somewhat flooring related- heated granite countertop?

scrappy25April 7, 2010

I posted this in kitchens and someone suggested a more appropriate forum for technical help, , I think this is the one.

My co-worker told me today to consider heating my island countertop. He has a large granite slab and it is very cold in the winter. His family gathers primarily around the island and it is too cold to rest their elbows on in the winter. He suggested a system that could be turned off and on with a switch. It looks like you could use the electric mats that are made for under floor heating. I wouldn't want a warm countertop, perhaps just one that is not cold. Has anyone seen or done this?

What would the layers be?

thanks!

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davidro1

I've seen this.

Go to the web site of any electric heat cable supplier, and you might see One Square Foot of heating cable sold as a showroom display item. You tape it under a counter. You plug it in. Numbskull simple.

To get a bigger cable is just about as easy. Find an electric heat cable company that you can converse with. They will "size it for you.

Underneath it, any thin layer of foam or a membrane will do fine. Not a big deal. Not a deal breaker. It's a minor form of insulation, and it can be deemed unnecessary and optional.

In the HVAC forum you might find a few people who know a lot about how to calculate units of power and compare it to your needs that they also know how to calculate... But you might not get them hooked on responding. The electric heat cable makers will certainly help you. Post again after you've done some conversing with them.

An ideal setup would be sized with just enough power that you wouldn't need to buy a thermostat. You would just turn it on. It would heat enough to feel good and toasty. You aren't concerned about fine tuning the power, and you would flick the switch to turn it off if the counter felt really too hot. That doesn't ever happen, by the way, if you have an area of the counter be unheated. I think I saw you wrote that in your original post. Hint hint. The reason is that the cold portion of the stone keeps on removing heat from the heated portion. So, one area is warm and toasty, and the other area is warmer than otherwise but not nearly as warm. It's a win win situation for everyone even though the heat cable guys don't get to sell you a thermostat.

The reason you don't see more of this is, in my guess, that for the installing tradesman, it's just a couple pennies more stuff to sell (no profit to make), it slows down the kitchen reno (one more step), and it requires them to explain all the pro's and con's "forever" to people who've never thought about it before... and for the manufacturers it's a minor market, just like why carpet manufacturers don't want to sell small area rugs.

hth
-d

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 11:01PM
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scrappy25

thanks David, I'll ck into this!
Nancy

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 8:26PM
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