Your kitchen is likely a high traffic zone in your home—seeing plenty of action daily. That means it is crucial to make sure that your counters are strong and durable as well as attractive. One of the most impressive choices on the market today is soapstone countertops in Pittsburgh. And one of the biggest reasons people are choosing soapstone is due to its resistance to heat damage.
Softer than other natural stone countertops, soapstone counters are chemically inert. That means not only will acidic substances not damage them, but they are also highly heat resistant. Even better, soapstone is able to absorb, retain, and re-radiate heat. This makes it an excellent choice for homes in colder climates like those here in the Keystone State.
Soapstone is a very low-maintenance material that will age with grace—usually darkening through the years. Many homeowners like to oil their counters with mineral oil to even out and speed up this natural darkening process. Because this is a softer material, it is easier to scratch and chip, but this damage can easily be buffed out or filled in—even with little personal experience. If your primary concern is heat resistance rather than hardness, soapstone is the right choice for your home.
Quartz countertops in Pittsburgh, PA, are known for their toughness and durability. But there is one thing that can damage them—heat. Engineered surfaces like quartz are made up of 90% mineral and 10% resins and dyes. These resins are used to bind the minerals together to create a stain-resistant, durable surface for you to enjoy. They are also susceptible to heat damage. Too much heat and the resin can burn or melt, which will damage your quartz countertop.
So, how hot is too hot? Most quartz countertops can withstand heat up to about 300 degrees. That means if something is too hot to touch directly with your hands, it is too hot to place on your countertop without some form of protection. Place a coaster under your hot mugs and rest hot plates and dishes on trivets or another form of insulating material. With this simple tip, you are able to keep the heat away from your counters so that they will last and look beautiful for decades.
What happens if you don’t protect your countertop? The most common type of heat damage is discoloration. When the resins in the counter are exposed to high heat, they will develop browned scorch marks. Furthermore, if your counter is exposed to extreme heat and then extreme cold it can cause the surface to crack—causing serious damage. So, treat your new countertops with care.