Quartz countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, they can be easily scratched or damaged from hot pans or sharp objects. Using a silicone mat when prepping food or placing hot items on quartz countertops is an excellent way to help protect the surface. Here is a detailed look at how silicone mats can safeguard quartz countertops.
What are Quartz Countertops?
Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The result is a hard, non-porous surface that is resistant to scratches, stains, and heat.
Some key features of quartz countertops:
- Extremely durable and long-lasting
- Available in a wide range of colors and patterns
- Non-porous so resistant to stains
- Heat resistant but can be damaged by extreme heat
- Harder than granite but can be scratched/chipped from impact
- Low maintenance compared to natural stone
- Does not need regular sealing
Quartz offers homeowners an attractive and easy-care alternative to natural stone or laminate for kitchen counters and bathrooms. However, the surface can become damaged over time, especially high traffic areas like the kitchen. Using a protective mat is an easy way to prevent scratching, scorching, and cracking.
How Can Silicone Mats Protect Quartz?
Silicone mats provide a soft, flexible surface that can protect delicate quartz countertops in several key ways:
1. Preventing Scratches
Items like ceramics, glassware, sharp utensils, keys, etc can leave scratches or chips on quartz surfaces with regular use over time. The soft silicone material acts as a barrier between hard objects and the quartz, absorbing impact and preventing scratches.
2. Protecting from Heat
Quartz can withstand heat up to around 150°C. However, prolonged direct heat exposure or sudden temperature changes can cause cracks or discoloration. Silicone mats create an air gap that insulates the quartz from very hot pots/pans, protecting the integrity of the surface.
3. Slip Resistance for Plates and Glassware
Silicone mats provide a non-slip, rubbery surface. This offers better grip and stability for dishes, drinking glasses, and other items that may slide around on quartz. The mats prevent slipping and potential breakage of glassware.
4. Cushioning Impacts
Dropping heavy objects like appliances, cookware, etc by accident can chip or crack quartz surfaces. The soft rubbery silicone material helps cushion any impacts, minimizing potential damage.
5. Keeping Quartz Looking New
Silicone mats provide daily protection that helps keep quartz unscratched, heating damage free, and looking like new even after years of regular use. They are a worthwhile investment for long term care.
Best Practices When Using Silicone Mats on Quartz
To get the most benefit from silicone mats, follow these handy tips:
- Always use trivets or mats under hot pans and dishes straight from the oven/stovetop. Sudden extreme heat can damage quartz.
- Ensure the mat is slightly larger than pots/pans to disperse heat efficiently.
- Use a mat when prepping food with sharp tools like knives to prevent slicing into the surface.
- Slide appliances and cookware onto mats instead of directly on quartz to prevent scratches.
- Select quality non-stick mats that withstand heat well and provide even heat dispersion.
- Clean silicone mats regularly using mild detergent and water to keep them hygienic. Avoid harsh cleaners.
- Replace worn out silicone mats that get thinning spots or tears which reduce effectiveness.
- Use placemat style mats under dinner plates, glasses, mugs and other dishware during meals.
Are Silicone Mats Worth it for Protecting Quartz Countertops?
Investing in good quality silicone mats is highly recommended for quartz countertop owners. The relatively low cost is worth the investment considering how well they protect from gradual damage over many years of use. With proper care, quartz countertops can maintain their flawless polished look and structural integrity for decades. Mats provide inexpensive daily protection to help quartz surfaces last a lifetime in kitchens and bathrooms. Considering the cost of replacing damaged quartz, protective mats are useful insurance against scratches, chips, cracks and discoloration.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do silicone mats last on quartz countertops?
With proper care, quality silicone mats typically last several years with daily use before needing replacement. Avoiding harsh cleaners, knives, and heat damage will maximize their lifespan.
Are all silicone mats safe for quartz?
Always check that mats are made from food-grade, non-toxic silicone before purchasing. Look for brands designed specifically to withstand high temperatures.
Should mats stay on quartz countertops permanently?
It’s fine to leave silicone mats in place on sections of countertop that get heavy use. Just be sure to remove any debris underneath regularly and clean the area thoroughly.
Can silicone mats cause discoloration on quartz?
High-quality silicone mats suitable for kitchen use should not cause discoloration. Poor quality or latex rubber mats may stain. Always check compatibility.
What temperature can silicone mats withstand?
Quality silicone mats are designed to handle temperatures from -40°F to 450°F. However, always check manufacturers guidelines for the mat’s safe heat range.
Silicone mats are an affordable investment that can help protect quartz countertops from scratching, chipping, and thermal damage during daily use. They provide a cushioned non-slip surface that prevents direct contact between quartz and hard, hot objects. Taking proper care of quality mats allows them to last for years, keeping quartz surfaces in pristine condition for longer. With minimal care, silicone mats enable quartz countertops to maintain their resilient beauty.