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Granite countertops are sought-after for kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, beauty, and natural appeal. However, many homeowners wonder whether they can place hot pots, pans, or other heated objects directly onto their granite surfaces. In this article, we’ll explore the dos and don’ts of placing hot things on granite countertops to help you maintain the longevity and beauty of your investment.
The Nature of Granite
Granite is a natural stone materialized deep within the earth’s crust. It’s composed mainly of quartz, feldspar, and mica, and it undergoes extreme heat and pressure during its formation. This natural resilience makes granite one of the hardest and most durable countertop materials available. However, despite its toughness, granite countertops can still be prone to damage when exposed to extreme heat.
The Concern with Heat
While granite is heat-resistant to some extent, it is not entirely impervious to high temperatures. The main concern with exposing granite countertops to heat is the potential for thermal shock, which can cause cracks or discoloration in the stone. Thermal shock occurs when a rapid change in temperature causes the granite to expand or contract unevenly, leading to damage.
Handling Hot Objects on Granite
1. Do Use Trivets or Hot Pads:
To protect your granite countertop from heat-related damage, always use trivets, hot pads, or heat-resistant mats when placing hot cookware, pots, or pans on the surface. It creates a buffer between the hot item and the granite, reducing the risk of thermal shock.
2. Do Allow Gradual Temperature Changes:
If you’ve placed a hot item on your granite countertop, allow it to cool down gradually by moving it to a heat-resistant surface or using a trivet.
3. Do Clean Up Spills Promptly:
While heat is a concern, it’s also essential to clean up any acidic or staining substances (such as red wine, citrus juice, or coffee) promptly to prevent potential damage to the granite’s surface.
4. Don’t Place Hot Cookware Directly on the Granite:
Avoid placing hot pots, pans, or bakeware directly on the granite surface without protection. Even though granite can handle moderate heat, it’s best not to test its limits.
5. Don’t Use Granite for Direct Heat Sources:
Granite countertops should not be used as a substitute for cutting boards or as a surface for hot cooking appliances like electric griddles, slow cookers, or hot plates.
6. Do Invest in Proper Sealing:
Properly sealed granite is more resistant to heat and stains. Regularly sealing your granite countertops (usually every 1-2 years) can help maintain their integrity and protect against potential damage.
Granite countertops can add timeless beauty and durability to your home, but it’s crucial to understand their limitations when it comes to heat resistance. While granite is heat-resistant to a degree, it’s always best to err on the side of caution by using trivets or hot pads to protect the surface from extreme temperatures. With thorough care and proper maintenance, your granite countertops will continue to shine and enhance the aesthetics of your kitchen or bathroom for years to come.