Use Trivets and Potholders
One of the easiest ways to protect your quartz countertop is by using trivets and potholders. Place trivets under hot pans, baking sheets, casserole dishes, or any other hot cookware. Trivets lift the hot items off the counter and provide an air buffer to dissipate heat. Potholders should be used anytime you need to handle a hot object directly off the stovetop or oven. They insulate your hands from burns. By using trivets and potholders consistently, you minimize direct heat exposure on your quartz countertop.
Avoid Putting Hot Pans Directly on the Counter
Never place a hot pan, pot, baking dish, or any hot cookware directly on your quartz counter. The sudden high amount of heat can damage the solid quartz surface. Always use trivets or potholders as mentioned above. If you accidentally put a hot object on the counter, immediately lift it off. With quick action, you may avoid permanent marks or cracks.
Install a Backsplash
A backsplash serves as a protective barrier between your quartz counter and common heat sources like the stove or oven. The additional layer shields the counter from excessive heat, grease splatters, and moisture buildup. Tiles, metal sheeting, and other backsplash materials absorb high temperatures. Consider installing a backsplash that extends at least 4-6 inches above the cooktop or range. This added coverage keeps the quartz further away from the direct heat.
Keep Some Distance from Heat Sources
When using the stovetop, keep pots and pans further back on the burners instead of close to the edge near the counter. The closer the heat source is to the counter, the more it intensifies the temperature on the surface. For gas stoves, adjust the flame to only extend to the bottom of the cookware. Excess flame going up the sides brings more heat exposure to your backsplash and countertop. Avoid placing appliances that vent heat like toasters and coffee makers right next to your quartz counter as well. Keeping a buffer of space reduces heat transfer.
Opt for Low-Heat Cooking Methods
The intensity and duration of heat both impact quartz counters. High temperatures applied over longer periods have a greater chance of causing damage. Where possible, opt for lower temperature cooking methods like slow cookers, convection ovens, and microwaves. If boiling water, use a different section of the counter each time instead of the same spot. Spreading out the location helps prevent repeated exposure in one area. Avoid leaving cooking food unattended – this leads to more extended heating against the counter.
Handle Spills Quickly
Liquids like wine, juice, vinegar, and coffee are typically served hot or warm. Acidic substances can etch and dull the quartz surface over time with repeated exposure. Blot spills immediately to avoid excess heat or liquid pooling on your counter. As soon as you can, wash the area down with soapy water to eliminate etching risks. Keep a bench scraper handy to scrape off food debris. Prompt cleaning prevents stains from hot spills seeping into the porous quartz.
Check Temperature Settings
Sometimes heating damage arises from seemingly innocuous appliances. Electric kettles, deep fryers, and crock pots may get hotter than expected from factory settings. Review the temperature options and manuals to see if there are ways to operate them at lower, safer levels. Adjust hot tubs or faucets to 120 degrees F or less. Getting in the habit of double checking temperatures reduces chances of accidentally exposing quartz counters to excess heat.
Use a Cutting Board
Never cut anything directly on your quartz countertop, even with a chef’s knife. Slicing and chopping motions with a sharp knife can eventually cause superficial scratches in the surface over time. More importantly, friction from cutting heats up the immediate surface, which can scorch or discolor the counter. Always use a cutting board instead to protect against both scratching and heat consequences.
Avoid Setting Down Curling Irons or Straighteners
Heated tools like curling irons, straighteners, and hair dryers can damage quartz counters in an instant. The extremely high temperatures will mar the solid surface immediately upon contact. Never set hot hair styling tools onto your quartz counters, even if it’s “just for a second”. Leave them switched off and completely cooled on a heat-resistant pad away from your counters.
With a few easy precautions, you can keep your beautiful quartz countertops looking brand new for years. Be mindful of heat intensity and duration from cooking, appliances, and accidents. Limit direct contact from hot items with trivets and potholders. Promptly clean spills before they seep in and cause etching or staining. Following these tips will help avoid unsightly burns or cracks in your quartz surface. Handle heat carefully, and your countertops will stay stunningly protected.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take for quartz to crack from heat?
Quartz can crack from heat almost immediately if exposed to extreme temperatures over 300 degrees F. However, most heat damage arises gradually over time, as prolonged exposure causes the solid resin binders in quartz to break down. Constant high heat creates microscopic fissures that eventually lead to visible cracks and marks.
Can you put a hot pan on quartz?
It’s best not to put hot pans directly on quartz counters. The sudden extreme heat can potentially scar or crack the surface. Always use potholders or trivets to prevent direct contact between the hot cookware and countertop. Let pans cool down substantially before setting them on quartz.
Does quartz burn easily?
Yes, quartz can burn and scorch quite easily under excessive direct heat. The solid surface resin can bubble, crack, discolor, or become damaged. However, quartz is less prone to burning than many other countertop materials since it does not use heat-sensitive adhesives in its construction.
Should I get a quartz or granite countertop?
Quartz is a bit more heat resistant than natural stone like granite. Granite is very durable, but prolonged high heat exposure can potentially cause cracks, flakes or pits in its surface. Quartz offers greater flexibility and stain resistance. Granite provides a classic, timeless look.
How do you disinfect a quartz countertop?
Use soap and water or a mild non-bleach cleaner to safely disinfect quartz. Avoid abrasive cleaners that could scratch the surface. Do not use highly acidic cleaners like vinegar or lemon juice, as these can dull quartz over time. For thorough disinfection, consider using hydrogen peroxide based cleaners.
With quartz’s durability, visual appeal, and extensive style options, it’s easy to see why it has become such a popular countertop choice. But as a solid surface material, it does require some care and heat protection to prevent damage. Being mindful of trivets, temperature regulation, spill cleaning, and avoiding direct contact from hot objects will help safeguard your investment. With proper care against excessive heat exposure, your beautiful quartz counters will stay stunning for decades. Protect the surface diligently, and you’ll enjoy these low-maintenance countertops for years to come.