Quartz countertops are an incredibly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. Made from ground quartz aggregated with resin binders, these engineered stone slabs are praised for their durability, low maintenance, and sleek appearance. But many homeowners wonder – can you put hot things on quartz countertops without damaging them? Here is what you need to know.
What is Quartz?
Quartz is an engineered stone made from approximately 90% ground quartz aggregates combined with polymer resins and pigments. This combination results in a non-porous, highly durable material that is resistant to scratches, stains, and heat.
Quartz differs from natural stone countertops like granite or marble in that it lacks pores and veins. The resins bind the quartz particles into a uniform slab. This makes quartz more stain-proof than many natural stones.
The Heat Tolerance of Quartz
One of the best features of quartz is that it can withstand moderate heat. Manufacturers state that quartz can withstand temperatures up to 212°F before potential damage may occur.
This high heat tolerance makes quartz an ideal choice for kitchen countertops. You can place hot pans, bakeware, and appliances directly on its surface without worry.
However, there are limitations to the heat resilience of quartz. Prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures above 212°F can potentially cause damage.
Best Practices for Using Quartz Countertops
Here are some best practices for using your quartz countertops without causing damage:
- Use trivets or hot pads: Always use trivets or pads when setting down extremely hot pots and pans fresh from the stovetop or oven. This protects from thermal shock.
- Don’t expose quartz to open flames: Never expose your counters to direct open flames. The intense heat can scar and discolor the surface.
- Avoid prolonged heat exposure: Don’t leave flat irons, curling irons, or extremely hot pans sitting on the surface for extended periods of time.
- Use care with heat-generating appliances: When using heat-generating appliances like crockpots, instant pots, or griddles, use caution and trivets. Avoid prolonged direct contact.
- Wipe up spills promptly: Quickly wiping up hot spills can prevent potential heat damage. Avoid letting liquids boil or simmer on the surface.
- Check for manufacturer guidelines: Some quartz products may have specific guidance on safe heat thresholds. Consult your manufacturer.
Can Direct Heat Damage Quartz Countertops?
Direct prolonged exposure to temperatures above 212°F does carry a risk of damage to quartz surfaces. Issues that may occur include:
- Discoloration: Scorched or burnt areas around the excessively heated section.
- Cracks/Indentations: Potential cracks, marks, or indentations from the heated item.
- Loss of Shine: Hot pots/pans can lead to localized dulling of the surface sheen.
- Delamination: In severe overheating cases, the top layer can separate from underlying layers.
- Melting: Direct contact with extremely high heat sources may melt the resin.
Thankfully, these issues don’t occur from general day-to-day use. Avoid prolonged direct heat contact and always use trivets for hot items to preserve your counters. Minor discoloration may be re-polished out in some cases.
Reasonable Heat Tolerance Guidelines
As a general rule of thumb, quartz should withstand:
- Brief contact with pots/pans up to 425°F
- Sustained indirect contact with items around 175°F
- Temperatures up to 212°F for short periods
Adhering to these reasonable limits will keep quartz looking pristine while still allowing you to enjoy its durability in the kitchen.
Options If Heat Damage Occurs
If heat damage does occur, all may not be lost. Here are some options:
- Re-sanding and Polishing: For mild surface discoloration or dulling, ask your fabricator about re-sanding and polishing the affected area.
- Spot Repair: Small chips, cracks, or marks may be repairable using color-matched polyester/epoxy resin fillers.
- Seamless Patching: Larger heat-damaged sections can sometimes be seamlessly patched by cutting out and replacing with new quartz.
- Full Quartz Replacement: As a last resort for extensive damage, full quartz countertop replacement may be required.
Preventing Heat Damage: Key Takeaways
- Always use trivets and hot pads for hot items fresh from cooking.
- Avoid direct open flames on the countertop.
- Don’t leave heated appliances in prolonged contact with the surface.
- Wipe up spills quickly to prevent potential heat damage.
- Adhere to manufacturer’s guidelines for maximum heat thresholds.
- Minor damage may be repairable through re-sanding, polishing, or spot repair.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you put a hot pan on quartz?
Yes, you can put a hot pan briefly on quartz. But prolonged direct contact with temperatures exceeding 175°F may risk damage over time. Using a trivet is recommended for very hot pans fresh from the stove or oven.
What happens if quartz gets too hot?
Excessive heat above 212°F can potentially discolor, crack, indent, or even melt quartz countertops if in direct prolonged contact. Always use trivets for hot pots and pans to avoid surface damage.
Can you put a griddle on a quartz countertop?
Use caution when placing griddles directly on quartz. The sustained heat can potentially damage the surface. Use trivets or hot pads underneath griddles to disperse the heat. Avoid prolonged direct contact.
Can quartz countertops withstand heat from crock pots or instant pots?
Use reasonable care when placing crock pots or instant pots on quartz. Trivets are recommended, especially for models that run very hot. Do not leave them in sustained direct contact with the surface for extended periods.
How hot can quartz get before color changes?
Quartz countertops are generally resistant to heat discoloration up to around 175°F. Temperatures above 212°F in prolonged contact can potentially cause burnt or discolored areas on the surface. Always trivet hot items.
Can you put a flat iron on quartz?
Avoid leaving flat irons in direct contact with quartz countertops. The concentrated heat can potentially damage the surface over time. Use a silicone heat mat or rest for flat irons instead.
Quartz offers superior durability that can withstand moderate heat. But to avoid damaging your counters, always exercise caution with very hot pots, pans, appliances, and any open flames. Using trivets and promptly wiping spills protects your investment while allowing you to enjoy cooking. With reasonable care, quartz provides unparalleled resilience, beauty, and convenience for kitchen countertops.