Granite is one of the most durable countertop materials you could choose for your kitchen. Under normal circumstances, you can’t damage a granite countertop with the heat from a hot pan or pot.
Mohs scale is the measuring unit for mineral hardness. Granite has a ranking of 6 on the Measurement of Hardness scale. This rank indicates the strength and density of granite materials. The hardest mineral found in the nature is Diamond and it scales at 10.
The Formation of Granite
Granite materials are actually igneous rock, which forms from a process of extreme heat and then cooling to create the hard and dense granite. Because of the way granite forms, it possesses a special resistance to damage from heat. Granite will not melt, even from direct flame applied to it.
Please note the fact that melting point of Granite is 2210o to 2300o F(1210o to 1260o Celsius) whereas you cook your steak at around 350o to 450oF (177o to 232o Celsius). You may feel further comfort about granite’s heat resistant properties when you know that Steel starts melting at 2498o F (1370o C).
Granite’s Heat Resistance
Granite will resist damage from heat. A hot pan up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit will not damage granite, even if you place the pan directly onto the granite counter. An extreme heat source over an extended period could damage granite surface. The damage that might occur would involve a slight softening of the granite, which could lead to discoloration or gouges in an extreme scenario.
Normal kitchen tasks that involve baking in the oven and cooking on the stovetop will not produce pots or pans that are hot enough to damage granite, however the hot pots might take off the coat of the sealant from the surface making it vulnerable for future stains.
Granite materials pull heat away from items. This means that placing a hot casserole dish onto a granite counter will cause the dish to cool more quickly because the granite pulls heat away from the hot dish. But it is not advisable to use granite countertops for this purpose.
It is advisable to use heat coasters to place the hot pots or dishes on the kitchen countertops.
Extreme Temperature Changes
Extreme temperature changes can cause damage to granite under direct exposure.
If you use granite counters for outside kitchens that are exposed to heat in the summer and extreme cold during the winters, there is a possibility of damage to the granite. The good news is that there are some very high density granites are available in the market for withstanding the harsh conditions of outdoor usage. Granites that withstand extreme weather conditions should be used for outdoor kitchens.
A professional granite installation company can advise the consumer about the right selection of granite or other natural materials for various purposes.
If you choose one spot on a granite counter for placing extremely hot items, over time you may notice discoloration on the granite counter surface. Generally, the discoloration exists on the sealant layer on top of the granite and not on the granite itself.
To repair this damage, apply a restorative paste or liquid product to the granite counter. Rub the product into the granite counter lightly to remove the discoloration. Wipe away the product to finish the repair.