Marble countertops are perfect for kitchens. They look great and durable enough for households where elaborate meals are prepared on a daily basis. With proper care and maintenance, you don’t have to worry about damaging your marble countertops, but there are certain limits to marble’s durability.
Marble can nick and scratch when it’s forcibly struck with sharp objects, and some situations may cause it to burn and scorch. Here’s what you need to know about placing hot objects on top of marble slabs or tiles, brought to you by the Stone Care Experts at Granite Gold®.
Marble Is Formed Under Extreme Heat
When thinking about the various geological processes that result in the formation of natural stone such as granite and marble, you cannot forget about volcanic and igneous activity. In the early stages of marble formation, prior to its crystallization, magmatic processes that affect limestone burn at extremely high temperatures between 600 and 1,200 degrees Celsius, which means minerals are in liquid form and will later solidify into marble.
In other words, marble starts out as limestone until extreme heat bonds it with other minerals. This process isn’t reversible in the sense of marble turning back into limestone, but geologically high temperatures could force it into liquid form. You may not think 600 Celsius can be easily reached at home, but there are some situations where this could happen.
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The middle of the burning portion of a cigarette, commonly known as the cherry because it glows red, can get as hot as 700 Celsius when inhaling. Let’s say you invite friends to a party and one accidentally drops a cigarette on your white marble floor tiles. With the lit tip of the cigarette burning as hot as lava, you shouldn’t be surprised to find a discolored mark where the cherry penetrated the seal and touched the stone surface.
Carrara marble can withstand temperatures up to 480 degrees Fahrenheit. Other types of marble may resist higher temperatures, but you don’t want to push it. In the case of Neapolitan pizza ovens, which internally generate about 700 Fahrenheit, the dough will heat up to nearly 395 degrees, which means the steel pans the pies are placed on will be even hotter and could also affect marble surfaces. Most household ovens won’t even reach 550 degrees, but you have to worry about metal cookware heating things up even more. Always make sure to use a trivet when placing hot items out of the oven onto your marble counters.
Curling Iron Burns
Hair styling irons left on top of a vanity marble countertop may also leave a burn mark, which looks more like a discoloration, but only if they’re at their highest temperatures, which are normally about 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat dissipation tends to be faster with curling irons, but the risk is still there. It’s a good idea to install a hook where you can safely hang the iron away from marble surfaces.
Avoiding extreme heat is just one aspect of caring for marble countertops. Another crucial step is cleaning them regularly. Make sure to avoid using common household cleaners, and instead use a specially formulated marble and granite daily cleaner that’s safe to use on natural stone.
If you have any additional questions about caring for marble, granite, or any other type of natural stone, get in touch with Granite Gold® at 1-800-475-STONE (7866). To find Granite Gold® brand products at a store near you, enter your zip code in our Store Locator.