Ceramic tile countertops are made to be heat-resistant. Unlike most kitchen countertop surfaces, ceramic tiles can take the heat from hot pans, pots, and other hot objects. The ceramic tiles themselves are extremely durable; however, the grout joints that hold the tiles in place are not. The grout joints are porous, soft, and prone to cracks. Extreme heat can soften the grout joints and cause them to discolor.
Although ceramic tiles are durable, cracking due to constant temperature changes is still a possibility. Ceramic tile countertops can crack when exposed to high heat for a long time. Ceramic tile manufacturers always advise not to place hot skillets, pans, or heat-producing appliances directly on your ceramic tile countertop. Remember that ceramic tiles are formed with extreme heat, so deforming them can also be done using high heat. It is still acceptable to place hot cookware on the surface of your ceramic tile countertop just try not to place them on the grout joints. If the ceramic tiles on your countertop are small, which is usually the case, the best way to protect them is to use a hot pad or a trivet for your hot pan to rest on. These objects prevent the hot pan from having direct contact with the ceramic surface.
After a while, surface lines can appear on the surface of glazed ceramic tiles. This occurrence is called âcrazing,â and it is caused by heating, cooling, and aging. Since ceramic is a natural material, it reacts to the changes in the environment. Crazing is a natural process that ceramic tiles go through, and it is considered as part of the beauty and charm of ceramic tiles. It gives them more character and personality.
Sealing and re-grouting
To reduce the chance of discoloration of your ceramic tiles due to heating and cooling, use a grout sealer that can be purchased from most hardware stores. This must be done after a week after the installation of the ceramic tile countertop when the grout has cured. Sealing can help protect your ceramic tile countertop from the heat of hot pans and pots. Re-grouting is necessary when you notice cracks appearing to prevent further damage. The separation of the grout from the ceramic tiles usually happens where the sink meets the countertop surface. This is also the case when the horizontal and vertical surfaces meet at a 90-degree angle in the side, back, and end splash. Occasional grouting can make your ceramic tile countertop less susceptible to cracking.
The heat from the sun and exposure to UV rays can also discolor your ceramic tile countertop over time. This can be fine for some people because it gives their ceramic tile countertop character and an antique look. If you do not want your ceramic tile countertop to fade because of UV exposure, use shades in your kitchen windows to block out the sun especially on hot days.