Durability is one of the many advantages of the engineered stone known as quartz, and this includes a high level of heat resistance. During the fabrication process, quartz slabs are cured at temperatures ranging between 176 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, which helps quartz develop resistance to stains, abrasion, and impacts. Once quartz is fabricated, finished, and installed, its surface heat resistance is estimated to be 302 degrees Fahrenheit, but a general recommendation in this regard is to not incidentally expose engineered stone to very high temperatures.
The Possible Chemical Reactions of Quartz
The heat required to provoke a chemical fire on quartz materials cannot be generated in a kitchen or bathroom, but this doesn’t mean chemical reactions won’t occur with prolonged exposure to high temperatures. The problem is with the polyester resins used to make quartz—their heat resistance is largely structural, but they may chemically scorch under certain conditions.
The Heat Quartz Can Withstand
As previously mentioned, quartz can handle about 302 degrees Fahrenheit. Let’s say you set a curling iron to its highest temperature, which is about 410 degrees Fahrenheit, before placing it on your bathroom quartz countertop. If you’re lucky, this may not cause a reaction if it happens once or twice, but doing it constantly may result in discoloration. Regardless, it’s best not to risk placing such a hot item directly on quartz. The surface temperature of a cast iron pan coming out of the oven could be higher than 572 degrees Fahrenheit, which would make it too hot for a quartz countertop. Neapolitan pizzerias don’t generally install quartz as prep tables because the pies are coming out of brick ovens that reach temperatures higher than 698 degrees Fahrenheit.
What Happens to Quartz When Exposed to Extreme Temperatures
The immediate scorch marks that can occur when placing very hot objects directly on quartz surfaces are usually yellow or brown, and they’re indicative of a resin burn. Even moderately hot pots and pans can cause discoloration if they’re constantly placed on top of quartz counters and left on the surface for more than a few minutes. If you frequently let a teapot cool down on your quartz surface, there’s a chance it will discolor over time.
Preventing Scorch Marks and Discoloration on Quartz
Caring for quartz countertops involves more than just regularly cleaning them with quartz cleaner. You also need to make sure to protect against damage from extreme heat. Using trivets and hot pads in the kitchen is a must when you have quartz countertops. Make sure to keep these protective items close to the stove and around the center island. Otherwise, you can also get into the habit of leaving pots and pans on top of the stove until they cool down. Also, don’t forget to use insulating objects to protect your bathroom counters when using hair driers and curling irons.
Quartz isn’t the only countertop material at risk for damage from heat. You also need to avoid placing hot items on your countertops if they’re made of granite, marble, travertine, or another type of natural stone. And just like you need to clean quartz regularly, it’s also important to keep natural-stone countertops clean. To learn how to clean granite countertops or quartz countertops, reach out to Granite Gold® at 1-800-475-STONE (7866).
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