burn stain on white quartz countertop

zarko123March 20, 2014

I have a white Cambria quartz countertop installed only 6 months ago. The nanny yesterday placed a pot right out of the dishwasher on it - problem is the pot was still very hot and she left it on the countertop for 10 minutes. It has left a yellowish mark on the countertop that I can't clean out. I am completely bummed because the countertop is new and I thought quartz was tougher than this! Does anyone have a similar experience and was there anything you did to make it look better?

So disappointed....

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Sorry I can't help but...ouch :( . I wouldn't have expected a dishwasher-hot pot to cause damage - even my crummy laminate was more sturdy than that.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 9:03PM
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I am a fabricator.

the resin in the Cambria is burnt. All of the various quartz manufacturers specifically exclude heat damage from their warranty. Depending on the size of the damaged area a skilled fabricator may be able to make it less conspicious but you will always be able to see the damaged area.

In my experience heat damage to quartz is actually a more common occurrence than staining in natural stone - and stains can often be removed.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 9:20PM
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It pains me that so many people have been misled about the durability of quartz. It's a good product but don't expect it to be bullet proof like so many have been led to believe.
Repairs on quarts is still hit and miss. It takes someone with very good skills to even have mixed results on repairs. Burns are common, staining happens more often than people realize, I have seen some fading and most of the time nothing can be done to fix any of it.
People need to accept quarts for what it is, not what has been hyped.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 10:01PM
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Email me and I'll give you Steve Annaker's number. He's the inventor of Steve's Polishing Pro System which is so far the most likely to remove the spot and I've tired Dani's system and the Klone-It. Maybe he's sold a kit or trained a pro in your area.

I used it on this one and yours doesn't sound nearly as bad:

Here is a link that might be useful: Quartz repair

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 10:12PM
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Thanks for your replies. Quartz is definitely hyped up to be very durable, resitant to this that and the other. In reality, I am now learning that is very very sensitive. In addition to this 'burn' that I now have, I also have several chips on the edges over the dishwasher which, little did I know, is also common. How can that be?! I am very disappointed by it as it is hyped up but in reality you have to completely baby it.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 10:16PM
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Another question - if this burn keeps bugging me, how easy is it to replace the countertop alone? I wouldn't want to damage the bottom cabinets so is it possible even at this point to replace the countertop without damage to the cabinets?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 10:53PM
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Contributing to the Hype...this is what Consumer Reports says of quartz. Notice that one of the "pros" is that it survived hot pots.

It survived a gauntlet of spills, hot pots, knives, and more with top scores, and it doesn't have to be sealed for stain protection. Because it's waterproof it's a sound choice to be paired with undermounted sinks.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 11:16PM
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Resin can be scorched by something too hot, but I'm surprised that that could happen for the resin used in quartz by pot from the dishwasher. I'd expect it to be possible from something at high oven heat like a heavy roasting pan taken out of a 450 degree oven but not around boiling temp. A dishwasher shouldn't be making things hot enough to cause that.

Was it one of the major brands of quartz?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 11:30PM
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cloud_swift - it is made by Cambria. Your point is exactly what I would have thought also - that the heat damage would occur only from something out of the oven, not a pot hot from the dishwasher. However, there was nothing else that went on the countertop other than the pot and it was left there for 10 minutes. Perhaps the amount of time it was sitting there contributed to heat damage?

I am so disappointed and now I keep staring at the stain and can't forget about it!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 11:46PM
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Zarko123, So sorry that you have this damage now on your counter. I also thought Quartz Counters were bullet proof. Thanks for letting us know. I hope someone can remove the heat damage or make it not be so obvious.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 12:25AM
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I just performed an experiment using an extra piece Silestone blanco maple, which is white with flecks of gray & brown that you can see up close. I put a pot of boiling water directly on the Silestone piece and left it there for ~15min, then removed the pot and let the piece cool. I also put a towel underneath to insulate it the whole time. I live about 500' above sea level.

Result is that Silestone blanco maple is not damaged by temps Does your dishwasher have a heater? A DW heater could make things hotter than boiling water. But your nanny would need a hot pad to get them out! 212 degF is really hot.

For me, the boiling water threshold is a totally workable rule. If it has water in it, then it won't damage the counter. Otherwise, it might, especially if it's coming out of the oven. I guess the DW heater is kind of a trip wire though - glad in hindsite that mine doesn't have one.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 1:03AM
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I guess the other thing is, unless we actually witness an event we don't really for sure what happened.

My daughter and her friend turned on the oven of my new BlueStar range while I was in the kitchen but not actually watching them). They broke the knob shaft :-0 . Luckily it was repaired under warranty, but I'll never know whether appropriate force was used or ?? The whole oven thermostat had to be replaced, etc.

This post was edited by feisty68 on Fri, Mar 21, 14 at 1:34

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 1:33AM
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According to wikipedia, engineered stone can handle temps up to 300 degF.

Here is a link that might be useful: Engineered Stone on wikipedia

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 1:47AM
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I am a fabricator.

My guess is the offending pot was heated well above the boiling point of water by the heating element a lot of dishwashers have to dry the dishes. If the pot was one of those with a heavy and thick metal bottom it could easily have been hot enough to damage the quartz if it was too close to the heating element as was removed right after the DW completed it's cycle.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 8:59AM
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OP, I'm so sorry this has happened to you. I hope something can be done.

I think this is a good reminder that no countertop material is perfect. Granite has been given a bad name by the Quartz Industry - they had to get into the market. Many on GW are educated and know the truth, but outside of this group, Quartz is seen as the new perfect countertop and granite is on its way out. Everyone should do their own research and choose the best material for their space and needs.

By the way, I have granite & quartz in my house...

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 10:17AM
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Look up how your dishwasher dries dishes. Apparently heating elements are now "old school" and many dishwashers dry dishes by heating the final rinse water to over 150 degrees and creating a condensation effect which dries the dishes more energy efficiently.

Of course, 150 degrees is not enough to damage quartz. This is of particular interest to me because I got a callback on a 13K quartz job because "candle wax had etched the quartz". In fact, teenagers had overheated a battery charger and the battery acid etched the quartz. The teenagers put the candle over the etch to avoid getting murdered by their parents.

In that context, I'm a little suspicious of the nanny's story.

This post was edited by Trebruchet on Fri, Mar 21, 14 at 10:43

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 10:18AM
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I'm so sorry you are going through this!! Very interesting that quartz can be this vulnerable to damage. I'm glad I went with granite even though everyone has been pushing quartz. Are you going to try to get it replaced? You can have the counter removed without damage to your cabinets. We had a new countertop put in last year without ANY damage to the existing cabinets. GL!!! Can you post a pic for us?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 10:32AM
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I was thinking the same as Tre. Someone needs to 'fess up!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 10:37AM
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I had the same thought as Tre. It sounds more like someone placed something right off the stove (or oven) on the counter and they knew it was wrong. Time to blame the dishwasher. My Bosch does that hot rinse condensation thing (I hate it) and come on, it's not *that* hot. Who fishes really hot items out of a DW anyway? Somebody's got some 'splaining to do.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 10:45AM
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NO WAY a DW heated anything hot enough to damage even Corian. Someone is not telling you the truth about what happened.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 10:54AM
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thanks everyone.
I will try to post a picture later when I am home.

In terms of the story, this is what she told me happened but there is no way to know. The pot was one of those metal ones with a thick bottom and the 'burn'/stain is round and yellowish , with a more pronounced yellow around the rim. It fits the size of the metal pot she said she took out of the dishwasher and placed on the counter.

I asked her if she placed the pot after cooking but she said she only placed it there after the dishwasher. I have opened the dishwasher in the past when it just finishes and it is pretty hot (it has that heated dry) to the point that I can't really touch the stuff so I leave it but apparently she took stuff out right away. Maybe because the handle of the pot isn't that hot she could touch it but the bottom of it was still hot...I don't know what the full story is as I was not there, but regardless I now have this stain.

I am afraid that I have now also made it worse by trying different things to get it out - not worse in terms of the yellow color but I have kind of dulled that area from my attempts at cleaning it and so now when I step away you can see the round dulled area. Argh.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 11:27AM
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Don't feel bad about your attempt to clean it. If you have someone come out to try to repair it, they'll do the same thing--spread the buffed area out wider than the actual damage. It's the only way they can blend it in. I don't think they can make it disappear, but Tre will beg to differ.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 11:38AM
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Zarko, I hope there is a solution for you. My pots with thick bottoms do get extremely hot in the dishwasher - the bottoms are too hot to touch. But, my laminate could handle that. The only time I had heat damage was when my son put a heated iron hot side down on the counter for a minute (duh!).

I must say, as someone who is about to install 4K light coloured granite, I am a bit sickened by how expensive counters are these days! Unless you DIY, even decent laminate has gotten very costly - the stone countertop trend has created price creep in man-made materials. I hate the thought of teens worried about being "murdered" because of unintentional damage. If my husband had been willing, I would have installed stainless with the understanding that dents and scratches are expected. That's what restaurants do.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 11:58AM
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"... I also have several chips on the edges over the dishwasher which, little did I know, is also common. How can that be?!"


You haven't told us your edge profile, but whatever it is, I'll bet it's not rounded enough. It's not a coincidence that the chips are happening at the dishwasher.

Your edge can probably be reprofiled without removing the tops and this will eliminate the existing chips if they aren't too bad. If they are really bad, I'd fix them then reprofile the edge and they will be inconspicuous.

You can probably get both problems fixed for less than a thousand dollars.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 12:25PM
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