Quartz countertops are an extremely popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects due to their durability, visual appeal, and low maintenance. However, some homeowners may be concerned about whether quartz can withstand placing hot items from the stove or oven directly on its surface. Here is a detailed look at whether quartz countertops can handle the heat.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops are engineered stone made from crushed quartz particles combined with polymer resins and pigments. The quartz particles make up over 90% of the material, making quartz countertops very hard and durable. The resins bind the quartz particles together into a slab, while the pigments add color and pattern.
Some key properties of quartz that relate to heat resistance include:
- High hardness and density for scratch, stain, and heat resistance
- Non-porous so liquids don’t penetrate
- Resilient so it does not chip or crack easily
- Does not require sealing
The Heat Tolerance of Quartz Countertops
Quartz has a high heat tolerance and can withstand briefly placing hot pans from the oven or stove on its surface. However, there are some limitations:
Moderate heat resistance: Quartz is designed to be heat resistant to about 150°F to 185°F. This allows plenty of leeway for hot pans coming out of the oven. However, extreme direct heat may cause damage.
No extreme temperature changes: While quartz can handle moderate heat exposure, it does not react well to sudden and extreme temperature changes. Going from very hot to cold can potentially damage the structural integrity of the material.
Heat exposure over time: Intense heat applied to the same spot repeatedly for a prolonged period can potentially cause damage. The resins may slowly lose their adhesive properties when exposed to sustained heat.
Darker colors absorb more heat: Dark quartz colors like black or dark brown will absorb more heat than lighter colors. Extra care should be taken with very dark countertop materials.
Best Practices for Using Quartz Countertops
Here are some tips to safely use your quartz countertops around high heat sources:
- Use trivets or hot pads under extremely hot pots and pans from the stove or oven. This protects from thermal shock.
- Let hot pots and pans cool down a bit first before placing directly on quartz.
- Avoid sliding hot pans around the countertop. Lift and place down carefully.
- Don’t leave high-heat appliances like crockpots, griddles, or electric skillets on the counter for a prolonged time.
- Clean up spills quickly to avoid prolonged heat exposure in one spot.
- Avoid flames directly on the counter. Keep candles in appropriate holders.
- Check the manufacturer guidelines for your specific quartz material. Some have higher heat tolerances than others.
Is Quartz Prone to Heat Damage?
With proper care, quartz countertops are very resistant to heat damage in the kitchen environment. Their durable composition allows them to withstand typical usage involving moderate heat exposure from hot pans, pots, and appliances. Just avoid sudden and extreme temperature changes, intense prolonged heat on one spot, and direct flames. With common sense precautions, quartz offers peace of mind for busy kitchens.
Frequently Asked Questions About Quartz Countertops and Heat
Here are some common questions homeowners have about exposing quartz surfaces to high temperatures:
Can I put a hot pan directly on my quartz countertop after cooking?
Yes, you can place a hot pan on a quartz counter, but it’s best to allow it to cool briefly so it is not at extreme temperatures over 185°F. Always use trivets for cast iron cookware or extra hot items. Avoid sliding pans around.
Will my quartz countertop crack if I place a hot pan on it?
It is unlikely to immediately crack from moderate heat exposure. However, repeatedly subjecting the same spot to extreme temperature swings could potentially cause long-term damage. Allow hot items to cool a bit before placing directly on quartz.
Can I damage my quartz counter if I leave something hot on it?
Leaving an appliance or item that emits intense, prolonged heat focused on one area may eventually compromise the structural integrity of that spot on the counter over time. Avoid leaving crockpots, griddles, etc in one spot for extended periods.
Is it okay to cut hot items like pizza on a quartz countertop?
Yes, as quartz is meant to handle moderate heat. Just make sure to use a trivet under extremely hot items fresh from the oven, and avoid cutting directly over seam lines where two quartz slabs meet.
Can I place candles on my quartz countertop?
Never place a lit candle with an open flame directly on quartz, as the flames can produce extreme heat. Always keep candles in appropriate holders on the counter. The holder catches melting wax too.
How can I prevent heat damage on my quartz countertop?
Use trivets for hot items, allow pans to briefly cool before placing on the counter, clean spills quickly, avoid direct flames, and prevent prolonged heat exposure to one area through appliances. Take extra care with dark colors.
Quartz countertops are engineered to stand up to typical kitchen heat exposure. Their durable composition and non-porous nature allow them to handle moderate heat from hot pans, appliances, and more. With some basic precautions, quartz provides peace of mind against cracks, scorch marks, or other heat-related damage. Just be sure to provide extra protection for extremely hot items and avoid prolonged direct high heat in one area. With routine care, quartz countertops can stay looking beautiful for years of cooking and entertaining.