Should You Get Heated Flooring?
Does your house run cold? Is it drafty? Heated flooring may be the solution you are looking for. Radiant heated flooring has become popular among homeowners because it can be put into new houses or retrofitted into older homes. It also lowers heating bills, keeps you comfortable, and is relatively inexpensive. We will explain what radiant heated flooring is, the benefits, and the overall pros and cons of installing it in your home.
What is Radiant Heated Flooring?
Chances are you have a traditional heating system in your home, which heats up the air. Once the air is heated it warms the people in the room. Radiant heating works differently because it works by warming the people and objects in the room directly.
The average temperature of radiant heated flooring is between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, but it can be turned up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Radiant heating feels like the warmth from the sun because it heats you up by radiation. Even if the air temperature is cold, you will still be warm since the heat has already warmed you up.
What are the Benefits of Heated Flooring?
Do you feel cold after you step out of the shower? Or have you walked into a different room in your home and noticed how much colder it felt? These cold spots tend to be typical in most homes.
When you add heated flooring, it is not the only heat source. You will still keep your traditional heating source but just add heated flooring as an extra layer of warmth. Having this extra warmth in your home will reduce cold spots and let you feel more comfortable in all areas of your home, even on the cold floors.
Radiant heating can be put in most rooms of your home, but the flooring is most popular in kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, and basements.
Types of Heated Flooring
Two of the most popular types of radiant heated flooring includes hydronic and electric. They both work by creating warmth on the floor so it moves upward in the room. However, they do create warmth in different ways.
Hydronic flooring uses hot water that is pumped through plastic tubing. The tubing is laid out in a serpentine pattern in order to get the most coverage on the floor. If you want radiant heating in your entire house then this is the best option. However, it is best to install them as the house is being built because it can be more difficult or costly to retrofit your home with the right equipment.
Hydronic heating uses a pump, a boiler, and gas lines. While it does cost more upfront to install, the cost to operate it is generally lower. These heating systems are typically left on all the time because of the amount of time it takes to heat them up.
An electric heating system uses heating elements in a serpentine pattern, but they are powered by electricity. They are pretty easy to install, and you could even do it yourself if you have done remodeling projects before. Electric systems heat up fast, in about 30 to 60 minutes. These are easier to turn on and off because of how fast they warm up.
Flooring Types for Heated Floors
Tile and stone are the best materials for underfloor heating. These two materials have high thermal conductivity, which means they transfer heat quickly. Tile and stone also retain heat really well so your flooring system will be efficient.
The bathroom is an ideal place for heated flooring. Imagine stepping out of your shower or bath and onto heated bath tiles. You will still keep your warmth and it will feel like a spa.
Pros and Cons of Heated Floors
Now that you know the basics of heated flooring, let’s go over the pros and cons.
Very Little Maintenance
If you choose electric heating systems for your floors, then you will have very little maintenance. While some maintenance is still required, such as a tune-up or cleaning every so often, it is still relatively maintenance-free. Many heating systems come with warranties so if something does happen it is covered under the warranty. Before making the final decision on your heated flooring, check to see if it comes with a warranty.
Since the heating elements are underneath the floor, dust and allergens are reduced. You won’t experience the amount of dust or other allergens around the room as you do with traditional forced-air heating systems. If you get sick of sneezing or stay inside during the winters because you live in a cold climate, then a heated floor system may reduce your indoor allergy symptoms.
Easy Installation Process
Hydronic heating systems will need professional installation. However, electric floor systems are easy to install. Electronic systems can be used under almost any flooring type, such as carpet, tile, wood, or stone. Tiles are the best option because til conducts heat the best.
Electric flooring comes in rolls that have heating cables already attached. The cables are in a serpentine pattern on the roll. All you have to do is measure and cut the rolls to the appropriate length and lay them underneath your floor.
Replace Flooring on Installation
When you are ready to install your heated flooring you do have to tear up your current flooring. Tearing up your existing flooring may be a headache for some, but this upside is you have heated floors when you are done. The easiest way to manage this is to install the flooring during a current remodel or during a new construction.
Heated flooring can get pretty expensive. It can cost between $10 to $20 per square foot. The system is controlled with a thermostat so you can control your costs that way once the flooring is installed.
Heating Flooring in Your Home
Whether you want to install heated flooring under your bath tiles, mosaic tiles, or wood floors, you will be glad you did.