The Complicated Relationship Between Hot Pans and Countertops
Having a clean and shiny kitchen is what everybody dreams of. If you have ever done a kitchen remodeling, you probably understand the feeling of never wanting to see your kitchen dirty again. However, as you keep using your kitchen, you will notice some damage and discoloration here and there.
Did you know that placing a hot pan directly on your countertop is one of the most common forms of damage? Well, if you are determined to keep your kitchen looking new and beautiful, then you should protect the countertops at all costs.
Can You Put Hot Pans on Granite Countertops?
If you have granite countertops, then you should know that your kitchen countertop is quite heat-resistant. When you first install a granite countertop, you are unlikely to notice any damage even if you place hot pans and plates on the counter. However, your granite countertop will degenerate over time, especially since the sealant is easily damaged.
When the granite countertop becomes weak, it is much easier to experience a thermal shock by placing hot pans on the surface. If you want to keep your kitchen countertops safe, it is recommended to use kitchen mitts as a barrier between the hot pan and your granite counter.
What is a Thermal Shock?
When we talk about hot pans and countertops, the first thing that you should know about is the thermal shock. Simply, a thermal shock can happen when any material experiences an extreme change in temperature instantly. For instance, you can break a hot coffee pot if you immediately place it under cold water – all thanks to a thermal shock.
For kitchen countertops, thermal shocks are an unfortunate reality. Since homeowners are unaware of the varying temperatures between their countertop and pan, they would simply place a hot pan over the counter and experience a thermal shock. This means that the countertop can crack when exposed to an extreme temperature change.
Will it Burn Granite Countertops?
If you are worried about burning your granite countertops, then we are here to provide you with some reassuring information. Granite comes from an igneous rock – meaning that it is formed through the cooling and solidifying of lava. Since this lava has an extremely high temperature, granite tends to be a heat-resistant stone.
Although this does not mean that the granite countertop is 100% heat-proof, it does provide that burning your granite countertop is a highly unlikely instance.
If you occasionally place a hot pan on your granite countertop, you are unlikely to notice any significant damage. However, it is important to use a trivet for more regular use. This small barrier between the source of heat and your countertop will help keep the granite safe from cracks, damage, and weakening. If you have kitchen appliances that tend to generate a significant amount of heat, then it would be a good idea to place trivets or mats underneath them.
It is also important that you use mild detergent for cleaning. If you use strong cleaning products such as an oven cleaner on a granite countertop, it will damage the sealant.
Marble is one of the most common building materials – indicating that it is strong enough to resist the impact of all sorts. However, it should be noted that marble is not as sturdy as granite and quartz, which means that it is easier to crack your marble countertop.
If you have a marble countertop, then you are free to place hot pans on the surface without worrying about any cracks. In the long run, you might notice that the texture of your marble countertop is degenerating as small scratches begin to show up here and there. If this worries you, then it is recommended to use an oven mitt underneath every hot pan that you place on the countertop.
Hot Pans on Quartz Countertops
Quartz countertops are considered one of the most durable materials for the kitchen. Since quartz is heat-resistant material, it is quite safe to place hot pans right on the surface. However, it is important to use a mitt or trivet to protect your quartz countertop and to keep it in good shape for the long run.
Although quartz countertops are heat resistant, placing extremely hot pots and pans on the surface might lead to discoloration or burn marks due to the thin material. If there is resin used on the top layer of the quartz countertop, then constant exposure to high heat can lead to melting damage.
Epoxy countertops are becoming a popular choice for kitchen countertops. These countertops have a long-lasting and durable surface due to their non-porous properties and heat-resistance. If you want to place hot pots and pans on an epoxy countertop, then it is absolutely essential to use trivets. Through constant exposure to extreme heat conditions, your epoxy countertop can come discolored or cracked on the top.
Although it is recommended to use trivets with epoxy countertops, it should be noted that there is no risk of burning the epoxy countertop with a hot pan. The material is heat resistant up to 600-degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it safe to use under extreme heat conditions.
Since concrete is a very durable material used in building construction, it is often used for kitchen countertops as well. These are entirely customizable and handcrafted according to your own kitchen. For kitchen usage, a sealer is applied on top of the concrete in order to prevent any moisture absorption.
These sealers are susceptible to heat damage, meaning that you should always use a barrier between the surface and the hot pan. If you place hot pans directly on the concrete sealer, then you are risking damage on the surface.
Although laminate is becoming a popular choice in modern kitchens, it is certainly not a very strong material for countertops. If you have a laminate countertop, then it is almost impossible to scratch or burn the surface. However, this does not mean that it safe to continuously place hot pans and pots on your laminate countertop because it could weaken the surface over time, thus leading to burning marks and cracks.
While it is okay to occasionally place a pan or two on your laminate countertop, it is important to use a trivet for long-term use.
Corian is a sturdy material that is known for its heat-resistant properties. Corian is made with acrylic material, meaning that it will only melt at temperatures as high as 400 degrees F. However, if you place a very hot pan on the Corian countertop and leave it there for too long, it could cause the surface to crack. To reduce the costs of repair, it is important to remain extra cautious with your Corian countertops.
Instead of placing hot pans directly on the kitchen counter, place multiple trivets around your kitchen that you can use as a barrier between the pan and the counter.
Countertops You Can Put Hot Pans on
If you are looking for more heat-resistant kitchen countertops, then we do have a few suggestions for you. Although the best suggestion is to always have kitchen mitts and trivets at hand, you can also invest in one of these kitchen counters to ensure that you cause no damage when placing hot pans on the counter.
1. Engineered Stone
Unlike other types of kitchen countertops, engineered stone is strong enough to never crack due to heat exposure. This is mainly because it is constructed using multiple layers of fused acrylic, meaning that each layer contributes towards the heat-resistance of the stone. By using engineered stone for your kitchen countertop, you would never have to worry about discoloring or cracking your counter if you place a steaming pan directly on the surface.
2. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel or aluminum countertops are a great way to have additional heat resistance in your kitchen. Even if you place an extremely hot item on the stainless-steel counter, there is unlikely to be any damage. If there is slight discoloration, then you can easily clean it with vinegar or special cleaning solutions.
In simple terms, having steel or aluminum kitchen counters means that you can use the surface without worrying about cracks, discoloration, or even stains because the surface is incredibly easy to clean.
If you are willing to sacrifice on a very strong surface, then consider using soapstone for your kitchen countertops. Even though scratches and other cracks would be very prominent on soapstone, there is certainly no worrying about heat damage since the material is incredibly heat-resistant.
4. Recycled Glass
Using recycled glass as your kitchen countertop not only gives you heat-resistance, but also makes your remodeling project environment friendly. Depending upon the types of glass used in the recycling process, this material can provide a significant amount of heat resistance to your kitchen countertops. However, you will have to be careful about sudden fluctuations between extremely cold and extremely hot temperatures since it could result in a thermal shock.
Regardless of the type of material you use for your kitchen countertops, there is only one way to prevent damage at all costs: use trivets.