You’ve decided to get new flooring installed. Congratulations! The next thing you’ve started to look into is in floor heating, also called radiant heat used to warm the floor surface. What is it? How does it work? What are the best flooring materials to use with it? These and many other questions will be answered below so that you can make an educated decision and in turn, have the best flooring experience.
Why Use Radiant Heat?
Radiant heat actually has quite a few benefits, but the main one is that it allows you to keep your floors warm. It also plays up against the fact that heat always rises. When the heat rises, it doesn’t really benefit you, but in this case, it keeps the heat from doing that and instead slows the dispersal rate down.
The heat, over time, will still rise, but not at such a high speed as it normally would. Also, since you will be essentially warming your feet up, you won’t need to heat the entire house up.
Why Isn’t Everyone Using It?
While the radiant heat itself isn’t really expensive, it’s the installation that can be. Sometimes you can expect to pay anywhere between $4 to $6 extra per square foot – this doesn’t include any other costs like materials for the floor itself and installation. Definitely, something to consider. Also, when it comes to materials, radiant heat works less with something like carpet because carpet is already an efficient insulator. Therefore, if you have carpet, you really are just wasting money installing something that doesn’t really need to be installed. In a lot of cases, things like hardwood, ceramic, porcelain and stone would be a better fit, you can get great selections of these flooring at tilemarkets.com. Also there are plenty of confusing facts and myths about radiant heating that might affect your decision of installing them in the first place. Therefore, you might want to do your research beforehand.
The 3 Types Of Radiant Heat
When choosing to use radiant heat, you will then have to look into the 3 types. They include; forced air, hydronic-based and electrical. All 3 have their own benefits, disadvantages, and uses of course.
For forced air, this is a type that is very rarely used in homes. Instead, it’s better suited for commercial properties. The hydronic-based system is the more efficient option of the last 2, and it uses hot water for heat, carrying it throughout the house using tubing. This is also the more popular option. Electrical systems tend to be less efficient than the hydronic option, but this will really be dependent on where you live and how much you pay for electricity.
The 2 Types Of Installations
There are 2 main types of installations, they include wet and dry. Wet installations are going to be done when the house is first being built or when the flooring has an added layer of concrete and then the radiant heat is added hence the wet – wet concrete. Dry, on the other hand, is layered either above or below the sub-floor of your space. Dry is the newer type of technology and tends to be the most popular for this reason alone. Dry is also popular because they are perfect for homes that have already been built, you won’t need additional concrete to be laid.
Do you Have To Do The Entire Floor?
The short answer: No. In fact, most people who install these do not actually do the entire floor in radiant heating. Now if you have a smaller space like a small bathroom, by all means, do it, or if money’s no object, great, do the entire floor. But, most people just add the radiant heating to “parts” of the floor because of the shortage of budget. For instance, some popular spots include; in front of the shower, in front of the vanity, around the toilet, by the sink in the kitchen, at the main counter in the kitchen, etc.
This way you aren’t placing radiant heating where you won’t be using it. Just in the places where you do need it and will use it. Obviously, this is entirely up to you, but it will cost less to do a partial mat rather than a whole room mat.