can hot pans go directly onto marble?

drboubaMarch 20, 2012

We are strongly considering white marble (prob calacutta) for island and countertops. We certainly understand that, unless meticulously cleaned and cared for, marble will stain and chip -- and that this over time can lead to a wonderful antique look or patina, and that's probably the direction we'll take it.

However, I just read on the website of the Marble Institute of America which states: "Do not place hot items directly on the stone surface. Use trivets or mats under hot dishes and placemats under china, ceramics, silver or other objects that can scratch the surface."

Can anyone who actually has marble in their kitchen comment on this? I can't really fathom having to put trivets down every time something comes out of the oven and the cooktop is occupied!

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Never, never have I put a hot pan down on my marble or any other counter material. They say you can with soapstone, but I'm not sure I would do that even.

I don't really use trivets. I use cooling racks if necessary.

What counter do you have that you set a boiling hot pan onto?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 2:10PM
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Here's a thread on the same topic from earlier in the month.

Here is a link that might be useful: Marble and hot pans thread

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 2:12PM
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Breezy - you are fast! I was just about to post that link and BAM! you beat me to it. lol

I haven't had marble counters before, but I've had granite and people will say the same thing about putting hot things on any stone. Thermal shock can cause the stone to break. I've had granite for years and things come right out of the oven straight on to my nice cold granite with nary a problem. Could I have a problem at some point? Sure. It's possible. If it happens, I'll deal with it then. I wanted stone counters so I don't have to baby them and I don't plan on babying my new ones.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 2:30PM
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Where are you getting your info on marble? Meticulous? Really? Then don't get the marble. Truly, many kitchen with marble look dressy, but in my mind, marble is like blue jeans and the dressy kitchens are jeans with heels, but still jeans. If you can't be that comfortable living with them, don't get them.

You do need to have a good marble sealer applied and then reapplied every few years or anytime you buff off an etch (because you just buffed away at least some of the sealer). If sealed, it is not likely to stain. Period. Chips are a matter of the crystals in the stone -- same as any other stone. More likely you will get what is called bruising -- like when you smash a finger tip and get a white mark on your nail except it will not grow out.

Professional advise will be not to put very hot pots or pans on marble or any other stone, concrete or most other surfaces because there is always the possibility of a weak spot that could crack with extreme temp changes or other stress (standing, sitting on the counter, etc.). You may be able to do those things 1,000 times without any problem, but they don't want to be paying for your stone if you do it 1,001 or 10,001 and have a crack.

I've had formica and tile counters that I have hated scrubbing and bleaching to keep them white. Marble is easy in comparison, but you have to be realistic about the nature of a natural material.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 3:01PM
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Can hot pans go directly onto marble? Yes -- at least once. :-)

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 3:11PM
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@breezy - Yes, you can put hot pans directly on soapstone. In fact, I even use a large soapstone tile as a baking stone. It is totally heat proof, at least within the tolerances you'd find in any normal home not occupied by the devil himself.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 5:34PM
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We have soapstone countertops at our farmhouse and I put hot pans on them without any problems to date.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 7:23PM
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Re: soapstone. Yes, I know you can put hot pans on directly. I think my very old habits would die hard, though. :) And not that matters because this is my one and only new kitchen and I went with marble and walnut.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 7:32PM
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I put hot pots and baking sheets on my marble all the time. No problems so far.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 9:47PM
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To be 1000% safe, never.

But in real life I think it depends on several factors.

Here's my experience (so you can judge if it is similar to yours): I have a large slab of 5/4" old white (probably VT) marble 42" long that functions as a countertop by my stove. I have been using it this way for a decade, but inherited it from my late MIL who had been using it for 30 years before that, in the same way.

I regularly set pots and pans fresh off the gas burners and out of the oven on it without a trivet. Not every pot, in every circumstance, however. I've (obviously0 never broken or cracked the slab.

The exceptions to the rule are: hot glass pots are always triveted to protect them from thermal shock from the colder marble. Very hot cast iron fresh out of a 475/500 degree oven gets triveted to protect the marble.

But hot bread and cake pans, cookie sheets, metal lasagne pans, turkey roasters, All-clad saucepans, saute pans and stockpots, cast iron skillets used for stove-top frying and searing, enameled and stainless broiler trays, Corning Blue-flower pots of all sizes are all set directly on the marble many times per day.

No evidence of damage, yet. And thats over a cumulative 40 years of usage.

All stones are different and many marbles may not be able to handle this. And many marble suppliers may be afflicted with CYA.

YMMV, in this, as in all things. But you asked.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 11:26AM
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a painter put a work light near our bathroom marble floors. That tile is probably 3/8" thick and a chlaky white spot appeared with a grey halo. The contractor replaced all four marble tiles.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 12:32PM
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I know you asked about marble, but since soapstone has been brought up I thought I'd chime in. I put my homemade pizza directly from a 450 oven right on to our soapstone. They use soapstone in laboratories, and they make fireplaces and fire inserts out of it, which I'm sure get hotter than 450.

They make marble trivets don't they?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 1:47PM
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It's funny, isn't it. Even though I grew up with ceramic tile and have both tile and marble in my kitchen now, I always put a hot pan first on the stove-top--never directly on the tile or marble. Just a habit. Even though they make marble trivets, if the marble cracks, no big deal. If your counter cracks, very big deal. (And somehow there is something very "Gatsy-ish" when people say,
"Oh, well, I'll just get another marble counter."

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 2:58PM
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liriodendron, I'm so jealous...working with 40 + year marble.....I would love to see pictures of it. I bet it's gorgeous with a beautiful patina so many want. I remember my grandparents marble in their kitchen & it was so beat up beautifully! Looked like so many I've seen through out Europe, I'm sure others here would love to see what they can look forward to seeing their's look like one day, or if moving into a home that already has it.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 4:26PM
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