If you’ve been involved in a kitchen renovation recently, whether that be as a professional or your own home, or even if you just love décor magazines, you’ll be familiar with the very popular, man-made worktop surface quartz – a hard stone made up of the natural mineral quartz, various resins and pigments. But what you may not realise is rather than having the man-made stuff, you could have the real deal – quartzite.

Quartzite is a metamorphic rock which started out as a sandstone with a high concentration of pure quartz. When this quartz rich sandstone is subjected to heat and pressure they chemically metamorphose into a much harder and durable material. The individual quartz grains recrystallize and form an interlocking mosaic of quartz crystals.

Quartzite is an extremely durable stone. In the Mohs test of material hardness quartzite scores an 8/10, whereas granite scores 7. You can therefore be pretty confident that your quartzite kitchen worktop will be heat, stain and scratch resistant. It’s also unlikely to be affected by acid rich foods and cleaning products, unlike marble.

At its purest, quartzite is white but when other minerals are found in it, beautiful, colours and patterns are formed, particularly greys, greens, pinks and reds. The pictures to the right and below are of a kitchen worktop we fitted in Walter's Ash, near High Wycombe, in a grey/green quartzite called Aurora Fantasy.

With all stone kitchen worktops, to ensure it keeps its sparkle its best practice to seal them yearly with a simple home sealer. We recommend this one from Dry Treat.

One of our suppliers, The Marble and Granite Centre, stock some great quality, very striking quartzite slabs. You can visit them in Rickmansworth, pick your slab and they’ll deliver it to our factory where we’ll create your worktop, ready to be fitted 7 days later. Visit their website here to have a look at their stock.