Quartz countertops are a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, there are concerns about whether quartz countertops can withstand damage from heat. Here is a detailed look at whether quartz countertops can be damaged by heat sources in the kitchen and home.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, also known as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz content gives the material its strength and hardness, while the resins bind it together.
Some key properties of quartz:
- Extremely hard and durable surface that resists scratches
- Non-porous so resists staining
- Available in a wide range of colors and patterns
- Does not require regular sealing like natural stone
- Resists moisture and most household chemicals
- Heat resistant but can be damaged by extreme heat
Can Quartz Withstand Heat From Common Kitchen Appliances?
Quartz countertops are designed to be resistant to moderate heat. Here is how they fare with common kitchen heat sources:
Hot Pots and Pans
Quartz can withstand exposure to normal cooking heats. Direct contact with hot pots and pans from the stove or oven is not a problem as long as they aren’t excessively hot.
Brief contact with pans straight from the oven or stove with temperatures up to 150°C or 300°F will not damage quartz. The key is to prevent prolonged direct heat exposure. Always use trivets or hot pads when setting hot cookware on quartz.
Warming Drawers and Trays
The low heat from warming drawers and trays will not harm quartz counters. Quartz can easily handle temperatures up to 80°C or 175°F.
Toasters and Coffee Makers
Small kitchen appliances like toasters, coffee makers and electric kettles produce low, safe levels of heat. As long as you don’t leave them continuously running for a long time they pose no risk to quartz countertops.
Hot Plates and Griddles
Portable electric hot plates and indoor grills can reach temperatures between 200-400°F. Direct, prolonged contact may damage some quartz surfaces. Always place a trivet under these items. Do not leave hot plates on for extended periods.
Slow Cookers and Rice Cookers
Slow cookers and rice cookers generate gentle, moist heat that will not harm quartz. Both are safe to use on quartz countertops.
Ovens and Microwaves
The heat from microwave and conventional ovens does not typically transfer to the counter. Quartz can withstand the ambient heat from ovens. But take care when removing hot dishes, as dropping them can fracture quartz.
Can Quartz Withstand Direct High Heat?
While quartz has good heat resistance compared to other counters, extreme or prolonged direct heat can cause damage. Here are some examples of high heat sources that can harm quartz:
- Very hot cookware or objects from the oven or stove making direct contact for a prolonged time
- Leaving high heat appliances like griddles or hot plates on for an extended time
- Exposing the surface to open flames
- Placing very hot objects like smoking pans that transfer extreme heat
Do not subject quartz to sudden and rapid temperature changes. Allow hot pans to cool somewhat before setting them down. Avoid direct high heat exposure whenever possible.
Signs of Heat Damage on Quartz
Here are signs that indicate quartz has been exposed to excessive direct heat:
- Discoloration – The surface may yellow, brown, or darken around the area of heat exposure.
- Bubbles or blisters – Extreme heat can cause bubbles, cracks, or blisters on the quartz surface.
- Cracks and fractures – Direct high heat can cause hairline cracks or fractures. Over time these can spread and compromise the structural integrity.
- Loosening from substrate – Intense heat can damage the resin binders and loosen the quartz from its backing.
- Melting and marks – In severe cases, the quartz can partially melt, leaving permanent burn marks.
Tips to Prevent Thermal Damage to Quartz
Follow these guidelines to prevent any heat damage to your quartz countertops:
- Always use hot pads or trivets under hot pans, appliances, and heat generating devices.
- Avoid putting hot pans or oven trays directly from high heat onto the quartz. Allow them to cool slightly first.
- Don’t leave heated appliances like griddles, hot plates, or crock pots running for a long time.
- Never expose the surface to open flames from burners, candles, or torches.
- Prevent sudden, rapid heating or cooling, such as pouring boiling water into a cold sink.
- Wipe up spills from hot liquids like coffee immediately to prevent prolonged heat exposure in one spot.
- Inspect your quartz regularly for any signs of discoloration, cracking, or damage from accidental overheating.
Repairing Heat Damage on Quartz
Minor heat damage like isolated discoloration marks or slight surface cracks may sometimes be repaired:
- Small marks can potentially be sanded and polished out professionally. However, this can only be done a limited number of times.
- For minor cracks, you may be able to apply a color-matched repair resin in the damaged section.
- Severely damaged areas may need a full quartz patch or replacement if the damage covers a large area.
Prevention is key, as severe heat damage is irreparable in most cases. Always exercise caution with heat sources around quartz.
Is Quartz Suitable Near Stoves and Ovens?
Quartz countertops can be used safely near stoves and ovens as long as proper precautions are taken. Here are some tips for using quartz around cooking appliances:
- Allow a gap of at least 1 inch between the backsplash and stove or oven. This prevents direct heat transfer.
- Use range hoods and exhaust fans to reduce heat buildup when cooking at high temperatures.
- Keep the quartz a safe distance from the heat source. Avoid installing quartz right next to the range cooktop if possible.
- Use trivets and hot pads when setting hot items from ovens or stovetops onto the quartz.
- Clean up any oil, grease or food spills right away so they don’t get hot and damage the surface.
With routine care and common sense, quartz countertops can withstand typical kitchen heat with no problem. Just avoid exposing the surface to extreme direct heat.
Quartz possesses excellent heat resistance compared to most other countertop materials. It can handle normal exposure to moderate heat from routine cooking and small appliances with no issue. However, direct prolonged contact with high temperatures over 150°C/300°F can potentially damage quartz surfaces. Simple preventive measures like using trivets and avoiding open flames will ensure your quartz countertops retain their durability and beauty. With proper care, quartz makes an ideal choice for kitchens and bathrooms that see a lot of heat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you put a hot pan on quartz?
Yes, you can place a hot pan briefly on quartz countertops as long as it is not excessively hot. Allow pans to cool down somewhat from the stove or oven before setting them directly on quartz. Always use trivets or pads for very hot pans to prevent damage.
Does quartz burn or scorch?
Quartz can burn or scorch if exposed to extreme direct heat exceeding 300°F. Temperatures from everyday cooking appliances will not burn quartz. But open flames, very hot pans, or prolonged contact with high heat can potentially scorch the surface.
Can quartz crack from heat?
Intense direct heat can damage the resin binders in quartz causing cracks or fractures. However, normal exposure to moderate heat will not crack quartz. Always use protection under hot objects and avoid open flames to prevent thermal cracking.
Can you repair burnt quartz countertops?
Minor heat marks on quartz may sometimes be sanded/polished out or filled with a resin filler. But severely burnt or cracked areas usually require quartz replacement as extreme heat damage is irreparable. Prevention is key to avoiding permanent damage.
Is quartz better than granite for heat resistance?
Quartz generally has slightly better heat tolerance than natural stone counters like granite. Both can withstand routine cooking heat. But quartz is less prone to cracking or discoloration from heat exposure. However, neither material should have direct high heat contact.