The trend in kitchen design has been moving more and more toward the uncluttered kitchen. And the clean, sleek look of the invisible countertop or an invisible cooktop is turning heads! As the trend to connect kitchens to the rest of the house and living space grows, the demand for invisible kitchen counters continues to expand with it.
To clarify, the countertop is not actually invisible, it is simply an induction cooktop under your countertop surface. Think of it as a stovetop-countertop combination that moves the burners out of site.
You can cook by putting the pan directly on the counter. And when it’s not in use, it cools down very rapidly and serves as functional counter space. You get more work space with less clutter, which ties into the declutter-trend and connected living spaces trend with floor plans that are more open (not totally open). This makes your kitchen look amazing without an old stove in the way and you end up with so much more space. Plus with Dekton countertops, you can customize your countertop-cooktop to look however you it to.
How Invisible Counters & Cooktops Work
Induction burners use an electromagnetic field to heat up magnetized pots and pans. That means only the pan will heat, rather than the surface itself. An added safety feature… it only functions when it detects a pan on top. Amazing! This makes induction cooking ideal for children to learn with with you in the kitchen and eventually on their own.
Safety Concerns with Invisible Countertop-Cooktops
Induction heats only the pan, and it works by creating a magnetic field between the pot and the magnetic coils beneath the cooking surface. The energy created in the electromagnetic field heats the pot. Induction is a very quick heating process, so be careful about touching cookware. It can boil a tea kettle in under a minute.
The surface will get warmer and warmer over time as you cook, eventually becoming hot to the touch. For your standard short cooking time, the surface will not get very hot. When cooking time goes beyond 10 minutes, the surface will be hot and one should exercise caution around the area in use.
Most induction stovetops will have a control panel (tucked away out of sight) or a a phone app to activate induction burners.
But How do you know where the invisible burner is?
Some people have dots or circles etched into the countertop surface above the center of the burner, which is not noticeable unless you look for it. Another option is to install a in the ceiling that points down to the center of burners.
Invisible Countertop-Cooktop Clarifications
A Clean, Cohesive, and Clutter-free Countertop
Saves space: By incorporating a stove into your counter, the surface becomes multifunctional. This is ideal for tight kitchen spaces or maybe just a disorganized chef.
Great Aesthetic: An invisible stovetop improves the look of your kitchen with clean lines that streamlining surfaces and finishes.
Upgraded Cooktop: Induction is rapid-response to your cooking needs, and the induction method is safer because it only heats the pan rather than the whole surface. It won’t heat without contact.
More Efficient: Induction is rapid-response and more energy efficient. Induction heating is faster than traditional gas or electric cooktops, which makes it more efficient with both time and energy (electricity). Furthermore, you avoid burning natural gas in your home and remnants of the fumes in your air.
Because only the cookware gets hot (the countertop will get warm due to it close proximity to the cookware), cool down is also faster, so your kitchen stays cooler and less humid especially compared to gas.
Cleaning: Easier to clean than electric or gas stovetops. Gas stoves and cast iron grates can be a nightmare to clean. Alternatively, an invisible induction countertop is a flat surface to wipe down.
Internet Connected: Many come with an app that connects to your wi-fi, which is an added safety feature that allows you to check if the stove is off or you can preheat pans before cooking.
Induction can also offer the same precision in cooking that users have come to expect from gas stoves.
DRAWBACkS OF INVISiBLE STOVETOPS
Expensive: This innovation is not cheap. On average, a 4-burner unit is around $3k USD before countertop surface is selected and installation. Total cost will depend on your need for size and the countertop surface you want to use in your kitchen. Invisible stovetops don’t work with every hard surface.
New Cookware: Induction cooktops use magnetism to heat the cookware. Many traditional cookware will not work including aluminum, glass, or copper. Cast Iron pans are induction, however, they do get extremely hot due to the content of metals within them, and reflect a large amounts of heat, which over time will not be good for your countertop. Some manufacturers add a magnetic layer to the bottom of cookware so it can be compatible with induction stovetops, but many are very thin and take longer to heat up versus a high-quality induction pan.
To tell if a pot or pan can be used on an invisible induction countertop, hold a magnet to the bottom. If there is no pull on the magnet, it doesn’t contain the right metals and will not generate heat. If the magnet grabs the pan softly, you may not have good success with it on your cooktop. If the magnet clings to the underside, the cookware will work on an induction cooktop.
Most induction-ready pans will feature a symbol on the base which shows four loops of wire.
Could you forget it’s there? — In terms of safety, you might be thinking — could I accidentally switch it on? This seems unlikely considering there’s still a dedicated control panel which stands out, as it does on a standard stove. Being induction, the stovetop also won’t activate unless it detects a compatible pan on top.
Can You use Silestone or Dekton for Invisible Induction Stovetops?
Invisible Silestone Countertops
Silestone would require an additional surface guard to be able to have an invisible cooktop. A surface guard prevents cracking or staining of the surface. When being used, a surface guard should be in place between the cookware and surface.
Invisible Countertops Using Dekton
Clearly, induction cooktops are safe and reduce burns in the kitchen while also being faster and more efficient than a conventional stove. With Dekton, you can place an induction cooking burner underneath the countertop. Dekton countertops are ideal for this kind of cooking because of the heat resistance of the material.
Dekton also has the advantage of stain and chip resistance. So it is okay if you spill a little while you are cooking or bring a pan down a little too hard. Neither of these things should cause any damage to your countertop and it will be much easier to clean than a normal burner.
Even though the pan will get hot through induction (magnets), your invisible Dekton countertop will not feel very hot. This makes induction cooking ideal for children and young adults to learn with. Plus with Dekton countertops, you can customize your cooktop to look however you want it to display. This can declutter your kitchen and have so much more space.
Need Countertop Installers?
Again, we can save you money on countertop installation. Silestone Central has a portfolio of regional and local installers of countertops.
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