Blog

Which Countertop Material Is the Best?

Deciding which countertop surface is the right one for your home is a big decision in the building or remodeling process. You not only want to be sure that you will love the look of the end result, but that the material you choose works best with your lifestyle and budget. While there are many factors that go into comparing countertop materials, the most important ones to consider include stain & scratch resistance, how easy it is to clean & maintain, heat resistance, durability, how cold it feels on your skin, and last, but not least, price. 

Below is a comparison overview of the eight most common materials: granite, quartz, marble, laminate, concrete, stainless steel, solid surface (acrylic) and wood: 

countertop

If you are looking into a stone countertop option but want to avoid resting your arms on a cold surface, click here to learn more about FeelsWarm's ultra-thin heaters for countertops. 

10 Unique Products That Bring Warmth & Luxury to Your Home

No matter the time of year, every homeowner enjoys the feeling of coziness and warmth in their house.  Below are 10 unique products that will not only bring you warmth, but luxury and leisure as well.

Portable Electric Radiant Floor Heating for Under Area Rugs

Like an electric blanket for your floor, RugHeat is the only portable heating system in the world approved for use under area rugs.  

$149 - $323

Luxury Home Product

Norpro Decorative Cup Warmer

If you love the soothing taste of warm beverages (and you want to avoid them cooling down), then this mug warmer is for you. 

$23

Luxury

MicroFleece Low Voltage Heated Electric Blanket

Marketed as The World's Safest Electric Blanket™, it operates with non-hazardous DC low voltage, providing you with the safest electric blanket ever produced.  

$90

Luxury Home Product

Snow Melting Driveway System

When the days are shorter and the mornings are colder, the last thing you want to do is get out of bed early to shovel snow from your driveway. With this heated driveway system, endless shoveling is a thing of the past.  

Price Varies

Luxury Home Product

Infinity Towel Warmer

Imagine stepping out of the shower every morning and being able to use fresh-from-the-dryer towels. With this elegant electric towel warmer, you can do just that.  

$300 - 370

luxury

FeelsWarm® Stick-On Countertop Heater

Take away the coldness of your stone countertop or desk with this stick-on heating mat, customizable to fit your exact surface.  

$365 - $1,000

Countertop Heaters for Your Luxury Home

HoMedics Thera-P Massage Comfort Cushion with Heat

Providing an invigorating massage with a soothing heat option, this cushion includes adapters so you can use it anywhere.

$30

Luxury

Brondell LumaWarm Heated Nightlight Toilet Seat

This heated nightlight toilet seat offers the luxury and comfort of a heated seat, with the added convenience of an illuminating LED nightlight.  

$160

Luxury

Deluxe Pyramid Propane Patio Heater

This outdoor heater's unique pyramid design is like a piece of art for your yard; it combines form with functionality and will accent any patio with its beautiful lines. 

$304

Luxury

The Best Heated Mattress Pad

Enhance the comfort of your bedroom with this quality heated mattress pad. You’ll stay toasty and relaxed all night long!  

$100 - $120

Luxury

8 Businesses That Would Benefit from Heated Countertops

Businesses with heated countertops

Adding heat to warm up cold countertops, specifically granite and quartz, has become a popular and highly-praised renovation for many homeowners. The added heat warms up the kitchen and brings out the luxury of the home.

A kitchen isn’t the only area where cold countertops exist, however. Many businesses would benefit from adding stick-on heating mats to their stone surfaces.

  1. Banks to enhance the environment where customers and employees come in and touch every day.
  2. Offices with Granite Desks to appease the employees who rest their arms on a cold surface all day.
  3. Hotel Lobbies to impress guests and remove that initial “shock” of touching cold stone.
  4. Luxurious Apartment Common Rooms to increase the comfort and entertainment setting for residents.
  5. Bars & Restaurants to make drinking and eating out a more luxurious experience. You can even choose which areas of the counter to heat so that drinks stay cold but food stays warm!
  6. Senior Living Centers to soothe the skin of residents and remove the cold from where they sit and rest their arms every day.
  7. Car Dealerships to impress potential clients in a high-end setting.
  8. Health Clubs to improve the comfort of locker-room benches, sink areas and front desks.

Interested in the possibility of heated countertops for your business or home? Click here to learn more about FeelsWarm’s ultra-thin countertop heaters and see how easy they are to install.

Why I Love My Heated Granite Countertops

Repost from GoodKitchenDesign.com 

heated granite countertop

If you love the look of granite counters, but don’t like the feel of granite counters in the winter, then you might want to consider heated granite counters. Yes, you heard right. Heated granite counters. If your first reaction is the same as mine, then you’re thinking – extravagant, expensive to run, difficult to add on after counters are installed, not good for baking, not hygienic, and totally over the top.

I was wrong. And I love, love, love the heated counter.

Investigation

When I first decided to look into heating the granite counter, I looked at products that are used in radiant floor heating. It was heavenly on the feet in the bathroom, so why not retrofit it to use on the counter? I considered using an adhesive to fasten the mat and sensor to the counter, but this is not a recommended approach . Most companies that sell radiant floor heating mats, specify that mats should only be used in a bed of thinset. This is not just for safety reasons, but but also for durability. If I were to go with this approach (as some do), it meant using a plywood base with a mat in thinset under the counter. Thick, not real attractive, and not practical if you have drawers or cabinet doors with little room to spare under the counter. Hmmm...

Verdict

Then I found a product from FeelsWarm.com. The mat heaters came in stock sizes or could be made in custom sizes, and can be applied as a retrofit. Perfect. Since the counter overhang I wanted to install it on was long and deeper than standard, I needed a custom size.

The mat is very thin (.025 inches thick), so it didn’t interfere with the cabinet doors, and wasn’t noticeable even when looking at it from chair height in an adjacent room. It’s also very smooth to the touch, so you don’t snag it, doesn’t feel hot, and has a durable top layer in case it gets bumped. It’s a low voltage solution and doesn’t have EMI emissions. I also find that plates of food and cups of coffee don’t get cold as fast – bonus!

Just like radiant floor heating, it uses only about 10 watts per square foot to heat the counter. For a 6 foot counter, this is like running a 60w light bulb all day long. The heat from the mat raises the temperature of the granite by about 20 – 25 degrees higher than the air temperature.

In our house, the temperature is about 69 degrees during the winter, so the heated granite counter would be around 90 degrees. This is higher than the 84 degrees that my bathroom floor temperature is set for, so I was initially concerned when purchasing it that it might be too warm. However, I found the temperature very comfortable and not too hot at all. Cloth place mats feel incredible on the counter – very luxurious. 

If you find the temperature too warm,  a temperature control option comes with the heater to adjust the temperature to your liking. To reduce energy usage, a standard timer purchased at your local hardware store can be used to turn it on 30 – 60 minutes before use. 

I would consider heating only the area where people sit. This leaves the remaining counter cool, which is ideal for rolling out dough, and keeps the installation and heating cost for the counter down.

New Construction

If you are already installing new countertops, consider having the integrated version embedded into the stone so it’s flush with the under surface. You could contact FeelsWarm for authorized dealers since the company is currently growing a network of authorized dealers and fabricators.

If you have hydronic radiant heating you could consider running a loop with a shut off under the heated granite counter. However. this may not provide as sleek a solution as the embedded mat.

Disclosure – I received no compensation for reviewing this product. Source: GoodKitchenDesign.com

Can I Use a Floor Heater on My Countertop?

Floor Heater for Countertops

With good reason, homeowners have been adding heated flooring in their bathrooms, basements and even kitchens as a thermal comfort and luxurious upgrade. The added heat removes the cold feel of stone tiling, especially on bare skin.

Now, what would happen if you were to install this same floor heater to your stone countertop? Homeowners often complain that their granite or stone counters are cold to the touch, so why not install heat?

Here are 3 reasons why using a floor heater on your countertop is NOT recommended:

1. You aren’t able to heat an overhang

Typically, the area that people desire heat is on the countertop overhang, the place where you most commonly sit and rest your arms. Unfortunately, the installation requirements and thickness of a floor heater’s coils do not allow you to heat an openly hanging area of your counter.

2. It takes a long time and involves special wiring.

No matter what type of surface you want to heat, the process of adding a floor heater to a countertop is neither easy or quick. Floor heating needs to be embedded in the mortar, which involves removing the counter completely, and in almost all cases, hiring a fabricator to complete the job for you. The entire process can take multiple hours.

Not to mention, floor heating requires high voltage and specialty wiring, so you will have to run a special outlet from the heater to your main power box (typically located in the basement or far away from your kitchen).

3. It is not safe for your countertop.

Floor heaters typically use 120 (or 240) volts and cycle on and off to arrive at a surface temperature range. This temperature fluctuation causes stress and fatigue in the stone, introducing the potential risk of damaging or cracking your expensive, high-quality countertops.

Solution
So, is adding heat to a cold countertop even possible? The answer is yes.

Unlike floor heating, FeelsWarm countertop heaters are the only product designed specifically for stone countertops without introducing a risk of cracking the stone. The stick-on ultra-thin heating mat can be applied to an overhang without the need for special wiring or the hiring of an outside contractor. The product can also be applied to new countertops in a quick and easy process.

Click here to learn more about FeelsWarm’s countertop heaters and discover how you can enjoy the luxury of heated countertops without the use of floor heating.