At an average of $50 per square foot, granite is certainly an expensive material for kitchen countertops. For good reasons, homeowners continue to select this elegant surface for its durability and overall beautiful appeal.
However, there is one common criticism from owners of granite countertops and that is how cold the surface feels to lean on. While some may like the coldness, many do not appreciate how unpleasant granite feels against the skin. Luckily, there is a product that fixes this problem, one that does not involve hiring outside help.
Stick-on heating mats for granite and stone countertops are becoming wildly popular, especially during the cold winter months. There is no other product out there that can properly heat up your countertop while requiring very little work to do so.
The heating mats, which are designed to fit the exact shape and size of every unique countertop, use a simple peel-and-stick method underneath the counter’s overhanging area where guests most commonly sit. Also available in standard rectangular sizes for desks and straight edges, the mats plug into a standard outlet commonly located inside the cabinetry.
“We always use it when we have guests over in the winter time and people can’t believe how nice it is,” says Melva G. from Nicollet, MN. “They don’t want to sit anywhere else because it is so warm on their arms.”
Practically invisible and very easy to install, it’s no wonder why homeowners are loving this improvement of their luxurious countertops. With a free-trial available, why not give it a try on your countertop?
Historically, remodelers had to expend a great deal of pre-planning, researching and engineering to meet the requests of clients desiring heated countertops. This made the feature expensive and limited to high-end homeowners and businesses.
But heating concrete countertops is no longer a challenging feature.
Heating Countertop History
The original method of heating countertops was to utilize floor heating coils and place them onto the substrate that the pre-poured concrete countertop rests upon. The contractor needed to create channels in the substrate so that the thick wires could rest below the surface of the plywood and not get compressed by the concrete.
In addition, floor heating mats commonly draw a significant amount of power, making it very challenging for a renovation of an existing finished home.
The overall process to prepare and design the heating solution commonly took 4-8 hours.
Specially Designed Heating Mats
In recent years, the countertop heating solution has transitioned from floor heating to ultra-thin heating mats that are created specifically for countertop use.
The new generation of heating mats provides a breakthrough for three reasons:
They are produced using thin highly-ductile foil that can be compressed by hundreds of pounds. This thinness also enables the pads to be attached directly to the pre-formed concrete countertop under an overhang area without requiring the substrate to extend to the overhang edge.
1. The mats are custom- produced to any shape or size to match the countertop and cabinet design. Plus the mats are usually not sized for the entire counter. They are just placed in specific selected areas – typically just where people rest their arms.
2. The new style of heating pads operates on low voltage, utilizing common power transformers that plug into standard outlets.
Three Basic Installation Types
Despite a wide variety of custom countertop and cabinet designs, there are generally two basic approaches that concrete countertop heating pad manufacturers take into consideration when designing the pad. A third option exists for concrete counter fabricators who want to integrate the heater into the wet concrete.
1. No Overhangs/Full Substrate: The heater is simply rolled out onto the substrate and the tail of the heaters is fed down into a small hole.
Next, the concrete counter can be placed directly on top of the heater. The material construction of the heater can handle the weight of the concrete without damage.
2. Overhangs and CabinetsWithout Substrates: The heater is mounted onto the underside of the concrete and will remain permanently attached. For heater installations with a countertop overhang, the heater is attached to the concrete overhang ½” away from the outer edges. If the heater is being attached after the concrete is on the cabinet or is an aftermarket installation, the heater may have cut-outs or unique shapes that accommodate corbels, supports, or other features of the cabinet.
3. Embedding the Heater into the Concrete During Pouring: A third option is to integrate the heating pad within the concrete as the top is being formed, submerging the heating pad when the concrete is partially poured into the form, then covering the heater with additional wet concrete. This approach requires a slightly modified heater that has the electrical cord well protected from the rigors of handling and chemistries. A special rugged strain relief is utilized with the cord for this purpose.
Finally, the heater is plugged into the controller, the controller into the transformer, and the transformer into the outlet.
Want to learn more about heating concrete, granite or quartz countertops? Click here to see how it works.
I have always loved heated floors. There is something so soothing about stepping out of a long shower all cold and wet onto a warm tiled floor. I don’t personally own this everyday luxury, but whenever I am staying somewhere that has heated bathroom floors, I feel like royalty.
About a year ago, I heard about the latest big trend in luxury homes: heated countertops. People are actually adding heat to their countertops. How ridiculous is that? It’s not like a surface that you stand or sit on, so what’s the point? There isn’t any reason why someone would want heated counters.
I was wrong.
A few months later, I was at my boss’s house for a Christmas party and he was showing everyone his newly renovated kitchen which includes, you guessed it, heated countertops. He explained that he and his wife just added heat to half of the kitchen island where the bar stools are located. The other half of the island stayed the normal temperature.
Everyone was talking about this at the party. The difference between the warm half of the countertop and the cold half was very noticeable. And to be honest, preferable. It was so natural to want to lean on the warmer side versus the cold granite on the other.
When I went home that night, I sat at my own kitchen island which is made of quartz and I realized just how cold my countertop felt. It never even occurred to me how much more I would enjoy sitting at the island in the winter if the stone wasn’t so freezing on my arms.
By the start of the new year, I had given in. I decided to copy my boss and add heat to my countertop overhang. Since then, I have been telling everyone about it.
“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,” is a common response I get. I always laugh and agree that while heated countertops may not be a necessity, it is by far one of the best things that I’ve ever bought for my home.
I will add that almost everyone who has made fun of me for heating my countertop has changed their mind when they come over and actually feel the noticeable difference. I guess it’s one of those you-won’t-believe-it-until-you-see-it kind of things.
With the colder months quickly approaching, homeowners can begin thinking of ways to maintain the warmth of the rooms throughout their houses.
One room that is always considered the center of the home is the kitchen. It is a place where family members gather for meals and where friends congregate for entertainment, specifically around the kitchen island or bar top.
If you are one of the many owners of granite, quartz, soapstone, marble or concrete countertops, then you have most likely noticed how cold the surface feels to lean on. This can be very off putting, especially during the winter months. So, how can you resolve this problem and bring more warmth to your kitchen?
The below steps explain how you can add heat to your countertop overhang without the help of a professional.
Purchase a stick-on heating mat, one that can be customized to fit the exact size and shape of your overhang.
Brush on a light layer of two-part epoxy to the underside of your countertop. (Epoxy will come with your heating mat). If your countertop is smooth granite underneath, then you will skip this step.
Remove the release liner from the mat and apply the sticky side underneath your countertop, approximately ½” away from the outer edges.
Drill a small hole into your cupboard under the overhang area and feed the heater cord through the hole.
Finally, plug the heating mat’s transformer into a standard outlet, preferably one that is inside of your cabinet for complete invisibility.
Voila! You have yourself elegant heated countertops that are safe, affordable to run 24/7 and soothing to anyone who touches them.
Click on the video below to see how to install a heating mat to your countertop overhang.
Homeowners everywhere have been adding heat to their stone countertops to remove the “shock” of leaning on the cold surface. This luxurious upgrade has many benefits (see 7 Reasons Why Homeowners Enjoy Heated Countertops) and is praised by anyone who rests their arms on their countertop everyday.
Aside from the fact that it provides your skin with a more soothing feel, what are the other advantages of adding heat to your stone?
Below are 8 unique benefits that current owners of heated countertops have said that they appreciate as an added bonus.
“In the spring I put my seed trays on the heated counter and get great germination of nearly 100%!”
2. Warmer Coffee
3. Easier to Roll Dough
4. Happier Cats
“We love it! In fact, a couple of guests have said they want to lay down on it! Our cat likes to sleep on the bar stool underneath it because it’s so warm. It was worth the splurge!”
5. Quicker to Thaw or Defrost Meat
6. Happier Kids
“Our two children often like to play with playdough at our kitchen island. The warmth is great for their skin when they’re playing or eating meals.”
7. Warmer Plates for Staging & Serving Food
8. Softer Butter for Spreading
Interested in learning more about heating your new or existing stone countertops? Click here to view our product options or contact us today.