Tips from the Trade: Will Hot Pans Damage My Marble Countertop?

January 12, 2018

Choosing the perfect countertop for your kitchen is about more than just looks. In fact, even before you start thinking about colors or pattern variation, you need to consider your family’s lifestyle. You need to ask a lot of questions before shelling out for this big investment. One of the most common questions asked by countertop shoppers is this: Will the countertop be damaged by hot pots and pans?

It’s only natural to worry about such things. Many of us remember someone inadvertently melting or scorching an old-fashioned manufactured countertop, leading to replacement or expensive repairs. And after all, any kitchen owned by people who actually cook is bound to have its share of hot pots and pans. It’s unlikely that a hot pan will compromise the integrity of the countertop — it won’t melt or crack — but it may cause discoloration. If that should occur, you’ll need to consult a professional to restore your marble countertops to their original condition. Therefore, we highly recommend protecting your marble countertop with trivets and hot pads.

Of course, this isn’t the only concern you may have about your new countertop. Here are a few other questions to consider before making your final selection.

Does It Need Regular Maintenance?

Featured: Augusta White Marble

Marble is a natural stone, of course, and is therefore naturally porous — marble countertops will absorb water, or other liquids. Unfortunately, if that happens, your countertop may be damaged or permanently stained. Natural stone requires regular application of a sealer to seal all the little fissures and create a water-repellent surface. The right sealer will also offer some protection against scratches or etching. This is not a difficult process, but it does require setting aside a day or two to apply the sealer and let it dry before you can use the countertop again. Sealing needs to be done at least once a year, possibly more often for lighter-colored marble.

Is It Hard to Clean?

Recreate this look with MSI's Blanca Arabescato Quartz (Photo Credit: Houzz)

Marble countertops, as well as other types of natural stone countertops, is easy to clean when properly sealed. Simply wipe down with soap and water, and a soft cloth. Use a mild soap, such as a gentle dish detergent. The most stubborn stains may be removed with a paste of water and baking soda, or a non-abrasive cleanser such as Barkeeper’s Friend. Never use cleansers that are abrasive or contain acid, such as vinegar, lemon juice, and many bathroom cleansers.

Does It Stain Easily?

Get this look with MSI's Crema Marfil Marble (Photo Credit: Houzz)

Even the most thoroughly sealed marble countertops are prone to staining by tomato-based foods, red wine, cosmetics, ink, and many other items. Marble can also be etched by acidic foods such as Citrus juice or vinegar. This may cause you to wonder if marble countertops and entertaining can mix, but keep in mind that damage can be minimized by cleaning up spills immediately. We also recommend protecting your countertop with coasters, trays, and mats.

Does It Chip or Crack Easily?

Create this look with Grigio Pearl Marble (Photo Credit: Houzz)

Natural stone countertops, including marble, are strong and durable, and with proper care can last for decades. However, they are not indestructible. You can prevent scratches by keeping the surface clean, properly sealed, and protected from rough or sharp items. 

Are There Alternatives?

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

A marble countertop is easier to care for than it seems — many homeowners have said it’s all about developing good habits. However, if you’d rather not worry about sealing, stains or other damage, you may want to consider a quartz countertop instead. This man-made surface never needs sealing, and is much more forgiving with messy cooks and the kids’ art projects. Quartz that looks like marble is available, which bears an uncanny resemblance to the real thing.

Although every countertop sold by MSI is durable with long-lasting beauty, different materials have their own care requirements. No countertop is going to be completely indestructible, but only you can decide the right balance between natural beauty and carefree daily use. For more information on marble countertops, and every other product we offer, explore our website. We want to help you choose the perfect countertop for your lifestyle, personality, and décor.