Granite is an igneous rock, which means it originates from a geological process that occurs at very high temperatures. If you have granite countertops in your kitchen, you should know there is virtually nothing you can do to reach igneous temperatures, which start around 600 degrees Celsius and can easily surpass the 1,000-degree mark during a volcanic process. What you should know from this geological information is that your granite counters won’t melt if you put a hot pan or a curling iron on top of them. However, this doesn’t mean you should do so.
The granite tiles and slabs installed in your home are susceptible to chemical processes that can be triggered through various factors, extreme heat being one of them. Granite and all other natural stones derive their beauty from chemical reactions that took place over millions of years. When they’re extracted, cut, and finished for residential use, the reactions will cease until they’re sparked. The most common reaction to extreme heat would be discoloration, followed by the potential of cracks if there are unseen fissures under the surface.
The Patina Effect
When you visit old British pubs with natural-stone countertops on their main bars, you may notice they’ve developed a certain patina that has trapped stains, discolorations, and imperfections underneath. All these reactions can be caused by direct heat, spills, and questionable maintenance. A shiny patina may add character in settings such as British pubs, but they won’t look good in your home.
High Potential for Weakening the Seal
One of the quickest ways to weaken the seal of your granite countertops is to expose them to direct heat. Let’s say you operate an electric skillet that warms up to 450 degrees Celsius right on top of your granite counter. The moisture of your ingredients being grilled will eventually waft downward and make contact with the stone surface, effectively doing away with the latest sealant application. This could be a problem if your granite counters are used daily for food preparation since they’ll have a greater potential of developing stains from water, juice, coffee, wine, and other substances.
Using Trivets and Potholders
Just like cutting boards and other protective items used for cooking, you should get into the habit of using hot pads, trivets, and potholders to protect your granite countertops because they aren’t stainless steel tables used in industrial kitchens. If you have stone remnants from your countertop installation, you can have them cut into decorative trivets. Even when using trivets, you shouldn’t neglect sealing your granite counters with a specially formulated granite sealer.
To learn how to seal granite properly, contact the Stone Care Experts at Granite Gold®. We offer a wide array of products that are safe to use on granite and other types of stone such as marble and travertine. Call 1-800-475-STONE (7866) today to speak with one of our friendly representatives.
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