There’s a great deal of misinformation when it comes to natural stone care and heat resistance, and the last thing you want to do is leave burns or discoloration on your beautiful countertops. Natural stone typically has some heat resistance, although the amount of heat it can withstand depends on the type of stone you choose. Here’s what you need to know about stone countertops and damage from hot pots and other sources of heat.
Granite is often billed as indestructible, and it’s true that it can last a lifetime with proper care. This type of natural stone has excellent heat resistance, especially when compared to most countertop materials like laminate, butcher block, and even marble, but this doesn’t mean it’s impervious to heat damage. While the granite itself won’t be hurt by a hot pan, the sealant and finish could experience wear and damage. Every now and then, granite countertops can withstand a hot dish taken directly from the oven, but it’s important to avoid repeated exposure to high temperatures to prevent black marks on the surface. The difference in temperature between the cool stone and an extremely hot item could even cause thermal shock that cracks the stone, although this is rare. If intense heat destroys the sealer on the surface of the stone, stains could seep into the stone as well.
Marble and Limestone
Marble and limestone are both very strong and somewhat heat resistant, but they do not have the same level of heat resistance as granite. This means you could damage marble countertops with a hot pan. Extreme heat can cause thermal shock that cracks the stone, but even hot pans can lead to color change or minor burn damage. Softer stones like marble can also be scratched if you set and slide hot pots across the surface.
Quartz countertops are rapidly gaining in popularity because they are very stain resistant, attractive, and durable. While quartz is heat resistant, this doesn’t mean quartz countertops are heat-proof. The overwhelming majority of quartz countertops are engineered, which means they are made with ground quartz and a resin. The resin can become discolored when exposed to intense heat from a hot pan. Make sure you use trivets beneath hot items to avoid discoloring your quartz surface.
How to Prevent Heat Damage on Natural Stone
No matter what type of natural stone countertops you have, it’s a good idea to take precautions to prevent heat damage. Appreciate and trust the durability of your stone, but don’t feel tempted to test it or take advantage of it. Always use trivets or hot pads to prevent color change, burns, or even cracks from extreme heat. The occasional hot pot may be fine with granite, but remember the undersides of your cookware may have food residue or burn marks that could scratch the finish of the countertop when combined with high heat.
Neglecting proper care can also damage your stone surfaces over time. One of the key steps in caring for granite and other types of natural stone like marble, travertine, and slate is cleaning. Purchase a granite daily cleaner value pack today to ensure you have the materials you need to properly clean your stone, and get in touch with Granite Gold® to learn about the other steps you should be taking when caring for stone countertops, floors, showers, and more. Call 1-800-475-STONE today to speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives.