For those of you who know me personally, it will not be a surprise to hear me say that taking good care of your stone is very important.
However, to preserve the look of the stone, home-owners can go a little too far and be afraid to use the surface for everyday life, such as placing a hot pan directly onto their granite counter for fear it will burn the stone. Guess what? This worry is unfounded and I will tell you why: granite is formed under intense heat and can therefore withstand heat after it is installed in your kitchen.
Back in the factory, granite slabs are cut with a blade and running water. Then the cut-to-size pieces are glued together to produce your surface (including kitchen worktops). However, this special glue can only adhere to completely dry stone. In order to speed up the drying process, a flame torch is commonly turned onto the stone in order to dry every drop of water from it. Again, no damage here. So, if a flame thrower does not damage the natural beauty of your stone, a hot pan can’t really do any damage either!
With that said, if the stone of your worktop is not natural, but an engineered stone (either a marble- or quartz-based material), heat will damage the surface. These composite materials consist of a mixture of real stone and polymer glues, which are susceptible to burns. For this reason, it is advised to use a hot pad between the countertop and hot pans/crockpots. So ask your supplier what stone you are having installed so that you know what to do and not to do. If you are not sure or you normally use a pad between your working surface and your yummy creations in the kitchen, feel free to continue doing so, if this gives you peace of mind… ?
The only instance where natural granite can be damaged by the heat is the case of exposure to significant changes of temperature. Think of – and it is quite an extreme scenario, I have to admit – a single slab of dark granite that runs from the indoor kitchen through a window, to form an outdoor bar top or breakfast table. The difference in temperature between the inside and the open outdoor air, combined with a dark colour that tends to absorb the sun’s heat, further magnified by the glass window, can potentially cause the granite to crack. However – as you can gather – this is a combination of very specific factors (not very realistic, eh?) and does not represent a common occurrence in our kitchens.
For more in-depth information on how to look after your stone worktop, read “DOs and DONTs of natural stone maintenance” and “The 10 commandments of natural stone“. If you have any question or require assistance, do not hesitate to contact us.