Quartz countertops are an extremely popular choice for kitchen and bathroom surfaces due to their durability, aesthetics, and resistance to damage. However, some homeowners wonder – can quartz countertops burn? The short answer is yes, quartz countertops can burn under certain circumstances. Here is a detailed look at the heat resistance of quartz and steps you can take to prevent burns and damage.
How Heat Resistant is Quartz?
Quartz is an engineered stone made from natural quartz aggregates combined with resins and pigments. The exact composition varies by brand and color, but quartz typically contains over 90% natural stone. This mineral content gives quartz excellent strength and resistance to heat.
Specifically, quartz has a heat tolerance up to 300°F. This allows it to withstand brief contact with hot pans, candles, cigarettes, curling irons, and more without scorching or discoloration. However, extended direct heat exposure above this temperature can cause quartz to burn.
Can Quartz Countertops Burn?
Yes, quartz countertops can burn if exposed to extreme heat over 300°F for a prolonged period. Common causes of burns on quartz surfaces include:
- Leaving cooking pots/pans on the counter – Cast iron skillets, griddles, pots, and pans can reach over 500°F on the stovetop. Leaving them directly on quartz allows the intense heat to radiate downwards, resulting in burns.
- Hot appliances like crockpots, instant pots, griddles – Slow cookers and pressure cookers often exceed 300°F on their outer surfaces. Direct contact with quartz can transmit extreme heat and cause damage.
- Flat irons, curling irons – These hair styling tools reach 380-450°F. Setting a hot iron down momentarily on quartz can singe the surface.
- Prolonged undermount lighting – LED strip lighting under cabinets gets hot over time. Excessive built-up heat near quartz countertops can burn the stone.
- Flambé cooking – Lighting liquors on fire as part of cooking can produce flames up to 1300°F. This extreme heat will damage quartz countertops.
In general, any heat source over 300°F left in direct contact with a quartz surface for more than a brief moment risks burning or discoloring the stone.
How to Prevent Burns on Quartz
While quartz can burn, it’s easy to prevent damage with proper care:
- Use potholders – Always set hot cookware on potholders, not directly on quartz. This insulates the surface from excess heat.
- Add silicone trivets – These provide an extra protective layer between quartz and hot pans.
- Let appliances cool before setting down – Avoid putting crockpots, griddles or irons on quartz until they are completely cool.
- Install underside ventilation for lighting – Allow LED strip lighting to dissipate heat instead of heating up quartz.
- Avoid flambé cooking on quartz – Choose ranges or islands when lighting liquors on fire during cooking.
- Clean up spills promptly – Don’t allow hot grease, oil or liquids to pool on the quartz surface.
With basic precautions, it’s easy to keep quartz looking pristine and prevent burns or damage from excess heat exposure. Quartz offers homeowners an attractive, durable surface able to withstand typical daily use around the kitchen.
Frequently Asked Questions About Burning Quartz Countertops
Can you put a hot pan on quartz?
Brief contact with a hot pan just off the stove is generally okay on quartz countertops. However, prolonged direct contact with pans exceeding 300°F can potentially burn or discolor quartz. Always use potholders or trivets to insulate quartz from excessive heat.
Does granite or quartz burn easier?
Granite is slightly more heat resistant than quartz, withstanding temperatures up to 500°F before burning. However, both natural stone and engineered quartz can burn from extreme heat exposure over 300°F if left in direct contact for an extended period.
How long does it take for quartz to burn?
This depends on the heat source. Prolonged contact with a 400°F iron or pan can singe quartz in under a minute. However, it may take 15-30 minutes of exposure to a 300°F slow cooker before any burning occurs. The higher the temperature, the faster quartz will show damage.
Can you repair a burn on quartz?
Minor quartz burns that only discolor or slightly scorch the top layer can be sanded and polished out by a professional fabricator. However, deep burns may require replacing the damaged section of countertop. Preventing burns is easier and less costly than repairing them.
Should I seal my quartz countertop?
Sealing is not necessary for quartz counters. The resins used to manufacture quartz make it waterproof and stain resistant without any added sealers. Since sealants can wear off over time, it’s better to rely on quartz’s innate non-porous properties.
Is Quartz Still a Good Countertop Choice?
Absolutely. When cared for properly, quartz provides an extremely durable, low-maintenance, and visually attractive countertop surface. Its high heat tolerance handles typical cooking and household use. With some basic precautions, it’s easy to prevent burns and damage. For most homeowners, quartz remains an excellent investment that will retain its beauty for many years.
Quartz countertops are susceptible to burning from prolonged heat exposure above 300°F. However, it’s easy to prevent damage by using potholders, trivets, and allowing appliances to fully cool before setting them on quartz surfaces. With simple precautions, quartz offers homeowners a resilient countertop able to withstand years of regular use and maintain its good looks. Does quartz countertops burn is an important question, but the ease of preventing burns makes quartz no less attractive for kitchen and bath design.