Can You Put Hot Pans On Laminate Countertops?

Can You Put Hot Pans on Laminate Countertops

How many times have you caught yourself getting ready to set that hot pan on your laminate countertop? And you probably have cringed every time you see one of your kids do exactly that. Even though you tell them not to. While laminate is a nice and inexpensive countertop material, it is not known for being the strongest one.

You should not put hot pans or pots on laminate countertops. The laminate is glued to the substrate, so once exposed to heat, the glue will melt. This results in the substrate and laminate separating which will ruin your laminate countertop. Instead, always have a hot catch pad for your hot pots and pans.

In this article, we will explain why you shouldn’t put hot pans on laminate counters, and how it damages the surface. Let’s get started!

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No Hot Pots Or Appliances On Laminate Surfaces

In addition to hot pots, you should also be careful with other appliances that get hot. Avoid placing the following appliances on your laminate countertops to reduce the risk of damage to the surface:

  • Crockpot
  • Toaster
  • Toaster oven
  • Air fryer
  • Microwave
  • Rotisserie

Believe it or not, even a hot cup of coffee left on the countertop too long can cause it to crack or become discolored. The laminate material is made from fused acrylic that will pull away from the substrate material that it is bonded to, causing it to warp or crack.

Laminate Is Popular

Laminate is one of the most popular materials for countertops. Not only is it very inexpensive, but it also comes in many colors and patterns.

If you want to save money somewhere in your home makeover, going with laminate instead of granite or marble is a good way to go.

The Benefits Of Laminate Countertops

Another benefit of laminate countertops is that it is a solid surface so it does not absorb bacteria and spills as natural stone surfaces do. If you have children, you can appreciate this benefit. Because kids can be a bit messy.

And you do not need any kind of special cleaners to clean your laminate countertop either. Soap and water will do just fine. No need for special polish and sealers.

Laminate can be cut into any shape and comes in so many different patterns, you can find something for every room in your house. If you have an odd-shaped space to place a countertop, laminate can easily be fitted to whatever shape you need.

Tips On What Not To Do With Laminate Countertops

  • Don’t climb on your counters. This may seem like a silly thing to say but do not sit, stand, or walk on your laminate countertop either. It will crack under pressure.
  • Keep heavy items off the laminate. You should also be careful placing heavy items near the edges or corners because this can cause cracks as well.
  • Keep microwaves and air fryers off. Think twice before putting that microwave or air fryer on the counter for two reasons, heat and weight.
  • Use gentle cleansing agents. Do not use harsh cleaning products on your laminate countertops either. Anything with ammonia or bleach is not good for your laminate countertops.
  • Do not use scouring pads. You should also refrain from using scouring powders or any kind of scrubbing pad to clean the counter. Just soap and water are preferable to using anything stronger.

Damage From Sunlight And Chopping

Sunlight can also cause damage to your laminate countertops. Direct sunlight heats your countertop just as if you were placing a hot pan on it.

The sun can melt the laminate, scorch the top, or make the color fade after a while. Use curtains or blinds to block the rays when they are at their brightest.

Chopping or cutting on top of the countertop is also a very bad idea. Scratches and even deep gouges can ruin your laminate.

It will also ruin your waterproof seal, making it more susceptible to bacteria and letting the water soak through to the substrate.

Why Is Heat So Damaging To Laminate?

Understanding the way laminate is made will help you see why heat can be so damaging to it. The laminate is glued onto the substrate surface underneath and is not exposed to heat.

That means that if you subject it to heat for too long or too often, it can cause the two materials to pull apart from each other. This may cause the peeling of the laminate, chips, or strips to come off.

Some of the more expensive laminate countertops are made using fiberglass and detailed plastic. These two materials are heated to melt into each other, so they form one solid piece. This means that the countertop can resist heat better than a typical laminate.

Too Hot To Handle

The manufacturers of many laminate countertops usually recommend waiting at least an hour for a pan to cool before setting it on your counter.

However, it is still best to use a heating pad or trivet to protect it. The best way to think about it is that if it is too hot for you to touch, it is too hot for the countertop.

Laminate Countertop Care

To avoid burns, scratches, stains, and keep your laminate countertops in tip-top shape, follow these care and cleaning tips:

  • Always use cutting boards on the surface. Laminate is notorious for chipping and scratching easily and darker laminate will show scratches more readily. Textured finishes tend to be better at hiding blemishes.
  • Always use trivets under hot pots/pans. The manufacturing process of laminate limits its ability to withstand high heat. They are considered only mildly heat resistant – up to roughly 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Clean up spills quickly. Use a soft cloth and a mild liquid detergent for daily cleaning of laminate. Avoid using too much water, especially at the seams, as it will penetrate and cause the material to crack and swell.
  • Avoid contact with bleach, dyes, inks, and abrasive cleaners. These products will cause staining, discoloration, and dulling to the surface.
  • Common household commercial cleaners can be used but must be rinsed thoroughly. Rinse without saturating the countertop for too long.
  • For dried food and grease, scrub gently with a fiber pad and mild dish soap. Do not use steel wool or any scrubbing tools that contain steel wool. They will scratch and dull the surface.
  • Seal the laminate to resist staining. You can purchase a countertop coating specially designed for laminate that will seal it and help it resist future staining.

It’s essential that you practice special care and diligence with the cleaning and maintenance of your laminate countertops to keep them in good condition. Unlike marble or granite, laminate cannot be repaired.

Alternatives To Laminate Countertops

You may be considering using a natural stone countertop like granite, marble, or quartz. While these are great options, they all have their disadvantages.

Here are the pros and cons of each material.

Granite

Made of 100% pure stone, granite is mined and then turned into giant slabs or tiles before being polished for installation.

There are no two pieces that are the same because they are completely natural and have pieces of mica, feldspar, and quartz mixed in them.

Marble

Marble is the most elegant natural stone surface and has unique and original patterns made by nature. It comes in many different styles and colors as well. Although it is more expensive than granite, it lasts longer since it ages so well.

Quartz

Although quartz is considered a natural stone material, it is only 92% to 94% natural stone. It is made from crushed quartz mixed with pigments and resin.

There are no striations or cracks to absorb moisture and most manufacturers typically treat it with antibacterial coating.

Material Pros Cons
Granite
  • 100% pure stone
  • Completely original
  • Stands up to high heat
  • The least expensive of the three natural stone materials
  • Known to suck up liquids and cause bacteria or virus buildup
  • May have flaws that will crack or chip easier than quartz
  • It needs to be sealed periodically
Marble
  • Made of 100% pure stone
  • Unique and completely original
  • The older it is, the better it looks
  • More porous than granite and has to be sealed more often
  • Costs more than granite
Quartz
  • More flexible than granite and marble so it does not crack as easy
  • Non-porous
  • Antibacterial coating is more hygienic
  • Never needs to be sealed
  • The most expensive natural stone material
  • It is not as natural and original as granite or marble
  • Not as resistant to heat or scratches
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One Final Note

Regardless of what countertop material you choose, climbing on it, sitting on it, and placing hot pans on it is never a good idea.

That is probably just common sense. But sometimes we forget the trivet and set the hot pan of freshly baked cookies on the counter to cool without even thinking about it.

If you have forgotten more than once, keep trivets or heating pads laying around the counter to remind yourself and your laminate countertop should last a long time.

Patricia Oelze

I am a DIYer who loves writing about anything home-related. When I am not writing, you can find me studying for my PhD in Psychology, photographing nature, and swimming at the lake with my grandkids.

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