Granite vs. Ceasarstone/Cambria

sjhockeyfan325September 30, 2013

I know everyone says you shouldn't put hot pots down on the granite because it might crack, but we always have done so and have never had a problem.

Is it any more or less "safe" with a quartz counter?

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Linelle

I have Caesarstone. I never put anything hot (like right off the stove or out of the oven) on my counter, ever. It either lands on an unheated part of my stovetop or on a cutting board. I would do that whatever my counter material is.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 12:59PM
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live_wire_oak

You will need to use cutting boards and trivets no matter what counter material that you choose. A hot pan on a "quartz" counter can "ghost" because of the resin content. That's where the resin doesn't quite scorch from the heat, but is still affected enough by the heat to change color and sheen slightly. It will not be covered by anyone's warranty, isn't "repairable" like with solid surface, and you will be left with an awfully big paperweight or a funny spot for a vase of flowers!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 1:10PM
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Kristen Hallock

I have quartz and i never put hot pans directly on it. I would imagine that there might be more of a risk with quartz since it is made up of some resin which might melt? But that is totally a guess.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 1:14PM
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sherri1058

FWIW, when I installed my Cambria quartz 10 years ago, I was told that I could put hot pots on it. So I did, not a lot, but often enough. A year ago I decided that our kitchen needed renovating (nothing to do with the counters) so I started an experiment using the counters a lot more often as a landing spot for hot pots/pans as well as using it as a cutting board. My knives took a beating but today my countertops look as good as the day they were installed. As a result, I'm looking at quartz for our next reno.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 1:29PM
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blfenton

I'm with linelle - I would never put hot pots or casserole dishes directly on a counter regardless of the material - just in case.. My problem would be going to someone elses house and putting a hot pot on their counter that couldn't take it. I already have to remember not to slam cabinet doors and drawers at other homes - they don't all have slow-close mechanisms.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 2:45PM
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sjhockeyfan325

>>

I'm the opposite - I'm willing to take certain risks with my own counters that I wouldn't take with someone else's!

We've decided to stick with the Ceasarstone, and we'll just have to learn to be more careful.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 2:51PM
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oldryder

I am a fabricator that does both granite and quartz.

re: heat related damage; ALL the quartz manufacturers specifically exclude heat related damage. The resin which makes up an appreciable fraction of the slab can be burnt and it is almost always not repairable. I've seen about a dozen instances of burnt quartz countertops in 13 years.

In my experience hot pots won't damage granite. There is simply not enough heat energy in a pot of water or food to heat up the stone enough to induce a heat stress related crack. That said, I did replace a ladys countertops once because I used to say you could not damage granite tops with heat. Turns out I was wrong. This customer had a "lefsa" party and had 4 "lefsa burners" spread around her new counters heating the countertop for several hours. 3 cracks resulted. High heat in multiple locations for several hours.

... so now I warn customers about lefsa burners.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 6:43AM
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annkh_nd

Mmmm... lefse...

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 10:14AM
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debrak2008

Isn't there a regular here that had their granite crack when a hot pan was placed on it?

I try not to put hot items directly on the granite if it can be safely avoided.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 10:26AM
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may_flowers

Yes, KevinMP's cracked when he placed a casserole dish on it. My plumber's cracked when he was canning tomatoes on it.

lol....plumber's cracked....

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 10:40AM
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londongirl_2009

I have Quartz and I would never put a hot pot on it. I never put a pot on my laminate so it is just a habit of mine. My neighbour has Quartz also and the company told her it was fine - so she puts cookie sheets, pots and everything on hers without trivets without any problem (I know - I am surprised too). It may be ok but I don't want to take a chance, I guess I should change my username to : CHICKEN! lol

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 10:50AM
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sjhockeyfan325

So those of you who never put a hot pot on your counter without a trivet, do you also avoid just putting hot pot TOPS on the counter? This would be the most likely "offender" in our house.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 11:59AM
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debrak2008

I actually don't have any trivets. If things are coming out of the oven I set them on top of the stove. If that is full (rarely is) I set out a few pot holders or even a crumbled towel. This includes tops.

For our microwave (which gets lots of use) I usually just put things on a towel.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 1:28PM
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debrak2008

dup

This post was edited by debrak2008 on Wed, Oct 2, 13 at 20:24

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 1:40PM
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annkh_nd

sj, I don't think lids would be much of a problem - because they aren't full of food or water, they cool much more quickly than the pot itself, and they don't have nearly as much surface area in contact with the counter.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 1:49PM
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autumn.4

I had granite. I put lids on the counter all the time. Pots only for a second if I had to readjust my grip or something - not as a landing spot. I have trivets and use them for the table and the counter. I use my stove a lot as a landing/cooling spot if it's available.

Crockpots - I did leave them cooking on the counter without experiencing any problems. I was hesitant at first but after a while no worries.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 2:08PM
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elphaba_gw

I plan to have quartz countertops in my new kitchen and plan not to put anything hot directly on them. Just a precaution. Good habit also IMO.

As far as granite (or marble), these are natural stone and like everything else in the natural world, all natural objects/substances are unique - molecules move around/ are subject to different climate conditions while being formed/ etc. etc. And there is no way to know the real true source of the granite or marble countertop you have purchased unless you have visited and seen them extract the slab you have purchased. Not gonna happen (almost for sure). In order to make more money, as everyone knows, all kinds of things we buy in this world have been "mislabeled" or to defend those who might be trying to be honest, through incompetence the stone could be mislabeled or identified. OR you could just have bad luck. All stone have natural fissures that no one can predict how much pressure it will take to crack open one of them. In many cases (as has been indicated by happy owners of granite counters in this forum), you will not have any problem if you put a hot pot on your granite. But I have spoken to contractors who have witnessed a crack happening and besides being a pain to deal with as far as money and time, it can also be very unsafe. Doesn't seem logical to me to take the chance but YMMV.

This post was edited by elphaba on Wed, Oct 2, 13 at 14:44

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 2:29PM
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live_wire_oak

The thing you want to avoid with pot lids is if they are concave, and you set a hot pot lid down on a glass topped cooktop or stone. The cooling air in the lid and the moisture from the lids create a vacuum seal to what's underneath it. That vacuum can be pretty powerful. I actually know of two incidences where a glass cooking surface shattered from that. I don't know of any incidences where stone was affected, but, I wouldn't take the chance either! If you set a hot lid on the surface of anything, be sure it's vented, like over a spoon rest or towel, or just upside down.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 2:29PM
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debrak2008

LWO, I have a glass cook top and my crockpot lid sticks like crazy to it. I have to slide it and hit it on the cooktop lip to release it. I think I will now place it on a towel.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 8:30PM
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Trebruchet

The Marble Institute of America, the trade association of the natural stone industry, insists on the use of trivets on stone countertops.

I've been called to fix heat damage in granite.

This is not up for debate.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 10:50PM
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robyndowning

I had Cambria quartz installed in my former Kansas City kitchen about 6 years ago. At that time I was told that I could put hot pots on it without damaging the material. I didn't leave scalding hot pots on it like for a potluck but I did when I was cooking several dishes and I didn't have any problems even after 5 years. The counters were a darker color and looked as good as the day of the install.

I am not sure if that was only with Cambria because of the way they process the counter slabs.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 3:42AM
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oldryder

"And there is no way to know the real true source of the granite or marble countertop you have purchased unless you have visited and seen them extract the slab you have purchased. Not gonna happen (almost for sure)."

This is inaccurate. Many shops (and, in my opinion, all the good ones) let the customer pick the actual slabs to be used for their countertops. This is actually imperative if the stone has a lot of movement and you are to avoid disappoint due to unacceptable grain matching across seams.

"I have spoken to contractors who have witnessed a crack happening" - The only time a contractor is likely to witness a crack happening is during install and that can happen for a variety of reasons in both granite and quartz and is not likely to be heat related.

"The Marble Institute of America, the trade association of the natural stone industry, insists on the use of trivets on stone countertops. "

Not correct. MIA recommends trivets for a variety of reasons; most fabricators know they are an unnecessary precaution for most countertop stones for protection from heat. As I mentioned previously the typical cooking container which starts cooling as soon as it's removed from the stove or oven simply doesn't contain enough heat energy to heat the stone enough to induce a stress crack.

In a fab shop it's a common practice to use a propane torch to dry an area of stone so sink or dishwasher anchors can be epoxied into the stone. Does that sound like something you'd do to a material that could be cracked by a hot pan?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 9:19AM
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cloud_swift

I generally don't worry about pot lids because they don't have much heat capacity - something may be very hot but be low in mass so the amount of energy stored in it isn't significant. When placed in contact with a large cool mass, it will only raise the temp very slightly and will cool off quickly.

I generally also don't worry about pots that have had something boiling on the stove. They won't be much above 212 degrees.

But say I took a steel baking pan or my cast iron enameled pot out of a 400 degree oven - I'd put that pot on my rangetop or on a pot holder or towel. And the same goes for the heavy cast iron lid which can hold more heat than a regular pan lid.

I also avoid putting a glass baking pan or hot glass lid directly on the counter - because I worry that the temperature shock to the glass from loosing heat unevenly to the stone counter might cause a crack. Perhaps that's an unnecessary precaution, but better safe than sorry.

Our counter is quartzite but I would treat granite the same. Quartz I might be a little more cautious with because of concern about scorching the resin.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 11:57AM
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sjhockeyfan325

FWIW, we brought home samples last night and tested them for both stains and for cracking (I know cracks can happen anytime, but if it happened immediately, we'd certainly know the answer!). Anyway, neither mustard, nor cocktail sauce, nor oil stained the Ceasarstone at all, either in the short term, or the ones I left overnight. Perfectly clean. We also put a frying pan full of boiling water on the sample, and voila, nothing happened. Tonight I'll try that 400 degree cast iron pan cloud_swift referenced. Anyway, we ordered our cabinets yesterday, and confirmed that we are going with the Ceasarstone (organic white).

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 12:11PM
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Trebruchet

"The Marble Institute of America, the trade association of the natural stone industry, insists on the use of trivets on stone countertops. "

Not correct. MIA recommends trivets for a variety of reasons; most fabricators know they are an unnecessary precaution for most countertop stones for protection from heat. As I mentioned previously the typical cooking container which starts cooling as soon as it's removed from the stove or oven simply doesn't contain enough heat energy to heat the stone enough to induce a stress crack.

Oldryder:

Please document what you say when you tell me I'm incorrect. In this case, I am not. Here is the link to the MIA recommending the use of trivets to prevent heat damage to stone countertops: http://www.marble-institute.com/consumers/care.cfm

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 4:47PM
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sjhockeyfan325

I haven't read the link, but there's a big difference between "insists" and "recommends" :-)

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 5:55PM
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krycek1984

For those of us with electric stoves this is a significant issue. Many times a pan must be removed from the oventop otherwise it will continue to cook or burn. I always put it right on our granite tile. We are now getting a slab and won't be doing that. However, I can't promise it would never happen if I'm in a jam and have no trivet, but I don't foresee any issues.

I would assume most of the more expensive granites with lots of movement and variation would be more prone to cracking than more homogeneous granite, but I really don't know.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 6:46PM
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sjhockeyfan325

May be krycek, but we had Crema Bordeaux granite in our previous home and we always put hot pots (from the stove and oven) directly on the granite. Never had a problem.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 6:54PM
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sjhockeyfan325

Last test, I heated up a Lodge cast iron pan in a hot oven for 1/2 hour, took it out and set it on the sample. No problem.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 12:23AM
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Trebruchet

sjhockeyfan:

There are videos of guys frying steaks on heated granite which proves that you can fry a steak on a heated slab of granite as long as you use the edge instead of the middle and that you've fried all the protective resin out of the slab.

I can fry an egg on the hood of my car on a hot day too. This doesn't make my hood a frying pan or mean it's a good idea.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that heat doesn't affect natural stone, but I have been called to repair granite that has failed due to heat. I can post links to stories of heat lamps over food service islands causing granite failure.

The MIA isn't stupid. They know the limitations of stone and are giving excellent advice.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 9:02AM
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sjhockeyfan325

It's all about the amount of risk you're willing to take. Apparently, I'm willing to take more than others!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 11:22AM
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dgormish

Not sure if this helps but FWIW I bought a cutting board made out of Corian with the idea that I would abuse it and see what happens. It is a dark blue/grey color. I have never had any issues with putting hot stuff on the Corian - even straight out of a 400 degree oven. As a cutting board, though, there are lots of marks in the Corian. I can feel them but actually I don't really notice them but I think that may be more due to the color of the Corian.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 8:18PM
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