What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, also known as engineered stone, are made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz content typically ranges from 90-95%. The rest consists of polymer resins that bind the quartz together.
Compared to natural stone like granite or marble, quartz offers superior resistance to stains, scratches, chips, and cracks. The resins make the material non-porous, so it does not need to be sealed regularly. Quartz also comes in a wide array of colors and patterns not found in natural stone.
Can Quartz Withstand Heat?
The short answer is yes – quartz countertops are generally heat resistant. However, there are some limitations to be aware of.
The resin binders in quartz start to break down at sustained temperatures above 300°F. Brief exposure to high heat is not typically an issue. But placing very hot pans directly on the surface for prolonged periods can potentially cause damage over time.
Quartz manufacturers state that the material can tolerate brief exposure to temperatures up to 450°F. So in most cases, normal cooking conditions should not be a problem. Using trivets and hot pads is still recommended to prevent cracking or discoloration on the surface.
Best Practices for Using Heat on Quartz
To safely use heat on your quartz countertops, follow these best practices:
- Use trivets or hot pads – Always set hot pans, baking sheets, etc. on trivets or pads after removing them from the oven or stove. This protects the quartz from sustained heat exposure.
- Avoid high temperatures – Do not expose the countertop to direct high heat from appliances like electric frying pans or griddles. Use the backburners on your stove whenever possible.
- Allow time to cool – Let hot pans cool down a bit before placing them on your quartz counter. Do not transfer food straight from a 400°F oven. A few minutes of cooling time can make a difference.
- Watch for cracks or discoloration – Over time, small cracks or light-colored spots may appear from excessive heat exposure. This indicates the resin is breaking down. Immediately discontinue exposing that area to heat.
- Clean up spills – Quickly wipe up any oil, grease or other hot spills to prevent the heat from being trapped on the surface. Avoid letting spills bake onto the quartz.
With routine care and common sense, quartz countertops stand up well against moderate heat exposure in the kitchen. But be cautious with very hot items that can scorch or discolor the surface over time. Following these tips will help your quartz counters retain their beauty.
Frequently Asked Questions About Using Heat on Quartz Countertops
Can I put hot pans directly on quartz?
You can place hot pans on quartz temporarily, but prolonged direct heat can damage the surface. Always use trivets or hot pads to prevent discoloration or cracks. Allow extra hot pans to cool briefly before setting them on quartz.
What temperature can quartz withstand?
Quartz can generally handle temperatures up to 450°F for short periods of time. Sustained heat above 300°F may compromise the resin over time. Brief exposure to high heat is okay, but avoid prolonged direct contact.
Can you cut food on quartz countertops?
Yes, quartz stands up well to cutting and food prep. Use a cutting board to protect the surface and keep knives sharp. Avoid letting juices and oils soak into the countertop for long periods.
Can I place quartz countertops next to the stove?
Quartz can be installed next to a stove as long as you take precautions. Use backburners when possible and allow pans to cool before setting them down. Install a splatter guard and keep the area well cleaned.
What happens if quartz countertops get too hot?
Excessive heat exposure can cause the resin binders in quartz to break down. This may result in discoloration, cracks, or rough spots on the surface. Prevent overheating by using trivets and avoiding direct high heat.
Should I wax or seal my quartz countertops?
No, quartz does not need sealing or waxing. The resin makes quartz naturally non-porous. Adding waxes or sealants can actually damage the surface and void the warranty. Simply clean quartz with soap and water to keep them looking great.
Quartz offers superior durability and heat resistance compared to many other countertop materials. While not completely invincible against heat, quartz can withstand routine cooking tasks with proper care. Remember to use trivets or hot pads and avoid exposing the surface to sustained high temperatures. With sensible precautions, you can confidently use and enjoy quartz counters for many years.