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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.

Why Heated Countertops?

Why Heated Countertops?

You have heard about floor heating, seat warmers, heated towel racks and even heating for your steering wheel. What about heated countertops?

Below are 7 reasons why homeowners enjoy this unique upgrade in their kitchen or office.

1. Stone is cold to the touch.

If you have ever rested your arms on a granite or quartz countertop, you have probably noticed how cold the stone feels against your skin. The reason for this is because the stone's surface and mass instantly pulls heat away from skin, causing the brain to perceive that the surface is cold. Applying heat under your stone countertop takes that initial shock away and provides a much more soothing feel. 

2. Your electric bill won’t take a hit.

Unlike floor heating, the cost to heat a countertop is very low and is actually designed to be on at all times (although you can choose to turn it off).

3. You only need to heat the areas that you frequently touch.

One common misconception of heated countertops is that the entire surface is warmed up. In fact, most people choose to only heat the areas where you sit at the most, such as the countertop overhang. Not only is this cost effective, but it doesn’t interfere with your food preparations.

4. It’s safe.

Utilizing only 12-24 volts, countertop heaters are extremely safe and will not damage or crack your stone.

5. It’s a practically invisible, yet very noticeable upgrade.

Countertop heating mats are very thin (less than the thickness of 9 pieces of paper) and are designed to fit your exact surface. The heater's single plug-in cord can be easily hidden underneath your cabinet.

6. Your food & coffee can stay warmer for longer.

Owners of heated countertops often appreciate the added benefit of warmer plates & dishes. 

7. It’s easy to install.

Marketed as a "Do-It-Yourself" product, stick-on heating mats are especially easy to apply without the help of a professional. 

Interested in learning more about heated countertops? Click here to read some Frequently Asked Questions or contact the FeelsWarm team today .

Heated Stone Products Expands FeelsWarm Countertop Heater Models

Heated Stone Products Expands Model

Heated Stone Products, creator of FeelsWarm® countertop heaters to warm stone countertops, announced today a new model for countertops without overhangs, such as kitchen islands or peninsulas. This new offering compliments the company’s core model, under-the-counter stick-on heaters. FeelsWarm heaters provide a solution for homeowners who are unhappy with the cold feel of their countertop and want to improve the luxury of their kitchen, bathroom, bar or basement counter.

The new FeelsWarm “NL” model is designed for customers installing a new countertop where the top of the cabinet has a solid support substrate. The customized, plug-and-play heating mat can handle hundreds of pounds of stone or weight when compressed. All models of FeelsWarm can be plugged into standard outlets without the need for special wiring.

“As the world’s leader in countertop heaters, we have been exposed to an enormous variety of countertop designs. This new model addresses the contractor’s need for extremely fast heater installations by permitting the heater to be installed in 60-120 seconds,” states Jahn Stopperan, President of Heated Stone Products. “The design simply rolls out onto the cabinet surface and the heavy stone can be placed directly onto the heater.”

FeelsWarm patented (pending) low-voltage heaters work with all types of stone countertops (granite, marble, quartz, and engineered stone) and are the only products on the market specifically for stone counters.

A one-minute video of how fast and easy the new FeelsWarm NL model is installed can be viewed on YouTube.

Contact Heated Stone Products to learn more about FeelsWarm heated countertops. 

ABOUT HEATED STONE PRODUCTS 
Minnesota-based Heated Stone Products manufactures FeelsWarm® Heating Technology, the patent-pending technology of thin heaters used in combination with stone countertops, including both existing and new countertops. Its dealers and market partners are premier fabricators serving luxury homes and businesses throughout the U.S. and Canada. Specializing in foil-based heating elements, Heated Stone Products designs and fabricates unusually large heaters using advanced, quick-turn processing techniques.

FeelsWarm Enters Partnership with WarmlyYours

WarmlyYours

February 4, 2014 - As of today, Heated Stone Products has entered into a national distribution agreement with WarmlyYours Radiant Heating that makes FeelsWarm available through the WarmlyYours network of dealers.

Designed specifically for countertops, FeelsWarm Technology gently raises the temperature of the stone 20 to 25 degrees, just enough to remove the initial cold shock when a person leans on the counter or touches the surface in the morning. The low-voltage heating elements of FeelsWarm Technlology can be integrated into stone slabs and are also available in custom or standard-sized stick-on versions. The technology will be tested with concrete countertops soon.

While authorized dealers determine exact pricing, the approximate installed price is comparable to other stone upgrades, such as edging or color. Typically, only the portion of the countertop where a person’s arms rest is heated, which minimizes the cost. Either an optional temperature controller or an optional easy-to-use programmer operates the FeelsWarm heating element, allowing users to schedule on and off times automatically depending on their needs.

FeelsWarm products are available in three options: integrated heaters, customized stick-on heaters and presized stick-on heaters.

Visit www.FeelsWarm.com to learn more.

ABOUT WARMLYYOURS RADIANT

Since 1999, WarmlyYours Radiant has offered the industry’s most innovative solutions in radiant heating technology, from our flagship floor heating systems and radiant wall panels to snow melting products and towel warmers. With locations in the U.S. and Canada, WarmlyYours provides unrivaled personalized customer support from start to finish, featuring measuring and design services, 24/7 technical support, and our No Nonsense™ Warranty.

ABOUT HEATED STONE PRODUCTS

Minnesota-based Heated Stone Products manufactures FeelsWarm® Heating Technology, the patent-pending technology of thin heaters used in combination with stone countertops, including both existing and new countertops. Its dealers and market partners are premier fabricators serving luxury homes and businesses throughout the U.S. and Canada. Specializing in foil-based heating elements, Heated Stone Products designs and fabricates unusually large heaters using advanced, quick-turn processing techniques.