Tips From the Trade: Can Hot Pans Really Damage My Marble Countertops?

October 03, 2017

Have you ever wondered why you don't see marble used as often as granite or quartz? After all, a marble countertop is often considered to be the height of beauty and luxury. However, some may be under the impression that marble is simply too costly or fragile.

You may even have heard that heat will damage a marble countertop. So if you have questions about the properties of marble, read on and decide for yourself whether this classic stone is the perfect material for your countertop. 

Featured: Calacatta Black Marble

Marble has been used as a building material for centuries, and is easily recognizable by its graceful movement and delicate veining. Like most natural stone materials, marble is extremely durable. However, marble is not as hard as granite or quartz, and it can therefore be more susceptible to staining and etching over time. But what about heat and marble?

Recreate this look with MSI's Crema Cappuccino Marble (Photo Credit: Houzz)

Although you can generally place hot items on a marble countertop without worrying about any major damage, it’s best to play it safe. In reality, placing pots and pans directly on marble is more likely to cause scratching than cracking, discoloration or yellowing.

In extreme cases, thermal shock can occur when a scalding pan is placed on a very cool surface, causing cracks. However, all materials, including granite and quartz, can be susceptible to this kind of thermal shock. 

Get this look with MSI's Mont Blanc Marble (Photo Credit: Houzz

The best and easiest way to prevent damage to any countertop is to get in the habit of using trivets or potholders under hot pots and pans. Italian marble, like any other countertop surface, can sustain wear and tear from repeated sliding and scraping of hot items across it. Protecting any natural stone surface is a small price for keeping your investment looking like new for years to come.

Recreate this look with MSI's Super White Marble (Photo Credit: Houzz)

Another way to protect your marble countertops is avoiding preparing acidic foods directly on the stone. This can cause a chemical reaction that leaves etch marks. Also, be sure to use coasters under drink glasses to avoid stains. Finally, you can get your marble countertop sealed, preventing liquids from penetrating the porous stone and giving you some piece of mind.  

Of course, some homeowners may opt for a low-maintenance approach and simply enjoy the patina of their aged marble countertops. Choosing a honed finish can help to camouflage etching and chips, and lends itself to traditional or rustic designs. Embracing the natural character of marble can be a true part of its beauty!    

Featured: Statuary Venato Marble

And if you have enjoyed your marble countertop for years and it's starting to show, just remember that most damage is not permanent. There are many DIY remedies and products on the market today that can help you clean your marble and get it looking like new again. For the direst cases, you can always hire a professional in stone restoration to resurface your marble to its former glory. 

So if you have been on the fence about marble, it’s time to climb down. It's a fabulous material that is beautiful and unique, and with the right care and maintenance, can last a very long time.

For more facts about marble countertops and why they're a great idea, check out Marble Countertops 101