Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. Made from engineered stone, quartz counters are praised for their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. But one question that often comes up is: can you place hot pots and pans directly on quartz counters? Let’s take a closer look at how quartz holds up to heat.
An Introduction to Quartz Countertops
Before we dive into the heat resistance of quartz, let’s briefly overview what these counters are made of. Quartz counters are composed of ground natural quartz crystals combined with plastic resins and pigments. The exact ratio can vary between brands, but high quality quartz slabs typically contain over 90% ground quartz aggregates.
Some key advantages that make quartz a top choice for counters include:
- Extremely durable – Quartz counters are harder and more scratch resistant than granite. They hold up well to heavy usage in busy kitchens.
- Low maintenance – Unlike marble or granite, quartz counters do not need regular sealing. They resist stains and are easy to clean.
- Integral color and pattern – Color and patterns run throughout thick quartz slabs, making repairs and seams near invisible.
- Heat resistance – Within certain limits, quartz can withstand exposure to heat.
Understanding quartz’s thermal properties is key when considering pots and pans.
Hot Pans and Quartz Countertops
Now let’s get to the central question: is it safe to put hot pots and pans on quartz counters?
The short answer is yes, you can place hot pots, pans, and bakeware directly on quartz. With proper care, quartz offers reasonably good thermal resistance.
However, there are caveats. While quartz can handle some heat exposure, direct contact with extremely hot cookware could potentially damage the surface over time. Following a few best practices will help ensure your quartz counters endure:
Use Trivets and Hot Pads
- Using trivets or hot pads is always recommended when placing hot pots and pans on any counter.
- Trivets raise cookware off the counter to allow airflow and dissipate heat.
- This prevents prolonged direct contact against the quartz that could cause cracking or discoloration over time.
- Trivets come in styles like wire racks, cork pads, or ceramic discs that blend in nicely with your decor.
Allow Cookware to Cool Somewhat Before Placing on Quartz
- Allow pots, pans, and baking sheets to cool down somewhat first before setting them on quartz.
- While quartz can handle brief contact with extremely hot pots fresh from the oven or stove, it’s best not to tempt fate.
- Letting items cool for a few minutes first reduces risks of gradual heat damage.
- Make it a habit to set hot cookware aside on the stove or trivets for a bit before moving to the quartz counter.
Avoid Sustained High Heat Exposure
- Don’t leave very hot cookware sitting on quartz for extended periods of time.
- Leaving simmering pots or hot baking pans sitting directly on quartz for prolonged periods can potentially stress the material.
- If you need to keep food warm for serving, use a trivet underneath. Never use quartz near high heat appliances like griddles.
- High heat insulation pads designed for quartz counters can also help shield from sustained heat exposure.
Prevent Thermal Shock
- Avoid subjecting quartz counters to sudden and extreme temperature changes.
- Going from very hot to cold too quickly can stress and fracture quartz, which is known as “thermal shock”.
- Don’t place icy glasses or refrigerated foods directly on the counter beside a hot pan.
- Similarly, running cold water over a hot quartz surface can cause issues over time. Let hot cookware come to room temp first.
With routine care and caution regarding heat, quartz counters hold up well in kitchens. But it’s smart to take precautions and minimize direct high heat exposure when possible.
Typical Heat Resistance of Quartz
To better understand quartz’s durability, it helps to know some approximate heat tolerance thresholds. However, keep in mind that thresholds can vary slightly by quartz brand and color patterns.
Ambient Everyday Heat
- Quartz counters can handle normal everyday temperatures in kitchens easily.
- Contact with warm dishes, cups, mild simmering pots, etc. poses no problem for quartz surfaces.
Brief Contact With Hot Cookware
- Temperatures up to about 150°F – 200°F are generally fine for quick contact.
- Placing piping hot cookware briefly on quartz straight from the oven or burner won’t immediately damage the material.
- But it’s ideal to let extremely hot items cool somewhat first.
Prolonged Direct Heat Exposure
- Sustained contact with temperatures over 150°F can risk gradual damage.
- Leaving a hot pan sitting on quartz for an extended time allows heat to penetrate deeper into the material.
- Using trivets and not leaving cookware longer than necessary is advised.
Thermal Shock Threshold
- Pouring near-boiling water (above 180°F) directly on quartz can cause cracks or fissures over time.
- Thermal shock damage can accumulate gradually and not be immediately visible. It’s best avoided through care.
High Heat Threshold
- Exposing quartz to temperatures over 300°F is not recommended.
- This can happen from very hot cookware direct from a stove burner or appliance.
- Leaving baking sheets fresh from a 500°F oven for example could scorch.
Being mindful to minimize direct high heat exposure will keep quartz counters in great shape for years of cooking.
Best Practices for Using Hot Cookware on Quartz
Implementing some simple practices for using hot cookware on quartz counters makes it easy to protect their beauty:
- Always use trivets or hot pads under pots, pans, and baking sheets.
- Allow freshly cooked food and baking dishes to cool down somewhat before setting on quartz.
- Don’t leave simmering pots or hot bakeware sitting directly on quartz for prolonged periods.
- When cooking, set hot items on stove burners, racks, or trivets between use to avoid extended quartz contact.
- Prevent sudden temperature changes like pouring ice water over quartz or placing frozen foods down beside hot pans.
- Regularly inspect quartz surfaces after cooking for any faint cracks or discoloring, and immediately discontinue use of suspect areas.
- Consider using a removable heat shield for extra protection behind cooktops and ranges.
With routine care, quartz cooktops stand up admirably to typical kitchen use. But implementing heat precautions will help ensure your investment stays gorgeous for decades.
Quartz Countertop Heat Damage
Though quartz’s resilience is excellent for a counter material, it can become damaged if overexposed to heat sources. Here are some examples of heat damage to look out for:
- Sustained high heat exposure from cookware can cause faint discolored marks on quartz surfaces.
- Light colored quartz in particular can develop permanent faint yellowing if repeatedly stressed.
- Using trivets religiously can help prevent discoloration by minimizing direct heat contact.
Surface Cracks and Pitting
- Tiny surface cracks and pits can emerge on quartz if exposed to excessively hot cookware regularly.
- Cracks develop from the quartz expanding and contracting, especially if undergoing rapid temperature changes.
- Pitting can occur from prolonged contact with overheated pans degrading the finish.
- In severe cases, intense heat stress can cause deep cracks, fractures, and chunks breaking loose.
- Damage often accumulates gradually and becomes visible over time, rather than suddenly.
- Thermal shock from pouring boiling water can crack quartz, as can hot appliances.
Melting and Bubbling
- If subjected to extremely high direct heat like the open flame of a gas stove, quartz can melt and deform.
- This typically only occurs from temperatures exceeding 500°F – far hotter than typical cooking.
- But it serves as an example of the intense heat quartz counters can withstand before totally failing.
With reasonable care and using trivets, quartz stands up well to routine cooking demands. But gradually accumulative damage is possible if exposed to frequent, sustained high heat.
Is Heat Damage Covered By Warranty?
Many homeowners have questions regarding heat damage and warranty coverage for quartz counters. Here are some key considerations:
- Manufacturer defects unrelated to heat damage are covered under standard quartz warranties (usually 10-15 years).
- Damage from excessive sustained heat is generally considered owner responsibility, and may void aspects of the warranty.
- However, minor heat damage often develops slowly, meaning it likely falls under warranty period.
- Always check your specific warranty information, as policies differ between quartz brands.
- Save receipts and documentation of your counters in case heat issues arise. Pictures of damage help too.
- Be very cautious about cooktop usage, as melting and gas stove damage is never covered by quartz warranties.
Quartz is more heat resilient than many other counter materials. But being vigilant with trivet usage and avoiding excessive heat exposure is wise to maintain warranty coverage.
Is Quartz More Heat Resistant Than Granite?
Granite and quartz are two of today’s most popular countertop materials, and many homeowners compare their heat resistance. Here is how they stack up:
- Quartz can better withstand brief contact with extremely hot pans due to its engineered composition.
- Granite is more prone to cracking or chipping when hot pans are placed directly on its surface.
- However, quartz can show gradual damage like discoloration or loss of shine if exposed to sustained high heat.
- Granite maintains its appearance well over time, even with heavy usage.
- For prolonged contact with very hot cookware, granite is often the more heat resilient choice.
- But with the use of trivets, quartz performs quite well. Both materials require care around extreme heat.
Overall quartz may have a slight edge regarding brief heat exposure. But granite resists prolonged high heat contact better over many years of use. Using prudent trivet practices levels the playing field between these popular counters.
Options for Improving Quartz Heat Resistance
For those wanting maximum resilience around stovetops, a few options exist for reinforcing quartz counters:
- Heat shield inserts – Special heat-reflective pads install behind or beneath quartz around cooking surfaces. This provides an extra thermal barrier.
- Metal heat diffuser plates – These plates attach to the underside of overhang quartz edges near stoves to absorb and dissipate heat. Helpful for floating countertop designs.
- Removable trivet cutouts – Some quartz installers can cut out sections to insert removable trivets flushed with the counter when needed for hot pans.
- Localized sealers – Special mineral oil-based sealers applied just to areas around stoves can help boost heat protection. They penetrate pores to add thermal stability.
- Routinely checking for damage – Periodically inspecting quartz near stoves allows catching any minor damage before it worsens. Immediately stop using damaged sections.
With protective measures, quartz stands up admirably to heavy real-world kitchen use. But cautious cooks may appreciate extra insurance reinforcing regions near stoves.
FAQ About Hot Cookware on Quartz Counters
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about placing hot pots and pans on quartz:
Can quartz counters withstand heat from pots and pans?
Yes, with care quartz can handle typical heat exposure from cooking. Always use trivets and avoid leaving very hot pans sitting directly on the quartz for prolonged periods to prevent damage.
What temperature can quartz counters withstand?
Up to about 200°F for short durations is generally fine, while temperatures over 300°F or sustained exposure above 150°F can risk damage. Always allow hot cookware to cool somewhat before setting on quartz.
Can you put a hot skillet on a quartz countertop?
It’s best to let hot skillets, griddles, and pans cool down on the stove or a trivet before placing on quartz. The initial contact won’t immediately damage the quartz, but letting it cool first avoids gradually damaging the surface over time.
Can quartz counters withstand heat from an oven or stove?
Direct high heat exposure from appliances like stoves and ovens should be avoided. Use trivets for hot cookware, and consider extra heat protection behind cooktops. Melting damage from gas stoves is not covered under warranty.
Do you need to use trivets on quartz countertops?
Using trivets or hot pads is highly recommended, especially when placing items that are extremely hot straight from ovens or burners. Trivets allow airflow and prevent prolonged direct contact that could eventually damage quartz.
What happens if you put a hot pan on quartz?
Setting a hot pan briefly on quartz won’t immediately damage the material. However, doing so repeatedly can cause gradual issues like discoloration, loss of shine, and surface cracks or pits as the heat penetrates the finish. Using trivets prevents this.
The Bottom Line
Quartz counters are remarkably resilient to routine kitchen heat when proper care is taken. Placing hot pots or briefly removing items from the oven should not harm quartz surfaces as long as trivets are used. However, prolonged direct high heat exposure can damage quartz over time. Allowing cookware to cool somewhat first and avoiding leaving simmering pots directly on quartz for extended periods will keep your counters pristine. With simple precautions, quartz will withstand everything a busy kitchen can dish out.
- Quartz counters can withstand moderate heat from cookware with proper care, but excessive sustained heat can cause damage over time.
- Always use trivets or pads under hot pans, and avoid leaving them sitting on quartz for prolonged periods.
- Letting cookware cool down a bit first before placing on quartz is wise to prevent gradual damage from extreme temperatures.
- Take care to prevent thermal shock by pouring cold liquids on hot quartz or drastic temperature swings.
- Routinely check quartz surfaces near stoves for any discoloration, cracks or pitting, and stop using damaged areas immediately.
- Adding extra heat protection behind cooktops like heat shields is a good investment for cautious cooks.
- With reasonable precautions quartz performs well, but granite may be better for sustained high heat tolerance over many years.
- Protect your investment by implementing heat safety practices, and enjoy the durability and beauty of quartz counters for decades to come!