All it takes is walking across the surface of a cold floor in the middle of winter to make you consider installing heated flooring. Heated floors are not only practical for combating cold-weather climates, but they’re also a luxury, selling feature.
As experienced floor installers in Mississauga and the GTA, we know that one of the main reasons people choose radiant heating is for comfort’s sake, since there is nothing enjoyable about being cold in your own home.
5 Things to Know About Heated Floors
Which Rooms Can You Install Heated Floors In?
Without question, the most popular room to install heated flooring in is in your bathroom. It’s not fun stepping out of a warm shower onto freezing cold tile, so installing radiant heating is an effective and comforting solution. Bathrooms aside, just about any room in your house can be outfitted with radiant heating but some rooms are better candidates than others. Basements or hallways for instance tend to be cooler so radiant heating will bring much-needed warmth to these conventionally colder rooms. You may also want to consider heated floors in any room situated above a garage.
Best Flooring Type for Heated Floors
There are essentially four properties that determine how efficient radiant heating is with flooring types:
- How thick the flooring is; the thicker it is, the worse the conductivity.
- How thermal conductive it is; mineral (stone tile) is conductive whereas carpet traps heat in.
- Does the flooring expand or contract: the less the floor moves, the better. Softwoods can expand and contract a lot, whereas natural stone tile, for example, does not.
- Susceptibility to heat or water damage: laminate, carpet and certain hardwood score lower than tile.
Although radiant heating can be installed under almost any flooring, it’s not advisable to use with carpet as it’s an insulator. As such it won’t distribute heat efficiently so you’d have to heat it more than necessary to notice a difference. That being said, the best flooring choices are stone or porcelain tiles, some hardwood (oak and maple, for instance), engineered wood flooring, some luxury vinyl or laminate. All can be used with radiant heat, just be sure to check the temperature ratings and manufacture suggestions before purchasing.
It’s a safe bet that most households use/prefer forced air heating, however, did you know that it doesn’t distribute air evenly? Forced air heating doesn’t circulate the floor-to-surface air properly meaning it’s prone to ‘cold air pockets’. Heated flooring produces even, balanced heat starting from the ground up, making it more effective at heating small areas.
- culating allergens.
- Once installed it’s easy to use (connecting to most electronic devices) so you can control the temperature at your fingertips.
- Virtually no maintenance and it comes with a long warranty.
- More space because you’ll need less duct work.
- Works with most flooring types.
- Can actually lead to better air quality as the air isn’t circulated.
- There are many kinds of heated flooring to choose from so you have your pick from air-heated, electric or hydronic. Hydronic or water heated flooring is the most popular and cost-effective while air-heated is the least common.
There are a few considerations to installing heated floors, such as:
- The installation cost of radiant heating on top of the flooring cost can be enough to have homeowners questioning whether or not the investment is worth it. Radiant heat is not just a selling feature—it’s also so practical for cold-weather climates that it’s something to consider.
- It will delay your flooring installation by at least a day. Even if you rolled out the flooring quickly, it still needs a thinset compound applied over it which takes 24 hours to dry.
- Radiant heat will increase the floor height by about ½ to an inch.Therefore it’s not to be used if floor height is an issue.
- If you install electric heating it will increase the cost of your hydro bill.
What You Should Know About Heated Floors
The appeal of heated floors makes logical sense to people who live in cooler climates because it can inject warmth into cooler rooms and create a universal blanket of heat that’ll keep you cozy and warm even when it’s snowing outside.
Have a question about heated flooring? Contact our floor installers in Mississauga and the GTA for a free consultation.