Can Granite Countertops Be Damaged With Heat?

Today’s homeowners continue to consider granite as one of their top natural stone picks for countertop use. Most love the beauty of granite, the different patterns and colors available, the warmth it exudes and the somewhat easy care involved. However, one question that does seem to pop up in relation to the durability and care of granite countertops is whether they can be damaged by heat?

Granite’s Durability and Consistency

Since granite is a durable natural stone that has a mineral hardness of 6 on the Mohs scale, which means that granite is pretty hard as well as sturdy, it is evident that with the right kind of use, granite can withstand heat from hot cookware and utensils. Also, granite is made from igneous rock that forms under extreme heat conditions with a follow up cooling down period which produces a hardness and denseness to granite. This type of formation creates a resistance to heat damage. Even an open flame can’t harm it.

Resistance to Heat

As far as heat extremes with granite are concerned, this natural stone is resistant to heat and can handle pots and pans that have reached levels of 1000 degrees plus Fahrenheit without damage, but any heat source that is repeatedly applied and left on granite is going to affect it. Damage could occur that would consist of actual softening of the granite, discoloration of it or even gashes at the far extreme. One thing to keep in mind is that granite has an extremely high melting point of anywhere from 2210 to 2300 degrees Fahrenheit and in comparison to something like steel, which starts to melt at 2498 degrees Fahrenheit, granite is a tough competitor.

Any normal cooking or baking that involves placing cooking trays, pans, casserole dishes as well as everyday cookware should not be damaging to granite; however, if any sealant has been used on a granite countertop surface, the loss of sealant due to the heat could cause eventual staining. Granite has the tendency to pull heat away from a pan or dish which results in a cooling off, but cooling baked food this way is not recommended. Coasters or trivets should be used on countertops for cooling purposes, whether the countertops are granite or some other natural stone.

Extreme or Harsh Temperatures and Granite

If granite is being used in outside countertop cooking areas, and is enduring exposure to extreme or harsh temperatures, those variances are eventually going to affect it. Whether it is high temperatures in summer or frigid temperatures in winter, granite can be damaged from those extremes. Granite is available in denser or thicker choices that can endure the changes brought with extreme temperatures. This type of granite is definitely recommended for outdoor use.

Dealing with Damage

Continuous use of the same resting place on granite countertops for extremely hot cookware, bake ware or other very hot items is likely to create discolored areas, which is caused by the wearing away of the sealant layer. Repairing this type of damage is usually remedied by the use of a either a paste or liquid product that is applied to the discolored area, rubbed in lightly and wiped away with a soft cloth.

If you are interested in knowing more details about possible damage to granite countertops, complete the online contact form, and a granite expert will get back to you with the answers you need to better understand how to deal with heat and how it affects granite countertops.