The Basics of Radiant Floor Heating
4th January 2018
Are you tired of chilly toes in the morning? Do you wish you had a cozy place to dry off after your shower? Radiant floor heating is an option that may work for you, but will it cost an arm and a leg for the luxury of warm feet?
What is radiant floor heating?
Radiant floor heating is any system that warms your floors for a gentle heat. A contractor can place the heating coils in your floors in a wet or dry method. The wet method is where rolls of radiant heating wire are placed on the floor in a pattern that covers the chosen area. Cement is then put on top of the wiring to encase it and keep it safe from damage. In the dry method, the wiring is placed between two layers of subfloor or the subfloor and the new flooring to protect it from damage and give it the right access with proper heating. Dry systems are often used in homes with existing floors that are not being upgraded.
Where should I install in-floor heating?
Forbes suggests that homeowners consider using radiant floor heating in areas where it makes the most sense like bathrooms. This placement lets you get the most use out of your upgrade. Entryways and hardwood hallways between bedrooms other areas where warm floors are helpful for keeping you toasty in the middle of the night or when coming in out of the cold. A surprising place where you should consider using heated floor is in rooms with vaulted ceilings because it can help you feel warmer lower to the ground. You are less likely to crank the heat up in rooms with heated floors because you will feel warmer.
What is the difference between water and electric floor heat?
Hydronic floor heat is the most widely used in homes and businesses because it is often the cheaper method between the two. Some areas where electric rates are lower at night let you heat floors during off-peak hours, and remain cost-effective at the same time. Electric heat is cheaper when the savings plan works around peak usage. The one downfall to electric heat is that it tends to dry out the nasal passages. A simple way to alleviate this issue is to use a humidifier in the room when it gets dry.
Can I use hardwood flooring in rooms with radiant floor heating?
There is no reason to worry about using radiant heat in rooms with hardwood flooring other than maple, hickory, pine, or some cherry species like Brazilian. Oak and teak floors are excellent for radiant floor heat because they stand up to the dry heat better than species like maple. One of the primary considerations is to always keep floor temperatures lower than 80 degrees to prevent damage. By taking care to keep the moisture level consistent, you can have warm and beautiful hardwood floors for years.
Do I need to heat all of the flooring in the room?
Surprisingly, the answer is no. You can put in-floor heating around a bathtub, in front of the vanity, or around the commode if you like. There is no need to heat the entire room, especially if part of it is just a closet or storage space. One trend is to heat the floors in front of wet areas like sinks and showers and use rugs in places like next to the bed. You can also use carpet in the living areas and accent hardwood floors with large area rugs if you want to make the space cozy without all the cost.
How can in-floor heating save me on my energy bill?
When you selectively choose areas to use in-floor heating, you can maximize the warm feeling of the space like a bathroom. You will feel much warmer getting out a shower and touching a warm floor, so you are less likely to raise the thermostat before your shower. If you spend time in an office working from home most of the day, then a small section of radiant heating under your desk is a nice way to keep warm without needing to build a fire or spend extra money to use a space heater. Drafty rooms are easy to warm up with simple floor heating in the main traffic area without the need to heat the entire floor.
Choosing an expert with the skills and equipment to do the job right
When you upgrade your home with conveniences like radiant floor heat, you want to use someone that has the experience and knowledge to install your floors correctly. Improper installation can cost you thousands of dollars down the road. Be sure to use a licensed and bonded contractor that comes highly recommended on social media and has testimonials to back up the local service record.
Let Accent on Floors help you transform your home or office into a comfortable oasis. Keep your feet warm and cozy as you step out of the bath. For more information on radiant floor heating, call 804-458-0048.