Which Countertops Are Heat Resistant?

We've put together a list of six countertop materials that will withstand the elements in your busy kitchen. Which one is best for you?

The tiling and countertop in the kitchen of the newly renovated Bell home, as seen on Fixer Upper. (after)

From: Fixer Upper

Photo by: Rachel Whyte

Rachel Whyte

Whether you're remodeling your existing kitchen or designing a kitchen for a new home, one of the biggest decisions to make revolves around countertops. A kitchen is arguably the busiest room in the house, and its countertops are expected to shoulder a daily defense against hot pans, sharp knives, food spills and much more.

With so many surface material choices available, it’s important to narrow down to what best suits your kitchen needs and habits. And the great news is many of today’s countertop choices offer significant heat resistance. Let’s look at some of the most popular and enduring options.

Granite

White Open Plan Transitional Kitchen With Tulips

White Open Plan Transitional Kitchen With Tulips

In a white kitchen, it's helpful to incorporate texture as it visually breaks up the stretches of cabinetry and walls. Glass-front cabinet doors and granite countertops do the job nicely in this pretty kitchen.

Photo by: Marie Flanigan Interiors

Marie Flanigan Interiors

In the recent past, granite was typically only found in the most expensive homes but today is more widely used and available in local home stores. Granite relies on heat for its formation and is very tolerant of heat.

  • Excellent heat resistance
  • No seams
  • Must be sealed

Concrete

Contemporary Neutral Kitchen with Gray Concrete Countertops

Contemporary Neutral Kitchen with Gray Concrete Countertops

Other highlights in the new kitchen include poured concrete countertops, patterned tile backsplash, casual open shelving and newly revealed hardwood floors.

From: Fixer Upper

Photo by: Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

Jennifer Boomer/Verbatim Photo A

A popular trend of late, concrete is obviously a very hard and lasting surface material and offers an efficient work area.

  • Must be professionally installed
  • Virtually impervious to heat
  • Hot pots can be placed directly on the surface
  • Customizable for different colors and designs

Wood

Functional, Open Plan Kitchen with Stainless Steel Appliances

Functional, Open Plan Kitchen with Stainless Steel Appliances

The amenities in this kitchen make the space perfect for the homeowners and their growing family. A large kitchen island adds storage, counter space and additional seating, while state of the art appliances such as an oven, convection oven, microwave and gas stove make meal prep easy.

Photo by: Rennai Hoefer

Rennai Hoefer

Wood countertops are available in many varieties and bring instant rustic charm to your kitchen.

  • Warm look with moderate heat resistance
  • Very efficient work surface
  • Hot cookware may leave behind burn marks
  • Susceptible to cracking or warping

Stainless Steel

Modern White Laminate Kitchen Cabinetry Separated By a Long Window Backsplash and Stainless Steel Countertop

Modern White Laminate Kitchen Cabinetry Separated By a Long Window Backsplash and Stainless Steel Countertop

A long window acts as a bright backsplash separating the upper and lower white laminate cabinets in this modern kitchen. Stainless steel countertop adds a reflective quality perfectly fitting the modern theme. The hardwood floor and vertical grain fir accent wall add warmth to the room.

Photo by: Mark Woods

Mark Woods

A go-to choice for contemporary designs for its sleek look and easy care.

  • Highly heat resistant
  • Easy to clean
  • High heat may cause discoloration

Quartz

White Kitchen With Quartz Countertops

White Kitchen With Quartz Countertops

For durability and a fresh, bright look, quartz countertops were chosen for both the island and perimeter counters.

Photo by: Shannon Addison Photography

Shannon Addison Photography

An engineered stone made from quartz crystals and resin, quartz countertops are very durable and easy to maintain.

  • High heat resistance to hot pots and other cookware
  • Very hot cookware can cause discoloration
  • Wide range of colors

Soapstone

Stainless Steel Details

Stainless Steel Details

A sleek gas stove in stainless steel adds subtle shine to the classic design of this calm kitchen. The L-shaped layout of the kitchen maximizes the space and puts essentials easily within reach.

Photo by: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Less common than some of the other natural stone options, soapstone combines a rich look with superb heat resistance.

  • Natural look and versatile
  • Easily repaired
  • Susceptible to scratches and cuts

Choosing a Countertop Material

Not every product is perfect for every situation. Weighing your options and seeking the advice of a reputable, professional countertop specialist is the best way to select a material that will provide many years of service and enjoyment.

No matter which countertop material you choose, be sure to maintain it according to the manufacturer’s instructions and treat it with care. For example, granite is considered heatproof, but some people suggest it’s only heat resistant, so it’s wise to err on the side of caution and place hot pots and pans on a trivet. Cracks and burns caused by high heat can drastically reduce the life and original beauty of your counter. As with anything, implementing proper care while avoiding extreme wear and tear will bring another level of confidence and pride in your home’s kitchen environment.

More Good Bones

Choosing the Right Kitchen Countertop 01:53

Mina and Karen discuss how to choose the right kitchen countertop.

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