Quartz countertops have become an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects in recent years. Often touted for their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance, quartz counters are prized for their resistance to scratches, stains, and heat. But exactly how heat resistant are quartz countertops? Let’s take a closer look.
What is Quartz?
Quartz is an engineered stone made from crushed quartz crystals combined with resin and pigments. The quartz content typically ranges from 90-94%, while the rest consists of polymer resins and pigments.
The combination creates a non-porous material that is harder and more durable than natural stone. Quartz counters are made by blending the quartz crystals and resins together and molding them into slabs using vibration and pressure.
The Heat Resistance of Quartz Counters
One of the most appealing features of quartz counters is their ability to withstand heat. But is quartz truly heat resistant? Here are the key facts:
- Quartz can tolerate brief contact with hot items up to about 150°F. Quartz manufacturers state that the material can withstand temperatures up to 150°F without issue. This means quartz can handle briefly setting down hot pots and pans without scorching or discoloration. However, extended direct heat exposure above 150°F can damage quartz.
- Prolonged heat above 150°F can cause cracks or discoloration. While brief contact with hot items is fine, placing extremely hot skillets or pots directly on quartz for a prolonged period can cause damage. The intense heat can degrade the resin binders in quartz, resulting in cracks or burns.
- Quartz should not be used as a trivet or hot pad. Never place heated appliances like crockpots, electric skillets, or hot irons directly on quartz. The sustained, intense heat can scorch or fracture the material. Use trivets, hot pads, or cooling racks to prevent direct contact.
- Thermal shock can occur when exposing quartz to rapid temperature swings. Going from one extreme to another too quickly – like pouring boiling water on a cold quartz counter – can potentially cause cracks or warping. Allow hot items to cool somewhat before setting them on quartz.
- Localized discoloration may occur if quartz is overheated. If an extremely hot object sits on quartz for too long, it can potentially scorch the surface, resulting in a light mark or ring. This is typically only cosmetic and can often be sanded or buffed out. But it’s best to avoid exposing quartz to excessive concentrated heat in one spot.
So in summary, quartz has good heat tolerance for typical kitchen use if proper care is taken. Brief contact with hot pots or spills is not a problem, but prolonged direct high heat exposure should be avoided to prevent damage. With some basic precautions, quartz counters can absolutely be used successfully in the kitchen.
Best Practices for Using Quartz Countertops Around Heat
To get the most out of quartz and avoid potential heat damage, follow these best practices:
Use Trivets, Hot Pads, and Cooling Racks
Never place hot cookware, appliances, or bakeware directly on quartz surfaces. Allow these items to cool somewhat and use trivets, hot pads, or wire cooling racks as an intermediary surface to prevent direct contact with the quartz.
Avoid Sustained High Heat Exposure
Do not leave heated skillets, griddles, crockpots, or other hot appliances sitting directly on quartz continuously. The sustained heat in one area can degrade the resin.
Prevent Thermal Shock
Don’t pour boiling liquids directly onto quartz or place blazing hot pans on a cold quartz surface. Allow extremely hot items to cool down somewhat before setting them on quartz to prevent thermal shock.
Wipe Up Spills Promptly
Don’t allow spills of very hot liquids to sit on quartz. Quickly wipe up any hot spills to avoid the possibility of discoloration or cracks from prolonged heat exposure in one spot.
Use Caution with Toasters and Kettles
Take care when using toasters, electric kettles, and other small appliances near your quartz counter. Make sure hot toast, kettles, or other items don’t come into direct contact with the surface.
Install Heat Barriers Near Ranges/Ovens
For long-term protection, consider installing small heat barrier strips or metal strips along the back edge of your countertop near ranges or ovens. This can shield quartz from excessive heat.
Avoid Direct Heat From Hot Appliances
Don’t allow things like teapots, coffee makers, or electric griddles sitting on quartz to overheat in one area. Keep hot appliances on a trivet.
By following these simple precautions, you can feel confident using quartz countertops successfully in kitchens and bathrooms without worry about heat damage. With proper care, quartz offers unparalleled durability, beauty, and convenience as a countertop material.
What Temperature Can Quartz Withstand?
As a guide, here are some approximate temperature thresholds to keep in mind for quartz:
- Up to 150°F brief contact: No problem
- 150°F to 300°F prolonged contact: Potential for discoloration or slight marks over time
- 300°F to 500°F brief contact: Possible cracking or discoloration
- Above 500°F any length of time: Severe damage likely
Always exercise caution and minimize direct heat exposure whenever possible. Use hot pads and trivets to prevent concentrated heat on quartz surfaces.
How Does Heat Affect Other Countertops?
It’s useful to compare the heat resistance of quartz to other popular countertop materials:
- Granite – Withstands up to 650°F before potential cracking. Granite has excellent heat tolerance.
- Marble – Prone to discoloration and etching from temperatures above 150°F. Easily damaged by heat.
- Laminate – Withstands about 350°F before warping or delaminating. Not ideal for direct high heat.
- Solid surface (Corian) – Tolerates temperatures up to 275°F before possible discoloration or blistering.
- Butcher block (wood) – Can discolor and char starting at about 150°F. Easily damaged by heat.
Quartz counters are far more heat resistant than materials like marble, laminate, and wood. Granite is comparably heat tolerant, but requires more maintenance than quartz. For most household uses, quartz offers the best balance of heat resistance and practicality.
Signs of Heat Damage on Quartz Countertops
It’s important to be aware of the signs of potential heat damage on your quartz counters. Here’s what to look out for:
Sustained heat exposure can cause light marks, circles, or whitish spots where the heat degraded the resin. This is often only superficial and can sometimes be sanded out.
Small Surface Cracks
Intense direct heat may cause small cracks or fissures in the quartz surface, especially if there was rapid temperature change.
In severe cases, excessive heat can make the resin binder bubbly or blistered underneath the quartz. This typically requires replacing the damaged section.
With extreme, prolonged heat, quartz can become charred and blackened, which is usually permanent without replacement. Never expose quartz to flames.
If an entire slab gets overheated, the overall shape can warp or deform. Evenly distributed heat during installation helps prevent this.
With care and common sense, these types of heat damage are entirely preventable in residential kitchens. Just be cautious with hot items and you can safely cook on quartz for many years.
Can You Install a Stove/Oven Next to Quartz Countertops?
Yes, you can absolutely install a stove, oven, or range right next to quartz countertops. Here are some tips for success:
- Leave at least a few inches of clearance between the appliances and the counter. Having a gap minimizes direct heat transfer.
- Use small heat barrier strips along the back edge of the countertop near appliances. These provide added protection.
- Choose a lighter quartz color. Darker colors absorb more heat and are at higher risk of discoloration. Lighter tones reflect heat better.
- Install a backsplash. Having a non-flammable backsplash behind ranges prevents potential heat damage to the counter wall.
- Use appliances sized appropriated for the counter space. Overcrowding can lead to excessive heat.
- Operate appliances cautiously. Don’t leave hot pans or bakeware sitting directly on counters near stoves.
With proper installation and common-sense usage, quartz performs wonderfully as a durable, heat-resistant surface next to kitchen appliances.
Can You Place a Crockpot on a Quartz Countertop?
Crockpots and slow cookers reach temperatures between 200-300°F. At these sustained high temperatures, directly placing a crockpot on quartz can potentially cause discoloration, cracks, or other damage over time.
To safely use a crockpot on a quartz countertop:
- Place the crockpot on a trivet or hot pad to prevent direct contact with the quartz surface.
- Use a wire cooling rack lined with a hot pad under the crockpot to allow heat ventilation underneath.
- Place a heat-resistant silicone mat under the crockpot to protect the quartz.
- Limit extended use of crockpots directly on quartz. Run them on a wood table or sideboard when possible.
- Keep the quartz area near the crockpot clean and free of spills. Food debris can intensify heat damage.
With proper precautions, you can certainly use crockpots safely on quartz counters. But be cautious and limit direct sustained heat exposure to prevent damage over time.
Can You Cut Food on Quartz Countertops?
Absolutely! Quartz offers an ideal food prep surface for all types of cooking and cutting tasks. Here’s what makes it so well-suited for food prep:
- Non-porous – Food won’t penetrate or stain quartz, making clean-up easy
- Antibacterial – Quartz counters inhibit bacterial growth, helping keep food sanitary
- Tough – Quartz stands up to heavy chopping without scratching or gouging
- Heat-resistant – Safe for contact with hot pans, dishes, and spills
- Easy to clean – Quartz wipes clean after food prepping messes with just soap and water
- Attractive – Stylish modern appearance even in heavy use kitchens
Just be cautious with extremely hot pots and pans when moving them across quartz surfaces. Use trivets or hot pads underneath blistering hot cookware.
And take care with knives to avoid deep cuts and scratches in the surface. Use a chopping block or cutting board for heavy-duty chopping tasks. But for general food prep, quartz offers everything needed for an easy-to-use, hygienic kitchen workhorse.
Can You Place a Griddle on Quartz Countertops?
Using electric griddles comes with some risks for quartz counters. Small portable griddles can reach 400°F+ directly on the cooking surface. This intense, sustained heat in one area can potentially damage quartz. Here are some tips for safe griddle usage:
- Place griddles on a heat-resistant trivet or silicone mat before setting on quartz. This prevents direct contact.
- Use lower heat settings when possible to minimize risks. Quartz can handle up to about 150°F direct sustained heat.
- Limit the amount of time griddles sit directly on quartz. Take breaks from cooking by removing the griddle.
- Ensure the quartz surface is clean before using a griddle. Grease and food debris intensify heat damage.
- Consider alternative locations like tables or countertops further from quartz surfaces.
With care, occasional use of a portable griddle placed on a protective hot pad is likely fine. But avoid directly placing hot griddles for prolonged periods to prevent potential damage.
Is Quartz Suitable for Pizza Making?
Pizza making requires working with dough, rolling pins, and transferring uncooked pizzas. Here’s how quartz counters handle these tasks:
- Kneading dough – The hard, non-porous surface allows vigorous kneading without absorption or sticking. The seamless joints simplify cleanup.
- Rolling out dough – Dough won’t stick to quartz, and the hardness stands up to rolling pins without denting. The smoothness provides even dough thickness.
- Assembling pizzas – Quartz offers an ideal sanitary surface for topping pizzas before baking. Its heat resistance handles ingredients warmed in pans.
- Transferring pizzas – You can safely slide assembled pizzas from the cool quartz counter onto a pizza peel then into the hot oven.
The main limitation is prolonged direct heat exposure. Don’t keep a hot pizza oven or stones directly on quartz for extended periods. With reasonable care, quartz performs wonderfully for homemade pizzas.
Is Quartz Good for Canning?
Quartz countertops are well-suited for canning foods with some simple precautions:
- Use trivets or cooling racks under canning pots to prevent direct sustained heat on quartz surfaces.
- Avoid drastic temperature changes by not pouring extremely hot water directly onto quartz.
- Thoroughly clean quartz surfaces after canning to remove any residue that could intensify heat damage.
- Avoid cutting can lids directly on the quartz countertop. Use a chopping board or scratch pad.
- Be cautious when boiling cans by not leaving pots unattended. Have proper ventilation.
- Consider using a side table or butcher block surface for the canning stove itself.
With extra care taken during the canning process, quartz counters provide an ideal stain-resistant, easy-to-clean surface for food preservation tasks in the kitchen.
Is Quartz Okay for a Baker’s Kitchen?
For avid home bakers, quartz can make an excellent countertop choice with proper care around heat:
- Use wire racks or silicone baking mats under hot pans, pots, and bakeware rather than direct contact.
- Don’t leave heated appliances like stand mixers, bread makers, or baking stones continuously running directly on quartz.
- Opt for lighter quartz colors to minimize heat absorption and discoloration risks.
- Clean up sugary sweet spills quickly to prevent overheating in concentrated areas.
- Consider installing heat barrier strips near appliances like ovens for added protection.
- Allow very hot items to cool somewhat before placing on quartz surfaces.
With sensible precautions against sustained direct high heat, quartz counters thrive in busy baker’s kitchens given their durability, beauty, and easy maintenance.
Is Quartz Heat Resistant Enough for Restaurants/Bars?
In high-traffic restaurant and bar settings, quartz performs well when properly maintained:
- Susticones or metal heat barrier strips help fortify perimeter areas near heat sources.
- Light quartz colors like whites reflect heat instead of absorbing it like darker colors.
- Cooling racks allow hot pots and pans to vent heat instead of directly contacting counters.
- Immediate wipe-ups of spills prevent intense concentrated heat damage.
- Annual resealing and polishing maintains heat protection over years of use.
- Sections near ovens or grills may need extra ventilation barriers.
With prudent counter placement, quartz holds up wonderfully to the demands of busy restaurants and bars for years of beauty and service. Just exercise caution against extreme prolonged direct heat exposure through proper use and barriers.
Can You Put Quartz Countertops Outside?
While beautiful, quartz countertops are designed explicitly for indoor use:
- Prolonged UV exposure can cause fading and surface discoloration over time.
- Outdoor temperature swings from very hot to very cold bring expansion/contraction risks.
- Moisture and humidity outdoors impacts adhesive effectiveness, resulting in potential delamination.
- Using quartz near outdoor cooking areas raises risks of thermal shock and heat damage.
- Cold and hot liquids have more drastic temperature extremes, increasing chances of cracks from thermal shock.
- Outdoor spills and grime make proper quartz cleaning and care difficult.
For outdoor kitchens and cooking areas, alternative options like granite, concrete, or stainless steel are better suited to withstand weather, temperature fluctuations, UV light, and the elements. Quartz counters are designed for kitchens, bathrooms and other interior rooms.
Other Heat-Related Questions
Does quartz melt?
No, quartz does not melt under normal circumstances. It begins to degrade around 300°F but requires extremely high temperatures exceeding 2500°F before reaching a liquefied state. Quartz will not melt from common household heat sources.
Can you put quartz near a fireplace?
It’s best to not place quartz counters directly next to an active fireplace. The intense direct radiant heat can potentially cause thermal shock, discoloration, or other damage. Have at least 24″ clearance between fireplaces and quartz surfaces.
Can you put quartz around a stove?
Yes, with proper clearance for ventilation and heat barriers installed, quartz performs wonderfully around stoves and ranges. Just take basic precautions against direct high heat exposure.
Does quartz discolor in sunlight?
Quartz is non-porous and UV stable, so it does not yellow or fade from sunlight exposure alone. But intense direct sunlight combined with strong heat can potentially cause slight discoloration over many years.
Quartz counters are remarkably resilient against heat damage when used sensibly in the home. While not totally impervious to all high temperatures, quartz offers excellent heat resistance for typical residential kitchen needs. With basic precautions like tri