Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects due to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, some homeowners may be hesitant to use quartz counters if they do a lot of hot pot or pan work in the kitchen. The good news is that quartz countertops are designed to withstand high temperatures. Here is what you need to know about using hot items on quartz.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes called engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz content typically makes up 90-94% of the material. The rest is polymers and coloring agents.
The resins bind the quartz particles together to form a durable, non-porous surface. Quartz counters are harder and more heat-resistant than other countertop materials like granite, marble, laminate, or solid surfaces.
Can Quartz Withstand Heat?
Yes, quartz countertops can withstand heat very well. Most quartz is engineered to withstand temperatures up to 212°F without any damage. This means you can place hot pans, bakeware, and appliances like crockpots directly on its surface without worry.
Quartz has a low coefficient of thermal expansion, meaning it does not expand much when heated. Thermal shock, which can cause cracking or discoloration, is not a concern. Quartz also resists staining or discoloration from hot oil, sauce spills, or under-the-cabinet appliances that generate heat.
Best Practices for Using Hot Items on Quartz
Even though quartz is highly heat-resistant, it’s still best to use trivets or hot pads when moving pans or baking sheets directly from the oven or stove. Allow cookware to cool for a few minutes first before placing it on the counter. Never put extremely hot items like flaming dishes or pans over 500°F in temperature directly on quartz.
While brief exposure to high heat likely won’t damage today’s quartz counters, prolonged exposure can potentially dull the surface over time. Using basic precautions will help preserve the beauty and integrity of your quartz.
Avoid thermal shock by not pouring cold liquids like ice water over very hot quartz surfaces. Let the surface cool down gradually instead. It’s also ideal to use cutting boards rather than slicing foods directly on the counter.
Signs of Heat Damage
Quartz countertops made by reputable manufacturers should be very resistant to damage from normal household use. But here are a few signs of exposure to excessive heat:
- Discoloration, blistering, or cracked areas on the surface
- Small brown or white dots near affected areas
- A dulled or chalky look to the finish
- Separating or bubbling between quartz and resin
If you do notice any damage from heat, contact a countertop professional right away to assess whether repairs or replacement are needed. Avoid further hot pot or pan use until it can be inspected.
Can Quartz Withstand Prolonged Heat Exposure?
While quartz is not vulnerable to quick, intermittent heat exposure, the resins can potentially break down if exposed to temperatures over 300°F for an extended time period. This could compromise the structural integrity.
Avoid direct high heat from appliances like electric skillets, griddles, or crock pots for more than several minutes at a time. Do not leave cooking appliances running unattended. Use a trivet or hot pad under these items. Never place quartz near open flames.
Is Heat Damage Covered Under Warranty?
Quartz countertop warranties do not cover damage from excessive heat exposure, as this is considered improper use. Use reasonable care when exposing your counters to hot items. Most manufacturers exclude damage from uses outside the normal bounds of residential kitchen functionality.
Quartz offers superior resilience against hot cookware, appliances, and spills. While it can withstand brief contact with extremely high temperatures, the best practice is to use trivets and allow pans to cool before directly placing them on the counter. With some basic precautions, quartz countertops provide unparalleled performance and beauty for busy kitchens.
FAQs about Using Hot Items on Quartz Countertops
Can I put my hot pan directly on my quartz counter after cooking?
It’s best to allow your cookware to cool for a few minutes first. Avoid putting anything over 500°F directly on the quartz.
What temperature can quartz withstand?
Most quartz can handle temperatures up to 212°F without burning or discoloration. Some heavy-duty commercial products are engineered for temperatures up to 350°F.
Will my quartz counter be damaged if I leave a hot appliance running?
Allowing prolonged direct contact with high heat over 300°F could potentially damage the resin over time. Use trivets under appliances whenever possible.
Can I pour boiling water on my quartz counter?
No, avoid pouring extremely hot or cold liquids directly on the surface as it could potentially crack it. Allow the quartz to come to room temperature gradually.
Will a slightly burned pan mark or discolor my quartz?
Minimal discoloration from a briefly hot pan is unlikely, but may require professional polishing. Ensure cookware is not over 500°F before placing on quartz.
Can I cut foods directly on my quartz countertop?
It’s best practice to use a cutting board instead of slicing foods directly on the counter, even though minor knife marks can be sanded out. This preserves the appearance.