Well, here we are again, the middle of fall with winter right around the corner. And while some of us enjoy our cool tile floors in the summer, they aren’t fun to walk on in the middle of winter. Did you know that you can actually remodel your bathroom with not only updated bathroom fixtures but heated floors as well?
If you have ever dreamed of placing your feet on a warm floor, it can become a reality. Whether you are remodeling, or building a new home, heated floors can be a great addition. Here are a few things to consider to get you on the way to “toasty warm” floors.
First consider what you want to get from your heated floors. Are you just interested in just warming up your floors, or are you looking for ways to provide more heat into your home? Electric radiant heat is there to warm your floor (and toes), but not to be your sole heat source. The electrical cables, sometimes attached to a mesh padding, is installed over your sub-floor using thin-set. Then your choice of flooring is installed on top of the electric cables. There is now electric radiant heat systems for most floor types, including carpet, floating floors and vinyl. You can even get heat systems that can be installed underneath your sub-floor if you don’t want to pull out your existing floors. This type of system requires access to your joist bays through a crawl space or basement.
Hydronic radiant systems is an actual home heating system. A boiler is used to heat water, between 100 to 120 degrees, that runs throughout the house using water tubing. The water tubing can be embedded in a concrete slab, over an existing slab, or fitted into special designed panels. Any type of flooring can be used with hydronic heat systems. However, keep in mind that if you live in an area with high moisture levels, you might want to consider using a engineers wood rather than real wood. Too much moisture can cause real wood to bow or warp.
Electric radiant heat is less expensive to installed since it requires less labor. But it can increase your electric bill slightly depending on the size of area covered. Installing electric systems in smaller areas like kitchens or bathrooms, and using programmable thermostats, makes these systems nice and affordable. Although hydronic systems have a higher installation costs compared to forced hot air units, it will save money due to lower thermostat settings and higher efficiency. This make hydronic systems a good source to heat your entire house.
So if you’re tired of those cold winter floors, start thinking of something more permanent to warm them up. Maybe radiant floor heating will be one solution to keeping you and your home “toasty warm” this winter.