Winter is on its way, and with it – cooler temperatures. Even if your heating system is on high, you’ve probably noticed that your floors are still icy, making getting out of bed in the morning, or out of a warm shower, a miserable way to start the day. And then you can never fully warm back up again as you travel throughout your home, every step like walking on the cold ground outside. You don’t need to suffer with cold floors anymore. Heated flooring can make your winter a much more bearable and enjoyable experience.
What is Heated Flooring?
Radiant heated flooring is a type of heating system installed under the floors in your home. The system can consist of either electric heating coils or water heated tubing, also called hydronic heating. This system warms your floor from underneath and helps to create and maintain a constant temperature throughout the rooms it is installed in. Heated flooring is also noise-free, doesn’t create dry air, and doesn’t disturb any dust.
How It Works
For electric heated flooring, plastic mats that contain coils are installed under the flooring surface. The coils, which are resistance wires wrapped in a water-resistant polymer, are heated by electricity.
Hydronic heated flooring, on the other hand, uses water heated tubing. A boiler or water heater will heat the water. Both heaters are connected to a manifold that sends the water from the source to the different rooms of your home. You can control both electric and hydronic heated floorings by a thermostat.
Rooms Where Heated Flooring Works Best
You can enjoy heated flooring in any room of your home. If you want to heat only one or two rooms, electric is best. Hydronic flooring is excellent if you want heated floors throughout your home. Some of the best rooms to have heated flooring, though, are bathrooms, bedrooms (without carpeting), living rooms (again, without carpeting), entryways, basements and any other high traffic areas such as kitchens or playrooms.
Types of Flooring That Can Be Heated
Heated flooring works best under ceramic and porcelain tile or natural stone, all of which are excellent temperature conductors. You can even install hydronic heated flooring under concrete to melt the snow and ice in your driveway.
Either type of flooring can be installed under wood, but planks may expand and contract with temperature changes. And carpet acts as an insulator, preventing the heat from coming through, especially if the carpet is thick.
Average Cost of Heated Flooring
Cost depends greatly upon the type of heating and the total square footage you are heating. Electric heated flooring is typically cheaper to install, costing anywhere from $700 to $7,000. But if you are heating several rooms, or your whole house, you may end up running a much higher electric bill.
Hydronic heated flooring has a higher initial install cost, ranging from $6,000 to $14,000. This is due to the different costs of the water heater or the boiler you may need installed as well. Water heaters typically cost $400 to $1,000 while boilers can run you about $6,000.
Things to Look Out For
Heated flooring offers a number of benefits. But there are a few things to be on the lookout for, which can indicate a problem. Keep an eye out for leaks with hydronic flooring. If water is left in the pipes and hasn’t been run in a while during colder months, watch out for freezing.
If you hear noise, that often indicates a problem. In hydronic heated flooring, noise means that air has gotten into the tubes and that can lead to corrosion of the pipes, can damage pumps and seals, and can even lead to blockages. Also, the heating systems have features that are meant to prevent overheating. Contact your installer if it gets too hot.
Interested in heating your floors? Once you’ve had a consultation on your new flooring from your local Windows Floors & Decor representative, he or she can make the best recommendation for a flooring installer who also works with heated flooring technology. Contact us today to get started!