Protecting Non-Granite Countertops in a Kitchen
July 31, 2019 11:50 AM   Subscribe

So we bought a new house and it has the kitchen of my dreams, except for the countertops, which appear to be a perfectly pleasant laminate. I love their color, configuration, everything, but I am a disaster of burning stuff and need something to protect them. Aside from trivets, what other options are there to protect the countertops?

I'm certainly prepared to just learn to love trivets, but I am loathe to create a very cluttered look on my kitchen countertops since the kitchen walls are a delightful mustard-and-brown plaid and already quite busy enough. Is there something that can be put atop of the countertops that's clear, to protect from heat? Do people custom-cut glass for this kind of thing? What are some out-of-the-box ideas that I could consider? I'd prefer not to have to cover the countertop because it's gorgeous.
posted by juniperesque to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can get tempered clear glass countertop protectors that have feet on the bottom of them. They will look like things on your countertops, but at least you can see through them. My Mom's had one by the side of her stove since the laminate countertops she has were installed about 15 years ago, and it works fine. It's not something you can directly apply to the whole counter, but it's not a series of trivets you have to keep finding and putting in place.
posted by xingcat at 11:56 AM on July 31, 2019 [7 favorites]

Even with some stone counter materials like quartz, marble, soapstone, slate and limestone have only moderate heat resistance. I lived my whole life until last march with laminate tops, so the habit of putting something under hot stuff is ingrained. It doesn't have to be a trivet, it can just be a potholder, which you're using a couple of anyway to move the pot. No need for them to be out on the counter all the time, just when you're dealing with the hot stuff. Even now that I have quartz counters, I still have a drawerful of potholders and use them as trivets, because while it is supposedly somewhat heat resistant, I'm not about to risk any damage.
posted by beagle at 12:07 PM on July 31, 2019 [4 favorites]

Same here with the tempered glass sheet beside the stove. In 17 years, we never needed more of the counter covered.
posted by bonobothegreat at 12:10 PM on July 31, 2019 [2 favorites]

I have a Lämplig from IKEA. It's big enough to hold a couple of pots or pans, or a baking sheet, and it's good for cooling a loaf of bread. Because it's so multifunctional, I don't feel it clutters so much. Most of the time mine stands up against the wall, but you could also put up a couple of hooks and hang it there. And it's so cheap you can buy it and see how you feel about it.
One of my professors at architecture school always reminded us: glass is not invisible, it's reflective and it needs constant cleaning. Glass is lovely, but you need to see it for what it is.
posted by mumimor at 12:23 PM on July 31, 2019 [4 favorites]

I used to keep a butcher block cutting board out, both as a pretty cutting board, but it was also the default place to put hot things. Just be mindful that if you do that in the middle of a process, you might pick up whatever you were just cutting on the bottom of the pot. I think I only did that once. It's not that often I pull hot pans off the burner and then put them back on.
posted by advicepig at 12:32 PM on July 31, 2019 [1 favorite]

Not the answer you need, but I recently got a big silicone bartender mat, for tidier making of drinks with sloppy elements and pouring of things. Turns out it is a perfectly good trivet as well, and /big/. Looks neutral and purposive.
posted by LucretiusJones at 8:18 PM on August 1, 2019

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