent slabs start around $110 a square foot and go up from there. (Add in installation costs and you could easily reach $220 a square foot.) Fortunately, there are some alternatives that can give you the look you desire with a price more comparable to granite and engineered quartz.
Taj Mahal Quartzite, the crown jewel of natural stone, can be limited in its uses. Check out some great alternatives.
Two Brazilian stones I have worked with – Perla Venata and Taj Mahal – inspire the creamy porcelain from M S International, Inc. (MSI) named Taja Perla. This glazed porcelain slab comes in jumbo sizing in both polished and matte finishes. The 12mm thickness is ideal for countertops.
Neolith introduced Taj Mahal to their sintered stone lineup in 2017. With clear flakes to imitate the natural crystallization and subtle brown and grey veins , this product flawlessly captures the natural stone.
Neolith is launching a new collection of sintered stone surfaces—the Six-S Collection. The collection is guided by the brand’s core principles it is named after: sustainable, solidary, sanitary, strong, stylish, and sensory.
One of the patterns currently available is Himalaya Crystal. Here, bold veining sublimely contrasts with subtle spontaneity and a slight translucency makes this ideal for any sophisticated project. The décor polished finish embellishes its intense color, while the ultrasoft finish evokes a soft, chamois-like texture. It’s available in available in 6mm, 12mm and 20mm thicknesses and 126-by-64-inch and 126-by-60-inch formats.
When covering a large surface area, the variation of pattern found in natural stone is very pleasing to the eye. Fortunately for larger projects there is a Taj Mahal alternative available in dry-pressed porcelain slabs from AVA Ceramica. This Taj Mahal collection has not two or four patterns but eleven pattern options. Choose from multiple sizing options as well as 6mm and 12mm thicknesses with finishes for walls, countertops or flooring applications.
Big Slabs by Nuovocorso is a brand specialized in the production of porcelain stoneware in large book-matched slabs. Using large-scale, book-matched slabs has been very popular the last couple of years for designers to create luxurious spa-like bathrooms in residential homes. Sizes include 6.5mm, 12mm and 2cm.
Thin and sturdy, versatile and unique in their beauty, these four Taj Mahal alternatives are ideal for projects that have special needs such as hygiene requirements, low maintenance or heat and chemical resistance. With multiple thickness available, adding this crown jewel to your next project might be easier than you think. Let your imagination run wild.
Half the battle to a beautiful kitchen is the fabrication. If you want to discuss the options for your kitchen project, KSN is here to help.