Counters and Thermal Shock

October 3, 2018 Uncategorized
Stouffville Kitchen

Stouffville Kitchen Quartz Counter

I find that many who visit our showroom are under the impression that they can put a hot pot from their stove directly onto a natural stone or engineered quartz counter. Although some natural stone counters may stand up to this, not all will and could crack – and your warranty will probably not cover this mishap. The best way to avoid this happening is to use something like a protective hot pad or trivet. In somewhat scientific terms – Thermal shock occurs when a thermal gradient causes different parts of an object to expand by different amounts. This differential expansion can be understood in terms of stress or of strain, equivalently. At some point, this stress overcomes the strength of the material, causing a crack to form.

In simple terms your counter isn’t just cracking, it’s actually expanding thus causing the crack to potentially happen. Take Natural Stone for example – it is a natural product and even though the stone itself may be able to withstand strong heat there could be pockets of mica and other elements in it that you cannot see but expand when exposed to heat. This can happen anytime during the life of your counter. With engineered quartz this will most likely happen, as you need to remember that it contains natural and man made product – which do not necessarily react well when exposed to extreme heat. These are still great materials to use for a residential kitchen – and I have used hot pads/trivets all my life. So to me no big deal!

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